Thursday, August 8, 2013

8-31 July, 2013 - Busy!

We've been keeping kind of busy with both work and fun around here and I just haven't had time to put the blog together.

We floated down the Tobacco River from Eureka to Lake Koocanusa.  Susan is in front on a large float that's normally pulled behind a speed boat.

We took another afternoon to paddle around on Murphy Lake.  It's a nice mountain lake along Highway 93 about ten miles south of Eureka, Montana.  This is one of several beaver lodges in the lake.

Susan and Scott in their kayak.

Scott rides in the cockpit in front of Susan.  We bring along a blanket in case he gets sleepy.  He absolutely loves being in the kayak.

We spent one Saturday at the hot springs at Hot Springs, MT.  Scott in in the "cool" pool with his mom and dad.  They have three pools.  The upper two are smaller and very hot and hot.  Most people can only spend a bout 15 or 20 minutes max. in the upper pool.  The lowest (cool) pool is a full size swimming pool.  It's about the temperature of warn bath water. 

We stopped for a picnic lunch on Flathead Lake on the way home.

We hauled another load of junk to the dump.  Susan took a photo of the refrigerators behind the pickup.  She needs it for a book she's writing.

We spent another afternoon on Upper Stillwater Lake.  The train tracks run alongside the lake so we were treated to the sound of the trains every fifteen or twenty minutes.  Scott loves seeing trains so we always stopped and watched them go by.  Several engineers "tooted" the horns for Scott.

A neighbor has some ground squirrel problems...

They ate these clear to the ground.

I spent the first morning eliminating those I could with my 223 rifle.  That's me the arrow is pointing at.  I shot 19 times, killing 17 squirrels.

This is one of the little rodents.  There were many more I didn't get so we set some traps in key areas to get as many as we can.  Next spring I'll start shooting them earlier in the year before the grass gets too tall and before they have their litters. 

Ahhh ... the endless task of keeping weed-eaters, mowers and chainsaws going.  This one needed the carburetor cleaned.  We bought it at an auction for a dollar.  It's one that you can change the head on to make it do different functions.  We  ordered a brush cutting head for it so I needed to get it running.

Scott, being 2 3/4 now is getting a little more creative.  We made him a "playhouse" out of a large box.  He turned it on it's side so that he could stand and put his head through the window to watch television.  The Chipmunk (Alvin, Simon, and Theodore), movie is his favorite at the time so we've seen/heard it about a hundred times now.

He under the motorhome trying to corner the cat.

Susan picked a bunch of mint and hung it in bundles on the front porch.

I got my motorcycle out to get it running.  I knew Scott would want to sit on it so I tied it up to the Pickup to make sure it didn't fall on him.  I have the seat off to get at the battery (it needed charged).

I ran some jumper wires from the battery bank to the MC battery to charge it.

We ran the pump to water the garden.  The pressure as very poor so I took the suction-line apart to clean it.  It has a habit of collecting debris in the one-way valve near the pump.

Watering the garden requires hauling water. I've got seven, 50 gallon barrels in the back of the truck.  I've been filling them at a neighbor's then bring them home and siphon the water out of the barrels and into the main tank.  It takes 35 to 45 minutes for each barrel.

We finished up the porch.  It's great to have a place to relax where the mosquitoes can't get to us.

Harvest time for the raspberries ... finally!

This is the inside view of the screened porch.

We had a out-of-state friend stay with us for a week.  One of the things she wanted to do was take a canoe out on the lake so we spent a few hours on Marl Lake (a mile form home).  It's a nice quiet lake where you don't have to worry about getting run over by ski boats.  The deepest part of the lake is left of the island at the left side of the picture.  It's about 125 feet deep there.

She also wanted to go berry picking and we always take visitors up to the Mount Marston fire lookout.  These are some of the wildflowers on the way there.

It was a good place to let the dog run a bit.

Mount Marston Lookout.

In the distance you can see the peaks in Glacier National Park.

This is looking west from the parking lot.  There are about three lakes on the other side of the first ridge.  On a clear day you can see the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness area.

After the lookout we picked huckleberries for awhile.  Odie's taking a rest break next to Scott.

Scott needed a lift up the mountain.  He kicked off his boots near the road so I ended up carrying him when we moved to new areas.  We wore bright colored clothing to keep track of each other better.  The woods are thick here and it's easy to get separated.  We also carry FRS radios in case we get separated.

This is our friend coming back down the mountain.

One of Scott's favorite videos is about motorcycle riding.  He especially likes the freestyle events. It's hard to imagine what he's thinking but he was making some pretty serious motorcycle sounds!

Roofing ... ughhh!  We stripped off  the metal roofing and skylights.  We've been fighting leaks since we put on the metal roofing.  We figured it was more a problem with the skylights than the roof but the roofing had to come off to fix the skylights so we took it all off.  The skylights did end up being the main problem but we went back with asphalt roofing anyway.  We'll use the salvaged metal roofing on other projects.
I keep a file of photos of unique hinges and gate latches.  This one is an old horseshoe that latches the gate to a chicken pen.  A good example of using what you have on hand instead of buying something new that probably doesn't work as well.

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