Monday, July 28, 2003 LOW 47.3 HIGH 96.
We’ve had quite a respite in the weather and with a high of 97 (no humidity) it is quite livable. After the last 3 weeks of in the 100’s it almost feels like fall. This last Friday & Saturday we got some much-needed rain. We had 2 showers of probably 1 or 2 tenths of an inch each. Not much but it sure made a difference. A ½ mile behind us up towards Indian Fork we got at least twice as much rain.
There was enough to make puddles and it washed the dust off of all the trees and bushes. I didn’t see any moose or deer this weekend, to speak of, I believe they’re enjoying the water as well as the cooler weather as well.
We got back from Lander, WY Thursday afternoon to our home sweet home at Tex Creek. So you want to know about our trip, how bad was it or how good was it? We did go to Lander and Ed & Alice weren’t there as they were in Oklahoma closing on a house. Ron & Karen did show up from Colorado so we went up to Thermopolis, WY. It is a place where they have hot springs and mineral pools. I picked out the RV Park called Fountain of Youth (I like to dream also). A very nice place where they have a very large pool 100 X 60 ft. With the temperature in the hot end of about 104 and the cooler end in the 90’s someplace.
When I got the trailer out of storage one of the landing gear (front leveling jacks) wouldn’t come up. They’re a rack and pinion style so they either work or they don’t. Upon further checking I found out that a gear wasn’t meshing correctly so that it wouldn’t raise the passenger side. By pulling a pin I was able to manually raise the culprit so that we could pull it safely down the road. It put a lot of strain on the left side jack and ultimately I twisted both of them while trying to get the truck hooked up (ah, minor inconveniences). When Walt & Sue showed up somehow we noticed that the roof had a dent down the side as if it was driven under a brace of some type. Upon further checking we had a matched pair, one on each side about 10 foot long. I immediately thought about the storage building and went back, only 2 miles, and found out there was nothing to hit the roof. Both sides took on the color of rusted metal. To this day I don’t know how it happened. With the landing gear goofed up I chose not to unhook the truck all weekend.
When we left Thermopolis we headed north towards Cody, WY. And cooler weather we thought. We left early in the morning to beat the hot sun as much as possible. We stayed in a pretty nice park in Cody and it was HOT & HUMID. During the night, actually early evening, the a/c quit working and it was quite warm all night. Our “Vantastic Fan” at least would pull some air in from the outside but it didn’t cool down very much that night. By 7 AM we were saying good by to Ron & Karen as they were going back to Colorado. And we headed westerly bound into Yellowstone Park. It was interesting in the hills as I toyed with Walt’s Suburban, about the time he thought he had me I’d step on it and leave him on the hills. He has a 27-ft “Terry” bumper pull trailer and it is a lot lighter. But, I have to admit his Chevy Suburban does do a good job.
I still can’t believe how clean the park is with all of the traffic there is on the roads. If only people would be that neat in the rest of the US. We came across a couple of road repair areas and one herd of buffalo that stopped the traffic. We saw a few elk, buffalo and one coyote and a few eagles. It was just too hot for man or beast to be out.
It was a pretty, as always, trip and we came out at the west entrance near Island Park, ID where we turned south. Further on Walt turned off at Rexburg and took the back roads home and we went into the town of Shelly for trailer repairs and estimates. Where we were able to unload our things and return to Tex Creek, by way of Ririe so we could get the mail and papers.
It was probably 6 PM and not a soul was around Tex Creek, not even a truck to do patrols with. We both settled down and I started reading newspapers, one article caught my attention. It said
“QUICK ACTION SAVES 13 YR. OLD FIRTH YOUTH“.
Old John is from Firth and teaches school there also. The article went on about how Dan Reeves and other Boy Scouts were swimming and had made a raft of logs. They couldn’t paddle the raft back to shore so they started swimming for shore. Some reason Dan yelled for help and when one of the boys reached him Dan, in his panic, pulled him down also. With the other 2 boys somehow they got the raft closer to where Dan was and then discovered he had gone down on the bottom, but they could see him. They went down & pulled him to the surface and got him on the raft (he was blue) and started CPR as quickly as possible. (I have to interject something here, I’ve got to stop and wipe the tears from my eyes as I write this, I’ve been where these boys were when Sally’s son Greg died). Meanwhile the rest of the scouts and leaders on shore were getting the raft in and etc. And one of the leaders was able to help his son with the resuscitation. They were able to get him breathing but he was still unconscious and not only that, their cell phones would not work in that area. A couple of boys ran the mile or so to a pickup and drove to where they found some campers and were able to get emergency help on the way. The sheriff’s dept brought in a stretcher & oxygen with a motorcycle and they were able to start the long trek out all the while waiting for the chopper which when it did show up was unable to land. All of this time, though unconscious, Dan was writhing and throwing himself about making it all the more difficult to carry him towards medical aid. It took five hours to reach the hospital from the time of the accident (remember all the hype about the golden hour?) He spent 3 nights in the hospital and 2 of them in ICU. And miracle of miracles NO Brain Damage!
I imagine by now you’ve figured out that this is Old John‘s (who works here) 13 yr. old boy. Not only that John was with them and fishing near by and knew nothing about this until he showed up about 30 minutes into the ordeal. As he says “it was a humbling experience” for him.
Last year we had a miracle here when Terry’s son shot himself accidentally in the chest with an air nailer. The nail just missed the sack that the heart is in and even with the breathing the sack was never punctured. If I remember right they could see the nail move as he was breathing. It to was a miracle and like on the TV Pax channel it is nice to hear of.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 Low 47.7 High 95.7
“Cain’t hadly beet” this waather, as they say back in the Carolina’s. It is so nice we have to find something different to talk about.
Dove banding is a good subject, I don’t know how long they’ve been doing this but maybe 2 or 3 weeks now and it is almost laughable. There has been a probably a ½ ton of grain bought and I don’t know how many traps but so far as of yesterday they’ve caught and banded only three (3) birds. Now they haven’t been doing it steadily as they picked up the traps when it was so hot but I bet they’ve got a hundred hours into it. Being a peon out here is sort of nice, I know nothing about birds other than, I like to eat chicken & turkey and I know one parakeet can make a awful mess in a cage, but of course I BELIEVE THAT I COULD DO BETTER! I sound like a truck driver now, as you know they’re experts on everything.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003 Low 48.4 High 101.7
I was hoping that we were all done with the red ink but it is still another beautiful day out here in the “WILDS” of Tex Creek and notice the temperature, is almost cold at night, nice.
Today I’m doing the envelopes for our next “mailing”, soon. For some of you this is the last one you’ll be getting. You people who haven’t communicated with us in the last 7 or 8 months you are hear by notified that this is it! Some of you like Jack, Jerry, John, Jim, Anji, Nels and some others will be taken off the list as we’ll moving on towards a different area and new adventures. We’ve tried, phone, personal notes and e-mail. The rest of you have communicated and it is very nice hearing from you, it only takes a postcard. And anybody that has voyager.com had better forget hearing from us; we’ve got 7 different people with it and 98% of the time it does not go through. That happens all over the US, not just this area.
We’ve been sending out resumes and it has been for a lot of different areas of the US for this winter, such as Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, & Nevada. We’d love to work in Michigan next summer but if we can’t I guess we can’t. We do have offers out in this neck of the woods but Sally has a 50th class reunion and you know how that goes.
Thursday, July 31, 2003 Low 48.2 High 101.3 As we’ve mentioned it is dry out here, very dry. Our Trail Creek Pond which is always good until Sept or Oct is dryer than a popcorn you know what! Cathy’s Pond is holding its own; in fact they’ve been taking 3 or 4,000 gals a day out of it. Terry says he has never seen it drop more than a foot in the almost 8 yrs he has been here.
Also today is the last day for Trent here on the WMA. He has taken a position with the Brucellosis project and will be helping in the study and prevention of the disease which is so rampant in the Bison herds and is becoming a problem in the elk population, which in turn can pass it on to the cattle (then they must be exterminated). We wish him the best and we’ll miss him to say the least. This year he has been the stabilizing factor in this operation. Sally made some lemon bars and brownies and after they ate their lunches they all came in for a dessert.
Still Thursday and it is 8:45 PM. I’ve just gotten back from checking on some cattle that I’ve had penned up since yesterday. They were all pushing against the fence and I couldn’t figure out why. NO WATER, tonight there is no water for them. Last year there was water there the first of Oct. This year it is dryer than the proverbial popcorn fart. Last night there was ample water and tonight none so I let them loose to go to the nearby water. That appears to me that we might be out of here come September unless it rains. If there is no rain there’ll be no game animals and no hunters and etc.
Saturday, August 2, 2003 Low 47.8 High 97.8
We’ve got humidity in the air maybe just maybe we’ve got rain on the way. Yesterday we had traffic on the WMA. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) showed up to have a work bee. I don’t think they’ve worked but they’re enjoying themselves. They have ATV’s, bows & arrows, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dogs, wives & children. We have a couple of motorhomes, 5th wheel trailers, a tent, and a couple others that are staying at juniper campgrounds 10 miles away. It is family orientated, which really makes it nice.
Some of the kids of about 4 yrs on up I took around the compound and let them climb on the tractors and etc. Also I took them to meet Julio, Shane’s horse. Somebody had cooked up sweet corn so we all fed Julio some husks. I don’t think he’d ever had any, as at first, he was a little tentative until his first taste. The kids really liked the Sno-Cat, probably because it is a bright yellow and all of them wanted to sit behind the wheel and pretend they were driving it.
The RMEF people blew a circuit breaker on the generator at headquarters, a couple times, and I had to take the cover off the generator and reset the breaker. The men, women and children had a ball at the shooting range trying to hit the clay pigeons and it was interesting to watch the young boys as they tried and did hit some of their targets. The people kept me busy doing odd things and I tried to oblige their requests.
Somebody tell Bob Robbins, he should have been here, one family had a 34ft toy hauler fifth wheel, and they had all kinds of toys but no “Goldwing” and yet they seemed happy.
Wednesday, August 6, 2003 Low 56 High 96.4
Well things are back to normal everything that can go wrong has here at Tex Creek. Our refrigerator quit working about Saturday and it being gas I really didn’t know too much about it, but I do now. When we pulled it away from the wall we found out that it would work with electricity also. After checking it the best I could I determined that it had either a pinched line or else the “thermocouple” was bad. But it did work on electricity so we just keep the generator on for lot longer times. Yesterday when we went into town Shane had me pick up 3 thermocouples and 3 flex gas lines. It seems when they were originally hooked up it was done with copper tubing and copper gets brittle with time and it kinks very easily.
Thinking I knew all there was to know I picked up universal thermocouples. Needless to say this refrigerator made in Sweden takes something special. I’m, hoping they’ll send me to Sweden to get the parts. In the meantime the refrigerator in building #2 also quit working, probably the same thing is wrong with it. All I know it is full of stuff and “Young John” is gone for the week and nobody will touch the stuff. He’ll have a stinking mess when he comes back and I’m sure there will be hell to pay. You know it would only take 10 minutes to throw it in the garbage but again this is bureaucratic BULL CRAP! I’ll have to go in there when nobody is around and do it anyway. I’ll worry about the consequences later as John will think I stole his odds and ends of food. Young John showed up to change the tires on his truck. He was told about the refrigerator but all he said was “I’ve got a $100.00 worth of food in there. He then left without doing anything about it. I went in and took all the milk, eggs, meat and thawed out stuff out of the freezer. I was going to clean the refrigerator and empty the garbage but Shane said emphatically NO!!!!!!!! John is going to do it when he gets back and he is going to do a good job. I’ll just have to wait and see what next week brings, Shane still believes in miracles.
Also I was trying to make signs with the router and the whole thing fell off the table and broke an ear off of the “Route-A-signer”. That is a contraption for holding the templates for making the signs. I’m thankful the router didn’t break but it might as well have as I’m at a standstill. The whole rout-a-sign sells for about $60.00 and they’re talking about having some commercial place do it now, governmental thinking again. I’m still waiting for map & info boxes from last year yet. Also for some 40 amp fuse holders and fuses or circuit breakers for the tractors when I put the hose reel on, last year. They’re on the list and he did bring me one fuse holder but it only had # 14 wire on it, which would burn out long before the 40-amp fuse would.
The weather has become a little unstable and we’ve been getting a few raindrops every once in awhile. We are do for a real “gully washer” soon.
Also yesterday Shane took his horse, Julio, over to Painted Porch Ranch to be with other horses and be able to run on the pasture. The poor animal has been cooped up in the corral here for days on end and getting very little to eat. I was told “there have been horses in our family for years and “he’s a tough old horse” when I mentioned he should have hay and fresh water in front of him most of the time.
Thursday, August 7, 2003 Low 52.7 High 97.1
Management, management, management, management those of you who have been self employed or even ran a business for somebody else knows that it is management. Here it is mint, mint, mint, mint such as money, and mint. Does the budget cover it do we have enough in this or that fund or else spend, spend, spend, we’ve got too much money let us buy something we really don’t need, but is expensive so that we can put on a show of sorts. And yet there might be help for them yet for example, thermocouples, I bought 3 and they will not fit the refrigerators, Craig bought 2 and 1 of those did not fit. Normally they throw them on a shelf somewhere because it is too much paper work, I was told, to show a return. I don’t understand it but that is the way it has been. Today Shane is returning the unused items for credit. Is that a sign of progress or do you think he has to learn the bureaucratic way? We’ll all have to wait and see.
Of the 2 thermocouples Craig brought one of them I managed to get set up so that it’ll stay in place and so far it has worked for 4 hours ON GAS! It seems so nice to be able to shut off the generator and still have a refrigerator. We have found out that they are metric but we haven’t even found a dealer that handles the SIBIR brand refrigerator. Later we were to find out that Sibir has gone out of business and the thermocouples are special order so that ends my plans for going to Sweden.
Friday, August 8, 2003 Low 50.8 High 97.9
Last night I went up on Meadow Creek to work on my fence project which is almost a fiasco. Every time I go to get something to work on the fence such as auger, post hole digger or whatever it is not here. I wanted the post holes digger and couldn’t find it. I did find an old one with broken handles. There was a pair of new handles right beside it that NOBODY had seen fit to put on with the date of purchase 2 yrs ago. Since I needed a digger I installed the new handles, probably took about an hour total. They’re not lightweight like our new ones but they won’t blow away in the wind either. After dinner about 6PM, I took Aimee and went to do my installation of new posts. The holes I augured out the other day were a snap. The new ones that I WAS going to dig by hand, not worth a tinker’s damn.
On the way home I was traveling at the high speed of 20 MPH when I saw 2 bull elk. The boys around here have been telling me about two BIG bulls and now I believe them. Either one would make a hunter proud to boast about. One of them had a 6 or 7 point on the right side and a 5 or 6 point on the left side. The left side was bowed out to the left quite a ways and the other bull had what looked to be asymmetrical pair of horns and had, I believe 5 or 6 points each. Each one was a mature animal and about the size of a large saddle horse each, what’s a couple hundred pounds on way or the other. It all happened so fast that when I got my wits together they were gone, again I didn’t get a picture. Further on about 200 yds Aimee & I watched a mule deer doe and fawn spring across the field. Over by the hay shed there was a white tail doe eating grass quite unconcerned about us. As we rounded the corner at Pipe Creek when I noticed something running along side my door and it was a pair of Mule deer bucks one a 2 X 3 and the other a 3 X 3. And Aimee was excited with those deer, she did her famous TX deer bark. All of that within 10 minutes and sometimes I don’t (quite often) see anything and I didn‘t get a picture.
Sunday, August 10, 2003 Low 50.8 High 103.9
Yesterday it reached a high of 96.8 degrees and today it is 103.9. It sure creates a thirst in a person which is hard to quench. Other than “Gatorade” the next best thing is lemonade. Of course we’re out of lemonade and it is funny how you crave something real bad when you’re out of it. Our generator for the well is acting up again and I’m having quite a time with it. Now the starter doesn’t want to quit working after the engine is running which in turn “pops” a crank limiting circuit breaker and then everything stops. Upon further checking I’m quite certain that it is the starter relay and I went into town and got a relay from the NAPA Dealer. When I get back Sally has all the containers filled with water so I can shut the generator off and let it cool down. The generator is at least 15 yrs. old, water cooled and 4 cylinder and the wiring is quite brittle as are the soldered connections on the printed circuit, so I want it to be cool enough so I can work comfortably and not jump from the heat and knock something else loose. Since we’re the only ones around I can let it cool right down and not rush right into it. When I do get around to fix it, it is cool to the touch and only takes me 15 minutes from start to finish, AND IT WORKS on automatic!
Monday, August 11, 2003 Low 65.2 High 101.8
Last night we ate dinner at Walt & Sue’s and when it had cooled down a little we all came back to Tex Creek where Walt & I shot some clay pigeons. It was interesting as I hadn’t done it in a very long time. It took me almost a box of shells to get back in the swing of things. Soon both of us were shooting and connecting on the doubles. We ran out of ammo & clay pigeons just at dusk and we had a very enjoyable time. This is our second season here and Walt’s third and the first time either one of us had done any practice wing shooting and we both needed it!
Something good happened today, the gas powered auger and chainsaw were returned.
Tonight after dinner I went up on Meadow Creek and augured some fence post holes. I’ve got about half of them done now and it shouldn’t take me too much longer to finish the project, ha ha, I hope, if it ever cools down it‘ll help considerably. It has been 30 yrs since I did fences and it is a lot harder today than it was then, if you know what I mean.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003 Low 66.6 High 99.7 Partly cloudy
Some of the good news is it didn’t reach a 100 today the other good news is my Aunt Gloria & Uncle Dick Lamy, from California will be here about Sunday. When I was a kid, about 11 yrs. Old we were quite close. They were both in college at Mich. State where he graduated as electrical engineer. I remember him talking about transistors replacing the vacuum tubes in radios and the new phenomena known as computers. I don’t remember what my Aunt Gloria specialized in other than music and Mr. Lamy. I remember her and her sisters played in the Oxford, Mi. High School Band and all 3 of them played in the band at MSU. Also Gloria did give us piano lessons and is an accomplished organ/piano player in her own right.
Also around the 27th of Aug. Merlin & Juanita Delo are coming to visit. I dearly respect the man and his devotion to God and his neat perspectives as a retired United Methodist Preacher. He will give us the spiritual uplifting that we both need. Along with their ready smiles and sense of humor.
Today is Old John’s last day and they usually have a luncheon to celebrate the work that has been done. Nothing has been said so we’re expecting the group after lunch so they can have some of Sally’s carrot cake. We ate about noon and cleared up the table and soon a couple of the guys showed up and said there is lunch over at headquarters. Sally was pissed that nobody told us anything about it and refused to go over at all. I went just to honor Old John (Reeves). Terry did show up and it was a nice gathering of sorts. After the gang left Terry, Shane & I had a heart to heart talk and got some things in the open.
A semi load of guzzlers, water collectors, came in and Sally & I invited the driver and wife in for dinner and to take showers or whatever. Don & Marissa were nice people and live in Elko, Nevada. We had a nice dinner & conversation and soon it was time for them to leave.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 Low 60.3 High 104.2 CLOUDY
It started out cloudy and then it cleared up and got HOT. The guys have been running around digging with the backhoe looking for a water leak. I’m staying out of it because I told them where I thought the leak was but Terry said I was wrong. Today on their umpteenth test hole they found the leak, right where I told them I thought it was and they had even invited me down to watch. The first time I’ve been right all summer. I promised that I wouldn’t rub it in but you know how it goes. Tomorrow we should be able to fix it quite easily when they bring out the new hydrant. If I remember right Terry figured we were leaking about 100 gals per hour. We’re quite sure that our last pond in front of the compound will almost dry up now.
Tonight we went to Walt & Sue’s for some more fish. Those rainbow and cutthroat are really good when they’re fresh. On the way home we saw one very large cow moose with a small calf and a smaller moose with a larger calf. With no natural enemies around they appear quite docile and are not afraid of vehicles. Now when you see an elk you can color them gone.
Thursday, August 14, 2003 Low 53.6 High 103.0
Boy this heat is putting everybody on edge, it’s to dark to start at 6 AM so we start at 7 AM and by 11:00 it is to hot for an old man. I usually come in and wait until late afternoon or early evening to finish up whatever needs to be done.
With the leak fixed it looks like the pond is drying up to me we’ll just have to wait and see but I believe the ducks better find a new home. I do know the well generator doesn’t run near as often or as much. Where it was off for 15 minutes to a half hour and then running for at least 15 min so that with water usage through the day when they were filling the sprayers and the 1000 gal tank the generator was average 10 hours per 24 hours. Last night until this morning at 8 AM. When I checked it again it had run only 7/10ths of an hour and that was a good 12 hours. It makes everybody, me included, feel so foolish to have let it go so long, not only for the lost water but the wear and tear on the pump and the generator and the amount of fuel used. And now all of their test holes have to be filled and fixed for mowing next year.
Sally & I went into the town Rigby so that Aimee could get trimmed groceries and a trimming for myself. We both got trimmed at the grocery store and my barber was closed until 2:30 PM. So Aimee is running around sporting a new very short hair do and mine hasn’t at all.
Showers, a good old shower after a hard days work or an eye opener in the morning we’ve all had and even needed more of them at times. We’ve been fortunate to have good water every place we’ve been the last couple of years and here is no exception. Did you know there is a difference after a shower in different areas of the US? In FL, TX, LA, AR, NC and other places in the south and eastern US you can take a shower and start to dry off with a clean towel and by the time you should be dry you’re wet and the towel is wet why, humidity? In Idaho where we are at when you come out of the shower and dry off, you dry off. What amazes me is when I put on a clean T-shirt it is hot just as if it came out of the dryer but it only came out of a drawer. When that happens you don’t even have to look at the thermometer to know that it is hot.
Friday, August 15, 2003 Low 66.3 High
It didn’t cool off much last night and by 6 AM I was out of here headed for Meadow Creek Campsites and my fence project. By 11:30 I was back to Tex Creek and thinking about shade as it was already 97. Sally went to town with Walt & Sue so I made a peanut butter sandwich with a couple of large glasses of ice tea with lots of lemon in it.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003 Low 39.8 High 88.7
When my Uncle Dick & Aunt Gloria Lamy called from California I asked them to send rain and cooler temperature and lo & behold they did. Rain, a little over a ½ in last Friday in 3 wonderful ground soaking showers which in turn brought lower temps and grateful people & animals. At long last the bushes and grasses have the dust washed off of them and have turned a richer color of green.
Dick and Gloria showed up Sunday with ready smiles & hugs and oh what a time we had as we showed them the local sights in the surrounding 50 miles, as we reminisced and looked at the wildlife & fauna. One of the things Dick talked about was him fighting forest fires in 1949. We even went to Soda Springs the back way using forest service trails and looking at the beautiful scenery. We stopped and talked to 2 cowboys that were looking for errant cattle and pushing them back towards their rightful pasture. They had 5 dogs with them and they even tried to give us one as it wouldn’t work cattle but loved to hunt birds. In Soda Springs we had a good lunch at the old refurbished hotel right next to the soda water geyser. I even got my hair cut across the street and Dick was showing the barber (female) pictures he’d taken of the cowboys. She was a lot more interested in those cowboys than she was my hair. Also my Aunt had and made some copies of some family genealogy for me to read. It is interesting to read about one’s ancestors now an then. It is wonderful to reminisce about what has happened to us all in the last 50 years and we came to the conclusion the worst thing was growing old.
Sally at the Tex Creek Gate
This morning they left for Regina, Sask. to visit a cousin. Whether they get to travel through the National Parks or not will remain to be seen, as it is hard to check on the latest forest fire conditions. And just ahead of rains that were coming tonight.
Friday, August 22, 2003 Low 48.1 High 88.7 Cloudy and blessed rain.
Yesterday Kelly Dance showed up to trail his 50 cows toward their pasture just off of our S. Branch of Meadow Creek. He said the fence was down and had never been put back up by WMA since he leased the pasture 3 yrs ago. He showed me and he was right, the fence is down. The WMA likes to have fences that they can lay down in the winter so the elk can travel less hindered. Since nobody leased the pasture from the forest service the last two years the fence was never put back up.
This morning I left early, about 6:30 AM to go start working on the fence. What a mess as cattle, elk, moose and deer have all trampled the fence and where it laid down in the bitter brush and sage brush have grown around it and over it. Every other post is what is called a “dancer”. It just sort of supports the wire and is actually just a fake post. All of the dancers that I saw today were rough cut 2 X 2’s and in quite bad shape from dry rot. The metal fence posts have clips that support the wire so it can be used in the summer for pasture. I probably got just about ¾’s of a mile done in 4 hours. It is one tough job digging out the barbed wire from under the brush and restringing it in the right order so the top is on top and etc. Some of the wire was broke and some of it was even cut and had to be spliced and stretched. About 11:30 I picked up my tools put them on the ATV and headed back for the truck, I was one whipped puppy and very worried if I‘d done all that work for naught (and it was). This is very hilly terrain and I’m not used to traveling up and over the brush let alone the hills. I loaded the ATV on the trailer and called headquarters to tell them the problem. I got a hold of Shane and he proceeded to tell me the only reason the cows came into the WMA was because they were hungry. I tried to tell him the food was the same on both sides of the downed fence and that cows will move if there isn’t any fence, but to no avail. He’ll probably go quite aways up the ladder in the Idaho Fish & Game Dept because of his attitude, that it is always somebody else’s fault. I ended up telling him I didn’t call to argue just that I could use some help on the 2, 3 or 4 miles of fencing in that pasture. He said he would look Monday and then make up his mind so I figure he can put it where the sun doesn‘t shine, if you know what I mean.
Monday, August 25, 2003 Low 44.4 High 91.6
Well it is Monday and a beautiful day clear and feeling rather refreshing after the hot spell, but I love to feel refreshed. The weekend was great after our ½ inch of rain Saturday. Our storms are fantastic light shows from the heavens with lightning in blue, white and orange coloration’s. Each color is deadly and nobody has been able to tell me why the color differences.
The 7D cows on the WMA lands and I send them back up the canyon towards their summer home.
Shane showed up this AM was all nicey nice and like me could not figure out the lease on the map. It shows a section of BLM land right in the middle of WMA just about where the cows are at. It shows it to be about 50 acres and he said that the BLM usually leases out only 750 acres plots unless it adjoins the lease’s land. He said he was going to have to ask somebody about it and I said that was about all I was asking except for help on Friday. He didn’t even ask me if I would help if he finds out we’ve got put it up. I think he knew to leave well enough alone. He did say they were hurting for help now that Craig is back in school 2 or 3 days a week and John is off in Oklahoma doing something so he & I are the only ones around, and I let him know I’m busy on my own fence project.
In fact I was out there this morn at 7 AM and unloaded the ATV unhooked the trailer from the truck and hooked it up to the ATV. I then loaded all of the tools into the trailer such as, gas auger, chainsaw, post hole digger, a tamper, DeWalt 18 volt set of saws, hammer, fence pliers, staples, water and even a couple of extra fence posts and went across the creek where I discovered I had a flat tire on the ATV. So back I went unloaded the trailer and put it all back into the truck hooked the trailer to the truck and loaded the ATV into the trailer and came back to the shop and took off the wheel and tire and found out it just had a low pressure bead leak. So I put air into it and put the tire back on the ATV and reloaded it on the trailer and went back to my project. By then it was 10:30 AM and into the 80 degree mark already. So I just set a few posts into holes that I’d augured the other day and tamped the dirt into them. By then it was up into the low 80’s and I decided to come back to HDQTR’s. I now carry in a Igloo © thermos about 3 gallons of water and a quart bottle of water that I put into the freezer the night before. It is pretty easy to go through 1 or 2 qts. of water in the morning and even more in the afternoon.
Thursday, August 28, 2003 Nice cool at night and 80’s to 90’s during day.
It has been interesting this week as Merlin & Juanita Delo our friends from Michigan showed up Monday. It is so nice to have more people show up and we can show or tell them what little we know about the area. Merlin helped me on Tuesday with the fence and with the 2 of us working it went along quite well as we moaned, groaned, laughed and even cried when I dropped a piece of re-rod straight down on my big toe.
Also we’ve been listening to Shane as he is trying to figure out what the deal is with the trespassing cows. He thinks the rancher is dropping the fence and letting the cows come through and then putting the fence back up. That way the rancher says, I don’t know where they’re coming across at.
I’ve taken the Delo’s on patrol and we’ve seen everything except elk and mountain lions. Yesterday we went to Soda Springs with the Delo’s up over the mountains on the Forest Service Roads and even talked to a young man who was checking on the 3 bands of sheep in the area. They are moving the animals out of the high country ready to move them into their winter quarters. He was able to answer some of our questions and it was an interesting 15 minutes. Again we had an enjoyable lunch at the hotel where we could also watch the soda water geyser.
Today Merlin had the experience again of working a fence. My fence project, I’ve found out, is a difficult one in that we are trying to repair, decently, the existing fence which is woven wire sheep fence with 2 strands of barbed wire on top for cattle and probably 60 yrs. old. The corner and gateposts are all railroad ties in good shape, except one. That one particular post was broken off at ground level (dry rot) and held upright by a configuration of barbed wire, metal fence posts and prayer. We took 5 wooden posts and put them into the ground in a ¼ circle to make the corner and then tied them together with bracing horizontal as well as braces to the ground at a 45 degree angle. It is really hard to set posts because the ground is so dry. The lava soil is almost like be-be’s and doesn’t want to pack at all. We’re using a “tamper” ( a long heavy rod with a flat round tamper and an ice spud on the other end) to try and pack the dirt around the posts. The contraption probably weighs 10 or 15 pounds and will do a great job “if” you’re man enough for the job. We both now know that what we were doing is a young man’s job. It is not the work for 2 old farts. I really enjoyed working with Merlin as he is old enough to have common sense and young enough to remember (most of the time) how to do it. We laughed a lot as we sweated our way around the corner and back towards the road. I’d made quite a path on the many trips in and out of the area and I needed to put up an obstruction to stop people with ATV’s from going out in the fields where we’d been going. I fired up the auger which is powered with a chainsaw motor and started to drill a hole on the edge of the creek. I had to drill through and/or around flat slabs of rock for the first foot or so. The auger of course is made for dirt not rocks and as it went around the rocks quite well. BUT!, when I hit the gas the auger picked up to full speed and then stopped RIGHT NOW!!!! What a body numbing sensation as I staggered around there waiting for the pain to start. That happened twice and it is the next day now and I am really sore all over. After I quit crying and we got the holes cleaned out we then put in 2 posts and then laid a 20 foot corral post across the top and nailed them down. The following is a list of the tools we had to carry with us.
Post hole digger, chainsaw, 3 pd hammer, claw hammer, 2 pr. fence pliers, gas auger, shovel, smooth wire, barbed wire, tamper, staples, rerod (for tightening wire crosses), nails, wire clips, extra posts (wood & steel) and our ever precious bottles of water and a sense of humor as we struggled over and around the foot tangling sage brush. I don’t know about Merlin but, except for the pain, I slept quite well.
Friday, August 29, 2003 Low 43.9 High 55.3 Cloudy and almost rain.
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, more conversation and prayer, the Delo’s left for Kalispell, Montana and their friends. What a wonderful 3 days we had and they were leaving just in time as the rain was coming in. Not a lot of moisture but just enough to make the road a little slippery.
Saturday, August 30, 2003 Low 40’s High 60’s
It’s a good thing Merlin & I got the fence fixed so that it would at least hold horses because today is the start of moose, elk & deer season and bird hunting starts the first. I knew hunting was around the corner but I didn’t know it was at the front door. The same moose ( I think) that Uncle Dick & I saw up on Meadow Creek was harvested this morning by a young man who said “what a birthday present!” He shot it early this morning and it was about 5 PM before they got him out. He was thankful for his 3 hunting partners and when I saw them they were all setting under a tree trying to recoup their strength.
Also I’ve got cows where they don’t belong and it looks like they’ll be there all weekend. I’ve tried to sell them and give them away but out here nobody wants anything to do with rustling cattle. The next week or so should be interesting as we see what Idaho Fish & Game will do to Mr. Dance and the way he has been letting the cattle trespass on the WMA. Supposedly there is a cowboy that was going to move the critters today. But, knowing the cowboy, Jerry Wadley, he is probably out drunk somewhere and could care less about his job.
Sunday, August 31, 2003 Low 40’s High 86.3We been thinking about the last 2 weeks and the company we’ve had and the good times, laughs & tears and just plain fellowship. The world keeps moving on even while we are remembering and we want you all to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Darrell, Sally & Aimee (Dawg)