Wednesday, November 30, 2011

North Twin Cone Peak

12,323-ft peak in the Platte River Mountain Range near Kenosha Pass. Thanksgiving Day. Had the whole place to ourselves (which was especially thrilling, first, when we got the car wedged into the snow without chains or a shovel, and second, when we were driving down the icy switchbacks in late afternoon...still lacking chains...and not a soul around!) Necessity breeds innovation, right? We whipped out the floor mats, blankets, and towels (you know, the towels we've been using to clean the antifreeze vapors off the windshield in the Heater Core Debacle of Twenty Eleven) and with our handy snowshoe-shovel devices, broke free of nature's grip. A little backwards driving, a little dirt on the ice rink switchbacks and we were in business. Made it down the mountain AND (bonus round) all the way to a gas station on the fumes we had left in the tank (it was mostly downhill. no problem.) 

We should really think about leading a Girl Scout troop...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Up and (Ma)gone to Oregon

Back in August we journeyed out West for some quality Bauer/Caldera time and spent close to a week in good company and far away from the mesmerizing glow of the internet. It was a good thing. We flew out to Seattle and spent a night in Gig Harbor before hitting the road for a 9-, no, 10-, no, 13-hour drive to Eastern Oregon, where we set up camp at Magone Lake. But before we get ahead of ourselves...some shots from the oasis that is the Bauer homestead.

Aaannndd, we're off! Tacoma Narrows Bridge ahead. 
The massive Fred G. Redmon Memorial Bridge in Yakima, WA.


Our destination

We made it! That wasn't so for some nighttime glow stick charades. 

Good morning Magone.

We spent out first few days playing in the lake and exploring the area. One of the outstanding features of this area was the massive infestation of butterflies, which seemed denser at higher elevations. A statement by the Dept of Forestry says they are Pine Butterflies, and "can cause severe defoliation over large areas leading to growth loss and tree mortality." (Side note: one name for a group of butterflies is a "kaleidoscope of butterflies" or, in this case, we might say a "kaleidoscope of mortality.")
Atop the mount with Rabbi Steinkowitz-Cohen-Levinstein

When Uncle Paul arrived later in the week we all went South for a night in the Strawberry Mountain wilderness. Camden huffed it an impressive distance on his own up to Strawberry Falls and then spent the night back in the camper with Gramma and Grampa. The rest of us found a creekside camp spot and summited the 9038-ft mountain the next morning.  
Strawberry Lake

Strawberry Falls

Near the top. Swarms of butterflies at this point. Glimpses of them in this and the next photo.

Top! (Photo courtesy of Em and Keith) (Also, I cannot properly align this. Apologies.)

Now back to the lake (after some car troubles and quick mechanic man thinking by Keith) for one last swim.
The next day we had a leisurely morning at the campsite and then hitched a ride with Paul to Boise, where we spent the night and caught a plane back home the following day. Great trip.