Saturday, September 13, 2014

Idaho Centennial Trail - Part 5 - Wallace, Idaho to the Stateline National Recreation Trail

From Wallace and Interstate 90, Stacey and I hiked up towards Stevens Peak.
It finally felt as if summer had actually begun.

The bear grass was so abundant that we often looked like we were being shot at upon our shorts and shirts with paint balls of pollen.

The snow had finally receded to just being present along the ridge-lines and north faces of these 7000 foot mountains.

We were to hike 160 to 170 miles to Highway 12 in the middle of the state of Idaho.

The temperatures were in the 90's and so we took advantage of the remaining snow to cool ourselves down.  We would also dip our shirts and hats in water whenever possible.

It was mostly dirt road or ATV track walking until we arrived at the Stateline National Recreation Trail.  However, then it was mostly trail until we reached Highway 12.

The views of Cliff and Diamond Lakes were astounding. There was one lake after another.  
Scenic Wonders were the Norm.

We still had this entire secret trail to ourselves. However, we seemed to meet a lot of people in the towns along the way who had surprisingly heard of the trail. They would often say that this route was on their bucket list.

We could see our future unfolding before us...
Every step released more realized beauty upon the Earth.

I truly Live for this kind of walking.
I feel alive where the earth moves and fuels me.
I love to call it Walking in Stillness.
There is a sense of swallowing one's own reflection,
Or where one begins to Live from the other side of the mirror.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Idaho Centennial Trail - Part 4 - Exploring Idaho While The Snow Melts

It's the end of June, but there is still a lot of snow in the mountains. 
Being the Space Cadets that we are,
We decided to take a break from Hide and Seek with the Idaho Centennial Trail.

So instead, we went surfing (with Thanks to Capri)...

And trike riding (With Thanks to Nanda) ...

And swimming along Lake Coeur d'Alene where we couch surfed for a few days. (With Thanks to Dylan and Asa)

Ron... our personal Idaho Centennial Trail Angel ... picked us up on the Fourth of July weekend to hike us up to the top of Scotchman's Peak where we had great views of Clark Fork, Sand Point, and Lake Pend Oreille.

Mountain Goats Teased Us and called Us Hiker Trash.

The goats were all High and Mighty.

...And Cute...

And not very bashful about getting what they wanted.

We definitely felt we were on top of the world.

We could see the Idaho Centennial Trail from the top of Scotchman's Peak across the Lightning Creek Drainage.
But where did the snow go?

And then we revisited Mount Pend Oreille, where we had our huge snowstorm, and watched fireworks over Sandpoint.

The next day we bushwhacked up to a ridge between Moose Lake, Gem Lake, and Lake Estelle.
We were definitely getting to know the ins and outs of Idaho's back-country.

We even revisited and swam in the now snow free Blossom Lake.
Three feet of snow disappeared and melted in less than two weeks.

The Idaho Centennial Trail was now whispering to Stacey and I to rejoin her.


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Idaho Centennial Trail - Part 3 - Idaho Point to Wallace, Idaho

From Idaho Point, Mountain Tops seemed to stretch into Forever. 

The grass is always greener syndrome can also apply to looking at other mountains in the distance from one's current mountain location.  However, one soon learns that whatever comes into sight of mind becomes us, and is Becoming, and even Nourishing, when we truly let it In. Distance, location, and space seemingly vanish when the Heart is Open to the energy that one focuses upon.

One merely draws the Beauty within. Two Points become One. Duality ends into a Singularity.

The Trout Creek National Recreation Trail brought us through Higher Country and yet more snow. However, where were the people? It's as if we were exploring a brand new planet whose only inhabitants were Wildlife.

Herds of Elk taught us some of the Indigenous Customs.

They taught us over and over again how to make your own Way when there was no pre-established trail to follow.  Going Cross-Country and trusting in the Unknown is essential in one's personal development and Self discovery. One eventually learns that all compasses point inward towards the center of Being.

Blossom Lake and its reflections showed us how a family whose children loved to jump fearlessly onto floating logs.  If one can find the child within and yet hold the wisdom of an Elder, then anything is truly possible.

At Pear Lake, we noticed we were yet again following a Lone Wolf and its tracks for miles. It brought us to a tree where Lightening must have struck just days before.  Fresh wood shards and its splinters flew in all directions on top of the snow. This was truly a symbol for power and inspiration that comes from connecting the positive with the negative or the yang with the yin.  Its priceless currency delivers vitality, strength, health, and well being.

Looking Over the Glidden Lakes, we knew we were once more close to civilization. The mining towns of Mullan and Wallace on Interstate 90 were close at foot.  Soon, the public would be smelling what we had Learned.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Idaho Centennial Trail - Part 2 - Naples to Clark Fork, Idaho and beyond to Idaho Point

From the very small and yet very inviting mill town of Naples, we ventured east and then south into the showering and yet still quite snow capped Cabinet Mountain Range.

We played hide and seek often with the trail with three to five feet of snow often covering the ground. We studied the maps from the smart phone, looked for cut logs, found ancient markings and blazes on trees, and just plain used our intuition to navigate through our lingering winter wonderland.

Contrasting Views from Mt. Pend Oreille fueled our ambitions to continue southbound, where our fresh prints in the snow often overlapped with the fresh prints of elk, moose, and yet more lone wolves.  It amplified our sense of feeling Wild and on the Loose.

Exploring the edge of the known and unknown brought us to the brink of howling ourselves.

We awoke the next morning to four inches of new and heavy snow, soon to accumulate to a couple of feet of fresh insulation. 

In the fog of being between worlds and between seasons, we descended from 7000 feet to the allure and embrace of Darling Lake and the Lightning Creek Drainage, where snow soon turned to rain. The feeling of Auld Lang Syne brought us into Clark Fork Shivering and Shriveled where long hot showers refreshed us into a New Age of carrying our own warmth to wherever we may go.

From the Sanctuary of Clark Fork, we rose and sprung out of a luscious green and spring valley as if we were both Clark and Lewis seeking the Northwest Passage. Clark deserves top billing once in a while.

Remote dirt roads brought us to to the Idaho - Montana border which we were to straddle for hundreds of miles to come.  It's as if the officially sanctioned State Trail of Idaho were hijacking and annexing bits and pieces of Montana.  

One moment we were in the mountain time zone and in the next moment we were in the pacific daylight savings time zone.  Having no allegiance or preference to either, we decided to bury the concept of Time so that Now could sprout without any need of human intervention.

Good and Totally Scenic Views vacuumed away any lingering thoughts into a place of pure Silence where it became obvious where Beauty truly resides.

Idaho Point surrendered what was left of the little self into a sense of a greater and larger Self where an outlook of the Infinite is to be discovered and re-membered.

Tap Here for Part 3