Friday, January 22, 2016

January 9, 2016 Montana to Nevada

We're back ... or are we gone again?  We made the trip south and are once again camped at Lake Mead in the Nevada desert.  It's been cold lately with lows in the 30's and highs in the 50's.  We've also had lots of rain (for a desert environment anyway!).  Unfortunately we also found that we have multiple leaks in the roof of our motor home.  That has been an adventure by itself!  We've put two gallons of roof sealer ($60.00) along the seams on the top and around every mount for the solar panels.  We felt sure we had all the bases covered then it rained again.  We still have a leak over the sink!!!!  So we go to plan "B"  (as soon as we figure out what that is!).

Anyway, we camped for a few days at the Overton Wildlife Management Area to take care of a few things but now we're back out to Lake Mead where we'll be awhile.  We have the wind tower put up now and have settled in for the long haul.

One of the reasons I like being out and away from "civilization" are the things that sometimes happen.  We'd been in our current camping spot for a day when we heard Odie barking outside.  I opened the door and stepped out just in time to see a cottontail rabbit running by our motor home with a coyote (literally!) right on his tail!  Odie was still barking and trying to make up her mind whether to chase the rabbit or the coyote when they raced by.  I yelled at Odie to stay.  The rabbit spotted Odie and slowed momentarily which almost made it the main course for breakfast for the coyote. The coyote nipped at it and missed by inches. The rabbit turned on the afterburners and gained a couple of feet and they both disappeared in the desert.  I don't think the coyote ever paid any attention to any of us.  He was totally committed to catching breakfast.  Afterwards Susan and I were debating which we should have cheered for ... the rabbit or the coyote! The coyote looked pretty well fed which probably bodes ill for the rabbit.

So, speaking of feed ...

One of the great things about being home are the meals.  Here we're having bacon, egg and cheese omelettes with toast and milk for breakfast.  That was back in Montana where we spent most of our time being snowed in.  Well, we weren't really snowed in but we had about two feet of the stuff on the ground around our cabin and it was cold enough that staying home was our best option most of the time.  That wood fire is hard to get too far away from when the highs never got above 20 degrees for the last two weeks we were there.

Chicken and dumplings for supper!

Susan made enchiladas one day.  She rolled out her own tortillas ...

Then cooked them in the skillet.

Cookie time again.  This is from dough leftover from making Christmas cookies.  She put it in a Ziploc bag and left it out on the front porch.  It was frozen solid within an hour and stayed that way until she used it a week or so later.  We unplug the refrigerator in the winter.  It's cold enough that we can leave stuff we want frozen in a cooler on the porch.  Things we just want chilled we leave in a cooler in an unheated room.  We just set it next to the outside door and throw a blanket over it to insulate it from the heat in the room.  Sometimes the milk will still freeze in the cooler so we take it into the kitchen to thaw it out.

And stir fry.  One of our favorites.  This was taken in our motor home in Nevada.

Again in Nevada, We love lemonade made from fresh lemons.  The lemons here are large and cheap compared to those we get in Montana.

This is in the cabin in Montana.  We keep a kettle of water on the stove all of the time.  That keeps some humidity in the air and we have hot water for washing dishes or baths.  Under the upside down steel bowl she is letting dinner rolls raise while the soup is cooking in the pot on the right.  Behind the stove my coveralls are drying out.  The pant legs always get wet from working outside (cutting and splitting firewood). 

Looking west from the upstairs bedroom.

Looking south over the garden.

One of the great things about winter is the snow.  We've been skiing and sledding and I did a little snow shoeing as well.  The temperature when this was taken was a balmy 10 degrees.  The snow was perfect and fast.

Susan and Scott walking back up the hill.  When we are not sledding this is the road to our cabin. 

The snowman managed to stay frozen for several weeks.  The snow kept piling up higher and higher on it until he looks more like a Russian Cossack than a Montana snow man.  This was taken on our way out of the driveway the morning we headed back to Nevada.

Ah, palm trees and ... rain?  This is supposed to be the Mojave Desert!  It's also been one of the wettest Januaries on record.  We got into Overton about 4:00 AM and slept in the car at the Wildlife Management Area until it got light outside.  Our first stop was breakfast at McDonalds.  Scott loves their pancakes.

After breakfast we went to get our motor home out of storage.  Unfortunately, the soil is mostly clay and sand and I didn't make it far until I was stuck in the mud.  (The desert doesn't handle rain well!)

The tow truck driver was on his way to Las Vegas when we called.  He'd just had a call to get a car unlocked for a woman and once it was unlocked she still couldn't find her keys so he transported her and her car to Vegas.  When he got back to Overton later in the morning he ran about 120 feet of cable out and winched us to the pavement.

Scott was confined to the car but obviously thought it was great fun to watch the motor home being winched out.

Dry ground at last and we were on our way to the wildlife area.

We got set up complete with our "lawn" and lawn chairs and we were ready to spend a few days there before heading out to the lake.  The wildlife area has hunting on even days of the calendar during the waterfowl season so every other morning we woke up to the sound of shotguns and goose calls.

One of the reasons we stop here every year is because we usually have some things to do on the motor home before heading out.  The wildlife area is only a mile outside of Overton so it's easier to get what we need in town.  Here I'm scraping out the old sealer on the roof and putting on the new stuff. 

We just bought a half-cord of firewood last fall when we were here so we had wood for the wood stove in the motor home.  I made a wood stove out of an old 30 pound propane cylinder last year (?) so we have wood heat in the camper.  It's a lot better than trying to warm the monstrosity with propane.  We like to boon-dock camp meaning we camp where it's free and we have no hook-ups for electricity.  Our solar panels don't leave us enough power to run the furnace blower in the camper.  Especially when the temperatures are down around freezing every night.

Susan and Scott were playing with the play dough.  He loves rockets, trains, and robots.

This was taken at the wildlife area.  After our time in Montana we were content to just look at the snow on the distant (about 15 miles) mountains.

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