Adventure Girl

By BJ | March 28, 2008

I’m happy with the childhood I had, and wouldn’t trade it for a thing. However, reading through the life of Bria Schurke it sure makes me wish my parents had would’ve had the travel bug.

You’re going to have to cut and paste the link, because I don’t know how to write code like BJ.

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I’ve always liked Avocados

By BJ | March 19, 2008

For many of the locals, Avocado Gully is part of their winter training routine. It’s 13 miles south of Carbondale, and is truly a classic. I know some people use that term loosely, but not I.

Top ten reason whys Avocado gully is the bomb diggity bro-bra!

1. A quick 15 minute drive Carbondale
2. Its fatter than the Michelin man
3. Bolted belays
4. The alpine-esqe feeling
5. There is only one steep pitch, on the hike in (see video):)
6. Avocados are tasty
7. You don’t have to be a Ice climber to enjoy it
8. Its tucked away in a narrow gully that feels much further from the road than it is.
9. A great butt-slide on the way down
10. The car heater is only 10 minutes away


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La Plata Peak

By BJ | September 4, 2007

Last weekend we climbed Tracy’s first fourteen thousand foot peak, La Plata. You can read about it over on BJ’s Colorado climbing site. Here are some photos:




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Tracy Graduated!

By BJ | August 27, 2007

Good news, Tracy finished her Math class with flying colors, earning an A+! I didn’t even know you could get an A+ in college. That was her last class for her to get her degree, a double english and communications major. Way to go Tracy!tracy-grad.jpg

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Nickle Pup the Dog

By BJ | August 27, 2007

Well, we have a new addition to our family. Sarah Nickle Pup lived with Tracy’s brother and his family for the last three years. Recently, they decided they wanted to get another dog for breeding, and Nickle Pup got fixed when she was a puppy. So they gave her to us, and now she’s probably wondering what happen to her cush life in Idaho.


“Things in Colorado are tough, they take me on hikes, make me hang out at cliffs, and the tall one is always trying to teach me stuff.” says Nickle Pup

“Still, I do like how I get to hang out with them, and they let me sleep on the bed sometimes!”

Nickle Pup climbed her first fourteen thousand foot peak yesterday, and seems hungry for more. There’s one thing that’s guaranteed, life wont be boring for Nickle Pup here in Colorado!

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Oh Canada

By BJ | August 14, 2007

dsc_0274.JPGThe last couple of years in the beginning of July the Wilson clan has headed packed up the car and headed north to meet up with the Canadian part of the family. This year we stopped in Couer d Alene along the way for the 4th, and then continued north. The drive to Couer dAlene was cool, passing through much of western Idaho. The town was hopping for the holiday weekend. We went to an amusement park on the 4th, and Azha rode all the roller coasters like a crazied maniac. After the first one she told the attendant it was the best one she’d ever been on and then told us she wanted to go on the faster and scarier one. That a girl!

After the roller coasters we headed to the water park to cool off, and spent some time in the wave pool, teaching the kids how to dodge waves. Good fun. Later that night we watched the fireworks over Lake Couer d Alene, and then headed to bed to rest up for the rest of the drive to Canada!

Continuing north, we passed through Sand Point, another cool little town on the shores of a huge lake. It seemed like a cool spot, we’ll have to check it out more at some point. It was an easy drive from here to Cranbrook, following windy mountain roads. In Cranbrook I got my first view of the Canadian Rockies, damn those things are huge! I still haven’t looked up what the range we were looking at is, but they were impressive, and I was told that these are just the small ones! Going to have to come back to Canada for sure!

We stayed at a campground just outside of Fort Steele, a historic frontier fort. We braved the heat and walked around the old town, checking out the restored buildings, the old watchtower, and even a blacksmith. He showed us how they made nails, and other things. Before we left we went to the old time photo place where we all dressed up like cowboys and such and got our pictures taken. We’ll post the pictures Soon.

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Back in Colorado

By BJ | August 6, 2007

Well, as crazy as it seems our time in Boise has come and gone. It’s been a fun summer, and I am excited to spend more time there when it’s not so warm. There are so many great, friendly people that I met, and it was a lot of fun exploring the mountains of Idaho. We’ll be back for sure.

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Fires in Idaho

By BJ | July 27, 2007

Found this cool satellite image the other day showing all the fires and smoke in Idaho right now. Been hot and dry summer in the west, hopefully the fall will bring some cooler weather.

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Living it Up in the Sawtooths

By BJ | July 23, 2007

The Sawtooths are an incredibly jagged range of peaks, about two hours north and east of Boise. More and more folks from out of state are learning what the locals have known for a long time: the Sawtooths offer some of the best alpine climbing in the country, without the crowds of more popular places. With my finger still on the mend, we couldn’t tackle the main cliff, the Elephant’s Perch, but a lesser objective sounded fun without the commitment of the bigger climb.

Jim and Shannon (and Keoki of course!) decided to meet up with us for the weekend on their way to Oregon. We all met on the shores of Red Fish Lake, where we packed up and took the 4 mile boat ride across to start our hike. We hit the trail around 8pm, and the cooler temperatures were nice. After about 2.5 miles it started to get dark, so we found a good spot to camp near a large boulder.


Shannon and Keoki on the boat ride across the lake.


Some of the peaks surrounding our camp.

The morning was beautiful and revealed the valley we were camped in was surrounded by massive, jagged peaks. So much rock in every direction! Our objective for the day, the Super Slab, is an 800′ slab of rock, and was only a short walk from our camp. After a mellow breakfast, we made our way to the base and started climbing. The sun was hot, and the climb was in the direct sun. As I belayed the others up, a breeze started and I hoped it would continue or we were going to roast.


The Super Slab.

I got lost on the next pitch and found myself going the wrong way up a corner that had no protection. After evaluating some options and wishing for a cloud to appear so my feet would cool off, I decided to down climb 50 feet back to my last piece and try another way. Back on route, the climbing was fun, and not difficult, but the protection remained sparse. The hot sun wasn’t helping either, and at the next belay we all contemplated going down, as the pitch above us looked pretty crappy.


Jim and Shannon on the second to last pitch.

After some deliberation, we decided to continue on with our adventure, and I led one of the crappier sections of rock in my life: loose and vegetated, at least I was able to find some pro. After Another big run out, I had to hide in a corner half way up to take my shoes off, as my feet were on fire. Once they cooled some, I put them back on and finished the pitch at a nice ledge with some trees and shade.


Belaying near the top of the Super Slab.

The last pitch went smooth and soon we were on top. Some clouds had rolled in for the last two pitches, but we were all super thirsty from the hot sun. After snapping some photos, we agreed it was a good adventure, despite the lackluster (and downright scary in places) climbing. A nice trail led back to the base and Keoki, who had waited at the bottom for us. We trudged back to camp and drank our fill of the water we had stashed in the morning.


The Grand Mogul and Red Fish Lake.

Jim and Shannon on top of Super Slab.


BJ and Tracy on top, with the Elephants Perch in the background.

We had talked about going for a hike in the afternoon, but we were all so drained we decided to just relax by the creek. Jim tried out the natural water slide and found it quite hard to stop on the slick granite slab. The water was cold and refreshing, and felt great in the afternoon sun.


Eating some dinner and refueling.

After our creek session we cooked up some pasta for dinner and called it a night as we were getting up early the next day to hike back down to the lake and hopefully climb a peak that rises out of the water.


Tracy trying to keep the mosquitoes at bay. She hates them.

The hike out in the morning was nice and went pretty quick. We didn’t have a guidebook for the peak we wanted to climb, but we could see it easily enough and figured the trail would be obvious. We ditched our heavy packs at the boat pick up and continued around the lake, looking for a spur trail that never materialized. We couldn’t figure out how we missed it, and later found out the trail goes the long way around and takes 7.5 miles to reach the summit. For a peak that sits right next to the lake. Whoever designed that trail should be fired.


Looking back at the Grand Mogul and the valley we camped in.

We still had a nice jaunt on the shores of the lake and made it back across the lake pretty early, so we had time to stop in Stanley for lunch, and at the Pine Flat hot springs on the way home. These hot spring cascade off a thirty foot cliff into a pool right on the shores of the South Fork of the Payette River. The cliffs that the water streams down are covered in orange algae that only grows in hot water. It makes for a beautiful scene along the river.

When we’d had enough, we continued back to Boise and ended a great weekend in the Sawtooths!


The Elephant’s Perch. Next time…


A little hazy, the view from Stanley.


Spud doesn’t want to leave!

Topics: Trips | 1 Comment »

More Stuff on the Way

By BJ | July 20, 2007

Stay tuned for our trip to Canada, climbing in the Sawtooths with Jim and Shannon, and this weekend we are going for a climbing/rafting extravaganza on Saturday. Plus Dave and Jess are on their way up here for the week. The fun never stops here in Boise. It just never stops…

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