Friday, March 29, 2013

Snowmobiling in the Big Horns!

After four days of light snow,
the system moved out and left us with white-blanketed mountains.

Not too much snow. 
It has all melted and today it is going to reach 60 degrees.

Great day to hang out laundry.

Steve has been itchin' to go snowmobiling, (I have too, I admit), 
so this past Tuesday we headed to the northern Big Horns.

It was a near cloudless day with temps predicted in the 40's, 
so we figured sunny and in the 30's in the mountains.
A perfect day!

But as we ascended the mountains at the foothills, we wondered hmmm... where's the snow?

But no worries... as we pulled into the Bear Lodge we knew there was plenty of snow -- probably 3-5 feet on the ground! Yay! And what an awesome place...

Usually Steve and I drive our own snowmobile. But this time we rented what's called a Polaris 600 Two-Up which is a two-seater. I wasn't sure how I would like not being in charge of my own machine, but I have always trusted Steve's driving and I've got to say, it was quite relaxing! Instead of keeping my eyes on the trail, I could take in all the gorgeous scenery! Or keep my eyes on the trail while Steve was looking at all the gorgeous scenery!

And gorgeous it was!

I knew eventually Steve was going to have to climb some hills. 
So I got off the machine and took pictures.

Where'd he go?

He came back and convinced me to get back on and ride up the hill with him. 
He said the view was amazing.

He wasn't kidding.

Rock Castles

When we got back, we went into the Bear Lodge and had a munchie.
Cool old original bar!

The ride down from the mountain at dusk was just as perfect as the day!

This guy had a GREAT day -- can you tell?
And the next day, Wednesday, March 27, was his birthday.
We piled the dogs in the car and headed back up the Big Horns, only this time the southern mountains. We went on a long snowshoe hike. The dogs LOVED it as long as they stayed on the trail!

But at this point I'm burned out on uploading pics. This post has been a two day effort due to the slow internet up here in the mountains. I hope you all enjoy it and don't mind ALL the pics I share. It's just so hard to decide which ones to leave out!

Have a blessed Easter Everyone!
God Bless.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Finicky Weather - But We'll Take It!

The snow is slowly trickling into the ground and disappearing  However, the locals say they get their biggest snowstorms in March and April. Last week we thought they were pulling our leg. One day it reached 70 degrees! 

(Above is the view from our backyard.)

So we went four-wheeling!
We were over-dressed, but you never know when the wind will kick-in. 
It can be so still, then all of a sudden a heavy wall of wind swoops down from the mountain
 and follows the valley out to the plains. 

But then the joke was on us this past Sunday. We awoke to a wind so relentless it howled like the coyotes we hear on occasion in the valley. I had all I could do to open the door to let the dogs out. They managed to do their business, and rushed back inside. The snow couldn't decide where to fall so it swirled about making it difficult to make out the mountains in any direction.

And it started to sink in that the nice local we talked to way up in the Bighorn Mountains last week was telling us the truth - snowmobiling season in the mountains lasts until May 15 or until the snow melts. Whichever comes first!

Later in the day this deer didn't seem too concerned about the weather,
or the fact it was being watched by two black dogs.

Most mornings I wake up to this. 
(Steve stays cuddled in bed until I get the wood burner stoked and coffee is ready. He usually gets up during the night and puts a log on the fire so when I get up I don't have to start from scratch. I appreciate that.) 

But this past weekend this was sunrise. 
Brrr...really enjoying the wood burner.

Do you see them?
A little bit of snow and a lot of sunshine...

...makes it easier to see the wildlife with the naked eye. 
(We also use binoculars.)

But it is also nice when the wildlife hang out in the yard, right outside our window.

On the left she jumps the fence.

Do you have to go?

Today it is 50 degrees with a slight breeze drying the sheets and dog blanket that are hanging on the line.

Time to go for a hike! 

This is a beautiful canyon nearby that we enjoy hiking to. 

There is always wildlife hiding in there.
Do you see the mule deer trying to put some distance between us and the dogs?

But before I go, I'll leave you with pics of last week's road trip as promised.

We headed west over the southern part of the Big Horns.

We drove to the other side of the mountain ridge, then headed north a ways looking for a place to have lunch (we found an awesome little authentic Mexican restaurant that served the best food!), then turned east and traveled back over the northern Big Horns.

Shell Canyon

There is so much snow high up in the Big Horns.
We were thrilled to see all the snowmobile trails and fellow snowmobilers!

Coming down...

These guys made me nervous!
 (You can tell because the picture isn't very clear - my hands were shaking.)

On the other side of that guardrail it goes straight down. 
I was concerned they would make a jump for it.
But as Steve keeps reminding me, 
these critters have been around a long time and know what they are doing.

Some of them DID jump the guardrail...

It's a little hard to see, 
but the deer that crossed the guardrail stood still and watched us pass by.

I hope by enlarging the pictures, your computer doesn't run slower. 
If so, please let me know. 
I've mentioned this once before, but I do believe if you click once on one of the pics, 
you can view them all in a slideshow.

Bye for now.