Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well I Guess We Might as Well Watch the Fireworks

So this is the last installment of me and Seth's anniversary week extravaganza...

After we left Lava Hot Springs, we headed up to Idaho Falls to stay at Seth's parents' house for a couple days. We originally planned to go camp up by Bear Creek so we could do some fishing, but our dedicated camping vehicle was acting strange, so we thought it best not to tempt fate.

The good news is Seth's parents live somewhat close to where we wanted to fish so we just stayed there. I wasn't going to complain about staying somewhere comfortable with good company. Plus Idaho Falls has a killer fireworks show so spending the 4th of July there wasn't so bad.

The day we got to Idaho Falls, we changed our plans a bit and decided to go fish over at Burns Creek instead of Bear Creek (it practically sounds the same anyway). Daddy Hanson came with us and was nice enough to take us out in his truck so we didn't have to beat up our car on the dirt roads.

I'd read in an Idaho guide book that there was a place called Reed's Dairy in town that made icecream out of potatoes, so of course I made Seth take me there on our way out of town. To my disappointment, they no longer made potato icecream, so I was forced to eat the regular stuff. It was terrible.

I'd been up in the general area of Burns Creek before, but had never followed the Snake River quite as far East. It was a really beautiful drive and the Snake River was filled to the brim. We got to our fishing spot later in the afternoon and began to slowly make our way up the little stream to fish. There weren't too many easily accessible spots with the canyon being so steep and brush-choked, but Seth and his dad each caught a large Cutthroat in the 16-18" range. It was a really pretty place, but not so good for fishing. I guess we can cross that off our list of places to check out.

That night we went over to visit Rachel and Abraham. Rachel is always so entertaining to me. She's just so passionate and animated... whether she's happy or sad. And she always has great stories to tell. Abe showed off his new "motorcycle hair" that Tessa gave him. He looked uber hip and stylish. He'll probably be on the cover of GQ next month, so keep your eyes open. Oh and we also got to see one of Nick's wonderful paintings.

The next day Seth and I went out on our own to Cottonwood Creek. We stopped at a tiny country store just before we got there, in the town of Kilgore, so I could use the facilities. It felt like we'd stepped back in time. Or into a horror movie.

We walked into the dimly lit store and I wandered around the dusty wood shelves of food for a moment, trying to find the bathroom. I didn't have much time to waste so after a minute or so I asked the folksy couple up at the cash register where the restroom was. "Follow me, I'll show you where it is," the woman said, and walked out the front door. At this point I started to wonder if she was planning to smother my face with an ether soaked rag and drag me out back to the shed to chop me up. We walked around the corner of the building to a long dirt road lined with red antiquated one-room cabins. "There, " she said, "that building down there with the old wash bin on the porch, it has a bathroom in it." "The one way down there on the left?" I asked, a little confused. "Yeah that's it, the light's to the left of the door when you walk in." "Ok. Thanks."

The restroom was in a little utility type cabin about a block or so down the dirt road. I stepped up on the porch as a middle aged couple in one of the cabins across from it stared at me. I opened the squeaky screen door half expecting someone to jump out at me, and stepped up into a dark room. The floor was noticeably slanted and I questioned whether it would collapse if I were to walk across it. There was an old washer and dryer in front of me and I could see a shower stall in the back room. I was looking around for a light when I remembered the lady telling me it was to the left of the door. I flipped it on and walked into the bathroom on the right. There was no lock on the door so I tried to hurry as fast as I could for fear some crazy hillbilly or axe murder would barge in on me at any moment. I did have time to notice a sign hung up by the lightbulb on the ceiling that said, "Please Do Not Remove Lightbulb." I guess lightbulb thievery is big in this town. I'm surprised they have electricity. And plumbing.

I finally make it back to the car and Seth says, "I just about left you. Figured you were gone for good." That's what happens when you have to walk a mile to the bathroom. And get this.... Seth tried to buy some drinks in there, you know to be polite and repay them for letting me use the facilities. Turns out they didn't take plastic. Can you believe that? Who carries cash these days? Honestly. This is 2009 Grandpa, get with it. Cash. HA!

We got to Cottonwood Creek about a half hour later. The area was just littered with wild flowers and pine trees and green fields of grass. The creek was surrounded by willows so we had to bushwack our way in to the good spots. It reminded me of my days back in 'Nam. Carrying my weapon over my head to keep it from getting in the mud and tangled up in the branches... my boots getting stuck in the smelly black sludge... Charlie, I mean mosquitoes attacking me from all sides. It was intense.

When we finally got to a nice open hole with some decent casting room, we were pretty excited. We could see a bunch of little Brookies jumping and rising for mayflies and other bugs. I cast out my line and just missed one on my first shot, but cast again and got him. String 'em up. Seth was rigged up by that time too and proceeded to catch a few as well. Then they stopped jumping. And they stopped biting. I figured all our prisoners had told their buddies to lay low because of imminent danger. It was time to find another hole.

We walked through the willows and swampy area for a bit longer and found another nice spot. We ended up staying there for quite a while and caught several more fish. I think we had about six total. Then it was time for lunch.

We packed up and drove around for awhile until we found a good spot to build a fire and relax for a bit. We parked on the side of the road and walked through the wild flowers and trees to a spot where a big pine tree was growing horizontally. Seth smashed down a place for me to sit at the base of the tree and set up a small picnic consisting of sliced peaches, potato chips and juice. Then he went off to clean the fish. I sat there for the next half hour or so just looking at everything that was going on around me and snacking on my little picnic. There were big bumble bees flying around to all the flowers, black ants crawling on my boots, and birds singing way up in the trees. I wondered if they realized I was there at all.

Soon Seth was back with the fish and before I could bat an eyelash, he had a fire built. He'd wrapped up the fish two-by-two in tin foil and as soon as the coals were ready he threw the fish on. When the fish were done, we continued our little picnic and relaxed there underneath the pine tree watching the skies darken on one side of our view and the sun shining on the other. Isn't that romantic?

After lunch Seth said we needed to make sure to bring some fish home for Mama Hanson so we went across the road to a different section of the creek. The holes on this section of the river were too close to fish together, so we split up for the next little while. Seth let me stay at this really nice deep spot where I caught four more Brookies. I don't think he caught any more fish after lunch, but he took a hit for the team letting me have the good hole, so he basically gets half the credit.

By the time we got back to Idaho Falls we were pretty tired and didn't really feel like going into town to watch the big fireworks show. Our fish picnic hadn't been all that substantial so we were both really hungry and decided to stop and get something to eat. There were several roads closed and it ended up taking us so long to find something to eat that it was time for the fireworks to start by the time we got our food. So we figured, eh, what the heck, might as well watch the fireworks.

We took our bag of burritos and drove down a random street and parked by a bunch of other cars that had had the same idea (I don't know if they had burritos too). The Idaho Falls fireworks are synchronized to music that plays on the radio, so we cranked up the tunes and watched the show. I have to admit it was pretty fun. Maybe one of these days we'll actually get up the nerve to brave the crowds and watch the fireworks from the bank of the river. We'll try again next year. If we feel like it.

The next day was Sunday. We took our time getting up and ready and then drove around town for a bit. Seth showed me the Tautphaus Park Zoo and even drove by twice so I could see some animals through the fence. Like we're gonna PAY to see them! By the way, Cory, if you're reading this, we drove by your childhood home. Your mom said to say hi. Ok not really.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Collette and Marty's house. They showed us the chickens and turkeys they got this year and the fancy new fence Marty built. They also had a few kittens around that were really cute. So if you're in the market for a kitten, I'm sure they'd love for you to have one!

The whole family came over to the Smith home that evening and Collette made us some delicious chicken and corn on the cob. Mama Hanson brought some killer potato salad and Rachel made some cookies for dessert. So good.

After dinner it was finally time for our vacation week to come to a close. So sad. We did manage to squeeze in one more activity though on our way home. We stopped near Malad at Deep Creek Reservoir and fished one more time. Neither of us caught anything, but it was still beautiful watching the sunset. It turned out to be a really great trip.


Seth said...

Hey nice job writing this up... I always like to hear your version of things... ;-) Just to clarify to your reading public, the ice cream at the dairy in Idaho Falls wasn't made from potatoes but it was still 'homemade' and really good! Maybe I'm just tired or something but the way I read it... it sounded like you said it was 'terrible'. But anyway... I'm really glad that you take the time to write about all our amazing adventures... and I want everyone to know how lucky I feel that Karen is my wife and also my #1 fishing partner and all-around very best friend. I don't know what I'd do without her!

Karen said...

Oh such a sweet man :)

And just to clarify... when I said I was "forced" to eat the "terrible" homemade 'regular'icecream I was being sarcastic. Is it even possible for icecream to be terrible? Nay Nay. Maybe I should add a little water to my humor... is it possible to be too dry?

p.s. For those of you who don't know my writing style, if I ever sound like a self-righteous high-maintenance gloating douche-bag, I'm probably joking. Probably.

heidi said...

You guys make such a sweet, darling couple. The pictures of you guys fishing, etc, made me feel I was practically in the mountains and I longed to join you! I'm glad you had such a beautiful long anniversary celebration.

Your lamentations about being forced to eat delicious ice cream made perfect (hilarious) sense to me! My life is equally full of similar hardships. Like eating dishes based on your fabulous recipes!

And, I'm struck by the fact that your comments page included the phrases "#1 fishing partner and all-around very best friend" as well as "self-righteous high-maintenance gloating douche-bag." Hee hee hee. I know. I took those completely out of context. It's like that Sesame Street game, which of these don't belong?

But I say... if you feel like being douche-y, from time to time, and taking a break from being all caring and considerate all the time... Go ahead!

As a woman, you deserve to get to be a little diva-ish once in awhile, right? Especially... on your BIRTHDAY!

Hope it's a great day.



heidi said...

p.s. I forgot to say: BEAUTIFUL sunset pix!

Cory said...

You guys drove by my childhood home? You're lucky no one knew you were my friends or you may have been dragged out of your car by the townfolk who remember me.

Oddly enough, I went to Tautphaus Park with my sisters and their kids two weeks ago. I hadn't been there in like fifteen years. The zoo and the rides are still pretty weak. I'd advocate getting rid of the animal cages and removing a few of the nuts & bolts in the Octopus to liven that place up...