Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The cast for "Wash Your Troubles Away" is getting excited for opening night - on Friday.  Dress rehearsal begins tonight...and we are in good shape.  What a great group of actors!  We're doing a lot on a very small stage and having a blast.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Super Moon

Saturday night, as we were heading home (east) from Dubois, we were awed by the Super Moon.  Yes, I had to pull over, get off the road, and take a few pictures.  This was the night before the Eclipse.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Last ride of the season?

End of September . . . and temps in the high 80's?  Amazing.  So, why not pencil in one last 4-wheeler ride of the season?  Maybe catch the last of the changing fall colors in the high country.  Leane said, "Yes!!"  She was ready to roll.  And Jane said, "Yes, I've got nothing else planned."  So, we made last-minute plans for Saturday's (yesterday's) road trip, a fairly easy trail.

On a side note, some friends and I had planned this same trip last year for the same weekend, and we got snowed out!  This time, it looked like the weather would hold.

We left my house about 9:00 a.m. with a "fancy coffee" that Jane brought us out from town, so we hit the road with sunshine, blue skies with some clouds (not predicted in the weather report!) and good coffee.  We cruised west to Dubois and then on up to Union Pass Road.  Just past the Line Shack, we unloaded the four-wheelers and were soon ready to roll.  My parting words were, "If you want to stop for a picture or something, just stop.  I'll be watching, and if I don't see you behind me, I'll stop and turn around." 

I hadn't even traveled a mile down the road, and looking back, I see Leane behind me...but not Jane.  Hmmm.  We stopped.  She didn't come.  I turned around and told Leane she could just wait, and I would see what was going on. 

Backtracking, I saw Jane on the side of the road.  She said the temperature light went on, and then the 4-wheeler just stopped running.  Wow.  What in the world? 

We tried to start it; no success.   OK.  How about this overheating issue?  Maybe we should look into that.  Hmmm.  Wonder where the radiator fluid reservoir is located.  I'm NO mechanic. I don't know where everything is located.   But then, I've watched my friends work on their machines or help me fix mine, so I'm not a complete dummy.  Let me unlatch the seat and see if it's under there. 

 Both Jane and I were looking under the seat, and we saw the battery, a little tool kit, but nothing that looked like a place to put in Prestone, or in our case, water.  So, where do you suppose that's located?  We started looking for every available place that would expose what we're looking for.  Finally, we decided these side panels pop right off, so as I'm taking off on my side, Jane asks, "What is this knob for?" Uh-oh... that's to turn the gas on, and I hadn't turned it when I unloaded it; that's why we couldn't start the machine.  I turned it on; that will take care of that!

 Once I got the side panel snapped off, I saw a plastic reservoir, with practically no fluid in it.  " this for the radiator . . . or is this for brake fluid??"  I stuck my finger down the opening to feel some residue of the fluid, smell it, and wondered if I should pour the water in or get another opinion.  Just then  a car is came down the road.  I indicated that I wanted them to stop, and they did.  It was an older couple, and when I asked if they had any knowledge of working on 4-wheelers, the gentleman said, "You're asking the wrong people."  The woman just looked at me like I was a foreigner.  I may have looked back at them with an expression that says, "What are you doing up here in the mountains?"

About this time Leane decided we had been gone too long, so she turned around and joined us.  Jane and I decided to go ahead and put water in what we thought MUST be for the radiator, and when I did, the water turned green; that was a good sign.  I was feeling assured that I did the right thing.  OK, let's see if this 4-wheeler will start and if the engine light goes out.  It did.  I felt confident we fixed the problem, so it was time to get these side panels back on and snap the seat back into place.

As I was snapping the side panel back on, the edge of it must have caught this long tube, which then fell off on to the ground.  Oh great.  I wonder where that was supposed to be attached.  We girls looked at the options, and the solution did not appear obvious.  Just then a young couple with two little kids rode up on a side-by-side ATV, and they stopped.  I told the guy that this hose had fallen off when I was replacing the side panel, and I wondered if he had an idea of where it should be attached.  He kindly took a look and said he thought it was just an overflow tube and that it was not crucial to get it back on.  That idea had actually occurred to me too, so I trusted his judgement.  I just stuffed the tube in a compartment under the seat, and once everything was back together, I started the 4-wheeler, and all looked and sounded good.

NOW, I think we've completed our mechanic-ing for the morning, and we should be ready to roll.

The rest of the trip went splendidly.  We stopped at a campground at the beginning of the Seven Lakes Trail and ate lunch.  The area was sheltered from the wind and offered a great view to the west. 

Next, we went down the road another 9 miles or so, where we turned off to ride east up Pinion Ridge.  This is a regular ATV trail, narrower and rougher.  The gals did great, although their thumbs were getting achy, and they were wondering if we were EVER going to get there.

 It was another 8 miles to get to the end of the ridge, where we climbed up an exposed hill, which offers a great panoramic view.  From here one can see the canyon and Green River Lake to the east, the Pinnacles to the north, the Grand Tetons to the West, and mountain ranges to the south.
Green River Lake

I got out the camera and snapped a few shots...although the wind was making it a bit difficult to hold the camera completely still.  The peaks still had a dusting of new snow (from last week).  The light was bright and overhead, so it really wasn't ideal for photographs.  Oh well. 
Grand Tetons in the distance, just right of center.

Off to the west the Grand Tetons were visible, and it's always a treat to seem them.  This picture doesn't do them justice.  We could see the peaks much more distinctly than what shows up in this photo.

We made it to our destination.  Now it was time to start back - and to ride out a little faster.  At one point I knew I had been going a bit faster and wondered if they were keeping up; I turned to look, and there they were - right on my tail.  Smiles.  A bit farther down the trail, I stopped to check on the gals, and they were feeling much more comfortable with the speed, having already ridden up the trail, now knowing what was ahead. I asked Leane how she was doing, and she said, "Riding 'em like we stole 'em!"  Big chuckle.  Yes, we were!

Once we got back on Union Pass Road, our pace was at a pretty good clip.  I stopped at a spot that had a pretty view, wanting to take one more set of photos.

We were soon back to the vehicle and trailers.  We had completed a 52 mile journey!  Now, that's a pretty full day on a 4-wheeler.  It didn't take long, and we were ready to pull our trailers off the mountain... and add a final touch to the day -- a great dinner at The Cowboy Cafe in Dubois. 

Relax, review the day, laugh, and enjoy a tasty burger!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Still flowering

My petunias have taken such a beating from the high winds in the last couple weeks.  They look pitiful.  But this flower... and I can't remember what it's called - but you probably will ... is planted right in with the petunias and is doing so well.  I've got to remember to get more than two of these plants next year!  I should probably also look to plant something that flowers late in the season so that I have something pretty in the pots in late August and early September.  I'm not much of a green thumb, but I'm willing to try a hardy plant...and I mean it must be hardy to survive out here with lots of sun and occasional strong winds.

As you can see, my trees have not turned yellow yet...and all through the valley, there's only a hint of yellow on some branches that have taken a turn for fall.  Perhaps we will stay green until October.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

First dusting of snow...

Just a few days ago we had the threat of rain here in the valley, but it looked like snow was falling in the higher elevations.  When the clouds cleared out, sure enough, one could see a new dusting of snow on all the high peaks.  As of this picture, much of the snow that fell a little lower has melted, but one can still see the new dusting of snow on the peaks. 

I thought that we'd be getting temps only into the lower 70's for the next couple weeks. Hmmm.  Not so.  It's warming right up again!!  What?  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Old stash

I finally got inspired to knit a lap afghan from old stash...and lots of left-overs.  I'm just winging it...using a stitch pattern I found for a afghan...but but using my bits and pieces, lone skeins, and such to use up some fiber. I'm not following the pattern know, just winging it.  It's the perfect project on big needles (10.5) -- some mindless knitting after a long day. 

But my mind is already thinking about casting on some socks... men's socks... a Christmas gift for my brother.  Since those babies will have a lot longer leg and foot than my normal sock projects, that ought to keep the needles clicking for quite a while. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sinks Canyon Road

Jane, Leane, and I planned a 4-wheeler ride for rookies, just the easy ride.  I thought that riding the Sinks Canyon Road might just be the ticket.  Jane road my extra machine, and Leane rode her new Kawasaki.  You should see the trailer that her husband fixed up for her; it's a beauty!!  This was her first run. 

As we drove up on South Pass, it became evident that the Fall colors were in full swing at higher elevations...and only the 2nd weekend in September???  Yeah, no kidding...glad I've got the pictures to prove it. 

A selfie... Leane, me, Jane.

We stayed on the Sinks Canyon Road except for a short, two mile ride up the 4-wheeler trail which goes over Limestone Mountain.  It gave the gals some experience riding over rocks and straddling gullies, and they did very well.  From the point where we stopped, we could see Continental Peak and Oregon Buttes off to the east.  Then we made our way back to the main road and drove to Louis Lake for lunch. 

I don't believe I've ever seen so many campers up here...more folks than on other weekends, for sure.  Perhaps it was because the weather was perfect this the 80's, no wind, clear skies. And this may be the last weekend of the season for this kind of activity.  We saw several folks just taking a ride to see the fall colors, stopping periodically for photos.

The weather was warm, skies were clear, and only an occasional breeze.  What a perfect day to be in the mountains, riding through the pine.  The fragrance was refreshing!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Labor Day weekend continues...

Following a day of getting the trailer tires replaced, we went forward with our plans to ride up Indian Ridge for our outing on Sunday.  Because it rained the day before, and because a little cool front came through, moving warm air (clouds and smoke) to the northeast, we had the most beautiful blue skies and clear, clean air.  Spectacular!  

We could clearly see Gannett Peak (tallest peak in WY) poking its head above the foothills and rocky ridges that surround it.   It was the clearest view (the peak in the middle of the picture) I'd ever seen from this vantage point.

I've posted many pictures of this ride, and I never get tired of the panoramic views from this ridge.

Here's my bro and me.  Allen was taking a little nap after lunch...funny that he got in the picture.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What a day...

My brother Dennis, Cory, and Allen came up for Labor Day Weekend to do some 4-wheeling.  We planned to ride both Saturday and Sunday.

After a tasty bacon-n-eggs breakfast, we loaded up and headed toward Dubois.  It was a sunny, beautiful morning drive.  However, I did warn everyone that rain was in the forecast, and sure enough, clouds were hanging over Union Pass, which was our destination.  Oh well.  We decided to go on up the mountain anyway...just to see if we could squeak in a ride. Guess what? The colors are already starting to change.  The scenery was enjoyable.  Cory and I were in the lead, pulling a trailer with two 4-wheelers, and Dennis and Allen were following, pulling a trailer with two mountain motorbikes.  Cory and I kept an eye on the guys and got a little concerned when we couldn't see them following.  We stopped and waited, discovering that they were fine...just wanted to stay out of our dust.  OK.  So, I didn't watch the rear view mirrors for them quite so diligently.

As we were bouncing our way up to the top of Union Pass, maybe only a couple miles from where we would unload, I checked my mirror and saw Dennis flashing his lights and waving his arms frantically.  What?  I came a stop immediately.  He and Allen had seen me lose a tire on the trailer, and they were trying to get me stopped.  Never did hear their honking horn...and I dragged that trailer on the wheel for probably a good mile.   This is what it looked like:

Checking the other tire, we discovered it was nearly flat...but it was still intact!! Well...time to problem-solve.  Unload the 4-wheelers and see what we could do. 

The lug nuts were rusted on...and the rim was sitting on the ground, so there wasn't much room to work with. Dennis pulled out all his tools (an impressive collection).  I had to read my owner's manual to find where my jack and tools were located.  Allen stopped a pickup and asked the driver if he might have some WD-40 we could use to help get the nuts off.  He did and was happy to pull off and help us.  Eventually, the guys got the spare back on the side with no tire.  But, the other tire needed air desperately, and it was possibly punctured.  I had Fix-a-Flat with me, so one of the guys squirted that goo into the tire, and then we used two different small air compressors to get enough air in the tire to make it usable.  My air compressor had a broken end (the one you put in the cigarette lighter), but Allen knew that he could just cut off that piece, separate and bare the wires, and hold them directly on the battery.  It worked!

Now it was starting to rain.  The best plan was to have Cory and I ride the 4-wheelers down to Crooked Creek (restaurant and cabins) where they also had a shop with air compressor.  Dennis and Allen pulled ahead to find a place to turn the pick-ups and trailers around, and they were soon behind us.  Stopping at Crooked Creek, we were able to eat our lunches while we waited for the gal (waitressing in the restaurant) to get a break to come out and get the air hose for us. A young couple on 4-wheelers stopped to see if they could help and suggested we contact Bull's Conoco in Dubois (10 miles down the road) to see if they might have a wheel and tires.  They even got a phone book for us, and we made the call.  Yes, they had a wheel and tires!  Yahoo.  We assured them we would be there ASAP.

I thought we could load the lighter 4-wheeler on my trailer, and load the bigger machine into Dennis' pickup bed.  It all worked...and we slowly made our way down to Dubois, with rain and some hail hitting us on and off the whole time. 

We all agreed that we probably wouldn't have been able to make the ride out on Pinion Ridge after all.

When we got to Dubois, the mechanic discovered he had only one wheel and one tire.  Well, OK.  That would at least get us back to Riverton.  The mechanic suggested trying Bailey's Tire in Riverton, who he thought was open on Saturdays.  So, we called, they were open, and they had two tires the size we needed!  If this all worked out, we would be set to go for a ride tomorrow!!

Before leaving Dubois, it seemed like stopping for pie a-la-mode was the right thing to do.  Yum.  It was. 

Going straight to Bailey's was next on the list, and two new tires went on the trailer. And I had a new spare too.

This was not exactly the plan we had hoped for.  But if the tires needed replacing, I'm so glad this was the scenario.  Plenty of help and expertise was at the ready.  Between the two garages, I got new wheels and tires. 

Sooo... we were now ready for tomorrow's ride.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Busy, busy, busy...

I've not made the time to blog as normal...and the blogging will probably be pretty sketchy for another month, but I'll try to keep it alive. 

I'm happy to report that the smoke has cleared (for today), and it's so great to see blue skies and mountain peaks from my patio.  Our green grasses have all turned golden, and a hint of autumn is sneaking in.  We may have seen the last of the 90 degree temps.  The nights have significantly started to cool down.

Music scores, scripts, blocking notes --  those have taken my attention lately.  We are now in the middle of rehearsals for the musical melodrama (a dinner-theater production) I'm directing for the Riverton Library's fund-raiser.  We've got a GREAT cast, and it's been a blast so far.  It all goes on the stage Oct. 2nd and 3rd. 

Throw into the mix of activities more private music lessons too.  I had 6-ish over the summer, and now with school starting and kids getting back into their fall routines, I'm back up to 11 students.  That fills my schedule!  That's plenty!  I still want to feel like I've got days to do as a retired/rewired person should. Hmmm...I'm working on that.

The Labor Day weekend is going to be busy with my family coming in...and I should have photos of more 4-wheeling to share...

Hope you all have a fun/relaxing/joyful weekend.