Weiser River Trail

After all the hoopla over the bear baiting hunter and his tree-killing stand (previous entry), I needed a relaxing stroll through nature with the girls.

I decided to go to the Weiser River Trail, a recovered railroad bed along the Weiser River south of town. I think the entire trail covers about 80 miles; the northern terminus is in the town of New Meadows. My favorite portion is about ten miles south of town, where the trail crosses the river so that the river is between us and the highway and there are no houses or livestock around. I feel comfortable letting the girls off leash on this stretch. I wasn't sure I'd feel the same with Finn along - if he saw a deer and chased it across the low-running river and toward the highway, I'd never forgive myself - so he stayed home.

The fall colors were beautiful. It was peaceful and quiet. Just what I needed. We hadn't been here in quite awhile, so it seemed "new" to the girls. The path is dirt and gravel. Since our last visit here, it has been graded, which improved the surface significantly, removing many of the sharper, big rocks that hurt our feet in the past.

Soon after starting out, we came across several huge piles of bear scat. Lots of berry seeds! I joked to myself - the girls wouldn't get it - that this was the local bear population's way of signaling to me that they're happy I ratted out the bear baiting guy a couple days earlier.

Despite Maia's desire to never be anywhere near a bear, she never seems nervous around their scat. I guess she's fine until she smells their scent in the air, which would of course mean they're close. Too close. Just scat? No problem.

I love the dramatic bark of these trees. Even better when the foliage around their base is turning color.

Happy girls. Happy me. I felt better after this outing. Not the same as being deep in the forest, but no fear of hunters on this public bike and riding path.