Thursday, June 11, 2009

Interesting stuff along the way today

This an actual canoe made from a log using the same tools that Lewis and Clark had available to them. It was done by aLewiston Eagle scout 10 years ago. This was was exactly what L/K used on the river travel. Lots of work for a water craft that had to be a circus to navigate with.
Although very interesting, this particular boat is not very seaworthy as evidenced by sun shining thru a pretty big hole in the bottom towards the far end.

It happened again today. I chanced upon something that I had never seen before (at least in a setting where I saw it) and it just had to be recorded and named for posterity.
About 15 miles from Lewiston the Clearwater River gets pretty wide and turns 90 degrees. There is a sign there that says Gibbs Eddy.You can walk right along the water's edge on a sort of beach with some big trees overhanging this beach at one end of the area. There is a nice roadside stop with a large parking lot and I pulled into take a break and grab some shade from the trees. I did not see anyone else around but there were 2 motor cycles parked near the trees. I parked my bike by a sign pole and walked toward the shade area. I could hear voices as I got closer.
When I got near enough to look over the embankment I saw 2 people on the beach type area doing "IT", in flagrante delecti, the horizontal mombo, or as Arsenio Hall might say "doing the big nasty". Of course I was stunned and did a 180 to go back to my bike (but not before I watched enough to make sure that my initial assumptions were correct-I surely did not want to jump to a hasty conclusion).
When I got to my bike, my composure regained, I just knew this place had to be marked for future travelers. So I pulled out the ever useful purple magic marker and designated/recorded the location.
I did not want to use the word "eddy" again so I used "bend " because that is what the river is doing when it makes that turn.
You can see the actual bend in the river in the upper left of pic.
I am feeling more like an explorer every day.

Saw this about 30 feet up a big pine tree when I happened to look up while grabbing a drink at a roadside turnout near Kooskia . I don't know, this probably was significant as well but I was all named out for the day, so I will leave it for someone else to mark.

It is salmon catching time in the northwest and it is a whole industry in these parts. I learned this from the one guy I talked today during ride. It was at the same stop where the shoes were in tree.. Mike stopped and was "scouting the river", getting ready to hunt some fish. Apparently the water has been high due to a larger amount of winter snow melting., so things are happening later than usual.
Here is what I learned from Mike about salmon in a 15 minute conversation.
There used to be millions moving upstream before they built dams, now the latest count is 70,000 passed thru the nearest dam fish ladder this week so far. Those dam fish counters are working overtime this time of year.
Contrary to popular belief the salmon do nnot just have one thing on their minds as they head up stream to spawn--they stop to feed along the way--usually on trout.
It takes about 9 hours of boat time to hook a salmon and then be ready for a hell of a fight to land it. The biggest Mike had heard of around here was 50+ pounds and the average caught is 15-20 pounds.
Salmon are sensitive to sunlight and like to hang out in calm water at least 10 feet deep, because the river moves so rapidly the best place to find fish is in the deeper eddys, which are calm areas usually not too far from rapids. You are allowed to catch up to 4 salmon per year that are at least 24" in length.
That is all I know about salmon, but tomorrow is a new day.


One thing I did miss today was getting a pic of the mascot for Orofino High school in Orofino Idaho.
Their nickname is the Maniacs, but there a 3 mile traffic jam on the road as I was riding thru so I did not search out the school.
I wonder what a maniac looks like?
I also know from before that there is a town in Idaho by the name of Belfrey and their school mascot is the Bats.
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  1. Tony,
    With all of the calories you expend in this process, what kind of diet do you have while you're on this journey? I'm curious!

  2. Hey Tony,

    This is Brian Phlipot. Russ sent me the head's up about this site. I have to say, I'm impressed. I'll be following your adventures daily. In addition to the diet question, do you listen to any music while biking or is it just Tony to himself thoughts/conversations?

  3. If you ever come across another shoe tree, or shoe anything for that matter, do NOT ask anyone about it! If you do, they will steal your shoes and add them to the tree or wherever else the shoes may be. Word of the wise...

  4. I love your posts; your pictures are outstanding! Supposedly you are on the same route that Gary and I followed in 2006 but so far, I haven't recognized anything. Are you really riding or are you just making this stuff up somehow? I suggest that you don't pick up any more chain; although, if you work at it hard enough, you could have enough stuff to open a hardware store when you're done. You haven't mentioned being in any bars or taverns? How about some bar pics to go along with the libraries? you're going to love Lolo Pass!

  5. Larry,
    Thanks for the compliments. This is the first blog I have done so I am doing the best I can with it and enjoying the process. It is what it is.
    I don't know what to say about you not recognizing the stuff I am posting. Maybe you missed some of these things because you spent all that time in all those bars. How the hell did you bike as much as you did and still drink as much as you say you did every night? You are a much better man than I Gunga Din.
    I will try to mix in a bar one of these days--when you are riding solo it is tough to drink alone.

    btw-after draining all those long necks before you went to sleep how many times did you have to get up and drain your lizard during the night?

  6. Brian,
    Good nto hear from you --how is your most recent parole working out?
    As for diet , I am trying very hard to duplicate the diet that Lewis and Clark ate while on their trip.I forage for greens when I spot them and when I come across some fresh looking road kill I cut out the heart and liver. Monica made me take a bunch of tupperware containers for things like this and they work very well. I have not fished yet as other food has been plentiful, but will when I have to.
    I have been buying hardtack, salt and fruit from the natives. So far that has worked well except I learned that you should not eat 5 pounds of cherries at one sitting (they were on sale) because after several hours you will be sitting on the nearest toilet for awhile.
    As I get deeper into the wolds I am hiping to trade for some moose and bear meat. Will keep you posted.