We're back from a five day family reunion vacation at the May Ranch south of Challis, Idaho. It's along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and is a fun place for a large group to gather. There were only about thirty-five of us since this seemed to be our family's year for complications that kept most of the family from attending. We weren't sure we'd be able to go because of my health problems, but I was okay until the last day when I was nauseated and cramping all the way home. It seems that's how life works; we make plans, then life adjusts them.
A son-in-law and I did some fishing and we took some of the kids fishing. Rich and I mostly catch and release since we neither one like to eat fish, but I caught one trout that swallowed the hook too far so I had to keep it. We don't throw dead fish back in the water or leave them lying around to rot, so we decided we'd better clean it, take it back to the ranch, and see if someone wanted to eat it. Rich laid it out on a rock while he went back to the truck for a knife. He turned back around just in time to see an eagle take off with the fish. Problem solved.
Another son-in-law is an avid photographer. He kept watching an eagle nest in a tree not far from the ranch house and one evening an eagle chick landed on a nearby tree where we were all able to watch it and get close up views with binoculars. Steve and the owners' son jumped in a truck and headed to another point to take pictures. When they got close they were able to see that not only was the chick in the tree, but down farther hidden to us at the ranch by foliage, was one of the parent eagles. He got some great pictures which I hope he'll post when they get back (they went on to Yellowstone for a few days.)
We not only found watching the eagles soar above the ranch a great sight, but we saw an elk herd, lots of deer, egrets, and some of our group (not me) saw mountain sheep. Of course there was an abundance of squirrels in various sizes and varieties as well as meadows full of geese with their little ones.
One day we went to a little ghost town up Yankee Fork that has been converted to a museum so the kids could pan for gold. They each found a fleck or two. There's a big gold dredge near there that in its heyday really churned up the creek bed. Another day we drove up a horrendous narrow road to Bayhorse Lake. It's beautiful, but I don't think we'll do that again. Narrow trails hugging shale slopes aren't my thing.
The highlight for the kids was the huge waterslide at the ranch. They spent hours shooting down it. I think their next favorite activity was catching minnows and water skippers. One niece collected 17 minnows in a metal box, then carefully turned them all back into the stream before she left. I think the adults' favorite activity was eating. We did a lot of that and it was all great.
I usually take a lot of pictures when we travel anywhere, but I didn't take many this time. Between forgetting to take my camera with me most of the time and not feeling completely well, I left most of the picture taking to Janice and Steve. Maybe they'll let me borrow their pictures.