Saturday, February 23, 2013

15-23 February, 2013 - Little boys and big lakes.

Lots of photos on this post.  Sorry for the long times between posts.  In our cramped quarters it's sometimes hard to get time to do anything meaningful on the computer.

We've done a little bicycling in the last week.  One stop was at some hot springs.  Susan and I have been there before but it was the first time for Scott.  He liked watching the fish then sat by the overflow area to throw rocks in the water.  The weather was beautiful that day!

My rib is healing some so Susan and I built a fire ring to have a campfire.   

Scott is right in there with everything we do.  Makes a person wonder at what point kids lose that childhood fascination with anything that's new.

He's good helper and kept adding sticks and twigs.

We went boat shopping a few days ago.  We left our aluminum boat home with the intention of purchasing one here.  Once here it looked like it would be cheaper to drive back home to get our boat than to find one here at a good price.  We answered an ad on Craig's List for this trailer (you had to take the boat with the trailer when you bought the trailer).  He wanted $500 originally then dropped it to $400 and we got it for $250.  I really wanted a boat more than a trailer but the trailer will work great with our aluminum boat at home so we ended up with a really great deal.  The boat's a little small for Lake Mead so we'll have to watch the wind warnings when we take it out.  We brought our new trolling motor and our gas boat motor (which is too big for this boat and may be illegal on Lake Mead ... didn't know that when we left Montana). 

The dog and cat did a thorough inspection as soon as we got to the camper.

Scott also did (another) inspection when we parked it and turned it upright.

The boat has some loose rivets that leak water so Scott and I are applying aluminum tape over them.

The wind blew my hat off so Scott found a place to keep it until I needed it back.

The aluminum tape should seal the rivets until I can get it home or acquire a rivet gun here to replace the leaking ones.

We gave it a try this morning to see if our patches worked.

The patches worked great.  I took it out for a short (very short!) trial run.  The wind had come up and the waves were kind of high for this little boat so I went out a ways then came right back in.  Everything worked great.
After I got back to shore the wind changed directions 180 degrees.  We had the experience of actually watching the waves on the lake change direction.  It was fascinating.

Scott and Susan stayed on shore since I was making a short run.  Scott, like most little boys, never tires of the water.  Here he's letting the waves wash in over his feet.  He got up shortly after this photo to tell us he was wet and cold...
Then went to different spot to do the same thing.

He's having a chat with me about safe boat handling.  I need to impress upon him that he's a future Marine ... not Navy!

Susan set up the Jet Pack on the booster.  She ran the antenna outside then mounted the base next to the charge controller.  We have fair Internet access now.  Not as fast as at home but adequate.  It's great to not have to drive into town to the library or McDonalds to use the Internet.

We've had some stormy weather while we've been camped here.  You can't see the mountain tops but they're covered with snow now.  Wood is in short supply here so we bought a bag of charcoal briquettes to burn in the wood stove.  They work okay but are not as hot as real wood.  (And they leave a lot more ash.)

Scott found this on the ground.  We dont' know if someone lost it or left it out intentionally.

He's figured out that if the stove is cold it makes a great horse.  I'm glad it's firmly anchored to the floor.

We have mostly gravel at the campsite so Susan brought up some buckets of sand for Scott to play in.  It's kept him occupied for hours.

Scott's down for a nap so Susan actually got some time to play her guitar.

Scott and Susan playing.  She'd kiss his hand then he'd wipe the kisses off on his coat.  (Then stick his hand up to her mouth again!)

Scott commandeered grandma's chair and down sleeping bag this morning!

This is where Scott was when I began working on the blog.  He'd been playing on the floor and just zonked out.  It's mid-afternoon but we put him in his pajamas when we changed him into dry clothes (after he got wet playing in the water) because it was nap time.  The wind is blowing so hard we don't plan to spend much time outside the rest of the day.

Last night's sunset.

This is how Scott and I began our day yesterday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

27 January-14 February 2013 - Warmer Climates

It's been a long couple of weeks!  We finished packing the camper, trailer and car and headed for Kalispell to say good-bye to the kids.  That took a couple of days by the time we spent some time with each one. We did some shopping in Kalispell picking up last minute items we'd need on our trip and during our stay here.  There's no sales tax in Montana so we tried to get things there and save a few bucks when we could.  The weather was clear and cold when we left home.  I chained up the rear tires on the U-Haul to be sure that we wouldn't lose control going down the steep hill at the end of our road.  I also finished installing the heater motor and core then adjusted the rear brakes before we left.  We left the aluminum boat in Montana.  It was going to be tough to pack so we checked Craig's List on prices here and if our luck holds we'll just buy another one here with a trailer and we'll tow it home behind the U-Haul. ... Hopefully!

The trip here was uneventful.  Our first night was spent in Montana at one of the coldest rest stops in the world.  We were grateful for the wood stove in the camper!  The next stop was in Utah the next night.  We stopped early and spent the night at a truck stop so we'd be able to go through Salt Lake City after the rush hour was over.  We spent a couple of hours near SLC with a friend Susan hadn't seen in a few years.

Our next night was spent in Mesquite, Nevada.  We were finally in a warmer climate.  From there it was a quick trip the next morning into Overton.
We spent several days at the game refuge just outside of Overton.  They allow free camping for up to eight days.  We parked next to a travelling preacher and his friend and shared a few stories.
I also came down with the flu the day we pulled in.  I must have caught it from someone on the way down here.  Of course Scott got it next then Susan so we've all been sick the last week.  At least we were here and not stuck on the road somewhere.

It wasn't all bad though.  Overton is a nice community and we spent some time in the playground with Scott.  Here we're racing down the parallel slides.

He's going to catch grandma so she doesn't get hurt!

Now he's at the campground doing whatever little boys do when they have a stick to play with.
We made a quick trip into LasVegas to pick up a few things.  I bought a digital powder scale to try out while we were in the Bass Pro Shop there.
We also rented a PO Box in Overton to make mail forwarding easier.

Now that we're feeling better we headed out to Stewart's Point to get set up for a longer stay.  Shade's a little sparse in this spot but we're looking forward to soaking up the sun anyway!  We're close enough to the water to have access but far enough away we don't have to worry so much about Scott falling in the lake.

Scott and I are down on the beach throwing rocks in the water.  The water trails are from Odie when she ran up out of the lake.  After throwing about a hundred pounds of rocks and gravel in the lake we went back to the camper.

We had another neighbor waiting to say hi there.  It was Rex and his long-haired Chihuahua.  He's camped about a half-mile away and was just out walking around a bit.