Manzanita April Sunset


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Jasper NP – XT Pics

Took the old Canon Rebel XT to Jasper NP in Alberta, Canada. Snapped some shots, chose several to upload here. They’re not great…click for slightly larger photos.

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Snowshoeing 16 Jan 2016

No plan other than pointing the car toward Montana and driving until we found a place to hike. Pulled off the interstate at Fourth of July Pass but the road was too slick. Back on the freeway headed east, made a pit stop at Old Mission State Park, Idaho. Not a good place for ‘shoeing. A little further east is Cataldo, ID. We parked at the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes trailhead and hiked northeast about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). Decided it might not be a good idea to drive home in the dark as the snow was coming down heavy. Back to the car, tossed in our soaking clothes (not wearing water-resistant) and cranked up the heat for our 60-mile (97-kilometer) drive home.

Left the camera at home so only have several mobile phone pics:

Check out the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. We’ve hiked, biked, and now snowshoed several sections of this awesome trail. Might have to head out there again tomorrow morning with dry clothes, a camera, hot drinks and camp chairs so we can relax by the river and try to spot moose, bald eagles, rednecks, or simply watch the snow falling.

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We drove seven miles south from our house to the James T. Slavin Conservation Area to do some light snowshoeing.


Here’s a chart from showing the calorie-burning benefits of snowshoeing: 420-1046 per hour is awesome!


We decided to ease into the activity this year rather than going all-out and getting burned out early (we’re starting to feel our creaky joints). Our first day out was less than two hours and our second day out was under three hours. Great workout and very peaceful.


Strapping in


Trail into the forest



Men’s MSR Revo Explore 25-inch


Women’s MSR Revo Explore 22-inch


Leki Cristallo Trekking Poles with optional snow baskets. We’ll reinstall the regular baskets for ‘normal’ hiking


Outdoor Designs Alpine gaiters large size. I’ve been using these since 2003. My boots are Vasque Snowburban Ultradry


Mellissa’s boots are Vasque Pow Pow Ultradry and she’s also got Outdoor Designs Alpine gaiters sized medium


Waiting for me while I rest my knees


We broke this trail on the way in and decided to take advantage of it on the way out



This is the proper way to haul gear — just throw it in and go for hot coffee!

I tried walking without poles for a little while and it was OK on the packed snow; when we began breaking through the crust I needed the poles to keep my balance as my snowshoe tips occasionally caught on the up-step. They also helped on any uneven terrain. I wouldn’t go snowshoeing without poles.

Another lesson was to dress in easily removable layers. The temperature was around 30°F (-1°C) and within ten minutes of activity I was peeling off my snow jacket and down liner. Second day we went I wore a fleece and a windbreaker. The windbreaker came off quickly.

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It Works!

I bought a headlight restoration kit at Walmart thinking it was a gimmick but worth trying.


Cost was $23+ at Walmart

Headlights _816x615

Top pic has driver side light polished but passenger side is still fogged. Bottom pic shows both lights with renewed clarity.

Headlight _667x1000

A before-and-after of the driver side lens. The blue painter’s tape protects the body paint.

We used so little of the compound that there are at least twenty more treatments in the bottle. The PowerBall sponge cleans up with dish soap and water.

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quick wander in the woods

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Bought pulley kits at Harbor Freight for $10 each. Will swap the ropes for better next spring. Nice to have the kayaks out of the way.


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