Jul 31, 2013

Spectacular Weekend

This weekend I did something that wasn't even on my bucket list, but I added it and crossed it off.  Meg had the ability to stay at a work bunkhouse on Mystic Lake, just on the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Montana.  
Getting to this little "cabin" included the bonus of riding a tram up a STEEP hill, and then getting onto a little miner-type train along the mountain.  The cabin and tram were there for power company employees to work on the hydroelectric dam, and since it wasn't being used this weekend we were able to check it out. 
At the power station, loading up gear with our new pal Marvin.  We thought we might have to hike in, so we prepared our backpacks just in case.

Of course, you can't tell how steep it was.

Top of the first tram ride.  We jumped off and got onto another little train car.

Jen and I feeling pretty lucky.

The pipe carries water over and straight down toward the power generator building.  The force of the water going straight down helps spin the giant generators.

The little dam on Mystic Lake. Our cabin was to the right. 

We went for an afternoon hike to "earn our dinner."

Happy Birthday Meg!  Fruit and brownie batter fondue.

The little bunkhouse we stayed in.  Better than camping out, especially since it was windy and rainy in the evening.

The water pipe and also route the tram took along the mountainside

We decided to hike the 3.5 miles out in the morning.  It was 99% downhill--pretty easy but rocky!

Special treat towards the bottom--huckleberries!  I tried to overindulge without holding everyone up.

Jul 23, 2013

Porcupine falls with friends

Last weekend we were lucky enough to have friends come visit, and we busted out of the desert to hit the mountains.  It was 20 degrees cooler up there, and we needed to try out our new camper.  PLUS, Cash had never been camping so we wanted to break him into this outdoorsy lifestyle of ours.
We hiked to Porcupine Falls, which was a steep trail down, and just as steep back up.

The waterfall is very impressive, especially when the most water we are used to seeing is in the form of murky mud flowing through the irrigation ditch.

Dogs make quick friends

It was like a beach party with a lot of hikers staying awhile to cool off and dip their feet in the water

We had to watch some people cliff-dive

Tyler and Eliza

Dan decided to test the water

Sad to hike back up the hill

Dear Nature, I love you

Jul 16, 2013

Boat Ride and Fishing Day

We went out on Bighorn Canyon Lake last week, and it was breezy but not busy.  This could be the last time in this ol' boat since Shawn bought a new one and will be selling this one.

Kids Fishing Day is always pretty fun, and we can now add a Wyoming fishing day to the list.  I have been to so many over the years...PA, Ohio, Michigan, South Dakota, Montana...
This moose would NOT leave the pond!  It insisted on feeding the entire time, and charged the banks a few times but never bothered any humans.

Hot Dog BBQ for lunch was a hit with the kiddos

Jul 14, 2013

Hiking at our favorite oasis

This week, I took mom and dad to the Five Springs campground/picnic area which is not too far from our house.  We needed to get out of the heat and have some time in the woods.  
The little trail was perfect for stretching our legs.  I find that I am happiest when some of my days are spent near streams and trees, and of course showing the boys flowers and bugs.

Just before mom and I dunked our heads in the water.  It was FRIGID

We drove further up into the Bighorns and walked another little road.