Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brian and Meg and snow

Emily's sister Meg and her boyfriend Brian came to visit in October. They arrived just in time to enjoy the foot or so of the first snow of the season. We were fortunate enough to have some friends let us use their mountain cabin, at about 8000 feet. We had snow all night, and woke up to a sunny 40 degree's not often you get fluffy snow, sunny weather, and no wind here in Wyoming, we're still not sure what happended weather-wise that weekend, but we loved it!

We ate a lot of good food, competed in The Ultimate Competition (I can't remember who won), and had a great time. Thanks so much for making the trip out here, we loved hanging out!

Emily and Meg in full winter garb for fake winter.

Bighorn mountains (13,000) view from a 10 minute hike from the cabin!

Holt Hideaway treated us well...thank you Holt's!

South Fork of Clear Creek which ran right past the cabin...

Here's Emily and Brian demonstrating the main source of heat during our cabin stay! We had to open the windows...Brian how many pairs of socks are you wearing? Nice slippers!
Playing some Euchre, or smoking Meg and Brian in some Euchre!

Skunk and Bear

This blog entry is long past due...sorry guys. Bjorn and Erik came out for a "guys" trip while Emily was away visiting family in the south. We ended up doing a "tour de sheridan", fitting in everything from Tongue River caving, biking, hiking in shorts, camping in snow, baking an Italian feast, fishing, and I guess that's about it. Hope you guys had fun. Sorry about that snow...I should've checked the weather!

The caving was a blast, we were in the dark for about 2 hours, hiking and crawling through limestone caverns to an underground crystal-clear decent size river. Lots of fun, and I'm not sure where else a person can explore a cave without guides/maps etc...thank goodness for all the graffiti on the walls!

We took a trip up into the Bighorns, with the destination of some high glacial lakes that recieve little or no pressure during the short high altitude summer. The plan was to bike as far as possible--the wilderness boundary--then hike a few more miles to put us in striking distance for the next day...spending 2 nights before packing out. We picked up an extra bike for Skunk courtesy of Buffalo's cop shop...a beautiful wally-world special used in a recent hit and run. I cleaned it up for Skunk, but we didn't figure out that the seat was broken until we were about 10 miles into the 2 hour bike ride...sorry about that...we were wondering why he was going so slow on the way up....hope you can still have kids...if not, sorry Kiki.

After ditching the bikes, we hiked for a few hours, much to the Bear's dismay. He tried multiple times to set up camp and get situated for the night, he must have known that winter was fast approaching...we probably should have trusted his animal instinct, but we didn't. We woke up the next morning to about 3 inches of snow, with more heavy wet flakes falling. The clouds had rolled in, and at times you couldn't even see the trees 50 feet away. We decided to stay in our sleeping bags, play some cards, and relax until the clouds lifted...after 4 hours, we made the tough decision to call it quits and head back down the mountain. It was tough to do, but the hike was going to be more of a straight-up, straight-down scramble on ice and snow...we'll have to make another attempt at that one. After 7 hours we were back in town eating Mexican food.

Emily returned late Sunday, and we all day monday on the North Tongue, about an hour or so from Sheridan. It's a catch and release section for cutthroats, and everyone managed to catch a few fish, either legally or illegally (great work on the "channel squeeeze" team!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Glenn and Julie to the Rescue! has been a long, long time since we've had an entry here....that could either mean that we've burned out and don't have any work (life?) to report on, or, that we've been so busy that we haven't had any time to provide updates...

The second is true...between paid work, and work on the house (pay to work), we have been unusually busy for the past 2-3 months. The latest project has been working on remodeling the kitchen. This involved reconstructing the roof that was pushed in by a large pine tree that can probably be viewed in an entry back when we bought the house. The addition that encompasses the kitchen was completed in 1936, which we deduced from the hundreds of pages of newspaper that served as insulation. We found some bleached mice skulls during the demo of the interior kitchen, and after completing the demo, we were shocked that we hadn't been ill yet from living in that portion of the house.

Glenn and Julie arrived on the scene for a Thursday-Tuesday work weekend. We pretty much did just that, with some nice relaxing courtesy of some untimely precipitation.

Friday we knocked the roof off the top of the kitchen area, and began leveling the top wall portion…we ended up with one 2x4 on the south side of the wall, and 3.75 stacked 2x4s on the north side…so the old roof wasn’t exactly level. The new one now is, which unfortunately highlights the fact that the rest of our house is indeed, slightly uneven…Glenn wasn’t too happy about that one.

We finally have caved into the realities of winter approaching and fast. Two weeks ago we hired a local contractor to complete a set amount of work for us, just to be sure that we had things taken care of before the snow flew…it has been the best decision in the history of our house work, and could become addictive. I suppose the end bill will remind us why we “love” working on the house and why we diligently keep contractors at arm’s length. Although The Acklin Brother Construction has been good to us at 134 N Linden Ave.

On Saturday we were able to finish with the new roof beams, laid the plywood down, and got the tar paper in place…it started raining about 10 minutes after we finished this, and continued the rest of the day…impeccable timing. We called it a day, and celebrated our manual laborer’s birthday by taking Glenn and Julie out for dinner and a movie.

Sunday we put a skylight in after determining that the kitchen would be too dark, placed the rolled roofing, fixed the flashing, and leveled the floor…enjoy some pics from the weekend...

Get that roof off Glenn!

Looking good!

Notice Glenn's amusement with the 2-handed swing technique...

All dry and just in time!

That's a long board!

Cleaning frenzy inside the kitchen!

Like father like daughter?


As I type, we have the contractors finishing up the texturing...we plan to put flooring and cabinets in sometime before December, we will be using our oven and sink before Christmas!

Stay tuned for more pics, we'll try to keep them coming, but life has been too busy for consistency latley! Sorry! Glenn, I think you're the only one who reads this anyways though...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cloud Peak Trek

Well, we finally got up into the mountains this past weekend and crosses an item off the Must-Do list...hiking Cloud Peak. At 13,200 it was the highest that either of us had actually hiked. We compressed about 4 days of hikes into 2, and now that we're eating icecream on the couch at home, we're glad we did that. However, yesterday evening, during mile 26 of 27 over the 2 day adventure we weren't thinking it had been the best idea...

While hiking to the top of the Bighorns was nice, we both decided that we can have even more fun sticking to the valleys full of lakes and flowers...

If it wasn't so pretty, I probably would have been mind-numbingly frusturated that I didn't bring my flyrod along to save time Emily's solar-powered heat blanket will not be making the trip with us, andthe flyrod will....

On the way off of the peak, I had the bright idea to take an "alternate route" down...about 1800 vertical feet and 1.5 hours later we were at the bottom of the valley that had seemed ifinitely closer from the top of the 12,600 ft ridge. While it wasn't a true "short-cut", we did get to see 2 lakes that we wouldn't have normally, and instead of having a pretty tough downhill of boulder hopping, we had, well, a tough downhill of boulder hopping, but condensed the elevation loss into about 1/4 of the distance. I guess it added another 1.5 miles to the hike out though...I guess I really can't put any spin on it that makes it sound like it was the right decision....oh well.

Here's Emily during the "short-cut" decent. Julie, don't look...

Here's a shot from the summit.

This is day one decending to some beautiful lakes full of golden trout...

We had a great time.

House Update

We're slowly getting there....lot's of progress lately!

Nothing ever is really straight...that makes45 degree cuts lot's of fun...just don't look too closely!

New closets so we finally aren't stacking clothes on the floor anymore!

Even a that's living!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mid Summer Heat

Bjorn and Emily swimming in the Tongue River...

It has been quite a summer already, way too hot here in Sheridan, but we've heard that this has not been the typical summer that people are used to in this area...
Bj fishing

We were lucky enough to have several visitors out our way in July. Bjorn came out to work for the wonderful city of Buffalo for 3 weeks, while he was waiting to hear about his Peace Corp Application. He found out that he'll be leaving for The Gambia in western Africa on September 24th for 2 years of service. He's absolutley ecstatic about his placement, and can be seen on the streets of Buffalo riding garbage trucks and driving steamrollers, the whole time dreaming about mud-hut living and apiculture in The Gambia. In other news, Bjorn is also a Harry Potter nerd, and we really haven't talked with him since he picked up that latest book 2 days ago...we're hoping he shows back up before he leaves on thursday. We've had a great time with him out here, and feel like we have done a fair job introducing him to the real world of post-college graduates and reality...

Brit Em and Nat

Our next visitors were a couple of greenhorns from Arizona...2 of Emily's sisters, Natalie and Brittany showed up on our doorstep on a friday for a 4 day stay. We tried to fill every minute with the excitement of Sheridan, from the Rodeo the streetdance, to watching the 2007 World Champinoship of Butt-darts. We also spent some time hiking (Brittany thougth pointlessly:) in the mountains. They also took advantage of the state's largest free swimming pool in Buffalo to cool off. Unfortunately, the weekend was somewhat tamed down by Colin's gimpy poison ivy leg (see pictures). We saw a lot of poopsies, caught a few fish, and managed to avoid losing anyone to the bears…While Natalie enjoyed herself, we may never see Brittany in Wyoming again after she lost roughly half of her blood as a result of 53 mosquito bites…sorry Britt.

Poison Ivy!

Malcom, Cindy, Bj, Em, Colin

The last visitors we had out were Malcolm and Cindy, neighbors from Duluth who were out to enjoy the backpacking in the Bighorns. We ended up doing a pretty lengthy day hike with them up to 7 Brothers Lakes. It was a hot day and hiking mainly through a burn area didn’t do much to combat the heat. The scenery was great though, and the lakes did cool everyone off. I’m not sure about how Malcolm and Cindy felt the next day, but Bjorn, Emily and myself were absolutely exhausted…quite the hike.

Now things have calmed down a little out here…we’re still waiting to hear back from insurance on the big pine tree that punched through the kitchen ceiling a few weeks back…our house is still pretty chaotic, but we’ll be hitting it hard again in august. I will say that if we did live in Buffalo, we would probably get official notices from the city telling us to clean up the fire hazards in our yard, as well as the junk strewn about the yard…at least the inside is looking more normal!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Early Summer!!!

We've been having some wood floor difficulties lately, so decided to get out for a weekend and check out Crazy Woman Canyon just south of Buffalo. If you are ever out this way, it is well worth the side trip...huge limestone sidewalls with a road going alongside the pics of that here, so you'll have to see it yourself! Lots of lupine this time of year...

Thanks for the hammock Meg!!! Now, if I could just get Emily out of it so I can try it out...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spring Photos

The creek is rising with the past 4 days of rain/snow...and everything is turning green on the drive to Buffalo...