27 August 2011

Skywatch Friday: Rainbows, Forest Fires and Happy Campers

College classes began this week, with all the usual hectic craziness. On an early morning drive downriver to the "mother ship" campus (University of Montana-Missoula), this double rainbow appeared as we drove out of a rainstorm:

We also saw the reason for the smoky skies in Butte this week--forest fires in the East Missoula area (here, a "spot fire" near the highway):

Last weekend marked the Annual Dr. Anaconda Lake Rendezvous, the last major campout of the season. Jim Handley redefined the term "happy campers" by grill roasting a turkey for the Saturday feast:

Geez, how do you follow that act? Andrea Stierle managed to find a way with this fantastic desert:

For many of us, the Annual Rendezvous is defined by hanging out at Montana's finest sandy beach. Kenia and Adler Patch entertained the Schahczenski dogs with kayak rides on the lake:

I like waking in the early morning chill, taking in the quiet forest and the mist rising from the creek behind our tent:

Soon the camp stirs to life. Hwe Tu and Frank Ackerman demonstrate their coffee making skills--Hwe on the chopsticks strategically placing embers under the coffee pot and Frank supplying kindling of just the right size:

One night, Brent Patch, his kids, and I bivouacked on a sandy point across the lake. They were in a tent, but I spent the night under the stars, drifting off to sleep with meteors flaming overhead and only a few distant worries about that bear sign I'd seen in the forest behind our little camp:

Last year, camping in the snow, three days seemed to go on forever. With this year's perfect weather, the weekend ended all too soon as we closed it out with the group photo (left-to-right: Don Stierle, Chukah-The-Dog, Kenia Patch, Brent Patch, Adler Patch, Andrea Stierle, Jeff Schahczenski, Celia Schahczenski, Woo-The-Dog, Donna Patch, Karina Patch, Jan Munday, MollyTheDog, EcoRover, and Sheikah-The-Dog (missing from all photos are hikers extraordinaire Debbie & Mike Stickney and daytrippers Lori Shyba, David Bunnell and Bill Macgregor):

This week's classes and start-up activities were a blur, but the end of the week brought the annual Clark Fork Watershed Education Program's celebration. The event included great music by Chad Okrusch followed by El Dealbreakers. How can you not smile when the band includes Garrett Smith on the tuba?:
A good week.

5 comments:

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Beautiful sceneries and happy memories!

Maria said...

Hi! Looks like you all had quite a wonderful time! The turkey and that pot o' coffee must have had the best aroma. I love coffee when I'm camping / picnicking or just about any time actually :o)

I also loved reading about the anticrepuscular rays a few posts ago. That was really interesting ~ and I hope I remember how to pronounce that the next time I see crepuscular rays ... my favorite view of sun and clouds!
~ Here in upstate, NY we're preparing for lots of rain. So far, just a few hard downpours. Hoping to still have a dry basement tomorrow!
*Have a great summer finale!
~Maria

troutbirder said...

What fun! And have a good year in the classroom Pat. :)

secret agent woman said...

I kind of got suck n that yummy looking fruit thing.

Janie said...

The summer went by too quickly. Looks like a nice get together with the grilled turkey and delish desert.