February, 2003 Progress Report

Be sure to respect the Guardian Spirit.

Pauline had to work, but Gary, Kendal and AV took advantage of winter break week to go to Bozeman for some skiing and snowshoeing, as well as for meetings with the contractor, architect and engineer who will help define and build Bridger Canyon Lodge.

We stayed at Howlers Inn, which features a wolf pack howling you to sleep just outside your window. Of course, we felt compelled to watch Never Cry Wolf one evening during our stay.

Gary and Kendal showshoed around the property Wednesday. Below is a picture of Kendal approaching the Carriage House site, about 1/2 mile up the "driveway". If you look very carefully, you can see an elk (wapiti) ahead and to the right near the trees. This was a straggler from a herd that we kept coming across as we hiked about. Just in case you can't make out the elk, a telephoto shot of another straggler is included, or click here to see a larger version of the photo with Kendal. Most of the tracks through the snow in both pictures are from the elk and from some mule deer that hang around the property.

That evening, returning from dinner in Bozeman, a bull elk jumped the fence off our property onto the highway and we had to brake hard to avoid hitting him! Kendal claims we stopped 5 feet short of the elk, Gary says it was more like 20 feet. In any case, he was BIG. On two other occasions, we had to hit the brakes for elk while driving between Bozeman and the Howlers Inn.

Gary returned to the property on Thursday with Kevin Click (building contractor), Dave Crawford (engineer) and Van Bryan (architect) to review and finalize building sites and road issues. Below, Van and Kevin stand at the Main House site, now marked with a pink flag (just to the left of Van's knee, behind the ski pole). Meanwhile, Kevin's dog Cedar tries to entice Van's dog Scout with a stick. We wished that Neko could have joined us.

This site is not visible from the "highway", and is not easily seen from other vantage points.

In the picture below, Dave and Kevin walk down a possible route for the road that will pass the Carriage House and switch back to climb to the Main House. The Carriage House site is at the left middle of the picture. Dave and Kevin are approximately where the herd of elk were when Kendal and Gary spotted them in the first picture.

Finally, in the picture below, Kevin pulls a tape to measure the "footprint" of the Carriage House to help get some idea of placement and orientation.

AV skied four days, while Gary and Kendal only got in two days. Bridger Bowl is rather small compared to Squaw Valley, but the runs are generally more difficult than most areas. The snow was excellent by the Sierra standards we are accustomed to, but perhaps a bit heavy by Montana standards.