Monday, November 16, 2015

Going to the Bar

This is a "beach" in Southeast Alaska. Not a bar. No, I don't really get it either.
Hiking to the bar.
I see Idaho!
I never really was into going to the bars--the ones where you drink. It was all pretty boring and sedentary. If I could dance, it was all right, but an entire evening centering around the consumption of alcohol seemed weird. I'd rather save my calories for chocolate, and there was always some guy without his shirt who really should have left it on. Now that I'm older, I am even more adverse to bars.

But there is one bar I like visiting. When I lived in Alaska, we called them beaches--the decidedly un-beachy, rocky sides of the land that touched the ocean. If a fisherman left his wife at home, he would say he left her "on the beach." On rivers, these areas are called bars.

The Snake River is full of bars--Salmon Bar, Dug Bar, Pine Bar. And Eureka Bar, which is a last chance left-over fall spot, the one you go to when everything else is shut down by snow. I kind of love Eureka Bar, even with the poison ivy dance to get there.
This is poison ivy in winter. Do not touch.
The only other people on the trail were the steelhead fishermen, mostly solo and standing in the Imnaha River. None of them were backpackers. I had Eureka Bar all to myself.

I love this picture.
This time of year, it gets dark at five. That is a long time in a tent. It can be luxurious, though. Just you and a sleeping bag, and a book to read. You don't have to do anything but that. Some people can't handle it, but I like it. I normally feel like I *should* be doing something in real life, and it's hard to relax. (It helps to bring a bigger tent).

The confluence. If you look closely you will see a jet boat on the river.

 There's something about sleeping next to a river that makes all your worries seem insignificant. I recommend you try it.
 
An after dinner stroll (dinner was at 4!)



15 comments:

  1. Hi Mary, what species is that gorgeous gooden tree?

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    1. Argh! I don't know. My husband the botanist thinks it's an escaped fruit tree. A feral fruit tree, in other words. But he wasn't there, so I am not positive.

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  2. I love the picture that you love too! Nice golden tree.

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  3. I'm totally with you on the bar scene and saving calories for chocolate! Ha! I had never heard of the term "bar" used in the wilderness. Thanks for the education!

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    1. I guess bar is the term used for rivers! At least, this river.

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  4. I love giving myself permission to luxuriate with a good book in my sleeping bag, for hours. Not many can do that is exactly right.

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    1. It's a gift! People who need to do something constantly....not good at shoulder season backpacking.

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  5. That 'should' on the shoulder when you are home is a powerful force. That's why I always went to retreats for writing, to have nothing else 'shoulding' me into 'doing' something 'productive'. I can definitely relax and enjoy being 'trapped' in my tent. I agree, it's a gift. A vacation that not everyone would be able to see the pleasure in.
    I've never made it to Eureka Bar from the land side (only from the river side). I tried once, but I'm just too paranoid about the poison ivy. Not much bothers me, but that's one of them for sure.

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    1. I'm very paranoid about PI, so I only hike this trail in early spring and winter. It dies back enough that you are safe then.

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  6. That 'should' on the shoulder when you are home is a powerful force. That's why I always went to retreats for writing, to have nothing else 'shoulding' me into 'doing' something 'productive'. I can definitely relax and enjoy being 'trapped' in my tent. I agree, it's a gift. A vacation that not everyone would be able to see the pleasure in.
    I've never made it to Eureka Bar from the land side (only from the river side). I tried once, but I'm just too paranoid about the poison ivy. Not much bothers me, but that's one of them for sure.

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  7. You are so fortunate to have a "lower down" and warmer place to go to in fall and early spring when it's cold and snowy up top. Ended our Salmon River trip at one of the "bars" on the Snake River.....seems to be a Western rivers term. Here I guess we just call them "take-out place." Lovely photos.

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    1. Some years the roads are impassible, but they do open up by April, when it is still cold and snowy elsewhere.

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  8. Chocolate > booze. Always. I feel like such an old lady when someone asks me for a bar suggestion. I've only been to the three bigger breweries...for dinner. I really love the photo you love too. We call them bars down here too.

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    1. I only go to the brewpub for dinner too. I've lived here six years and have never set foot in the regular bars.

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