October, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Again
(sincerest apologies to John Fogerty and Yogi Berra)

With all the recent progress, the house is beginning to look familiar.

(click on picture to compare with October, 2004)

We were travelling during late September and early October. In that time, the three level floor deck of the upper floor was finished, concrete was poured to replace the damaged portion of the Garage roof, timbers were erected to connect the Garage to the west end structure, and framing began on the upper level. Since our return, ...

Things move quickly during the framing phase of construction. The parapet wall that connects the Garage roof to the main structure was poured. Framing of the upper floor was mostly completed and vertical timbers were placed for the core of the house. Wet conditions meant that only limited backfill could be done; it will be finished when the north side dries out (July, 2007?). Next month we should see some plywood on roof trusses!

Visitors this month were Debbie and Tony, who were fortunate to be here during some of the few nice days we had in October. On their visit to Yellowstone, they were surprised when a bison walked up behind them as they were trying to spot an otter. Fortunately, the bison strolled on by. They also spotted at least one moose in Bridger Canyon – one sighting was a short distance up the canyon from us (see the Parting Shot) and a day later immediately across the road from our property. We did not see any actually on our property, but did find scat that suggested one or more had been around. They seem to like the deciduous tree leaves at this time of year. We did not see any bears, but we did find lots of scat (one was in the middle of the drive about 200' below the Carriage House and another was about 50' out the front door). Debbie and Tony also spotted a moose mother and calf in Grand Teton Park on their way home. Given our sighting of a moose in Yellowstone in September and out the window of the Carriage House in March, this has been a very good year for moose.

It has been a cold and wet October; die-hard skiers have already been hiking up to get in a few runs. But the 3rd slash pile by the driveway above the Carriage House was dry enough to burn – with help from the cardboard we saved for the occasion. The weather cooperated with a snowstorm just as we fired things up, so we did not have to worry about the fire spreading and could sit comfortably in the Carriage House to watch it. This was the last slash on the driveway, but there are several leftovers from logging that we will deal with over the next couple of years. Those are more problematic since they are in the trees and are less accessible.

Another element of Deja Vu was the weather. October 29 was a pleasant, sunny day in the 60's. After last year's late November surprise, we had vowed to be ready for big snow by November 1, so spent the day getting areas cleared and marked for plowing, and got the snow plow hooked up to the truck. The next morning was 9°F with 6" of snow; it never got above 20°F. We spent the morning shovelling snow out of the Main House (see right) and thought about all the snow we shovelled out two years ago. We still do not have the snow tires on the Highlander nor the chains on the truck.

In Memoriam

We are sad to report yet another death of a friend in the Canyon. Barb Haines died early this month of ovarian cancer. She had been fighting the cancer for years. She volunteered her house to our guests when our house burned. She was an avid and expert skier. Last April, she was healthy enough to ski with Gary (a notoriously fast skier). She fought hard until there was no hope. When all hope was exhausted, she faced death bravely and refused further treatment. Among her final wishes were that there be a catered memorial service at Bridger Bowl Ski Area and that eulogies be kept "short and upbeat".

Be sure to check out the Main House Progress

Parting Shot
Moose Love Those Young Trees

While returning home with Tony and Debbie one evening, Gary spotted this moose in a neighbor's yard. They got a good look at a moose (the lighting wasn't very good, but moose are crepuscular, so you have to take what you can get).

Parting Shot Take Two
Another Winter Kill

Gary found this skull and antlers of a 4-point bull elk while walking around the property. Judging from the condition of the carcass, it must have died last winter. We'll leave it tied up to this tree until the smell goes away!

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