For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Aug 27, 2010

Where is Jack, Day 139?

Nancy woke me earlier than I normally like to rise.

She said we have an exciting day ahead of us. Little did we know. We ate, then went for a walk. Nancy asked me if I remembered Redfish Lake.  I didn’t. She stopped in town at the information center and saw the same man she saw 7 years ago. He hands his credit cards and checkbook over to his wife (in Alabama where they live) each summer so she’ll let him come to Stanley. He got a kick out of Nancy relating the story back to him.

Information Center

Ranch in town

We "mountained" you to death with pictures, yesterday, so we'll try to find other things, though Nancy took a lot more pictures of the mountains, today. Okay, so off to Redfish Lake we went. We were saddened to see all the “No Dogs Allowed on Beach” signs. Well, at least my Lizzie got to swim. After all, she's the one who really loved the water and she taught me how to swim. Nancy tried to make up for it by throwing the ball in a field for me, but I’m tuckered after chasing it two or three times. She said, “Okay, sport, never mind. I remember a nature walk that Rich and I used to take. It’s over near the ranger station.” So we went. It was nice, but Nancy was disappointed to see that cabins had been built.

The salmon use Redfish Creek for spawning activities. Nancy tried to get a good picture of one, but we're not sure if you can see it. We can on Google Chrome.

Okay, so we kicked around Redfish for a while and then decided to go to Stanley Lake. Maybe it hadn’t changed. Off we went. We saw someone hitchhiking and Nancy was about to pass them up when I noticed that it was a girl. “Nancy, stop! You’d want someone responsible to stop for Susie or Lisa and Staci or Amanda, Missy, Kelly, Keely, or Peyton. Surely she was in trouble hitchhiking all the way out here.” (She agreed, but said she’d better not ever catch any of her girls doing it)

Her name was Audrey. Audrey loves life. She’s from Indiana, went to college, and then decided she wanted to work for outfitters. She didn't want a job at a desk so she got the job here by emailing the company. She and other guides take people on week long trips down the middle fork. She had made her last trip and somehow her car wound up in a parking lot where they “put in” for river trips. She is a very happy and friendly girl. I liked her right away (so did Nancy), and she liked me.  In the next few days, she’s on her way to Utah to do an 8 day trip down there. Then, she and a friend are traveling to West Virginia to try a river there, and will circle back to see her folks in Indiana. She works for several different outfitters. Nancy told her how Michael loved to do this sort of thing and she said, “Tell him to c’mon out to Idaho next summer.” Nancy is going to email her, her pictures.

Nancy scolded her for hitchhiking and told her she had to promise never to do it, again. Nancy had her taser gun and bear spray in the driver side door pocket. We shuttered, later, to think what would have happened if she had gotten into a car with the wrong person. Nancy said she wanted her to put two dollars a week away so that she’d always have money to take a bus or a shuttle or something other than hitchhiking. Audrey said she would, but I think she was rolling her eyes. (It occurred to Nancy that there were no taxis or busses for Audrey to take). No wonder she rolled her eyes.

Nancy asked her where to go and she said, “It’s about 30 miles from here.” Nancy said, “I’ll take you. I was out looking at scenery, anyway.” We passed the fire jumper temporary camps that we talked about, yesterday.

So they got to the Bruce Meadows where they turn off (it was more than 30 miles). There was no car when they stopped so Nancy asked Audrey where it was and she said, “Oh, I’ll catch another ride where we put in.” Nancy said, "Absolutely not." So off they went on the dirt road, many of them ravaged by fire (Audrey said she thinks the fire was in ’94), down through Bruce Meadow, and then up a steep, steep, narrow dirt road with no guard rails. Whoo Hoo! Nancy was nervous, but tried not to let on too much. It was a long bumpy road, but we finally got there (the dirt road took far longer than the drive to the turn off), but it's a place we wouldn't have seen if we hadn't met Audrey.

Another fire had started sometime during the night or day. When we came down off the mountain, the smoke was really thick.

They got to where Audrey’s car was parked. She has flowers painted on her car and someone had put a peace sign in pebbles on her hood. Nancy told her she should keep one for good luck and asked if she could have one to carry, too, so she’d always remember Audrey.

Audrey had asked while they were driving whether we would like to drive another mile to see where they put in. Nancy said, “Sure.” She could only get a couple of pictures, but it was neat the way they have the stairs for the people and the ramp for the rafts.

Then Audrey said, “Would you like to go off the road about 1/2 mile to see a Daggert waterfall?” Off we went following Audrey. It was really neat. The falls were beautiful and the fish ladder was very interesting. It was built to save the salmon. The forest service had built a fence so people would be safe as they watched the falls. Audrey said, earlier in the year, you can see the Salmon jumping the rapids, just like you see in documentaries.

Then we started back. There was a lot of smoke. Audrey and Nancy agreed that there was a new fire. We saw a lot of birds on the way back, and I bet if we waited until dusk we would have seen many elk, deer, and who knows what else. 

When we got back, Nancy stopped to get something to eat. She was starving. Then, we sat outside for a while. Nancy read her book and I napped. Then, we went for a walk. Now we’re in the trailer resting up a bit. Nancy didn’t sleep well last night so she’s very tired.

We’ve just about decided we’re not going to stay another night. We’ll take a run down to Stanley Lake at dusk to see if we can see the elk or maybe we’ll see another wolf! Then we’ll head for Salmon, tomorrow.

Well, I don't know where the elk were, tonight, but it's dark and we just got in. We didn't see ANY wild life.  Oh, well, off to bed.


  1. I can hear your children screaming about picking up a hitchhiker!!!!
    Sounds like your guardian angel sent you quite an adventure. What a cute girl. Reminds me of two girls her age we met on a cruise, they kayaked out from a little island off Alaska where they spent a year counting bears for the park service. One had a degree from Duke, the other from Indiana.

  2. The kids out here are full of adventure--very able to take care of and deal with life on their own. Audrey said she figured she doesn't need much money to be happy--just likes living life doing the things she likes to do. I asked her if she told her Mom she hitchhiked and she said, "There are certain things that I don't share." How's your trip going?

  3. Ummm, didn't you worry when she kept taking you further off the beaten track that she might have had something hidden on her person? Like an axe????? Sounds like a great time.

    I'm trying something new today, I've got it started, soon will be meeting Pantless and the Floozy for lunch.


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