Thursday, August 31, 2006

West yellowstone

Annie and Rick discuss strategy.

West yellowstone

Floated the Madison with Rick. Judy caught the first, biggest, most, and last. Annie got so excited for one of Judy’s catches, she leaped out of the boat to help. Luckily, Rick had just gotten out to go net the fish. He caught Annie midway to the water, dropped her back in the boat, then netted the fish. The usual good time on the river.

Watched an Osprey catch a fish, followed by an aerial ballet with a bald eagle until the osprey got harassed into dropping it. The eagle then went after the wounded fish but didn’t get it. Wild Kingdom on the river.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The Oregon coast (from last week).


Wow. Lows in the thirties! That was a quick transition to fall from hot days and nights. Beautiful blue sky. Calm. Highs in the seventies. No color yet. Must not really be fall. Maybe Indian summer.

Fishing on the Madison at the Raynolds Pass Bridge. Rainbow trout. Caught a few. Watched a guy take a quarter mile hike along the bank, working his fish downstream. He landed a twenty inch rainbow. But the catch of the day? Watched an Osprey high in the sky plummet to a messy splash in the river and rise with a trout in the talons. Not some delicate, swoop low and snag a trout with a talon on the fly. More like an osprey pretending to be a brown pelican, hitting the water like he was dropped in a sack. But, splash notwithstanding, it was an awesome thing.

Bison. Elk. Dinner at the Beartooth Barbecue. Still love the barbecue. Still don’t like the vinegar slaw.

Tomorrow, a float with Rick.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Idaho to Montana. The summer of smoke continues for Oregon and Idaho. Apparently the fires have not run out of fuel yet.

Grass hay, alfalfa hay, straw, big bales, small bales, rolls, piles, even big plastic bags. Suppose there are different kinds of grass hay?

It’s a better sky here in Montana. The clouds have distinct edges with blue behind. Grizzly RV Park at the west gate of Yellowstone, new and expanded since the last time we were here. We’ll stay here and fish for a few days.

Juncos, yellow rumped warblers, a whole family of northern harriers.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Central Oregon to Central Idaho. Bend to Burns to Boise, and stop for the night at Mountain Home. A small-town, KOA right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. A party at the senior center next door. Outside music. A street party. Would you believe they found a DJ who could provide ten hours of accordion music? Amplified. The music did get a little old, but of course those old people go to bed early, so it wasn’t a problem after dark.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Meanwhile, back at the RV Repair Shop…. The body work was quickly separated from anything else we wanted done. Some of minor body dings could be repaired right now, but one of the cabinet doors has to be replaced. It takes six weeks to get a new cabinet door. It doesn’t make sense to do any of the other body work until the new cabinet door is available and it can all be painted together.

Now it’s Friday. We’re back in Bend. Central Oregon. They worked all week on the “wardrobe closet door off the rails”, “generator door makes a screech when it closes”, “one of the drawers in the bathroom has come loose” kind of stuff. All the little stuff you can’t really see. The big stuff we can see will have to wait for a return trip. They’ll get insurance company approval for the work, order the door, and let us know when we can come back.

Friday, August 25, 2006


We were at the aquarium, marveling at the sea star that had ten or twelve arms, not the usual five we see while tidepooling. We learned that this particular star is the fastest one on record, having traveled three meters over the span of ten minutes; a blistering pace. It accomplishes this, managing roughly twenty-thousand little suction cupped feet, attached to its arms, which leaves us to ponder…. Can you imagine the train-wreck if he stumbled and lost track of which foot was where while he was at maximum speed?


Got a lead on a wild puffin a hundred miles away. A nesting colony of tufted puffins. Can’t-miss, can-see-it-from-all-angles, slam-dunk. We found Cape Mears….., found the rocks, three arch-rocks offshore south of the lighthouse… found all the angles. Gulls…. Cormorants… Pelicans… White colored cliffs. Got the chestnut backed chickadee. We never saw a puffin, but the chickadee almost landed on us while we were looking out at the rocks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


(Pronounced Ya-hots). Adobe Inn. On the beach. Second floor. Sleep to the sound of the waves through the open patio door (the sound through the patio door, not the waves). This is a very nice place to be. It’s cooler here. We gave up nineties for sixties, but a walk on the beach in a sweatshirt is still a walk on the beach, crashing waves, tidepools, seagulls calling, pelicans sliding silently by.

And we got a new bird! Was it the chestnut backed chickadee, purple finch, mountain quail? No. It was the pigeon guillemot! Who knew that was coming? But there he was, bobbing around in the swells, just offshore. It was clear through the binocs exactly what he was. The other bird was not so easy. Our best guess, juvenile common murre.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


The Nuthatch Trifecta: pygmy, white-breasted, and red-breasted. Black-capped and mountain chickadees. California quail. No chestnut backed chickadee yet. They should be more common to the west of here. Chestnut backed chickadees and purple finches.

Tomorrow, we turn the motorhome over to the shop here in Bend for some service. Instead of moving in and out of the coach each day so they can work on it, we’re just going to move out for the week and go to the coast. Oregon coast. We meant to go there last year but didn’t get to it. We’ll just go there in the Jeep this year.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


The Swainson's hawk.


Okay, so the wild turkey is not always elusive. This bird, the band tailed pigeon, however, is difficult to get a good look at. In Colorado, anyway. Anytime we've ever seen it, anyway.

Preseason football

The Broncos scored 28 points in the first half. I think they're going to the superbowl.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Burns to bend

Tanked up in Burns. Orgeon is different. No self-service gas. Every gas station has gas station attendants. You don’t get to put your own gas in. Wonder why that is. Strong filling station attendant lobby?

If you have a motorhome, and tank up at the diesel island, though, you can put your own fuel in. Wonder why that is. No filling station attendant lobby for diesel?

Sage and flowers. High desert. A very healthy high desert. We probably saw fifty raptors in a twenty-five mile stretch. The occasional shrike, raven, or magpie, but mostly hawks.

Now we are at Crown Villa RV Park in Bend. A nice park. So nice, in fact, that the guy who washes rigs here, drove up in a Hummer today.

We need a new bird. Our last new one was July 9th, the juniper titmouse. Now it’s the middle of August. Maybe a chestnut backed chickadee. Maybe a mountain quail. Time for a new bird.


Brian knows his hay. He says the green hay is probably alfalfa; dry, but still green. Brian loaded hay for a nickel a bale. He loaded enough hay to buy his first car with hay bale nickels. Karen Mulholland, farm girl, says the beautiful golden bales are straw, the stems leftover after combining grain. Heck, I thought it was all just hay.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


The grass-fire sunset.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Burns Oregon

They grow a lot of hay in southern Idaho. We drove across Southern Idaho this morning. Southern Idaho is still on fire. We left our grass fire at Snowville, Utah this morning and passed about ten more grass fires on our way to Oregon. The sky was white. It felt like we were driving through Southern California.

Back to the hay. Fields mowed and baled; that beautiful golden brown; but every once in a while, we pass a field that’s baled green! What’s up with that? I can see baling it dry; it will stay just like it is. It seems to me if you bale it green, though, you’re liable to end up with some composting going on in the middle. Anarobic composting, which does not sound like a good thing.

So who knows about hay? What’s up with the green bales?


The farm field driving range.


Annie didn't have to sleep outside after her close encounter with the stink bug. She did have to jump back, shake her head, and sneeze a few times.


The farm equipment field.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Three hours. It couldn’t have been better. We’ve had the DataStorm (satellite dish) worked on before, but not by the manufacturer. This is home base, in Salt Lake City, the place they make it.

Wendy, customer service made sure we got immediate attention when we came in. They don’t want us to be as disappointed with our dish as we have been. Mitch worked on it for three hours, replaced several parts, and resolved some corrosion. It works again. No charge. We’re good to go.

Even with the three-hour layover in Salt Lake City, we still had time to drive on to Snowville Utah. Lottie-Dell RV Park. Twenty-five dollars a night, includes one bucket of golf balls, and like Santa Fe Skies, the park is lined with old farm equipment. Chuck Wagon CafĂ© for dinner, right across the street from the motel we stayed at thirty-five years ago when it was twenty below zero and we were on our way to Seattle for Christmas. The Volvo wouldn’t start at twenty below even though we left it plugged in all night. I remember the tow-truck pushing us up and down the street the next morning, rear wheels locked and skidding until they finally broke free and turned so the push-start would work.

Tonight, we ate at the Chuck Wagon Cafe, even though the fire in the grasslands just north of us burned down ten power line poles earlier today and there is no electricity. The cook worked by flashlight over a propane stove.

The air tastes a little bad, but all that smoke from the fire makes for great sunsets. It is still hot outside, but we have air conditioning because we have the generator and plenty of fuel. I think this trip is going well, considering. Day after tomorrow, Bend Oregon to get some work done on the coach. Tomorrow? Who knows? Somewhere in-between.


I mean "beetle".

From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 9:46 PM
Subject: annie

Annie and the stink beatle.


Annie and the stink beatle.

Green river


It’s hot in the Utah desert; a hundred degrees at dinnertime. Over the weekend, we finished up last week’s client in Carbondale. We had an exit conference today, drove back to the motorhome in Basalt, packed up, and left. Drove out to the desert to spend the night.

Tomorrow, Salt Lake City to get the internet satellite dish fixed (again). Maybe they can help me stop saying the things I’ve been saying about it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Canyon towhees in the sunset.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


The elusive wild turkey.


Speaking of flowers, here is a colorful entryway.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

What not to do while motorhoming

Item number 3,488, slide awnings.

Nothing wrong with slide awnings, they keep junk from accumulating on the top of the slides when they’re out. They also keep rain off the roof of the slide. When you pull in the slide, the slide awnings roll up and all the water squeezes off them. Know what else? They don’t completely enclose the roof of the slide; they just stretch over the top. When you roll them in, all the water squeezes off them, but the top of the slide room is flat. If it rains all night from that side of the motorhome, you may have no idea that about a gallon of water can accumulate on the top of the slide room until after you’ve pulled the slide in, been impressed with the amount of water squeezing out of the slide awning roller outside, and started to drive away. You might have no idea, until the rig goes a little off-level as you drive out of the campground….

What one may want to consider doing after a rainstorm, is put the rig a little off-level before pulling the slide room in, just in case.


I think Nancy gets it, with Russian Sage.

Purple sage?

It smells like sage when I mash a leaf between my fingers.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006


Purple sage?

It smells like sage when I mash a leaf between my fingers.

Monday, August 7, 2006


Taylor turned thirteen. She has three younger siblings. Becky and Brian did the math. They will have at least one teenager in the house for the next seventeen years.


Gorillas in the mist?

Bounders in the forest. You wait and watch. You may only see them for a
moment. Then, they're gone.

Sunday, August 6, 2006


Another grueling driving day…. from Gypsum to Basalt. Twenty miles yesterday; fifty miles today. Life on the road. Back in Basalt. We’ll be here for a couple weeks.

We hear the price of diesel is going up. Hard to tell from here, we last tanked up in Raton, New Mexico.

Back to our campground birds. Swallows, finches, magpies, blackbirds, and waxwings. This is our reliable waxwing place.

A job in Carbondale starting Monday.


Saturday, August 5, 2006


The Glenwood week is done. The Glenwood job is done. Now we’re east of the canyon between Gypsum and Dotsero at Riverdance RV Park. A little fishing on the Eagle River.

Rifle falls state park

Not the usual Colorado habitat; almost tropical.

Rifle falls state park

Not far from Glenwood Springs.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Santa fe

Meanwhile, back at Santa Fe Skies, there is a lot to see.

Along the way

Sage and wildflowers at Camp Hale, the 10th Mountain Division World War II training facility for mountain warfare.

Good High country stuff.