High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Great Hudson Valley Pedal, Aug 15-20

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, from the water

Aboard the riverboat

On the evening of our first day, there was a river boat ride near Hudson. The boat went downstream as far as the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, which we had crossed that afternoon.

I remember this ride as seeming a bit longer than necessary, but perhaps that was just because I didn't have a good seat on the boat.

Great Hudson Valley Pedal, Aug 15-20

Some first-day images: From the top, our camp on the lawn of a community college near Hudson, New York. The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, two of our riders pedaling through a town, the stone house of artist Frederich Church (who, speaking locally, said that the "center of the universe" was nearby, and that "I own it.") Finally, a private home along our way.

Great Hudson Valley Pedal, Aug 15-20

Bicycle riders milling around our area at Sage College, Albany Campus. We camped here and rode away at eight in the morning. There were 150 riders on this tour.

I cast my (western) eye on the sky the evening before, and thought it safe. I didn't put up my tent, but slept on my large tarp. When it began to rain, I pulled it over me thinking the rain would be over shortly and I'd be fine. But after half an hour, water began to leak through. Moreover, I'd failed to cover my feet. Amazingly, I was wet but not cold!

In the morning I wrang out my cheap fleece sleeping bag, put it in a mesh bag that I'd brought, and put it in the truck along with my other bags. It was dry that afternoon! It's amazing that anything dried in that eastern humidity, but it must have been hot inside that truck. Had I brought my down sleeping bag, I'm sure it would have been wet for the duration of the trip.

Much of our cycling would be along roads and through towns like this one. There were a few times when we were bicycling on busy, scary roads with little or no shoulder--but that was not common. In general, the route selection and marking had been/was good.

Evan Yamakawa

Evan, the son of Lee and Anrahyah, died while I was on the river. He was visiting in Colorado, helping with work on Anrahyah's new house.

Evan was a friend, and he also edited my last two books. One of his last jobs was the day he spent at my house, sawing up firewood. I will remember him in the warmth from that wood as it burns this winter.

An outdoor cremation was done at dawn. It was an otherwise-beautiful morning and we should remember that as well, though there has been great loss.

Lower Salmon River Takeout at Heller Bar

The Heller Bar takeout on the Snake River, extreme southeast Washington state.
The Lower Salmon segment confluences with the Snake River, and the last twenty miles or so are on that river.

(On blogs, the beginning of the story is farther down, unless I think harder about organization than I want to tonight. This is the end.)

Lower Salmon River

This guy landed on my knee, and I had my camera out.
This particular bug is a model of harmlessness, if not beauty.
It's even beautiful if you reject conventional concepts.

These two photos are down on the Snake River. The first is of rocks at our campsite there. The second is a small waterfall we visited.

Lower Salmon River

These three photos are fairly low in the canyon. It's only a day's float from here to the confluence with the Snake River.

Lower Salmon River

The top photo is Snow Hole Rapid. Lisa Lombardi is rowing the raft. The rock just ahead of her is surely the scariest one on this whole river segment, but the water tends to take you safely past it.

These two photos were taken at one of our campsites. The log leaning against the cliff testifies about the power of this river during high water. There are many logs in the canyon much higher than this one. The Salmon River at high water is not a place you'd wanna be. It's a very friendly river later in the summer, though.

Lower Salmon River, Launch on July 30

The Hammer Creek launch on Idaho's Lower Salmon River. It's very near Whitebird, which is north of Riggins. This five-day trip is downstream of the section known to river people as the "Main Salmon."

We took two rafts (the blue one is mine) and three inflatable kayaks.

The Salmon confluences with the Snake River, and the last twenty miles of the trip are on it. The takeout is at Heller Bar in the state of Washington, upstream from Lewiston.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Boats, Bicycles, and Barns

Here are two inflatable kayaks and our other raft, floating through one of the four canyons on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho.

This is somewhere in western Illinois, along US Highway 50. In front of the barns are rolls of hay.

Here is a scene along the Great Hudson Valley Pedal of 2006, somewhere in the Hudson Valley of New York state.

Busy, Happy, Unhappy, Tragic

Late July and August of 2006 have been a real mix. First, a river trip on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho. I took my raft up there and joined a few friends. This was a very good trip.

The day we got off the river, I learned that Anrahyah's son had died. Evan, who lived in Washington state, had been in Colorado helping her with her new house. His death was unexpected and tragic. There was an outdoor cremation.

The next day (I would have postponed if I could have) I left for the east. First, a five-day bicycle trip from Albany, NY, down to New York City. After that, I went down to Virginia Beach and from there explored around the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay with a friend. I needed photographs of that area for my current project, which is a book of photos along and near Highway 50 across the country.

After that, I started homeward on Highway 50, photographing whenever I saw something. Highway 50 is slower than the interstate highways, and photographing makes it slower yet. I was burned out by the time I got to St. Louis, so I jumped onto I-70 and drove home in a day and parts of that night (I slept for a bit in two different rest stops).

I'll post just a few photos here, and more will appear when I get them ready. This is my first full day at home in nearly three weeks.