Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Nice Saturday

This picture is really just to say, It is Fall in Helena
I went on a walk up on Mount Helena this week with the dogs and it is true, fall is here. I love fall and I am glad it is here. That is all I have to say about that.

Our friends John and Annette went to Mexico with Sara's parents for vacation and for the last weekend of their absence, we said we would take care of their girls. We had a stellar day and I had to post about it especially considering my prediction that each of the girls will be an actress one day, a famous actress.

We got up this morning and stopped by our house on the way to the Saturday market in time to catch a chicken and gather some eggs.

Here is Emma with two eggs.

And Isabelle presenting her find.

Emma Jane Rausch, the Cauliflower Queen

We dug up some vegetables from our garden because as the girls said, "We can definitely sell these." Finally about 11:00 we made it to the market and got ourselves a nice spaghetti squash for dinner.

I was beat and luckily the girls both have had experience in salons so I was given a full body massage. (I am not being clever, I am not making jokes, they actually told me this. All of it.)

Also fortunately for me, they are professional hairdressers, though out of practice, and were eager to get reaquainted via my hair. Sara did the finishing touches and it is quite nice.

And finally before dinner, they were excited to have found "The Love Carrot" or "The Chris and Sara Carrot", whichever you prefer. The day was truly stellar.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Long Road to Colstrip

Sara told me she had to go to Colstrip on Monday. She had to drive to eastern Montana to work for 3 hours and was a little bummed. I thought, "a day off of work and a road trip with paid gas. sweet." so I went along with her. We made a great trip of it staying almost solely on small roads and making stops all along the way. One of our first stops was the town of Lennup.

This is the road leading into lennup. I think at one point the building on the right was a general store from the looks of it, that was some time ago. I love the idea that the two town buildings are the same color. It reminds me of coming into small towns in Ireland. Really with the exception of these two structures, there was a school off to the left and a church just down the road.

The church had a sign that said "Services held every other Sunday". The church is quite beautiful and I think the thing about the scene is the fact that the church is in the middle of the nature. There is no parking lot and I wish that were the case more often, it feels nice.

Our initial reason for turning off the highway at Lennup was to drive the road up to Castle Town. We had only seen the marker on a map and always wanted to go. It is labeled a ghost town and it was. The trouble is, Castle Town is now on private property with no trespassing signs everywhere. We snuck a few pictures but sadly, it is not really a place you can explore.

Further on down the road we pulled off at Dead Man's Reservoir. Sara's parents told us a story a few weeks back about her being a baby. They were poor and driving out to Miles City for a funeral. They didn't have money for a hotel and they were tired and they decided to camp at Dead Man's Reservoir on the way. By camping I mean laying down on the ground without a tent or sleeping bags and making the best of it. They said "there's nothing there." and they were right.

Sara on the edge of the reservoir. Even though it is barren, it is beautiful and has nice shorelines.

The dogs took a swim

I took a picture of my shoes
and we left

Around sunset, we pulled into Ingomar, Montana. It was another quiet place.

Here is the Ingomar central park

Sara has a shirt from 1980 or 1981 that is a hand drawn logo and says "The Jersey Lilly". The Jersey Lilly is still going strong and we had a beer and some dinner there before making our way to Colstrip. Really at this point we are about halfway to the hotel so we truly did take our time.

Sara gave her workshop in the morning and I walked around Colstrip with the dogs and then we headed back on a different route.

The Little Wolf Mountains. They are gorgeous mountains with striations of rock capping off in reddish orange stripes. The whole drive was like this, incredibly different landforms at every turn.

We stopped at the Battle of the Bighorn National Monument. This is a nice native american piece there. I definitely recommend stopping if you haven't, it is nice and thorough.

We turned North to head up to Rapleje. Here is the school.

Anna told me about these incredible grain elevators on a piece of land that is for sale. They are incredible! and I think they could be beautiful repurposed. Maybe a hostel or a destination bed and breakfast. It is a very isolated place but still tempting.

An elevator and pallets

Continuing on North, we took a dirt road to Ryegate. This road was amazing. Just a few farms and incredible views not to mention a phenomenal road that climbs up a small mesa and the comes down to a new landscape on the other side.

a picture from the road

And sunset. we got back home late.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back Pack

Sara and I just spent 8 days in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness with our friends Angie and David. We literally spent the first half of the first day and the last half of the last day on the trail. Other than that, we were climbing mountains, finding flat spots for camping, choosing which mountains and saddles to cover and overall feeling like pretty tough cookies. It was a blast! In fact, it was so good that we were planning next years trip the very day we came out. I also shot black and white film so those pictures will be coming soon.

Night portrait in the tent. I especially like that it looks like we are ready to explore dark caverns but really we are in our sleeping bags.

Angie and David in front of Upper Aero Lake on the second day of our trip.

Crossing a snow field on our travels. We had a day with a little snow and some hail. Most of the trip was beautiful.

My mountain man portrait. Check out that stache.

Ready to dive. We were big into the Alpine Dipping. We pretty much went in every lake possible and the Beartooth is full of lakes; cold refreshing alpine lakes. We all decided to start an Alpine Dipping Blog (coming soon)

David looking down at us while retrieving the bear bag. This incredible rock was just above our campsite on Fossil Lake.

Beautiful clouds and our pristine swimming hole on Fossil Lake.
Hope everyone is well.