Category Archives: Outdoors

Gearing Up For Fathers’ Day

Last year a widow lady in the community gave me her husbands fishing tackle box as well as some of his old poles. Unfortunately, things conspired against me and I was never able to make it out to the water…

This year is different… this year I have discovered that I need the peacefulness of fishing in order to calm my spirit.

Accordingly, I decided to empty out this old tackle box, clean it up and basically get things organized. Originally this was going to be a calm chore…but I forgot how appealing little bright things could be to a toddler… 😕

Luckily, Jadon didn’t stab himself or get any hooks caught in his mouth…but boy did he try!!

In the end, I was able to get everything organized and put back into the box.

Now I am ready for Father’s Day tomorrow as we are suppose to go down to the local lake, throw some steaks on the grill and hang out with some awesome friends.

I say “suppose to” as I’m not sure if the weather is going to hold out…it has been raining all day today and there is a 30% chance of rain tomorrow….

I guess we shall see……

Either way, I have a clean tackle box! 😀

Soul Care via a Fishin’ Rod

Floating Squaw Creek with dad

One of the struggles of being a bi-vocational pastor is the lack of ‘down’ time – I spend all week in front of a computer working only to get up early Saturday morning to study and type out a sermon.

Today I decided to do something different – I decided to go fishing with my father.

And wow, was it refreshing to the soul! There is just something powerfully healing about relaxing amidst the beauty of God’s creation….

We didn’t catch anything…but like I mentioned before, the purpose wasn’t really to catch any fish.

The main purpose was to get out of the house, out of the office, and to allow my soul to be strengthened through contact with God’s land.

Now to prepare for Sunday….

Preparing to cast...

Continue reading Soul Care via a Fishin’ Rod

Frank Church Wilderness: Soldier Lakes/Patrol Ridge Loop

Not one to sit still too long, I'm off to the Frank Church Wilderness for a three day 22-mile loop through the Solider, Cut-Troat and Helldiver Lakes (all of which should have lots of trout…we shall if I catch any…)

If we are lucky, we might even have time to hike to the top of Big Solider Mountain to an old lookout tower. Cool


Here is a sightly larger view of the area – you can see the area we are hiking in circled in red.

Fishin’ Part Two – Looking In The SF Payette

Not one to give up too easy, I tried my hand a fishing the South Fork of the Payette River Wednesday morning near Grandjean. This was after the 20 mile hike – so I was pretty tired, but since I was having a hard time sleeping, I decided to try my luck.


[@more@]Unfortunately, I didn’t catch a thing – shoot, I didn’t even get a nimble or see a fin.


However, I must say that it was a peaceful way to greet the morning sun…

Tying to Find Fish in the Wilderness

It may sound crazy – but I carried my fly pole with me on the hike across the Sawtooth Mountains. Some folks had told me that there were fish in there hills – and I aimed to find a few.

The first lake I tried was Alpine Lake (see pervious post for picture) – but the wind was too strong to really cast a fly line. So we packed up after lunch and headed up and over the pass to the Barren Lakes.

That evening I caught a small brook trout at the main Barren Lake (there are three of them). The picture to the right was taken from our camp site the next morning – but it shows the place where I was fishing – near the log dam on the main lake (at about middle point in the below picture)


[@more@]Early the next morning, I rolled out of my sleeping bag and tried to find some more of those trout – preferable some big ones as I was hungry.

I spend all morning working around the north side of the lake trying to find some fish. At one spot I found a lot of fish – but none of them would bite. Shoot, I stood there for a few hours watching them play with my fly hook, but not takers… Frown


After I made it half way across the lake, I turned back towards the campsite. As I past the spot where the fish had been taunting me early that morning, I decided to cast my hook one more time…. That was it. I caught one!!!


Granted, it wasn’t that big. But boy did it taste good!! Cool


A 20 Mile Walk Through the Sawtooth Wilderness

As promised, here are a few pictures from my latest adventure – a 20 mile walk from Redfish Lake to Grandjean over the Sawtooth Mountains. Cool

Even though I'm posting this picture first, it was actually taken at the end of the trip…[@more@]
We left on our adventure right after church on Sunday and drove to Redfish Lake, where we caught the boat over to the trail head. From there, we hiked three miles into the backcountry before setting up camp for the night.
The next day we started our climb from 6,200 ft to a peak of 9,200 ft at the mountain pass. This picture shows some of the views on this climb.
Here we are at the top of the pass – or actually a tad higher as we dropped our packs and climbed around a bit. You will noticed that there are only two of us – that is because our group dropped from six people to three over the course of the week. The third person turned back after the three mile hike the night before – which was good as I don't think he could of made the trip.
We visited several beautiful lakes along the journey – this is Alpine lake at around 7,400 ft attitude.
 This is the country we hike through on the last day of the trip. Grandjean is located near the end of the valley. We hiked five miles the second day and 12 miles the third as we wanted to join the rest of the crew at Grandjean (where they had set up a base camp)
I have tons of other pictures to share concerning this trip and as such, I will be posting them up occasionally along with some more stories. Blessings. Cool

Three Days, 20 Miles and a Big Mountain

By the time you read this, I will be about 10 miles into the backcountry of the Sawtooth Wilderness.

The crazy thing is that I will also have about 10 more miles of trail ahead of me before the return to civilization. Yelp – I’m attempting a 20 mile backpacking trip across the Sawtooth Mountains. Cool

I have pasted a map below that shows my route – please come find me if I don’t come out. Innocent  Nah – I’ll be alright – plus I’m taking three other folks with me on this adventure: two gals from England and a friend from Boise.

Em will be sitting high on a hog at base camp (ie. at the end of the trail) with her mom and the gals’ parents. Shoot – they might even be on a trail ride this very minute!! Smile

Well – that’s about it – see you guys when I return.

Fly Fishing The Payette

Let the record be set – I am not an avid fisherman. Growing up my father tried his best to teach me the skills of casting and catching fish on our Icelandic camping trip. We hired a 4×4 camper van Iceland based to drive to the best spots – however, the odds where stacked against me as I usually found myself in the water instead on the bank holding a rod. (This would be why I took up SCUBA diving!)

Even with this history, there was something that kept drawing me to fly fishing. It seemed so graceful and active all at the same time. No longer are you sitting on bank with a beer in hand waiting for a fish to bite. Nor are you zipping around on your boat casting and reeling and casting and reeling…..

With fly fishing it is a smooth graceful cast – dodging vegetation and the line eating trees – up stream with the peaceful, relaxing pause as the fly floats downstream in the current. Theeeeeennnnn repeat. Over and over as you stand among the clear mountain streams and rivers praying to the Lord Most High.

Well…at least that’s what happened yesterday morning about ten miles north of Crouch on the Middle Fork of the Payette River. Undecided[@more@]

It was wonderful! We drove up into the mountains late Sunday night hunting for a place to camp. Finally about 10 or 10:30 pm, we arrived at a narrow 4×4 trail that led up to a beautiful campsite next to a rushing stream coming off the mountain sloops. We had put an air mattress in the bed of the truck before we left the house to use at the camp. To be honest I was a little worried that it would rain on the drive over and make the air mattress damp. Luckily that didn’t happen, but I’ve been thinking of getting a truck cover (like those on just in case I decide to take a mattress in the back again In the end it was all worth it, we were able to go right to sleep with the help of our air mattress.

Early the next morning (Monday), I awake to the rising sun and the chirping of the birds. It was wonderful! Laughing

I grabbed my fishing gear and headed down to the river to see what I could catch. At first it was very disappointing as there wasn’t a fish in slight. Wondering up and down the river, I began to ask the Creator if He would at least let me see a fish – I don’t have to catch it. Just seeing that there was something living the water would be enough!!! (Bear tracks on the bank suggested that there was living beings on the shore!)

Casting once again into the waters, I let the fly float down stream before flicking it upwards….only this time, something was wrong. Sigh. I had caught a rock….only if it was a rock, why was it moving?!

Glory be to the Lord Most High! He had allowed me to catch a beautiful rainbow trout!! (never mind the fact it was only 6 inches long). In fact, this fish was the very first fish I had caught using a fly rod. Much happiness! Laughing


I released the trout as it wasn’t big enough to eat, then went on to catch two more small trouts….granted it could have been the same one as it was in or near the same location. Tongue out

East of Hells Canyon, South of Seven Devils

Cuprum, Idaho (Hells Canyon)You would think it would be hot – considering the landmark names. But it wasn’t.

Of course, it wasn’t has if hell froze… it was more of a steady chill mixed with a smoky haze.

Hmmm… maybe I’m overdoing the name thing? Undecided

Ok. I will stop.

This weekend (Weekend = Sunday-Tuesday) we went camping on the southern end of the Seven Devil Mountains. It was a ton of fun! I was able to forget the stresses of life while hiking, fishing and hanging out with my bride and her parents.

After two nights camping, we drove down the Kleinschmidt Grade into Hells Canyon. Kleinschmidt Grade is a narrow, windy, dirt road that drops a vertical mile from the East side of the canyon. The side of the road were lined with thick high bushes with hard twigs that were brushing against the side of our campervan. This certainly made scratches on the van. The condition of the road did not help either as we were wobbling the entire route. Luckily, after I got a good Campervan Insurance quote, I decided to insure our van for all sorts of repair works. The route was originally an old mining road build in the late 1800’s to help transfer the copper ore from the mountains to the Snake River at the bottom of Hells Canyon.

Needless to say, it was a beautiful drive – at least the parts I saw when I dared to take my eyes of the road!

Note: the above photo was taken in a small mining camp called Cuprum at the top of Kleinschmidt Grade. The batteries on my good camera was dead so I snapped a quick picture using my cell phone..