Friday, 7 August 1998. Idaho Falls, Idaho.

My finger tips are sore, but I've eaten well in the past few days. Arriving at the City of Rocks I there were several new faces in the Al Stebbins & friends group. But by the end of the week we were all fast friends.

Unfortunately Al Stebbins had pulled a muscle in his leg while backpacking in the Tetons, so he was unable to climb and left early on Monday. We struggled to survive without him, but we managed :-) It seemed like we had a constant trickle of people leaving during the week. Chris Walton and Fred Wiggins left on Wednesday, Chris Dubee left on Thursday.

Like I mentioned in my previous message the afternoon sun was brutally hot, so we took afternoon siestas. Every other day we'd head into town, Almo. There's only one store in Almo, good thing it is a general store. One day while heading in, we developed the hankering for root beer floats. We had scoops of ice cream dispensed into our water bottles, then added a can of root beer. That sure hit the spot.

With my home on the road, I've managed to cook some pretty impressive meals -- or so I thought. Debbie Smith and Alan Kashiwagi took camp cooking to an order of magnatitude beyond what I've previously experienced. By Wednesday afternoon our fingers were nearly toast from a morning of tough climbs plus the previous days activities, so we skipped our evening climb. Instead we hung out and then cooked a large communal meal: penne with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil (grown by Alan in his garden at home). It was an impressive feast. We had so much fun cooking and eating together we did it the next night, having risotto with sun dried tomatoes (I cooked the risotto) and four bean salad. All that plus cheesecake and good california beer and wine. So if you want to eat well, invite Debbie Smith along!

Back to the mundane, I'm doing laundry as I write this. This afternoon I pick up Simon Carr at the airport then I join the Ian Springsteel Wind Rivers expedition.