Aquarius August 2005
Diary of Linda and my trip to Aquarius, ID in August 2005

7/30/05 Linda and I visited the Dworshak Dam at 11:00 a.m. It was a very interesting 1.5 hour tour conducted by an Army Corp of Engineers volunteer. The dam was built in 1960’s to contain flooding in the Orofino area. It has paid for itself several times from power plant revenues. The construction of the dam made loggers unhappy because it stopped the use of the NF Clearwater River as an annual log run to the mills. Now all logs are trucked to the mills. At 2:00 p.m. Linda and I visited the Dworshak Dam Fish Hatchery. The main fish produced here is the Steelhead Salmon. It is really the same as a rainbow trout except that this fish goes to ocean and then comes back to spawn. Because of the ocean journey the fish becomes bigger (salmon size). The tour was excellent lasting about 1.5 hours. It was another unbelievable hot day 103 F. as we returned to the 5th wheel. We left the AC on while gone, keeping Meghan nice and cool. I pressure cooked a 6# pork loin roast from Costco with Lipton onion soup, onions, potatoes, carrots, and rutabagas. It was delicious and we had leftovers for a long time. The group for the second Aquarius camp outing this summer started arriving; Bruce and Beverly Roberts, Joe and Scarlet Willingham, Stan and Joy Ray Gienger, Tim and Barbara Tyler. We visited with all of them after it cooled down a bit.

7/31/05 On the road by 7:30 a.m. for the 61 mile windy hill drive into Aquarius camp ground. When we arrived around 11:00 a.m. Only site 1 was available. Eventually by 3:00 p.m. we all got sites. I got site 4 which required some very tight maneuvering to enter with my bigger rig this year. I had 3 spotters Bruce, Stan, and Joe watching for me. Finally everybody got into their sites with each other's help and we all relaxed in the beautiful hot scenery. Had left over pork stew for dinner. I crashed at 7:30 p.m. and stayed in bed until 9:30 am the next morning.

8/1/05 Stan, Meghan, and I did a 5 mile round trip NF Clearwater River trail hike which was very enjoyable. It was broken clouds and occasional sprinkles today so it was much cooler.

8/2/05 I started a 12 mile hilly bike ride from campground to end of payment with Scarlet and Joe. I expected at the least to keep up with Scarlet, but I immediately realized that I was in no shape to keep up with the Willinghams, so I geared down and slowed up to save my legs while scouting the river for rafting trouble shallow spots. I managed to make it to my 4.1 mile raft put in site 8.2 miles total round trip. That night we had a group dinner consisting of; Carne Asada burritos, Carnitas burritos, beans, rice, and corn salad. We all had a great time dining at the beautiful site 9 near White Fish Rapids.

8/3/05 Linda and Beverly made fresh huckleberry scones for breakfast. The entire group for breakfast had coffee, scones, butter, honey, and jam at campsite 9. It is cooler today dropping into the 50’s last night. In the afternoon I walked up the steep ridge logging road behind the river with Meghan. It was about 2 miles total. On the way up I heard a Big Foot type noise shadowing my walk in the forest. It was scary, so I quickened my pace and yelled loud to scare the unknown beast away. Stopped hearing the noise after a few hundred yards.

8/4/05 We had a group breakfast at Bruce & Beverly’s campsite this morning. Nine people attended. I made sourdough huckleberry pancakes which turned out great. Other people provided sausage, bacon, orange juice, butter, syrup, paper plates, and cleanup. It was a delicious feast. I went with Joe, Tim, Bruce, and Scarlet to fell trees and cut them up for fire wood. One the way up we think we saw a Northern Goshawk apparently a endangered species. Bruce and Tim felled 2 small dead trees for the fire wood. The boys really enjoyed playing lumberjack for a day. Scarlet and I filmed and photographed the carnage.

8/5/05 Meghan and I walked approximately 1.75 miles up Black Mountain Trail from Canyon Work Station. The single track trail was well maintained in what appeared to be a virgin forest of huge Western Cedar and Grand Fir. The trees were not dense and it was possible to see the dog 50 to 75 yards from the trail. It was a killer uphill similar to the Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. The view at 1.5 miles up was awesome. There was no streams or creeks on the first 2 miles of the trail. The lake at the top is 9 miles one way, so I will probably never see it in this life time. I enjoyed the hike very much and it was fun to watch Meghan explore the forest undergrowth and chase the squirrels. It was a hot day in the high 90’s and even Meghan got tired . On the way back at the car she laid down in the shade waiting for me too open the truck door. The remainder of the afternoon was very hot and I was wishing I could leave for a site that had electrical service for the AC!!

8/6/05 Tim Tyler, his Springer Spaniel dog Mocha, Stan Gienger, myself, and my dog Meghan drove up to Smith Ridge to hike into the Mallard Larkin’s Wilderness area. I picked this weekend day because the logging trucks do not run on Saturday or Sunday. The approximately 16 mile drive up was very scenic and had great views of the Dworshak Lake/ slack waters of the NF Clearwater river. It took us about 45 minutes to negotiate the curvy mostly single lane road. The dogs Meghan and Mocha had a fight has we started the hike. Tim was giving water to Mocha out of a bottle and Meghan attacked Mocha. Tim kicked them apart. Mocha’s leg appeared to be injured from a bite or kick, but she walked it off quickly. Tim decided to keep Mocha on leash the remainder of the hike. Meghan has a real problem around certain other dogs getting food or water. I must work on eliminating this unfriendly aggression. I must warn other dog owners to not feed or water their dog in the presence of a unleashed Meghan. I partially blame my father-in-law as he has encouraged competition for food between Meghan and his Airedale which probably carried over to other dogs.At any rate the hike continued without incident. It was a beautiful hike continually up. We walked 4 miles in, to a beautiful peak called Goat Ridge. There was the remains of an old fire look out tower with USDA markers on the top. It had a view to die for. We spent about an half hour exploring the grassy scenic ridge and peak. Returned as we came, occasionally stopping for water and to pick the delicious huckleberries. I enjoyed the 8 mile hike with Tim and Stan immensely. It would have been perfect had it not been for the dog incident.Fred and Diana Rooney arrived while we were gone. I spent some enjoyable and entertaining time talking to both. The Rooneys are a one in a million couple that can never be duplicated.The heat and humidity in the afternoon was a killer. I wanted to leave tomorrow but Linda says we have to stay another day to see some friends coming in on Sunday. We got smoke and ash from distanct forest fires in the afternoon. I was very tired after the hike, but managed to cook garlic spicy shrimp, rice, and green peas for dinner. It was quite yummy with a glass of Chardonnay.

8/7/05 I started packing for the exodus tomorrow. Linda, Meghan, and I decided to beat the heat in the afternoon by taking a air conditioned 30 mile truck ride around Indian Henry Loop. The old logging gravel single lane road went up one of the highest mountains in the area. The views of the vast forest in the area were breathtaking. We stopped several times to run Meghan on old spur logging roads that were closed to vehicles. At the top was a ridge with a rock formation that looked like an Indian. The trip took us 3 hours, but we both felt it was worth the effort. When we returned to camp, Bruce and Beverly Roberts had returned with their cute grand daughter Mackenna and their parents. Peter & Elke Braunlich also arrived while we were gone.We all had a huge appetizer only party feast that night. We provided barbecued mustard chicken and fresh mozzarella cheese in spiced flavored olive oil. The mozzarella cheese purchased from Costco was a huge hit, to Linda’s delight as it used too much room in the Fridge. The appetizers were all great and I had a nice last night at the NF of the Clearwater.

8/8/05 Left about 9:00 a.m. for Clarkston, WA. Checked into the Granite Lakes RV Park around noon. I got the truck handed washed at the local car wash. Checked cost of Lafuma chairs at Krueger RV but they didn’t have the chairs we wanted. They wanted $160 each but would need to order. Linda did laundry at the RV Park. Did some shopping at Costco. Had a Costco Taco alad in the trailer for dinner. It was a hot 98 F in Lewiston again so we camped out in air conditioned trailer until dark. The WIFI worked on my laptop so the problem at the Willingham's must have been in their network. Got all my bills paid up. The view of the Snake River at sunset was awesome as usual.

Last updated on February 6, 2019