Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Long Weekend Recap

We had a nice, relaxing, and uneventful Memorial Day weekend. Friday night we got some grub at Rudy's before heading to the movie theater to watch Terminator: Salvation. We both enjoyed the movie - it was good with great action scenes, but the story and overall vibe are definitely not up to the standard of T2 which in my opinion is the best action movie ever made. Of course I like movies about quasi-sentient robots since they provoke metaphysical questions about humanity and possible future directions of human existence. But I digress...

Saturday we mostly ran errands; in particular we stopped at MacLife so I could look at the Macs since I suspect that might be my next computer purchase. It'll essentially be a choice between an iMac or a Wintel machine running Windows 7 (once that comes out). But it's good to have choices, right? Katie also got a haircut which she was happy with!

Sunday we had breakfast with Gary and Bonnie at Moon's Kitchen Cafe. I had the breakfast combo which included one of the biggest pancakes I've ever eaten (and I didn't even finish). Afterwards we did some grocery shopping too - another action-packed day!

Nothing too exciting occurred on Monday... mostly things like TiVo watching, reading, house cleaning, and mowing. Of course Tuesday was back to work but fortunately for only four days!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Other than the previously blogged hikes, there hasn't been too much going on with us. We've seen movies for three straight weeks: State of Play, Fast & Furious, and Star Trek. We both enjoyed all of them - personally I found Star Trek the best and Fast & Furious the least memorable. Maybe we'll go see Wolverine this week?

I did start tweeting last week. It is arguably pointless but anyone that wants to know minute details of our lives can check that out.

Also, the Shepherds in Vancouver are fundraising for the Relay for Life in memory of Ian. Their team name is Flock of Sheep. Donations are of course welcome!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Peaks, One Weekend

The weather in Boise has finally turned nice with highs in the 70s, lows in the 40s, and lots of daylight. Dan suggested we go for a hike on Saturday. We were constrained to an afternoon hike due to commitments with his daughter's softball team. We met at the softball field just before 1pm and headed out. Destination: Slacks Mountain in the Owyhees. Neither one of us were sure what to expect since we hadn't been to the area before. Of course the standard concerns apply in the Owyhees: ATVs, dirt bikes, private property, armed patrols, mining, overgrazing, etc.

On the way up we nearly collided with an out-of-control ATV before meeting with an Owyhee County Sheriff's Deputy who explained that the road over New York Summit was snowbound but we could get to within a mile or so of it. Perfect! We can get close enough to the peak without having lots of ATV through traffic in the area. Of course, the ATVs were still all over the place despite the snow situation.

We parked where the road became snowbound and started hiking at about 2:45pm. The going was easy and we enjoyed this surprisingly wet and forested area of the Owyhees. We made it to the summit around 5:30pm and enjoyed the expansive views of the Owyhees. It was actually quiet up there - always a pleasant surprise in this area! We soon headed back down at made it to the car just before 8pm. Due to the time, we scrapped our plan to make a quick ascent of nearby Bald Mountain.

On Sunday I decided to use the kayak again and ascend Grape Mountain. While unloading the kayak, I noticed a hole in the rubber outer hull. This was likely caused by having to drag it up 100' of rocky beach last time due to low water. I figured I might as well press on, so I got everything together and hit the water. Of course it became apparent immediately that things were not going well. The kayak was steering terribly, my bum was wet, and there was quickly a half inch or so of water in the bottom of the interior. As the melody from that Gordon Lightfoot song started to go through my head, I decided to turn around. While deflating the kayak, I managed to suck sand into the air pump which disabled it and of course added insult to injury. Despite this humiliating defeat, the kayak will be repaired and I will be back!

I couldn't simply go home after this fiasco; I had to bag a peak. I chose Shaw Mountain, a peak which was on the way home and not too big of a hike. Being a Grand Slam Peak, it was on my list for a Spring ascent anyway. It was also the first Idaho peak I climbed in May 2001 and therefore a sentimental favorite. I climbed from the Highland Valley Road and made an uneventful ascent up the road to the summit. This peak is best climbed before May 1st though because after that the road is open to vehicles, of which I saw quite a few. I always enjoy the view of Boise from this peak despite the typical haze.

Slacks Mountain Pictures! (Dan's Trip Report)
Shaw Mountain Pictures!

Trip stats:
Slacks Mountain: 10 miles, 2000' gain, 5 hours
Shaw Mountain: 10.6 miles, 2500' gain, 3.5 hours