Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ohhh, I’m Tired

                                                                                                                       Sept. 13, 2012

 Have you ever been really tired and worn out, like after a hard day of hunting, hiking, or working? I think we have all probably been there and experienced that feeling. When you realize how tired you are, have you ever let out a big sigh and said “Ohhh, I’m tired!”  If you’ve never done this yourself, I’m sure you have heard someone else do it. Keep the sound of that tired sigh in mind as we travel with Nate and Lindsey to the Adelman Mine.

The Adelman Mine is high up on Lucky Peak mountain east of Boise and was one of the largest producing and longest running mines in the area. People were still mining up there back in the 1970s. There is a mill on site and the building still stands and is pretty interesting to visit.


Is the term ‘Lucky Peak Mountain’ redundant?  Lucky Peak Peak would definitely be redundant. All my life, Lucky Peak has been the reservoir for boating. I never thought of it as a Peak. So Lucky Peak Mountain is the mountain next to Lucky Peak reservoir. I’ll check in with the Department of Redundancy Department to find out before posting this.

 Further Digression:

I remember a hunting trip with Bill in the Smoky Mountains several years ago. We backpacked in about 4 miles and made camp. We ended up shooting a large Bull elk as well as a four point buck. We made 3 trips in and out of the mountains with our camping gear and loads of meat. We figure we covered about 35 miles in 3 days with significant weight. As I was walking out with the last load of meat, something kept bumping my heels as I walked. I was worn out and just tried to keep walking and ignore it. Finally the bumping grew worse and worse. I came out of my stupor, stopped and looked behind me to see what kept banging into my heels, only to realize that it was my butt dragging behind me.
End of Digressions.

Lindsey, her fiancĂ© Nate, Ruby Doo and I drove up to Lucky Peak to make the hike into the Adelman Mine. It’s about a two mile hike to get to the mine, so around 4 miles round trip. Early on in the hike there is a downgrade about a quarter of a mile long which takes you to the Black Hornet mining area. This first mine is just tailings and some equipment but no structures. There are also a couple tunnels back into the hill that have not yet been closed off.  Most mining tunnels and shafts around Idaho have been caved in to keep people from going and getting into trouble.  The trail continues from the Black Hornet area to the Adelman Mine, which is up over a saddle and into the next canyon.


We made the hike in and wandered through the mill and other remaining structures. The mill has three levels to it. The top is where the ore is dumped in, the next level down is the crusher, and the final level has a large table where the crushed ore is shaken and separated. There is still a fair amount of equipment as well as Owl’s nests and signs of other animals living in the mill. We took pictures and poked around for a while just enjoying the sights before heading back to the truck. The hike back seemed longer than the hike in as it was the middle of the afternoon with the sun beating down on us through the smoke of the Trinity fire. When the three of us reached the beginning of the quarter mile climb from Black Hornet to the ridge where the truck was parked, Lindsey was tired of walking and had slowed down.  Nate offered to give her a piggy back ride up the hill for a ways. Lindsey accepted and climbed on. Nate and I headed up the hill at a pretty good pace. Pretty soon we were sweating and breathing hard but her getting close to the top. No one had said anything for a while.


Lindsey then let out a huge tired sigh signaling how tired she was as we neared the end of hike.  She just broke the silence with an “Ohhhhh, I’m tired!”

I finally broke the awkward pause and said to her, “Lindsey, what’s the matter? Are your arms tired from hanging on to Nate as you ride up the steep part? Is making Nate carry you wearing you out?”

 She obviously picked the wrong time and place to let us know how tired she was.  Nate was sweating and breathing hard as he carried her up the mountain, yet Lindsey was the tired one. I’m afraid it’s going to be awhile before we let her live this one down.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Steelhead Fishing 101

                                                                                                                       Sept. 1, 2012

A couple years ago I went Steelhead fishing with Bill in Orofino. He has a jet boat and we fished the Clearwater River. The Clearwater is a big river and a boat is almost a necessity.  I had only been steelhead fishing once before that I know of.  We fished all day long on the boat and we caught a lot of fish. We used Bill’s boat, Bill’s fishing gear and Bill’s experience to make the trip successful.

This spring we decided to go Steelhead fishing along the Little Salmon River. The river is pretty small so it’s all bank fishing.  We went to an area known as Stinky Springs. The weather was great but the fishing was slow. Bill had all the gear and set me all up with a pole and lures and technique. When I broke my line, Bill would fix it up with leader, lures and bait as needed, and then hand me the pole. Bill hooked 2 fish that day while I hooked several stumps and rocks and watched several expensive floats disappear down stream. The first fish Bill hooked was early in the day. He handed me his pole to reel it in. I felt like one of his kids as I fought with that fish. Unfortunately, I lost it and I felt like I was less than one of his kids.  Bill caught one nice fish later in the day and I took it home and ate it for him. Glad I could help in some way.

We planned to go back to the same spot the following week and invite a friend of mine from work. To prepare, I went out and bought some lures and gear so I wouldn’t have to use Bill’s stuff up, plus he was running low. Our second trip out started a little later in the day, due to a breakfast stop at the Pancake House. I didn’t mind this delay at all and began to like fishing more and more.  When we got to our fishing spot, I was able to rig up the pole myself and fix everything when I broke off. I wasn’t catching fish early on but I also wasn’t reliant on Bill for everything. I was feeling like I could do this myself. Later in the day, I saw some fish far across the river in a calm pool. I cast my line across the river and actually hooked a nice Steelhead and got it to shore. Bill grabbed it and got it up on the bank: the first catch of the day. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Bill wandered upstream after that and I stayed and managed to hook 3 other fish and I landed one big one. The other two got off, which is not unusual for Steelhead fishing.  Bill found a nice hole and caught several fish and ended up releasing some as our limit was 3 fish per person. We went home with 7 or 8 fish between the 3 of us. I felt like I was getting the hang of it, was doing well and was mostly independent. Bill had given me some advice and had gotten one fish out of the water for me but that was the extent of it. Not only did I get breakfast at the Pancake House but I could catch fish also.

A few days later I was talking to my daughter Katie and telling her about my fishing experience. I told her proudly how I was no longer Bill’s little boy like the first time out. Now, on this second trip, I was able to rig up and fish independent of Bill.  I could move up and down the river and fish where I wanted to. When I broke off a line, it was my stuff floating down the river, not Bill’s. Not only that, I hooked several fish and landed two of them all by myself.


Katie looked at me and said, “I didn’t know you had a Steelhead rod and reel.”

I looked at her quietly for a moment, swallowed my pride and said to her, “I don’t, I was using Bill’s extra rod and reel.”     

To which Katie said, “Well, you are a big boy aren’t you.”