Saturday, June 2, 2018

May 2018 - Spring time and game camera photos.

Look like it's been awhile since my last post!  A lot of our winter time is spent far from internet service so we end up hot-spotting our cell phones when we need internet access.  Posting the blog takes a lot of data due to the photos posted. We have "unlimited" data but when we reach a certain point the phones get very slow so we try to avoid using them for posting the blog or other high data uses such as movies/you tubes/and games (our grandson!).   We can sometimes use WiFi at libraries and fast food outlets but then time is limited.  So, the blog gets neglected

On any case, we're home now and I'll attempt to get caught up some.

This was taken at the wildlife management area at Overton, NV.  We often see turkeys, rabbits, quail, coyotes, burros, and waterfowl there but this is the first time we've had peacocks strutting through our camp site.  We often use the WMA as a sort of staging area when we first arrive to get our motor home out of storage and again when we're ready to put it back in storage before heading home again in the spring.  It's close to town so if we need anything we can get it.

This is probably in Montana along I-90 between Butte and Missoula.

Our turn off I-90 and heading north on the last (190 mile) stretch.

When we got home we found out that we had a broken elbow in the water supply line to the sink.  That's the first time that has happened.  I drain the pipes and tanks each winter before we head south.

One of my projects was to get a mower running (we have two gas powered mowers, three reel mowers, and a recently acquired electric mower for close to the cabin, we power the electric mower  using our solar power system).

This particular mower quit suddenly a couple of years ago when I hit a stump while mowing. I was almost finished and it was the end of the season so I just parked it and finished up with the string trimmer.

I suspected it had sheared the flywheel key and I was correct.  The slot in the upper crankshaft and the key slot in the flywheel should align but they don't.  This throws the timing way off and the mower won't run.

Back in the old days the factory cut screw threads to use a gear puller to get the flywheel off.  They decided to cut corners on that so if you have to pull the flywheel you have to cut threads for the bolts needed to pull the flywheel off.

This is the sheared key on the mower. The can tab is for size comparison.

This is the way it should look.  I had a couple of crankshaft keys on hand but I had to file one down a bit to make it fit.  I installed it and put it all back together, checked the oil and filled it with gas and it fired right up.  I got the rougher part of the lawn mowed and it worked fine through two tanks of gas.  I used the old reel mower to cut the level sections of grass and on the road to the shack (storage) on the back corner of the place.  I tried out the electric mower in the yard near the cabin.  I prefer the reel mower because it doesn't stir up the pollen, dust and weed seeds.  I often have to spend some time on my nebulizer after mowing (asthma and allergy problems).

We've put a few miles on the four wheelers since we got home.  This is just outside (south) of Fortine taken from some state land.

Susan, Scott and Buttercup (our Pomeranian) admiring the scenery.

Same place as above but looking southeast instead of southwest.

This is about a mile or so (as the crow flies) south of our cabin on timber company land.

Buttercup enjoys travelling whether by car, bicycle (she rides in the front basket) or four-wheelers.

Doing some rototilling on our long neglected garden. We are going to plant a few things this year but mostly I'm going to keep tilling it up to get rid of the weeds and grass.

We need a new fence but don't want to mess with it this year so we had a couple of old trampoline frames laying around and decided to use them for a temporary garden fence.  In typical Scott fashion anything that will hold him is obviously made for climbing and playing on.

Scott and I are putting the fence wire around it.

Susan began transplanting while we were working.

She's putting the greenhouse to use this summer too.

And she planted strawberries in one of the raised beds.

Gardening is iffy here.  The cold is always a problem and in the past we have had frost every month of the year but the major worry is a relatively new one.  We've had ground squirrels move in and take up residence on the property in the last few years.  Despite my efforts to trap and shoot them (and the dog's constant harassment) we have a very healthy population of the little rodents.  The fence will keep the deer out and the garden will be finished before the bears become a problem in the fall but the ground squirrels can pretty much wipe out a garden in a couple of days.  We'll see what happens!

Susan had to get her driver's license renewed which called for a trip to Libby (the county seat 80 miles each way ... but only 40 miles by air ... if you have a helicopter!).  This is along the Kootenai River a few miles outside of Libby.

While we were there on a second trip for another issue, Scott took some time to play in the water park in town.  They have all kinds of fountains to play in. 

Now he's at the lower pool at the hot springs.  It's about a 120 mile drive each way.  The Symes Motel has four pools.  One upper pool is hot (about 15 minutes in it and you have to get out!).  The other upper pool has a privacy fence (clothing optional) and is also hot.  Below the first pool is one that's about like hot bath water.  Below that one is a full sized pool where we spend most of our time.  It's heated also but not as hot as the others.  When we were here this time the two upper pools were closed for repairs so they had heated the lower pool up quite a bit but it was still fun.

In case you haven't noticed there are two things Scott likes more than any others: those are climbing things and playing in the water!

We got him a new game for his "half-birthday."  When he was younger we told him he could celebrate half birthdays.  He didn't have much concept of time so about once a week he'd spout out that, "It's my birthday!" so we'd have a birthday party  ...  again!

Scott wanted a hummingbird feeder so he and Susan got one and put it up at the edge of the porch.  We have at least three different hummingbirds feeding there now.

He still likes riding in the wheel barrow.

He's raking up leaves with Susan.

I ordered a new bow for him but despite what the advertisers claimed its still a little too big for him.  He did, however, love the release that came with it so he's using it on his old bow to thunk arrows into my new 3-D deer target.  

Sunset on lower Stillwater Lake on the way home from Kalispell one evening. That photo was taken at 9:22 PM.  It is still light out until almost 10 PM around here.  

I decided to post some of the game photos taken from cameras on our property. Except when noted they were all taken in our driveway or next to our porch.

A bobcat at the same place the photo below was taken.

This was taken below the cabin on our property.  We have does and fawns coming in the yard quite often in the summer.

This bobcat photo was taken about five feet from our porch door. The photo below this one was from the same camera but it's light out so you can get an idea of the location.

This was taken at the corner of my shop (about 100 feet from the porch). It's a grizzly that broke into our chicken feed the night before.  The chickens and I cleaned up the mess as well as possible the next day but I knew he'd be back so I set up a game camera. We had a bit of a stand-off the night before.  I heard the dog barking so I went out to investigate with my single barrel shotgun loaded with bird shot.  I'd had problems with skunks trying to get to the chickens a couple of times so I figured there was a skunk to dispatch.  When I rounded the corner (in my PJ's and flip-flops) I came face to face with the bear.  He moved over to the road that runs on down to the shack and just sat there watching me from about ten feet away.  I watched him and he watched me.  I had the shotgun cocked and pointed at him with my finger on the trigger. He finally got up and waddled down the road toward the shack.

Now when I go investigate things during the night I carry a short barreled 12 gauge loaded with slugs and buckshot.

If you want an interesting grizzly and chicken story type in a search for "beeman, fortine, montana, grizzly."  He's a neighbor in town and the confrontation occurred about the time we were moving here.

This mom and her two cubs were photographed by a game camera about 200 yards from the cabin on a neighbor's land.

Monday, November 27, 2017

July, August, September 2017

I'm still playing catch up on my blog so this is the condensed version.

I bought a canoe two summers ago and haven't
had it out on the water much. We picked up two dogs last summer and hadn't had them out on the water either. Rose rode in the canoe with me. I had to lift her in because she had no intention of going willingly!  Once got going she calmed down and enjoyed the ride.

Scott was on his kayak tethered to Susan's.  

He has our second dog (Butter cup, a  pomeranian), with him. She had no  qualms regarding the water or kayak.

We decided to modify the van a bit by taking out the bathroom and building beds. The front bed over the driver and passenger seat will be used for storage. 

The  beds  are almost finished. Scott's is above mine. I built storage space under mine.

A couple of the boys decided to shoot some clay targets.

We went through a couple hundred  rounds before we were finished.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

June 2017

June really got shorted on the last blog post so I'm adding more photos.

And the circus came to town (well, to Kalispell anyway!).  Scott has been to them before but was younger and didn't remember a lot.  He was less timid about rides this time and began with a ride on the horses.

Next it was the elephant.

He enjoyed the acts more this time but it's so hard for live performers to hold the attention of kids.  They're so used to the internet with video games and movies with their special effects. He did manage to coerce us into adding to his arsenal of ray guns, swords, tomahawks and various other "weapons" the venders were hawking.

We decided to take a little sight-seeing vacation in Montana.  There's so much to see and do in this state.  This is along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River along the south edge of Glacier National Park.

Someone trying to catch some fish at a boat launch area.

This was taken in Great Falls, Montana.  We stopped to check out the Lewis And Clark Museum there. 

From there we dipped south to see some new countryside. 

Our campsite the second night has a creek behind the van and another on the left side.  We crossed the bridge and did some exploring then set up for the night.

Our primary destination was Hardin, Montana for the parade and re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand.

Here we got to meet Colonel Custer himself.  Looks pretty spry for being dead all these years.

This photo (and the next two) were taken at the re-enactment site where the Indian version of the battle has Custer being killed in the nearby river (Little Big Horn) instead of the hill top as is usually understood.   

Scott got possession of my camera and proceeded to take photos of himself (multiple times!) the bleachers, a lot of butts and backs and some of the clouds.

Overall the show was a bit disappointing.  Not enough actors and too much drama as they tried to retrace the history of the first interactions of the white Europeans in the East until the battle of the Little Bighorn.  It made for a long program.

The young men riding were superb horsemen and put on a good show for their part.  Overall though, while we're glad we saw it, we don't plan on going again.

This was at a museum on Hardin.  We stopped there again after the show.  It was getting late and some of the displays were shutting down but this couple took time to take this photo with Scott. The indoor part of the museum is okay but most of the attractions are outside and include some living history type exhibits.

We decided to take the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It involves going over a pass that isn't open during part of the year.  The photo doesn't do justice to how far below that valley actually is.

We hope to go back here again in the future.  There's a stream along the bottom with hundreds of campsites available.  The fishing should be great and we'll take our 4-wheelers for additional exploring in the mountains.

Higher and higher we went.

Keep in mind that this is June as we near the top.

We went down the other side and ate at a small restaurant in Silvergate.  This place is accessible only by snowmobile and helicopter a large part of the year. We asked the waitress/owner and she recommended that we backtrack a few miles to camp which we did.

This photo was taken on a short hike we took on the road above where we camped.

That's our van/camper in that little clearing below. We had a little creek running near us and I saw a coyote come in close to check us out about the time the sun went down.

This was taken inside the park.  They really need more pull-outs along the road.  There were buffalo everywhere and just as many tourist with motor homes parked half-way out in the road.

We made a few stops and saw some new stuff.  Most of it went well except for some A-holes driving and parking.  I left a "nice" little note on the window of a vehicle whose driver seemed to think he needed four spaces to park his suburban.

This is the ghost town of Garnet, MT.  It in the process of being restored as funds are available.  The town's history is well documented. The green roofed building is original but has been restored and modernized and holds a gift shop.  The other buildings are in various states of repair or decay. It's important to note that there are many buildings missing.  Knowing what Montana winters are like these were some tough people. Cabins are small and most had dirt floors. The two story building was a classy hotel at one time.  Not so much now. The rooms are small by today's standards and insulation was non-existent!

Susan and Scott take a break in the super-sized porch chair.

We took a longer route home so that we could do some more camping and hit the hot springs on our way home. This was one of the nicest places we camped with the river below, flat ground and a great campfire for the evening.