Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And They Are Gone


With sadness we watched Larry and Geri roll down the driveway Tuesday morning.  We tried to talk them into staying longer but they have lots of stuff on their plates right now and needed to get moving.

Monday was another hot one here in Montana, 90 degrees—ugh!  We cope with the heat by leaving the house windows and doors open at night—the house is right cool by morning—sometimes as low as 60 degrees.  Before the sun starts to hit the open windows and screen doors, I close everything up and turn on the ceiling fans.  The house will stay comfortably cool until about 4pm when the sun starts to come in some of the south facing windows.  We also have an electric awning over the west facing dining/living room windows which I deploy before the sun starts to come in those windows.  If it gets too bad we retreat to the basement!

Geri and I kept the washer/dryer going almost all day Monday.  Poor Emmi received a bath and haircut—much to her dismay but I bet she is now more comfortable!  Larry washed his truck and Michael gave the Can Am and jeep a bath. 

When we drove to the Mill Creek area last week, it was very cool and very windy.  We lost a roof vent on our long cargo trailer—Michael was ambitious and replaced that vent—I think he got a bit warm while up on that roof!

And it’s Clarks 2  Pack Rats 0!!!!!  Yea us!!  And yea Emmi—she alerted us to the fact there might be one of the buggers in the jeep this morning and she was right!  Michael set a trap and by lunch time he was successful!

More photos from our Placer Basin ATV trip.



Life is good!

Monday, August 3, 2015

On Top Of The World--Again

We’ve sure been seeing a lot of mountain tops this summer!  The cowboy has been to Placer Basin several times on snow machine plus while I was in Chicago a few weeks ago he went there on the ATV with his son Lonn and friend Sarge.  Sunday Larry and Geri joined us for a spectacular ride!

It was a little scary loading our new to us Can Am into the back of a 4x4 truck which sits a ways off the ground—so scary in fact that I didn’t even watch, so no photos—here’s one of the machine coming down out of the truck.  We have one ATV trail we can ride from our home, all other ATV trails require us to haul our rigs to a trailhead.  To keep Larry and Geri from having to load their rigs back into their “home”—their 33 ft. toy hauler—we put our Can Am in the back of the truck and loaded Larry and Geri’s rigs onto our small ATV trailer the cowboy built. 


IMG_2764Here comes Geri all attired for the dust we encountered on the main road.  Once we were on the actual trail portion of the ride, the dust was lessened.  Once again, the wildflowers were stunning!


IMG_2780A little snow here and there.IMG_2788Emmi loves our new machine—there is a console between the two of us—we place a foam pad on that console and Emmi rides up there happy as a clam all day—I don’t have to hold onto her unless the trail gets really, really rough. 

IMG_2805IMG_2813The smoke from various summer forest fires is the reason behind the “blue” mountains and not so clear sky. 

IMG_2800Yep, we were above 10,000 feet again!  Someone (aka the cowboy) needs to figure out how to change the “trip odometer” on this smarter than us Garmin—we most certainly did not travel 1764 miles yesterday! Smile


Our elevation was so high we could see the back side of Boone Mountain—the pointed peak mountain we see from our home—not the greatest photo—smoke and bright sun are the cause!



Another fabulous day spent in the mountains with great friends Larry and Geri.  Life is good!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Yellowstone Photos and Baby Photos

It’s Saturday and much quieter around here—Fred and Nancy plus Mary Ellen headed out this morning just leaving us with Larry and Geri.  We had a great Friday visiting and enjoying some fabulous meals.  Michael and I love to share our spot of paradise with family and friends.

Friday Mary Ellen and I drove to Big Timber for a birthday party—I hosted a little lunch gathering at the Grand for my dear friend Jill—Jeane and Nancy joined us—good times!  Back home the gang minus Mary Ellen and me decided to show Natural Bridge to Nancy and Fred.  While they were gone I started supper preparations—a sweet little baby showed up with her mom and I got to be Mimi for a while too.

DSCN1447Emmi was not impressed—that kid is in my toy box Mom!!


DSCN1458Lora Elizabeth—isn’t she adorable! 

Last night I used a Pioneer Woman recipe for oven BBQ chicken thighs—but I used drumsticks instead—the sauce is delicious!  I also baked that Starbucks knock off lemon cake—it’s good—maybe not as moist as the cake you buy at Starbucks but close.  Laci decided it was a keeper.

We were all out in the backyard—one of the only afternoon shady spots on this place—enjoying happy hour and some munchies.  I was going back and forth to the house finishing up the dinner preparations.  I had the asparagus in a pot with just about a half inch of water in the bottom—I turned on the burner and went back outside for what was obviously too long—have you ever smelled scorched asparagus??  UGH—sure did a number on one of my good pots!!

We will spend the day catching up with chores and hopefully some back of my eyelid examining!  The guys are cooking tonight—dinner at the Rib and Chop in Livingston!

Here are some photos from our girl’s trip to Yellowstone on Thursday:DSCN1419DSCN1395

DSCN1407Three young osprey in a nest on top of a pinnacle in the bottom of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  I am liking my Nikon with its 60x zoom more and more although it’s hard to hold steady with the zoom all the way out.

DSCN1410The red arrow in this photo shows where the nest was located.






Life is good with friends and family!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our RV Resort and Lodge


Yep, we are all set up for business!  My cousin Mary Ellen arrived Wednesday from Arkansas and she is the lodge part of the equation.Smile And later in the afternoon Fred and Nancy came driving up the driveway—it was so, so good to see them!!  They’ve been over in Helena visiting other North Ranch folks.  They joined Larry and Geri in the RV Resort section!

DSCN1363Mary Ellen and me

DSCN1361Part of the North Ranch gang, together again!

Geri and Larry spent the day in Billings retrieving ATV tires (success) and various other things.  We all gathered for a fabulous dinner last night—the brisket was to die for!!  DSCN1354DSCN1357Mary Ellen and I took a quick run up to Natural Bridge.

Michael is busy as usual, he spent the day installing a winch on an ATV for friends Claire and Robyn.  Seems it is summertime in Montana, we are all busy—going and coming.  I think we are in for a run of summer weather too after our little cold front blew through. 

The four ladies, Mary Ellen, Geri, Nancy and myself spent the day in Yellowstone Park along with a million other folks! I have some great photos but I’m too tired for any downloading tonight—tomorrow.  The guys went to Moccasin Lake on the ATVs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Good Day Until It Went A Little Flat

Oh, my goodness—what happened to summer!  Yesterday was coooool and rainy with a high temp of maybe 54 degrees!!  Breezy, rainy and cold!  Today dawned with a brisk temp of 44 degrees and lots of clouds.

In spite of the weather we were still determined to take an ATV ride with Sarge and Sarah.  We knew Larry and Geri would enjoy seeing the Mill Creek area—so Larry and Michael loaded all the machines into our long cargo trailer and off we went toward Livingston this morning—dressed as if for winter!  Coats, coveralls, ear flap caps, gloves, etc.!!!

IMG_2683Fresh snow on the mountains!

The trip started off great—lots of beautiful fresh snow capped mountains, good smelling evergreen trees, wildflowers, waterfalls—what more could we ask for!


And then it happened—the strangest thing!  Larry rode up behind us and said, “I’ve got a problem!”

IMG_2728Oh my!—I would say so!!  How in the world that stick got into Larry’s tire is anyone’s guess—a freak accident—the stick was over an inch in diameter and here we were miles from anything!  The guys worked hard (really hard) to patch the tire removing the tire from the rim, using a patch on the inside and re-inflating the tire with a compressor and hand pump.  But—no go, the patch wouldn’t hold, the hole was too big.  So, Larry rode the ATV with the partially inflated tire down the mountain and the tire never came off the rim—amazing!  We loaded up and headed toward home stopping in Livingston for burgers and milkshakes.



On the freeway between Livingston and Big Timber the truck began to shudder as if we had a flat tire—nope, the truck wasn’t running well—oh, wait—it wasn’t running at all!!  Older trucks such as the cowboy’s pride and joy 1997 have two fuel tanks.  There is a switch on the dash to switch between the two tanks.  The usual method is to switch tanks before you run out of diesel! SmileAnd, if you know diesels, when you run the engine out of fuel they are a bugger to get started again.  We had enough speed to coast off the freeway and into a gravel pit.  For some reason this truck happens to have a priming bulb—and with just a few squeezes of that bulb we were running again.

OK, quick, let’s head for home before the gremlins rear their heads again!!  We are home, unloaded and settled in for the night—tomorrow some of us are heading to Billings for new ATV tires and some of us are remaining at home to wait for our new guests. 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Good Sunday

Yesterday we braved going to Billings on a Saturday—I needed groceries—my produce supply was non-existent and we needed some other things too.  You see, we have company coming!

Larry and Geri have been wandering around in Minnesota, Canada, North and South Dakota this summer—we knew they had been visiting Canadian friends and that they were now back in the States.  Well, look who drove up our driveway today--

DSCN1351It was so good to see them—we enjoyed happy hour then a wonderful dinner of grilled tri-tip, smashed potatoes and Caesar salad with homemade chocolate ice cream for dessert.  Emmi was thrilled to see both Larry and Geri!  We’ve planned some ATV riding and just some visiting! 

Nat came for lunch and his son decided for once in his life he needed to ride an ATV—so off they went in the new Can Am.  I think Nat was impressed!

DSCN1350 Many years ago when my maternal grandmother was still alive and active, she and my Mom had come to visit in the winter time.  Grandma was about 85 at the time I think and we had tons of snow on the ground.  Mom and I went for a snowmobile ride and I then asked Grandma if she wanted to go—“oh, no, I better not.”  Well, when Mom and I came back from our ride, Grandma said, “do you think I could get on that machine?”  Well, she weighed less than 90 pounds at the time and I told her, “if you can’t get on, Michael and I will pick you up and put you on the machine.”  Well, Grandma got on the machine with me and I took her for a short little ride.  She was thrilled and was going home to tell all her cronies, “I rode a snow machine at the age of 85!” 

It was a very good Sunday!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Confession Time

In the blog posted last night I alluded to another story about our long way around trip to Cooke City.  Several readers noticed from the photos that we seemed to be in a different ATV.  Last winter while in Arizona the cowboy and I both began to have “roof envy.”  The side by side ATVs such as the Ranger or RZR usually have a roof protecting you from the sun to a degree.  I also envied the ladies riding in the passenger seat taking photos.  Riding my own ATV I would have to stop to take photos giving Larry plenty of time to lose me as he rode on ahead!! Smile

When we took the trip up Mill Creek we drove/rode Sarge’s RZR and liked it.  Someone else mentioned the Can Am side by side—for comfortable seats and power.  So—the cowboy had a mission—forking out the dollars for a new Can Am was not in his frugal nature and he spent many, many hours on Craigslist shopping.  We found one in Billings with 1600 miles, a 2013 but the guy wasn’t available to show it to us.  There was another one in Wright, WY—almost four hundred miles away from us!!  This Can Am was also a 2013 with only 600 miles on it and priced very right but didn’t I say it was FOUR HUNDRED miles away!! 

Well, Michael left the owner an email through Craigslist on Friday.  It wasn’t until Monday that the owner returned the email and said, yes, he would meet us halfway in Sheridan, WY.  We were to meet Sarge and company in Cooke City on Wednesday morning.  So—bright and early Tuesday with the truck camper loaded and trailer in tow we headed to Wyoming—the opposite direction from Cooke City.  After seeing the Can Am—we purchased it from the nice young man who met us halfway.  It’s in great shape and matches the jeep John Brown! Smile


Just after noon we were heading up and I do mean up Highway 14A out of Ranchester, WY.  DSCN1281YIKES!!  This was the sign on the downhill side but there was a matching one on the uphill side!!  We made it just fine—it was slow going but we had no problems.

DSCN1288DSCN1296Looking down on Big Horn Lake near Lovell, Wyoming.

OK, we crossed one mountain pass, now we would cross another from near Cody, WY to Cooke City, Montana.  When I lived in Powell, WY one of my favorite drives was the Chief Joseph Highway which leads through Sunlight Basin then either up the Beartooth Highway or on to Cooke City and Yellowstone National Park.  So—up we went again—the scenery along this highway is spectacular!

DSCN1299It was after 5:30pm when we arrived at our boondocking spot near Cooke City—you read the rest of the story in last nights’ post. 


IMG_2585IMG_2619Notice the jackets!