Friday, December 30, 2016

December 1-15, 2016 Fishing, going home and cold weather...

We began the month in Nevada and then made our way to Montana.  The question is, "where will we be at the end of December?"

I bought a Nevada non-resident fishing and small game hunting license this year and added another ten dollars to use a second fishing rod.  On this day the wind was howling out of the north so  it seemed like I could cast almost to Echo Bay!

Unfortunately it didn't do much good that day because after several hours I had caught nothing!  It was a beautiful day though as long as you were out of the wind.

Looks like Sunday!  Scott's dressed up for church.

Scott down for his morning snuggle time.  Normally it's Susan that he goes to but this morning it must have been my turn.  We all cherish these times because we know that all-to-soon he will grow up and not want to do things like this.

One of the problems of late November and December down south is that it gets kind of cold in the desert.  Not like sub-zero Montana but 30 degrees can feel pretty cold in a poorly insulated motor home!  We can fire up our little wood stove (and we do!) but the heat never travels far due to poor insulation and the long, narrow design of the motor home.  Scott's bed is in the very back of the Motor home so in the evenings and mornings (before sunrise) when it's cold he tends to bundle up.  Once the sun comes up in the morning we open the curtains and let the sun warm things up.  In the evenings, though, that's not an option!

We took a quick two day trip to Quartzsite.  We were a little early so many of the vendors weren't there yet.  There were still quite a few though and we found lots of things to buy.  I stocked up on small parts for my home inventory along with some tools.  We also bought a few Christmas gifts.

We picked up some inventory for a friend while we were there.  They have the credentials to get a really good wholesale price on these.

The wholesaler knew them and brought out a great selection for us to take back to them.

Some of our Christmas decorations in the motor home.  We also stocked up on case lot goods from the local grocery store. When you run out of regular storage room you just stuff it anywhere that's out of the way!

I caught a few fish but this was the best afternoon I had so far.  Not much happened until the last half-hour before sunset then I finally just reeled in one rod and fished with the other.  I lost several fish because they hit both rods at the same time.  Towards the end they were hitting the bait as it hit the water.  I used worms and anchovies.  Didn't seem to matter which since the fish hit them both equally fast.  I tossed the little ones back in.

One of the great things about Stewart's Point is riding our bicycles.  We try to ride to the highway and back every day.  It's three miles each way.  Mostly uphill going out but a really nice coast coming back down.

The sunsets there are almost always great.

We parked the motor home in storage on the 13th and left for home.  It's a lot cheaper to store it there than to drive it back and forth at roughly $750.00 each way!  It's getting some age on it so we'll probably replace it in a couple of more years.  So far our plans are to buy a school bus and convert it.  The factory manufactured rigs are great for camp grounds with water, sewer and electricity but we like to boondock camp where none of these are available. We want a rig that's tougher, better insulated, and can be self-sufficient for weeks at a time. Our U-Haul conversion is great but too small with Scott now.  

That project will have to wait because we have a lot lined up to do at the cabin this year.

Ah, yes ... home again ... well, within 400 miles anyway!

People ask how Scott does travelling.  He does pretty good but then he has a tablet, leap frog, small computer, and his DVD player with a bunch of movies to chose from (and Red Box rentals practically everywhere).  If those fail there's always something to do like make faces at grandpa.

Flathead Lake viewed from Polson.  Now we're getting somewhere but it's still about 100 miles to home.  The lake looks cold (and is!).

Our first stop was to see our youngest son.  He's been gathering up our mail for us.  We caught him in the act of working!

Home in the driveway.  A neighbor plowed the road and our driveway to welcome us home.

Temperatures had been dipping way below zero for a couple of weeks with highs barely in the teens or below most days.  We neglected to drain everything before leaving so we had a lot of frozen water jugs when we got home.  The son pictured above put some RV antifreeze in the drains and drained the overhead tank but the barrels and water jugs were frozen solid both inside and outside the cabin.  The kettle we keep on the stove was frozen solid!  

Scott adapted by covering up in sleeping bags, blankets and whatever else he could find and played his tablet while the cabin warmed up.  When everything inside is cold like this we must heat walls, furniture and everything else back up before it's comfortable inside again.  Scott and Susan slept in the living room so that she could keep the stove going all night long.  We burned through about two weeks worth of wood in the first three days getting the cabin warmed up.

We had plenty of wonderful cold snow outside though.  It was absolutely beautiful outside (but still pretty cold!).

The first thing was to sweep the snow off the solar panels.

Our son had shoveled paths to the wood shed and outhouse and my shop but we had to clear the fresh snow out of them when we got home.  We knew we'd have plenty to do so we spent the night before in a motel in Kalispell so we could get an early start and get home while we still had plenty of daylight left.  They also had a heated pool and hot tub there which made the decision to stay even easier!  It was around 5 below zero (f) when we got home.  That was our daytime high!

It was 26 degrees inside the cabin.  By sundown we had brought that up to about 35 degrees!

I ordered a new splitting maul before we left Nevada.  So far it's a good one although I wish they had designed the head a little differently.  This one has a concave cutting edge.  It has some advantages but if I was designing it I'd put a couple of  "diamond shaped" wedges on either side of the head.  The concave edge will bite deep and cut through knots in the wood but they can bind up if you don't make it all the way through on the first whack.  Put some wedges on the sides and it will spread the wood better making it easier to get the maul free for another swing. Overall though it's still good maul.

Scott's great-grandparents left a birthday package for him while we were gone.  It's a figure-eight race track with high, banked turns.  He played with it quite awhile once the cabin warmed up.

The frost build-up on the windows.  It only does this when the outside temperature is well below zero.

Scott found the selfie stick and shot up about three rolls of "film."  One of the technological marvels I really like are digital cameras (in this case a phone). It was expensive to use roll film and when writing magazine articles I took the photos, mailed in the film then waited to see if I needed to retake more photos if the first batch didn't come out right.  Digital cameras made it all so much easier, cheaper and faster!

He got grandma in the picture too!

Our Amazon order came in a huge box.  I often wonder if the packaging department is just angry at their bosses.  I've seen this happen lots of times and you'd suspect that this makes postage rates a lot higher ... or maybe not!  

The cabin finally warmed up nice after about three days and everything was back to normal.  Shoveling snow is kind of a daily routine because this time of year it just kind of snows lightly 24 hours a day/night.  At least it's good exercise to keep the paths cleared ... and the roofs as you'll see in the next installment!

1 comment:

  1. Brrrrr. I'm acclimated to Alabama now and couldn't take that cold for long. I'd be curled up in a corner buried in blankets and staying put! Are you guys gonna hang around home some and do your garden again or are you going to be hitting the road?