Sunday, August 29, 2010

A weekend at the Divide!

Clint got back from his trip with Brock on Wednesday...  So, we spent 2 nights together and then I got up at about 2:30 am on Friday morning and headed to the County to surprise my Dad for his birthday.  The trip took about 13 hours, but the kids were pretty good.  Dane was outstanding, but Kimber was a little cranky with the whole thing.
We got there about 3:30 pm and hid my car in the shop so when Dad pulled up he wouldn't know we were there.  Well, with a few antics and a lot of help from Marsha, we totally pulled it off and he was SO SURPRISED!  He had no clue that we were coming. 
This is the area that I grew up so it is super fun for me to go home.  So many good memories.  I just wish Clint could have come!  But, definitely next time!

Anyway, the first night that we were there, Dad (aka Gramps) promptly cemented his place as Dane's favorite for the weekend by taking him on a ride on his motorcycle!  He also showed him his back-hoe, but Dane was a little intimidated by it...  so much bigger than his toy!  Anyway, here are Dane and Dad taking a little ride.  By the way, I spent many hours in the same position that Dane is in.  We lived out there (in a different house) when I was a kid and Dad would take us back and forth to town like that.  One kid in front, one kid in back!

Marsha has this feeder outside of her kitchen and I loved watching the hummingbirds come in to eat!  Pretty cool!
Marsha and Kimber getting a little cuddle time!

Saturday Marsha had a bar-b-que for Dad and a bunch of their friends came.  It was fun and really great to meet everyone. 
Then on Sunday, we resumed our "boy" stuff and Dane got to have some great "tractor" time.  First, they tried to get him in the bucket before I got outside and he said "no way Jose"...  but, once I got out there and showed him it was okay, he let Gramps hold him and go up and down!

Dane's mot entirely sure that this is actually fun...

But then Dad let Dane drive the back-hoe and then he was hooked.  Dane thought it was the coolest ever!

Moving the bucket up and down!

When we went down to pick huckleberries, Dad let Dane drive all the way.  He said they had some steering issues, but I think that is to be expected! 

Here are Marsha and Dane looking for some huckleberries...  YUM!
While we were there Marsha made some delicious huckleberry syrup and french toast, and then made us yummy muffins for the drive home.  We were pretty spoiled.
After a wonderful weekend, we made the drive home on Monday and got back after only 12 hours on the road!  Clint had left early that morning for Missoula.  He had to attend a training for work and was gone until Friday night.  I left early Tuesday morning for a conference in Helena.  I had to stay the night so Dane stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.  (he had such a good time that he has told me several times that he wants Grandma and Grandpa...)  My job is pretty awesome and I actually took Kimber with me to the training, so that was really nice.  We obviously have had a very busy couple weeks.  Now we are all safely back home and don't have any big traveling plans for at least a couple weeks! 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clint and Brock's scouting trip!

I know we are a bit behind on our posting...  so I am going to work on catching everyone up!
Almost 2 weeks ago, Clint and Brock went up to the cabin for a weekend scouting trip. 
Brock drew a Bighorn Sheep Ewe Permit so they wanted to go and take a look to see if they could find any sheep.  They hiked up to the top of the ridge to get a good vantage point and here is Brock enjoying the view!

The views from up there are outstanding!

They found this really cool lizard


All in all I think they had a really great time.  They got to do some shooting, scouting, and just have fun doing guy stuff!!!  Unfortunately, there weren't any sheep around, but I'm sure they will find some when the time comes!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Miss Kimber

For those of you looking for a baby fix...  Here are some pictures of Kimber.  She is growing like crazy and starting to get a cute little personality!!!

Okay, her cheeks look even chubbier here, but she is our little chubby bunny!!! 

When she falls asleep in the carrier, and then we take her off, she lays there in pretty much the same position as she was in...  Then she will sleep like that for a while!

I couldn't get Dane to look at me...  but this morning she was fussing a little and first he gives her the binky...  then when she kept fussing he covered her with HIS LOVEY and then he laid his head on her and kept reaching up and stroking her head...  oh my gosh that just melts mama's heart!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 2 - backpacking

Don't start here!!!  Day 1 is below and that is where the story begins. 
These blogs always confuse me, how I should write my stories and where I should put my captions.

The next morning we woke up to a decent day.  Not sunny and warm, but it wasn't currently raining.  Overnight several storms rolled through with lightening and rain, but we stayed pretty nice and toasty in our tent!  I got up and went down to get our stuff out of the tree.  Clint talked me into making the meal from the night before for breakfast.  (it was tough boiling that water and dumping it into the bag, but I resisted...)  I must admit, it was delicious.  Then we hung miscellaneous items above the burner to try to dry them out a little.  My hubby is so spoiled though...  he actually got breakfast in bed.  Not exactly steak and eggs, but Mountain House makes a good meal.  His pants were worse off than mine, so we tried to dry them out a little before he got up. 

Home sweet home!

Then while I gathered up our stuff and got it semi organized, Clint went a did a little glassing to see if he could find any goats.  Because he is awesome, he actually did find 3 on a Mountain way far away.  Woo-hoo!  Goats!!!!  You can just make out the white dots in the red circle below.  Those are the goats!

This lifted our spirits immensely.  The night before wasn't good for glassing and we were really bummed.  So, actually seeing goats made us super happy!
On the hike out we stopped and took some pictures of the basin...  You come over this ridge and it's all in front of you...  beautiful!

On this picture I put some arrows to show different things...  They didn't turn out very visible, but the red arrow was camp, the turquoise arrow was where we got stuck in the storm, and the purple arrow is where we climbed up the ridge. 

Clint said we looked kind of like the Klampets with all of our gear strapped on the pack frames...  I think we look like trained professionals.  Here are Kimber and I ready to hike out.

Wild onions
Indian Paintbrush...  a flower for Lisa :)
Isn't it incredible?!?!?

We ran into a few bear tracks on the way in and out.  Clint was pretty sure they were all black-bear.  Besides that we really didn't see much sign besides some scat.  We did however see a really nice bull moose!  He was running away though, so no pictures!

Of course on the way out it started storming again.  We made really good time and this was about a mile from the trailhead.  The trail was a muddy slimy mess.  Luckily, the last mile was on a road that had been washed out, so it wasn't nearly as muddy. 

We got back to the truck about 2:30 pm and jumped in for the drive home.  Carrie had taken Dane home from daycare so we had to get home and pick him up.  Dane not only had an incredible time with Grandma and Grandpa, but he also got to hang out with Carrie, Brock and Mark.  (thanks guys!)  I'm not even sure he missed us!  (okay, I think he may have a little, I know I really missed him!)

We had a great time and feel like we have a better idea of what to expect.  We are taking a trip the end of September to see if Clint can get his goat, so wish us luck!  I do know that we need rain gear and warm clothes, cause the weather is crazy up there!!!

Day 1 - backpacking

I'm going to use Lisa's idea for blogging about our trip and do it separately for each day...  so here is day 1!
Last Saturday, Clint got off at 3 pm.  We had most of the gear gathered up, so we just spent a few hours with Dane.  Then about 5:30pm we took Dane over to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Sadly, he didn't get to go on this trip.  His weight makes him hard to take on a long backpacking trip like this one, and we really needed to get back into Clint's area and take a look around.  Dane was excited to see them and it was so nice of them to take him for the 2 nights!  (Thanks again!)
We came home, finished getting our gear ready and went to bed.  We then got up at 1 am and loaded up for the drive.  Fast forward to 7 am and we are headed up the trail to Hilgard Basin!  What a hike that was!!!  It's about 9 miles and it's just a nice steady climb.  Clint and I both had camping gear and then I wore Kimber in a front-pack.  The views were outstanding, it makes it worth the work to get back there!  I'm sorry, I'm probably going to overdo it with scenery pictures, but it was just incredible!
This was on the hike in, looking back down the trail.
Looking up the trail...  we are headed off to the left in this picture.  It's only about another mile to the Basin that we are headed to.

We stopped in this meadow for a while, filled up our water and took some pictures.  Clint also realized that there were wild onions all over and took the opportunity to pick some. 
Here you can see Clint using our water purifier to fill up our water.  Although a lot of the springs are probably fine to drink from, we didn't want to take any chances.  Especially with me nursing Kimber, Giardia could really be bad!!!  The purifier worked great and actually was pretty quick and easy to use.  (especially for me, since I don't think I did it once...  Clint spoiled me and always filled our water!)
By about 2 pm we had found a spot to camp in the Basin and had set up our tent.  My hubby, in his infinite wisdom assured me that the tent would be fine even if it wasn't staked down.  Although this concerned me a little, he finally said "okay, we will put some rocks in it".  He was further exasperated by my insistence that we pack our jackets and the emergency ponchos.  It was sunny and about 75 degrees.  I know, I am a pain...  but sometimes it pays to be prepared.  (by the way, my new job title is Emergency Preparedness Planner...  very appropriate!! lol)

After we left camp and were hiking up to a ridge line to get a good vantage point.  As you can see, goats could be anywhere!  Here Kimber and I are looking for them.  (okay, Kimber is sleeping soundly, but I'm looking)
The wildflowers were everywhere and so pretty.

This is Echo Mountain and the ridge line to the right is where we are headed.  This was a beautiful little lake...  you can't really see the incredible colors in this picture.  I would also like to point out the ominous clouds.

After stopping here for a moment we head off towards the ridge.  I started getting nervous about the approaching thunderstorm, but it is just going over us at this point and we aren't sure what is behind the mountain.  (so of course, we keep going!)  All the sudden the wind picks up and is blowing really hard up towards the ridge.  We look up and dark grey clouds are literally rolling over the ridge.  At that point we pull out the jackets and emergency ponchos  (way to be prepared!!!) and hunker down beside a big boulder.  It was the best we could do for shelter, cause as you can see there isn't really any.  Then it proceeded to hail and rain and blow.  Not to mention the thunder that was so loud you could almost feel it.  I must admit, I was a little spooked at this point.  Clint has Bones on his lap and is trying to shelter him with the poncho and I have Kimber.  After what seemed like forever, the hail/rain/wind pretty much stopped for a few minutes...
This is what it looked like then.  Yes, you  are looking at the same ridge line, we are just a little higher up.  Notice that you can't even see Echo Mountain anymore.

You can't really see it, but I'm giving Clint a thumbs up in this picture!  (okay, I wasn't really feeling it, but he prompted me!)  Kimber is still zipped in my jacket cause it was chilly and sprinkling.

After we hiked up the ridge (I stopped about 20 yards from the top, almost unheard of for a Hauptmann/Houston, but I knew the wind would be blowing hard on top and Kimber needed to eat, so I stopped and waited for Clint)  He couldn't see a whole lot from where we peeked over, so he quickly came back and we started making our way back down.  Of course it started raining steadily on the way back so we pulled the ponchos out again and put them on.  They kept our upper halves pretty dry, but we both had pretty wet pants by the time we got back to the tent. 
Well, remember Clint telling me the tent would be "fine" even if he didn't stake it down...  well, it wasn't exactly fine.  Luckily the rocks stopped it from rolling completely away, but it had traveled a little ways and was door up with a bunch of hail piled on the door.  Needless to say, the rain fly is kind of useless when your tent is at this angle.  :)  But, we quickly found a new spot, got the tent righted and Clint tied it down really well.  Then we all (including Bones, the wet dog) piled into the tent at about 6 :30 pm and ate pbj and granola bars for dinner.  YUM!  :) 
Kimber did pretty well overnight.  She fussed a little bit until I finally got brave and put on my cold wet pants and made the 200 yard dash to the gripe water.  (it was hanging in the bear proof tree 200 yards from our tent, Clint offered but he had already gone once to get the dogs food and our delicious dinner)  Then she settled right down and enjoyed a nice night taking up 3/4 of the mummy bag.  (okay, maybe not quite that much!)
Here is the princess... 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!!!

This is going to be a super fast post with lots of pictures!  We are going like crazy but are having a wonderful time.  I started back to work last week and it was great.  I enjoy my job/co-workers and Kimber did wonderful at daycare.  It really helped only going the three days.  I will fill everyone in more on that later.  We did realize how busy things will be, but I think we are up for the challenge! 

Last Saturday Dane, Kimber, and I went to the fair...  Clint was working some overtime, but actually was working at the Fair, so we did get to see him briefly. 

Dane loved the petting zoo... 

We were watching the carousal for a while and Dane told me he wanted to ride...  so here he is!
I couldn't get a very good picture, but he had a great time!
Then on Sunday we got up and went fishing.  (Clint only had 3 hours of sleep...  what a rock star!)
Amazingly, he landed this pike on mono leader.  Crazy!  They have super sharp teeth and usually you only use wire leader.  This was also a pretty nice fish for the area!  Nice work honey!!!
Letting it go!

Then Clint made Dane the cutest bow and arrow.  They shot it in the back yard and Dane thought he was hot stuff!!! 
This weekend we are doing an overnight backpacking trip.  I will post pictures and details when we get home!