Monday, November 27, 2017

July, August, September 2017

I'm still playing catch up on my blog so this is the condensed version.

I bought a canoe two summers ago and haven't
had it out on the water much. We picked up two dogs last summer and hadn't had them out on the water either. Rose rode in the canoe with me. I had to lift her in because she had no intention of going willingly!  Once got going she calmed down and enjoyed the ride.

Scott was on his kayak tethered to Susan's.  

He has our second dog (Butter cup, a  pomeranian), with him. She had no  qualms regarding the water or kayak.

We decided to modify the van a bit by taking out the bathroom and building beds. The front bed over the driver and passenger seat will be used for storage. 

The  beds  are almost finished. Scott's is above mine. I built storage space under mine.

A couple of the boys decided to shoot some clay targets.

We went through a couple hundred  rounds before we were finished.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

June 2017

June really got shorted on the last blog post so I'm adding more photos.

And the circus came to town (well, to Kalispell anyway!).  Scott has been to them before but was younger and didn't remember a lot.  He was less timid about rides this time and began with a ride on the horses.

Next it was the elephant.

He enjoyed the acts more this time but it's so hard for live performers to hold the attention of kids.  They're so used to the internet with video games and movies with their special effects. He did manage to coerce us into adding to his arsenal of ray guns, swords, tomahawks and various other "weapons" the venders were hawking.

We decided to take a little sight-seeing vacation in Montana.  There's so much to see and do in this state.  This is along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River along the south edge of Glacier National Park.

Someone trying to catch some fish at a boat launch area.

This was taken in Great Falls, Montana.  We stopped to check out the Lewis And Clark Museum there. 

From there we dipped south to see some new countryside. 

Our campsite the second night has a creek behind the van and another on the left side.  We crossed the bridge and did some exploring then set up for the night.

Our primary destination was Hardin, Montana for the parade and re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand.

Here we got to meet Colonel Custer himself.  Looks pretty spry for being dead all these years.

This photo (and the next two) were taken at the re-enactment site where the Indian version of the battle has Custer being killed in the nearby river (Little Big Horn) instead of the hill top as is usually understood.   

Scott got possession of my camera and proceeded to take photos of himself (multiple times!) the bleachers, a lot of butts and backs and some of the clouds.

Overall the show was a bit disappointing.  Not enough actors and too much drama as they tried to retrace the history of the first interactions of the white Europeans in the East until the battle of the Little Bighorn.  It made for a long program.

The young men riding were superb horsemen and put on a good show for their part.  Overall though, while we're glad we saw it, we don't plan on going again.

This was at a museum on Hardin.  We stopped there again after the show.  It was getting late and some of the displays were shutting down but this couple took time to take this photo with Scott. The indoor part of the museum is okay but most of the attractions are outside and include some living history type exhibits.

We decided to take the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It involves going over a pass that isn't open during part of the year.  The photo doesn't do justice to how far below that valley actually is.

We hope to go back here again in the future.  There's a stream along the bottom with hundreds of campsites available.  The fishing should be great and we'll take our 4-wheelers for additional exploring in the mountains.

Higher and higher we went.

Keep in mind that this is June as we near the top.

We went down the other side and ate at a small restaurant in Silvergate.  This place is accessible only by snowmobile and helicopter a large part of the year. We asked the waitress/owner and she recommended that we backtrack a few miles to camp which we did.

This photo was taken on a short hike we took on the road above where we camped.

That's our van/camper in that little clearing below. We had a little creek running near us and I saw a coyote come in close to check us out about the time the sun went down.

This was taken inside the park.  They really need more pull-outs along the road.  There were buffalo everywhere and just as many tourist with motor homes parked half-way out in the road.

We made a few stops and saw some new stuff.  Most of it went well except for some A-holes driving and parking.  I left a "nice" little note on the window of a vehicle whose driver seemed to think he needed four spaces to park his suburban.

This is the ghost town of Garnet, MT.  It in the process of being restored as funds are available.  The town's history is well documented. The green roofed building is original but has been restored and modernized and holds a gift shop.  The other buildings are in various states of repair or decay. It's important to note that there are many buildings missing.  Knowing what Montana winters are like these were some tough people. Cabins are small and most had dirt floors. The two story building was a classy hotel at one time.  Not so much now. The rooms are small by today's standards and insulation was non-existent!

Susan and Scott take a break in the super-sized porch chair.

We took a longer route home so that we could do some more camping and hit the hot springs on our way home. This was one of the nicest places we camped with the river below, flat ground and a great campfire for the evening.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

April, May, June 2017

This is the condensed version since I am so far behind.

Scott taking in the campfire at the Overton Wildlife Management Area.

This is an old picnic area near Overtone.  It was quite a ride up to it.  At this point we are near the boundaries of Valley of Fire.

Getting ready to hit the road.  The hamburgers are for consumption that evening.  The pork chops will be frozen and taken with us on the road.  They make great meals on the road.  We don't have to heat them up.  We just set them on the dashboard for a couple of hours to warm up and eat them that way.

I got a call from my mother that a tree was going to fall on our camper we have stored in her yard.  No one could take care of it for a couple of weeks and she wanted it down before it fell down.  I took a plane out of Vegas then spent a week at my mother's.  Day one I took down the tree.  After that there was another project.

My sister's grandson started a fire behind their garage.  By the time the fire department got it out it had burned a bunch of siding off the back of the garage.  My mother (who is in her 80's) and I cleared off the burned siding and underlayment then began putting new siding on.

A couple of days later we were finished except for the painting which they would finish up.

We began heading toward home again.  Here we are at the Dave Deacon Campground at the Kirsch WMA in central Nevada.  It's one of our favorite places because of the free camping (with water hydrants available and outhouses) and it also has a hot spring there for swimming.

We had our four-wheelers with us and did some exploring in the area.  The dust we kicked up was kind of bad and the sun was pretty direct so this is how I dressed for our daily rides. I also wore gloves to protect my hands from sunburn.

On our rides we were going several miles each way to the mountains to ride the trails and roads so we moved our camp out there. There was no water but we packed enough to get us by awhile and just rode to the campground when we needed more.

It was a really great time.  Our campsite was sheltered in the trees from the wind and private.  We were the only people there camping and we saw only a couple more on our travels over the miles and miles of old dirt roads that laced the area.

There were springs all through the surrounding desert, valleys and mountains.  They were all fenced off to keep livestock out and the water piped down to stock tanks so that critters in the area could have fresh, clean water to drink.

The sun hanging low in the western sky.

Winter killed? Disease? Predators?  The cause of death is impossible to ascertain but even in death nothing goes to waste in the wild.

This guy was a daily resident at the campground.  Every morning we'd watch it come flying back with a fish then sit on this power pole to enjoy his meal.

Back home in Montana.  We took the U-Haul camper to a local lake for a few days of fishing, kayaking, hiking and camping. Buttercup, our Pomeranian that we acquired through animal control, is anxiously waiting in the basket to hit the road on a bike ride.

One of the small waterfalls near the lake.

Scott and Susan float past an old beaver lodge.

We did some exploring and some fishing and just enjoyed our time on the lake.