Morning coffee and snow removal



Morning coffee just wasn’t the same without Janet.




I really miss her, but instead of getting all emotional I am going to post some Montana man stuff. Clearing the roads of snow to get the park ready for opening.

Leaving on a jet plane

Well today Janet is leaving. We had a nice morning together and loaded the car up for the journey to Bozeman. I had my shopping list and the strong need to get a hair cut. It was a nice ride listening to some of our traveling music and talking about Janet’s visit. Our current life situation was discussed and what we could make decisions on and what was in God’s hand on timing. After leaving Livingston and going into the Bozeman pass the car started acting funny. It was knocking and it wasn’t getting pickup. Going up the hills Janet had her foot all the way to the floor and it was barely holding 60 MPH going up hills. We rolled into the airport parking lot with it rattling like it was about to either come apart or just die at any minute.

Trying not to think about the car we went into the airport to get Janet checked in. Once she had her ticket we played the game of what needs to come out of the suitcase to not have to pay an extra weight fee. Really nice being in a small airport where you can just walk back and forth and weigh a bag at an empty check in lane without anyone being concerned.

Once the bags were checked we sat down to talk a little more. It was so good having her. While I didn’t want her to go I didn’t have that deep dread like before. I think it was because I knew she had a good time and would be back. We hugged goodbye and Janet headed to the TSA interrogation over the rocks she was carrying. They must of known that she has some MacGyver in her and if pushed she could build a sling with her scarf and take down many a security personal. While I thought I was ready to watch her leave, seeing her walk around the corner and disappear caused my heart to sink and a mild panic attack set in.

I headed out to deal with the car. It started fine, but was a rambling wreck going down the road. It seems as though it was going to cut off at evry stop light. I went straight to the Walmart car care center, where I learned that they didn’t do diagnostic work. They suggested that I go to AutoZone since they could check the codes on the lights for free. Well off to AutoZone I went. The lady at AutoZone was very friendly. She was able to determine that some of the spark plugs and ignition coils were not working and thus all should be replaced. Since I had never even heard of an ignition coil until then I didn’t think this was something I should try my self. Doing a quick phone search I was off to the Jiffy Lube, which I found to be closed while their website said they were open. Another phone check and off to the Firestone auto repair. They were open. Sir that will be a $100 diagnostic fee since the AutoZone one doesn’t count. I agreed so he went to talk to the shop lead. Well it turns out that the foreign car guy only works M-F so they couldn’t do anything with it.  The car almost didn’t start so I am really edgy at this point.

Trying to get something done I went to Great Clips and put my name on the hour plus wait list. I then went back to AutoZone to buy the parts. I was thinking I would ask the work shop if they could help if I had the parts. They had the spark plugs, but not the ignition coils. I tried another auto parts store and they didn’t have them either. I stopped at Burger King and had a Rodeo Chicken sandwich while thinking about what I was going to do.  I decided that I was going to get my hair cut and do my Walmart shopping and try my best to limp back home.

After getting my hair cut and a Walmart shopping extravaganza I headed back home.  By the way I did ask Walmart car care if I had the parts could they do the work and the answer was no. I had to be careful because I had no pickup and if I slowed down too much it seemed like it would shut off. Thank the Lord I made it home. It also made me really thankful for scooter car because I knew I needed it to get to work.

Don’t I look happy….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Well we have our green on. Hard to believe from this picture, but it was snowing like crazy just a few minutes before we took the picture.

Before we are off on one last otter search we have to get Janet a YNP car sticker. While shopping we found this Nativity set. A must have for any mountain home. Bonus points if you can find Joseph.

Off to find the otter. Hey look a coyote. In all we saw three on them while otter hunting.

I think I am offended.  This buffalo is mocking my southern heritage with a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth,  Maybe I spoke too soon and he is a southern transplant like me? He didn’t say one way or the other.

Found the perfect otter spot……but alas no otter.

On the ride back we saw a moose much closer than last time. I think I scared Janet a little. She was driving and when I saw the mouse I just shouted MOOSE!

Well no otter. We also didn’t find a leprechaun, a rainbow or a pot of gold, but I had already found my treasure … Janet.

We went to dinner at the Rusty Rail and gorged ourselves on fried foods. It was a good day and a nice end to Janet’s trip. She will  me missed by every fiber of me.

Walk like a penguin

Now that the great thaw has started more dangers are out. Everything that melts during the day freezes again overnight. This creates a lot of ice to walk on. Received this at work on the best way to walk on ice. Appears that penguins have this down pat.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Was notified today that the National Park Service had some Grizzly Bear sightings. Had to have a conversation with Janet today that I never thought I would have with her. How to react to seeing a bear and how to use bear spray.

Date: March 13, 2018
Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – The first grizzly bear sightings of 2018 occurred in Yellowstone National Park last week. On Tuesday, March 6, staff observed an 11-year-old male grizzly bear wearing a radio collar in the west-central part of the park. On Wednesday, March 7, employees reported seeing a grizzly bear in the east-central part of the park.

Male grizzlies come out of hibernation in mid-to-late March. Females with cubs emerge later, in April to early May. When bears emerge from hibernation, they look for food and often feed on elk and bison that died over the winter. Sometimes, bears will react aggressively while feeding on carcasses.

All of Yellowstone National Park is bear country: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. Your safety cannot be guaranteed, but you can play an active role in protecting yourself and the bears people come here to enjoy by following these guidelines:

  • Prepare for a bear encounter. 
  • Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.
  • Stay alert.
  • Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night.
  • Do not run if you encounter a bear.
  • Stay 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears. Use binoculars, a telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
  • Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.
  • Report bear sightings and encounters to a park ranger immediately.
  • Learn more about bear safety.

“Many Yellowstone visitors are deeply passionate about the conservation of park bears,” says Kerry Gunther, the park’s bear management specialist. “Reducing human-bear conflicts by preventing bears from obtaining food and garbage, hiking in groups of three or more people, carrying bear spray, and making noise in blind spots on the trail are the best way for visitors to protect bears while recreating in the park.”

While firearms are allowed in the park, the discharge of a firearm by visitors is a violation of park regulations. Bear spray has proven effective in deterring bears defending cubs and food sources. It can also reduce the number of bears killed by people in self-defense.



Heading out for a snow hike at Tower.

All up hill for a while.

Couple of scenic selfies.

I know they look photo shopped, but they aren’t.  Really nice to be able to share this with Janet.

Amazing view.

I made a snowman for Janet.

Can you find the Keebler elves winter home in this shot?

This is a close up of their winter home.

Not sure if this was a rescue or avalanche dog, but he was ready to help either way.

Some reference shots to give you an idea of the snow. Note the phone in the first and my leg up to my knee in snow for the second.

I am used to the higher altitude now, but Janet is still in better shape than me. All that free food in the employee cafeteria is making me fat.

I love this picture. Seeing Janet smile warms my heart. I also love the way the snow looks on the rocks. Looks like icing dolloped on top of the rocks.

A little snow art as we get ready to head back.

Wait for it…..buffalo jam on the way home.

This group had some big boys.