I must be getting old

Barb, Kim, son-in-law Caleb, and I went boat camping over the weekend. We left Friday morning and got back yesterday.

After setting up camp on Friday we noticed some rocks up on the opposite side of the lake that we thought would be a nice place to hike and take some pictures. Here is an aerial view. In the picture below, on the upper right, you can see the rocks:

View from our campsite.

On Saturday morning we packed up our cameras, some water, and walkie-talkies. Barb said it looked like too tough of a climb and stayed with our old dogs who would have to been carried (little lap sitters, they are more like cats than dogs anyway). We took the boat across the lake and found a sandy beach to tie the boat up to:

Kim ready to hop off the boat for our hike up the hill.

On the way up the hill we found at least two sets of bones from deer that had been considered food by some other animals (photos by Kim):

It was steep, there was no trail except for occasional game trails, and I had to stop, rest, and drink some water a few times. But it was a nice view when we got to the top (photo by Kim): 

Caleb inspects the edge.

View from the top.

We called back to camp and told Barb we had made it and asked that she come out of the trees near the tents to where we could see her. It was about a half mile away but I used a telephoto lens (300 mm) and took her picture:

Barb (upper left quadrant in blue) near our campsite from 1/2 mile away.

That was all nice and good, but then there was this bird that started circling us:

It was a Turkey Vulture. None of us had ever heard of vultures in Idaho and certainly not this far north in Idaho. But there it was. Circling and getting pretty darned close.

We took some more pictures of the view:

Elk Creek on Dworshak reservoir.

Kim and Caleb from the top of the Rocky Cliff.

We then noticed there were five vultures circling us. I could only get four in the frame at once. It was all a bit surreal–almost like in the cartoons except we weren’t in the desert and we didn’t feel like we were near death:

Vultures circling us.

Reading about them on Wikipedia, I discovered they are one of the few birds that forage for food by smell. We were probably more than a little smelly from the climb up the hill but I don’t think we smelled dead so I have to conclude Xenia has the better hypothesis. I must be getting old.


12 thoughts on “I must be getting old

  1. so I have to conclude Xenia has the better hypothesis. I must be getting old.

    Or they were just taking advantage of a thermal/updraft from the hill you were on.

    On a side note, what is that on Kim’s arm? Is that just a two-way radio clipped to an arm band?

  2. +1 on the previous comment, plus, they are migratory so they could have just been traveling through as well.

  3. They were probably hoping that whatever had taken down those deer would catch one of y’all on the down hill run, heh.

  4. Nice pics1
    I worked the Dworshak area in ’76 doing cultural resource surveys for USFS and flew the canyon
    on days we couldn’t jump at Moscow/Pullman.
    Maybe I can get back with my canoe someday and do some fishing and shore hunting before I get to old
    to paddle!
    Graham Hall,UofI ’73-’76

  5. Incredibly beautiful area of the country. I loved the pics especially the vultures. Fascinating that they live there and that you saw them so close up.

  6. John! I was in Upham Hall at the UofI ’73-’76 then in Park Village for ’76-’77. I was a EE. What did you study? Forestry?

  7. “I must be getting old.”

    Technically, you’ve been getting older by the second (or by any other unit of time) since you were concieved.

  8. There is a minimum unit of time possible–a time quanta. But I forget what it actually works out to. Something sub femtosecond I think.

    And there is a difference between “get old” and “getting older”. One does not refer to newborns as getting old. I think of it in terms of “middle age” and “old age”. One gets “middled aged” or enters “old age” but doesn’t get “young aged” or some such thing. Xenia, and I, were referring to reaching an age at which death is “on the horizon” so to speak.

  9. Cave Bay on Lake Couer d’ Alene has some bluffs that the Turkey Vultures nest in. We occasionally see some them feeding on carrion in the fields around Worley. My sawing partner and I were flown by helicopter to a fire that was just below Elk Creek falls. It was some of the most spectacular country I have ever seen.

  10. Just out of curiosity, are the ‘steps’ on the shoreline indicative of a falling water level?

  11. Gmac, right idea. The lake is man-made and they let the water out in the fall and winter then fill it up in the spring. It raised about four or five feet while we were there. It was still many feet below full when we left.

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