Monday, August 30, 2010

The week in review ... August 30, 2010

The next section of pictures is from an area called Sunday Falls.  It's a series of waterfalls on Sunday Creek near Trego, MT.  There's a very nice trail almost good enough for handicapped use along the lower end.  You can see two of the falls on it.  This one is beyond the regular trail and requires some climbing to reach.

This is a second fall that's beyond the regular trail.

This is the first one you'll reach on the lower (easy) part of the trail.

This is the last fall at the end of the lower trail.  You have to climb up the rocks along the left side to reach the upper trail the walk a ways to get to the final two.

Caught Susan taking a picture of the first falls.

Susan caught me taking a picture of her taking a picture of the first falls on the lower trail.

This is the bridge spanning the middle section of Lake Koocanusa.  Susan and her sister are about half-way across (near the car on the bridge).  I was up on some cliffs on the other side of the highway when I took these photos.  That's our car in the parking lot.

This is a shot with the camera on telephoto.

This is the hydroelectric dam on Lake Koocanusa.

We went on down to Libby and took the Fisher River road back home.  The road follows the train tracks (or maybe the tracks follow the road?).  There's a seven mile long train tunnel that goes through a mountain that inconveniently planted itself in the way.  This is the east entrance (or exit, depending upon which direction the train is going).  It has two giant ventilation fans (shown here) to refresh the air and draw out engine exhaust when trains go through.  It's about 11 miles from our cabin as the crow flies and we can often hear the fans when they are on. 

Here the tunnel is giving birth to a east-bound freight train.

More later ...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The week in review ... August 29, 2010 Kayaks and Canoes

The starting point in Eureka...

Just floatin' along ...

Still ... just floatin' along ... 

Oops ... cow crossing ...

Still floatin' along (but a little faster here!) ...

Okay, time to give the kayaks a break and carry them for a change ...

Almost the end of "floatin' along!"

The pick-up point near Rexford. The total time for the float was abut three hours.  The water was low and slowed things down a bit.

Time for some sleep???

No ... time for a quick dip in the pool ...

Or river, which is the casse here.

There was still a little daylight left Saturday evening so it was time to take the canoe out on the lake.

Take a few photos ...

Check out some of the local residences ...

Then head for home.  Marjie's train leaves tomorrow morning so we have to set the alarm clock for 5:00 am in order to get there on time.

The week in review ... August 29, 2010 After Our Hike to the Stahl Peak Lookout

The view looking east from the lookout ...

...looking north...

... and looking south.  There are already pictures posted looking west.

Unwinding after our hike.

Susan taking a shot.

After eating and a few games of pool we took our sore feet and tired muscles home for the evening.

The week in review ... August 29, 2010 Our Hike to the Stahl Peak Lookout

Stahl Peak lookout in the distance...

A little telephoto applied and you can see the lookout ...

Now you can see it well!  All three photos were taken from the same place.

Just some of the views on the trail ...

Almost there ...

Susan's sister and I in the lookout.  The wind was cold!

You can see the big switchback in the lower center of the picture?  The Cherokee is in the trees where the road disappears below the switchback.  The trail follows an old logging road for a ways to the south then turns around to follow the contour of the mountain making a big "C" shape as it comes back up to the lookout.

Inside the lookout.  This one is open to the public to camp in on a first come - first served basis.  No reservations needed.  One thing we found out ... bring your own TP for the outhouse!

Snack time!  Man were we hungry!  According to my GPS, the elevation the car was parked at was 5669 feet.  The elevation at the lookout (ground level) was 7373 feet.  By the GPS measurements we hiked 5.43 miles each way.  As the crow flies it was a little over a half-mile from the lookout to the car.

See the little white spot below the  closer mountain peak?  That's the Mt. Wam lookout.  It's actually on top of another peak before the one that's obvious.  It can be rented in advance.  We've camped in it before as well.  It's absolutely beautiful at night.  Very quiet and on a clear night the stars blanket the sky.  There are no artificial lights to dim the view of the night sky.

This is a cable from the lightening rods.  It runs around the interior floor of the lookout to keep you from getting electrocuted in a lightening storm.   I've never been in one during a lightening storm but the people who have all said it is a very memorable experience.  Few ever seemed to want to do it again. 

More views from the trail...

A little lake at the bottom of the cliffs...

The cliffs above the lake ...

A boo-boo on my part for posting the same picture twice!

Fresh bear scat on the trail ...  It doesn't have any little hiking bells or smell like pepper spray so it must be from a black bear.

Susan and Margorie picking wild strawberries...

Red fingers from picking wild strawberries!

There will be more pictures from the week as I get more time to post them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

21 August, 2010 - Saturday - JB Weld and flat tires.

The JB Weld applied to the cracked float bowl.

I wheeled the compressor and generator out to the trailer to change and repair the tire.

There's a lot of rust in the rim where the tire's bead rests.

This is my favorite truck.  It's had a rod knocking for a couple of years so I've had it parked waiting to find another motor for it.  It's titled/manufactured as a 1/2 ton pickup but it's built stronger and will carry more wieght than my one-ton Dodge.  I had a load of sand on it once that weighed 3,995 pounds on a truck scale.  They don't make trucks like this anymore.

The U-haul being driven into positiion for it's next phase in life.

The cat is in training here to repel invaders.  Rule number one:  once you get a grip never, I mean NEVER, let go! They may come in walking on two feet but they'll leave with only one!

A doe leads her twins across the road at the edge of Fortine.

21 August 2010, Saturday

It began raining early this morning so I headed out to load the alfalfa into the wheel barrow and put it in the wood shed. Susan brought in the sheets and blankets she had hanging on the line and hung them under the porch roof. It was 39 degrees when we got up.

We were both a bit under the weather. Susan was having a tooth problem and didn’t sleep well so she took some Ibuprophen and went back to bed to catch up on her sleep. When she got up later she moved some windows out of the U-haul so we could move it to a new spot, and put away some more dried herbs and did some cleaning.

I cleaned the ashes out of the wood stove and washed dishes. I also mixed up some JB Weld and put it on the side of the carburetor where the crack was. I mixed too much and it was slowly running down the side of the carburetor and going to places I didn’t want it so I had to check it every few minutes for about an hour until it stiffened up enough to stay where I wanted it to. I let the goat out to browse when I started work on the carburetor. After washing dishes (first batch) I rolled the generator and compressor out to the trash trailer to fix the tire that was flat. I had to use a breaker bar and four foot pipe as a “cheater” to get the lug nuts lose. My impact wrench couldn’t loosen them with only 120 lbs of air pressure. When I put it back on I used the lug wrench. I was grateful I never had a flat while I was out in the woods! The tire went flat because the bead was leaking so I dismounted the tire and used the drill and a wire brush to clean the rust off the rim. The rims has a lot of pits where the bead seats so I used gasket cement when I put the tire back on. That will hopefully seal the bead. If it leaks again I’ll have to get a better rim for it. After using the gasket sealer I’ll never get the tire back off using my equipment. The tire is more-or-less glued to the rim now.

After I got the tire fixed I washed the last batch of dishes. Susan had put the first batch away so there was room in the dish drainer. After washing the dishes I ran some drain cleaner through the drain pipes. They haven’t been draining well the last couple of weeks. The drain cleaner didn’t help so I guess I’ll have to take the trap off sometime and clean it out. One of the problems we have is that we don’t use a lot of water and the drain doesn’t get flushed out like it would if we had unlimited water to waste. We’ll have to get in the habit of flushing the drain regularly with boiling hot water. We do that in the winter when we have the tea-kettle on the wood stove all the time but when you have to use the propane stove to heat the water we don’t do it in the summertime.

After that Tristan and I moved the Gut Shaker (my old International pick-up) from it’s spot and switched places with the U-haul. Tristan put a battery in the Gut Shaker (If you ever rode in it on a rough road you’d know where it got it’s name from) and dumped a couple of gallons of gas in it. I took a gas can and primed the carburetor in the U-haul to get it started. It had sat almost a year since we used it last and the carburetor was dry. I usually dump a little gas down the carb. to prime them. They fire up quick that way and get the gasoline pumping in to fill the carburetor. It’s a lot easier on starters than cranking on them long enough to pump gas to the carb. It fired up on the first try and I moved it into a different parking spot.

Tristan had the GS ready to go so I primed it’s carb. And started it up. It had one wheel sitting in a hole so we needed to use Tristan’s pickup to help pull it up and out of the hole. The GS has a rod knocking so I couldn’t push the motor too hard otherwise it would have gotten itself out without help. The hydraulic clutch on the GS had lost some fluid so I had to refill and bleed the air out of it. I started the GS and Tristan helped get it out then we unhooked the chain and I drove it over to it’s new home. Then I drove the U-haul into the GS’s old place. (After filling in the low spot.) We’re in the process of converting the U-haul into a camper/motor home and I need it close to the house to do the work. We have the windows now so I need to get them installed and finish the interior. We plan on using it this coming spring for our trip down to Nevada. We went last year using a tent and stayed for a month. We hope to stay three months next spring. (We’ll come back when the snow’s gone!)

When I finished that I spent some time on the computer then Susan and I drove into Fortine to get drinking water, the mail, dump trash and buy something for supper. I’d been having allergy problems and had taken some med. earlier. That meant that as soon as I sit down or quit moving I go to sleep. Neither of us felt like fixing supper so we bought some hot-pockets and had them to eat.

We saw two sets of twin fawns on the way in and back. We got pictures of one set just outside of Fortine. The other pair was about ½ mile from the house. I was tracking a set of fawns Friday on the way to feed the buffalo. I was bare-foot and had my head down looking at the tracks and got within about ten feet of them before we saw each other. They almost fell over each other getting out of there! It was great!