Sunday, August 5, 2012

26 July - 4 August, 2012 - Kayaking, Dust and Camper Mods

It doesn't seem like we've accomplished much the last nine days but we've sure been busy.  There've been several trips to Eureka and Kalispell and we've both done quite a bit of writing.  We purchased/signed up for a jetpack so we're hoping to have internet access more often when we're out camping.  That should make it easier to keep up with our writing and blogs without needing to drive into the nearest town.  We expect it to be especially helpful when we head south for the winter.

We've had a couple of small thunderstorms move through which has helped keep the fire danger down (we actually got rain with them ... sometimes we get thunder and lightening and no rain!).  My book should be done in September.  The final editing on the galley is finished.  I like the way Paladin put it all together.  Susan added one more book to her Kindle books and her sales keep climbing.  The garden is doing well.  We had our first raspberries a couple of days ago and we have peas ready to pick.  We've had so much rain that we haven't needed to water the garden yet this summer.  That's a first in the nine years we've been here.  We had some problems when we were gone too which leads to the first photo. ...

We had an understanding with our neighbors that there'd be no road work done across our property without our permission.  This was hammered out in court after one of them widened the lower road one day while we were gone.  They are from California and seem to believe that they had/needed a 20 foot wide right-of-way through our property.  At one point we had a bit of a stand-off with me parked in the road at the corner of our property and the neighbor wanting to get through with a backhoe.  The sheriff's dept. finally arrived and told him to wait until we went through the court.  They lost.  We are not against them having a smooth road but we are against them widening it.  The agreement was that they could put down all the gravel they wanted but no blade was to be used on the roadway without our presence and permission.  While we were gone this last time the road was graded but no one is claiming responsibility.  The guy who did it was paid through a landowner on the other fork in the road and denies knowing who paid what.  We have one part time resident who was involved and I've talked to him and his story is that he only paid to have his driveway graded.  We're all going to get together next time he's up here and we're going to straighten things out.  To say we were a bit angry would be a huge understatement.

One of the problems we have with new out-of-state residents is that they think they need a wide, smooth road to travel on.  They buy their property knowing the road is bad then try to "improve" it  without regard to private property rights of the current landowners.  Most of us just drive slower.

To compound the problem they try to build roads like they do in the flat lands.  That doesn't work in the mountains.  The road itself needs three to six inches of crushed rock to make it gradable.  The rock that's on it is large so when they try to smooth the road they pull in dirt from the edges and fill in the holes.  Then we have both potholes and mud.  When it rains and the snow/ice melts in spring the mud washes down to the low spots then you drive through mud that may be 12 to 18 inches deep.  In the summer we end up with huge clouds of dust.  Plus the idiots drive faster and beat the potholes out larger than they were before.

It amazes me that people say they like the laid-back life out here then live it at the same intensity they had when in the city and drive like morons on the road.  Why didn't they just stay in the city.  I have a complete chapter in my book about this kind of garbage!

Rant off!

Our daughter driving behind us.  We came in at 5 mph and still had clouds of dust.

We had to run the river once more before the season ended (meaning the water level dropped) so we left Scott with his parents and Susan and I took the kayaks out again.  It had dropped about a foot but was still a lot of fun.

Some of the locals.  When we rounded the corner there were five deer (two were fawns) in the meadow but three ran off before we could get pictures.

When you have chickens you get some odd eggs now and then.  This one is large (jumbo size at the store) but the shell is wrinkled a bit.  It's still good eating though!

This one is small.  All of our chickens are full size (no bantams) and have never laid an egg this small.  Our little chicks are too young yet so I don't know if one of the older hens or one of the younger hens had this biological malfunction.

We spent some time in Kalispell visiting kids/grandkids.  Scott and his cousin Anna always get along great. They are about the same size even though Anna is older.     

We have the money so we bought some things to spruce up the U-Haul camper and complete a little more of it.

Susan has been in a painting mood and painted the front bumper with a coat of black paint.  It looks much better now.

She painted the roof white to keep it a little cooler inside.  It made quite a difference.

We bought some more lumber to complete some more of the inside.  I use a lot of 2x2's in the camper but they cost more than 2x4's so we buy 2x4's and rip them down to 2x2's.  It saves us a pile of money.  My table saw is better for ripping wood but it's down in the shack so I used the radial arm saw.

I'm marking one of the shelves to cut relief holes for the shelf framing.  I always unplug any tool I've been using in case Scott wants to try them out as he's doing here with the sabre saw.

Scott has been an active participant in the latest round of improvements.  Here he's making sure I have the screws driven in all the way in the shelves.

Here he's reminding me that I still have some paneling to install at the end.

Now he's checking my notes to see if I've forgotten anything.

Mission complete ... for now anyway.  We have more to do but we're doing this as we have money and time.  Susan put some shelves up this morning while I'm working on the blog.  She painted them yesterday.  The buckets you see contain a six (plus) month supply of food.  Should we ever need to leave in a hurry (probably due to a forest fire) the camper is completely stocked with food, clothing and other necessities, and ready to go.  Hopefully that won't ever happen.


  1. I love your blog. My husband and I are moving to Montana. How do we go about finding homesteading land and what is the process? Any information and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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