Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 1-10, 2017 Winter fun...

Winter can be a lot of fun but this year there was a definite chill in the air.  We were almost into the third week of January when we finally edged up above freezing for the first time in about five weeks. We've had cold snaps before but this is the longest one I remember.  But, we still found fun things to do.

This photo was taken about 13 years ago while we still lived outside of Columbia Falls, MT.  In those days we'd go camping several times in the winter and we did a lot of snowshoeing and cross country skiing as well (all out in the woods and not on groomed trails!).  We didn't use a tent.  We just put a tarp on the snow then threw out our sleeping bags and covered them with a tarp and slid into the bags.  There were times we greeted the morning with six inches of new snow on top of us!  For Susan and Tristan the snow was as soft as a feather bed.  For me it was a different story.  I'd usually wake up early in the morning feeling like my bed was filled with boulders.  I put out a lot of heat when I sleep which would melt the snow under the tarp into my form.  Then it would freeze and I was sleeping on a bed of ice.  The cold wasn't the problem.  The problem was that there was no give to the lumps and as the night wore on my bed became even lumpier!  We still had many good nights of camping back then and did it with a minimal amount of equipment.  One of our favorite camp outs was to have Susan and Tristan meet me at work below the Big Mountain ski area then we'd ski the back roads home after a night of wilderness camping.  It was about ten miles of skiing on untracked (gated) logging roads.

Scott liberated an ice cycle which them became a sword for slaying imaginary snow-drift dragons. 

Scott and Susan making donuts...

...with a slight twist!  They were purple!

But still some mighty good eating after cooking hem in the deep fryer.

The ice cycles finally stretched clear down to the ground on the west side.

Slumber party!

This was not an uncommon sight through most of December and on into January!

Susan made waffles using her cast iron waffle iron.

They came out pretty darn good!

Susan got a deep fryer you use on the stove top for Christmas and she's been giving it a workout!

This time it's home made barbecue burritos.

That's the deep fryer that needs no electricity.

And those are some good eating.

Scott working on school work.  He groans about doing it but really enjoys it once he gets going.

We decided to head for town for some fun at the bowling alley.
Notice that Scott's feet are up in the air as he bounced up and down like he was on an invisible pogo stick.

Susan's turn.

And my turn.

Scott always watched excitedly as the ball rolled toward it's objective.

This was the sky outside the bowling alley when we left.

From there we met Tristan at Jerry's in Fortine for dinner.

Where the road drops off in front of us is the northeast corner of our property.  There's about four inches of new snow since it was plowed last.

The view in my mirror as we travel south on Highway 93 on our way to Kalispell.

This is one of about a twenty piles of snow in the Walmart parking lot.

Scott seems happy with his donuts.  We ate some the day they were made and we kept the others outside (they were frozen) and had a few at a time until we ate them all.

One of our evening snow storms.

Scott trying out his sled on one of our snow piles (from shoveling snow off the driveway).

And, he made the turn at the bottom.  I had stomped out a trail for him with my snowshoes.

We took a little trek on his new snowshoes.  Mine are new too.  My Sherpas broke and my wooden frame traditional shoes had a bad place on the frame so I bought a pair of modern snow shoes for me too.

Scott breaking his own trail.  If you've never been on snowshoes on deep soft snow you still sink in quite a ways if you're the one breaking trail.  Each person behind you has it easier than the one in front of them.  If you don't rotate and take turns breaking trail you can really get worn out fast.  In this case Scott is just getting a feel for his new showshoes.

Susan cleaning snow off the roof of the U-Haul camper.  It's been a never-ending job this year as we clear the snow from five outbuildings (not counting the cabin!) and keep the driveway clear.

Scott "working."

Scott "meditating."  we have no idea where he got the idea for this!

Our garden is covered in a thick blanket of snow.

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