Tour 2015 – Days 1-4: Polson, Montana

Home, sweet home in the woods, although slightly uninhabitable after being vacant for more than 18 months. A good sweeping and vacuuming will take care of most of the issues.

To start off our grand auto/bike tour of 2015, we collected Judy’s brother-in-law, Ben, from his niece’s in Bremerton, for the second leg of his annual northward migration to the Mission Valley in Montana. After Delia the cat was safely delivered to Just Cats Hotel for the duration, we packed the car for the 60-day excursion, then arose early on Friday for the Montana trip, a run we have made many times over the last 28 years (in different directions during our 10-year residency in Montana), but a bit more cramped than most, having three people in the car, the tandem on top, family items for “early inheritance” to the New Mexico and Texas clans, and outfitted for the long trip with clothing suitable for biking, driving, and the social events we have scheduled in Iowa and Minnesota, in various climates.

The 12-hour transit was uneventful, with good weather and light traffic, arriving before dark, but plenty stiff and tired from the long journey. Not having been to our cabin in more than a year and a half (last year, we didn’t go in because of deep snow), we decided to impose on nephew Rick’s hospitality for the first few days so we have time to clean up the cabin for our return trip in June. We also found that the storage shelter we had rigged from our greenhouse frame covered with tarps a couple of years ago had suffered from ice buildup during the harsh 2014-2015 winter and collapsed, bending many of the steel tubes, breaking the welded connectors, and damaging some of the items stored within, Rick had salvaged most of the repairable items, but we are still faced with salvaging the shelter materials that are usable. The cabin, meanwhile, had become a fly and wasp trap during last summer, so we set off insecticide bombs inside and plan to sweep up the insect carcasses and tidy up the place before moving on the southward leg of our tour in mid-week.

What was once a 10’x20′ greenhouse frame covered with tarps is now a pile of rope, wire, shredded plastic, crushed sawhorses, and bent steel tubing, swimming in pools of water left behind from the ice blocks that brought it down.

Meanwhile, work goes on, as Judy handles last-minute coordination for weaving guild business and Larye manages updates and status on several web sites. Fortunately, high-speed Internet has reached the rural mountainside, so our trips to town for Internet access are curtailed for now.