Thursday, April 26, 2018

Home on the range.

Well, Hailey and I have been home for about two weeks now, and have survived, so far!

After a lot of driving around a lot, smashing the snow banks, and spreading dirt to make the snow melt faster, we eventually created a bit of space to park.


IMG_99502_IMG_9939 (5)Inevitably, the weather reverted to winter and provided more to shovel! And fresh white snow does not melt very fast either!

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Lots of birds are back, with more arriving every day.  A pair of Mountain Bluebirds were checking out one of my bird houses. 


Strangely, the bird feeders have gone pretty much untouched.  There were a couple of juncos for a day or two, but they must have moved on and no other birds have discovered the free food yet.


First day out with the new UAV, and a skunk showed up, but was completely unconcerned with the thing flying 6 feet away!  Could be the same one I chased off with the garden hose last fall!


Went for a short drive west one day and happened on a small band of wild horses along the road.

IMG_4625IMG_4626DJI_0033DJI_0032DJI_0028After a few more good days of melting snow, I was finally able to pull the 5th wheel into the yard for it’s summer break.



The squirrels had apparently missed Hailey over the winter, and welcomed her back, risking their lives in the process.


Local rivers have been flooding, and ice jams forming under bridges, etc., so one of the local counties hired me to monitor the situation with photos and aerial video.  For now, most of the hazard has passed, – until the heavy snowpack in the mountains begins to melt!


The first bits of grass to green up are always in the sunny areas right around my house, and the deer take advantage of this every year.  Photos out the basement window!


As soon as I can melt the big pile of ice and snow in front of the truck camper, I’ll likely put it on the truck to facilitate inevitable summer travels.  Till then we’ll likely be pretty close to home, unless Forestry calls again and wants me to watch for fires.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Back home in the Great White North

We’ll start off with a couple of photos from Travertine Hot Springs, near Bridgeport, Ca.  High mountains across the valley were snow covered, but it was nice in the valley bottom, though it would dip below freezing at night.


As previously described, we headed  across northern California, hitting the coast a couple days later near Fortuna. We stopped for the night at our usual spot on a high cliff overlooking the ocean.  Fishing boats plied the waters at night with their high intensity spotlights.  In the morning, the waves and sand dunes provided some hunting opportunities for the rare coastal cougar.


Impatience got the upper hand, and before long we were back on the road north, following the coast of Oregon.


As usual, there was lots of construction happening along the coast route, where roads keep slumping down toward the ocean.



Another night was spent close to the surf, off Seven Devils road.

With the weather starting to deteriorate, we bailed on the coast route and headed over to I-5 at Eugene, and continued north to Portland. Along the way, a rest area provided the chance to use the rv dump.  Attempting to close the valve on the black tank resulted in the entire long handle coming off in my hand.  With the whole belly of the rig enclosed, there was no way to access the valve, which was now stuck wide open!  I guess that provided another reason not to waste time along the road!  Besides, it was almost time to winterize once again to prepare for the inevitably freezing temps ahead.


A couple of vultures were snacking on a roadkill along the road.


Through Portland there was a bit of stop and go driving, but things speeded up again when we headed east on I-84 along the south shore of the Columbia river.


After a night along the river at the John Day dam, we booted up through Spokane, Washington, then Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, making a run for the border.  Snow started to fill the roadside ditches in the bush approaching the border.  No hassles and a quick crossing, and we were back in Canada!  One more night with friends at St. Marys River B&B, and we were off for home.

Roads never really got poor, but there were some sections with packed snow and slush.


Things were a bit different at home, where I had not had the driveway plowed all winter.  Leaving the rig at a nearby plowed lot, we approached the driveway!

IMG_9919Snow was knee deep and of course my sandals weren’t of much use on the first approach.  Once inside, I found some snow boots and snowshoes, and used them to carry Hailey and the first load or two inside, while turning up the heat and turning the water back on.


After breaking through the icy ridge at the edge of the road, and taking many runs at the banks, we managed to get a bit of a trail broken in.  Snow was so deep that opening the doors hit the banks.  There were also some ugly ice layers hidden under the snow.IMG_9926IMG_9928

Decks front and back were covered with snow and ice, and the ‘summer camper’ also had a deep layer on top.


But despite the weather, it will be nice to relax for a while with unlimited water and power, and a big screen TV to watch the playoffs.  And the rig can be hooked to shore power for the first time since October.  Blogging will likely be even less frequent unless I get involved in something interesting, or get called back to work with Forestry.  I hope summer will arrive eventually, especially since ‘fire season’ officially started here almost 6 weeks ago!