Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rocky Mt. Fall Part 7: Bozeman Build to Home

PART 7 – Bozeman/Belgrade Habitat Build 
SUNDAY, October 12 
Lazy Day in Bozeman!

FPC Bozeman
            Well, this won’t take long because we didn’t do much today!  We did get up and attend worship with the First Presbyterian Church of Bozeman – it was under 2 miles away right in the heart of downtown.  At least 4 others churches were within 2 blocks!  This was one of the old brick classic 1900 churches – most of the Sunday School rooms and the fellowship hall were all downstairs.  Beautiful big stained glass gothic windows on either side in shades of green and gold.  Not really ‘pictures’ in the windows, just pretty.  The front of the church was covered with a massive set of pipes for the organ.  Off to one side was a rustic style cross.
Pipe organ in front of sanctuary
            And music!  We had a violinist (middle school age?) play the prelude, a full choir sing with the organ, a song leader for hymns, and a saxophone solo during the Offering.  A nice service.  We went downstairs for fellowship and talked with a few people.  Not OVERLY friendly, but we did have a couple people come up and introduce themselves. 
Rustic Cross
        After church we headed back to the trailer.  It bodes to be a WET day.  Last night it poured – we were surrounded by a lake this morning and had to stretch to get into the truck to leave for church.  Weather is supposed to improve, but I bet there is some major snow in the peaks now!  
            We both picked up some new books in the office on their exchange shelves.  I grabbed another Danielle Steele plus another one. 
            We made soup for an early dinner and snacked for supper.  I spent the rest of the day working on pictures, plus talking on the phone!  We both talked to Moms and then Luke and then Jed!  (The dissertation has been submitted! Hallelujah!)
            I sent an email to Dave with Habitat also. 
During a lull in the storms I got a picture of the trailer at Sunrise CG with all the pretty trees. 

Monday, October 13
Hikes in Hyalite Canyon

Bridger Mts. north of Bozeman, enroute to Belgrade
            It is amazing the difference DAMP makes in how warm you feel.  The temps haven’t been that low the last few days, but it sure feels colder with all the rain.  Holed up in the trailer all morning posting pictures to the blog, writing emails, etc.  Since we have today to explore, Rick went up to the office and picked up the book we saw there on Day Hikes in the Bozeman area.  We had an email from Dave this morning saying he was out of town until this evening and the construction guy had a medical appointment Tuesday, so we probably won’t start work until Wednesday now!  They are only going to get four days out of us!  Bummer. 
Habitat house in Belgrade....ready for work!
       Finally at noon I finish up the Yellowstone blog, dress, and we are ready to face the world.  Our first mission?  A drive to Belgrade to find the Habitat office and the job site!  The office is easy and after a little exploration we find Wally D Lane in the River Rock subdivision and the house being built.  It is a two story, split level, sunken partly into the ground.  I think that is part of the passive solar part.  At least 4 bedrooms it appears.  All the walls are up and sheathing, but no roof.  We will be part of a group on Wednesday, so maybe roof trusses are in order??
You can just see the tips of the mts from the
top floor of the house!
            Then we head to the mountains!  Rick found Hyalite Canyon on the south side of Bozeman in the hiking guide.  The canyon road enters the Gallatin National Forest, winding about 11 miles up the creek through yellow cottonwoods and green pines.  We arrive at Hyalite Reservoir, the water supply for Bozeman.  We wind along one side of the lake, and then another 2 miles to a trailhead for Hyalite Creek Trail and Grotto Falls. 
Fall colors along canyon road
Hyalite Reservoir and peaks
            There is snow in these hills!  It is damp and cool in the forest with a definite feel of fall and winter in the air.  The road wasn’t any problem, but there is snow in places on the trail.  This trail is marked as Handicapped Accessible (in better weather!), so it is wide and gradual. 
Looking up Hyalite Creek toward peaks. 
     The canyon walls are steep with snowy peaks on either side of us.  We were not prepared for the number of peaks we encountered so quickly as we moved up the canyon.  Beautiful area.  Grotto Falls itself is not tall, but rather a fan shaped cascade which pours over the edge of the cliff and has dual grottos or caves underneath it.  The trail is a 2.5 mile round trip with very little elevation gain.
There's snow up here!
            We drive back the 2 miles and then take the other fork in the road to climb 1 mile up to the trailhead for Palisades Falls.  This is also a handicap trail and it is fully paved the entire way.  I would not particularly want to push or power a wheelchair up the steep incline, however! 
Grotto Falls and caves
In front of Palisades Falls
            Palisades Falls drops off the edge of a high basalt cliff and then fans out at the bottom as the water hits rocky debris.  Between the yellow orange color of the basalt rock and the golds of several trees near the base, it is quite pretty.  Much higher than Grotto Falls at 80’. 
Trail to Palisades Falls
            Back into town to find Santa Fe Red for a Mexican dinner, a short talk with Luke that results in the purchase of our tickets for Denver in December to attend Jack’s graduation.  Prices had gone down again so I didn’t want to miss out!  Luke is using the credit he had from Jed’s graduation last spring.  We talked with Dave Magistrelli from the Habitat office and he will contact us tomorrow sometime about a time and place to get together to hear more about the Bozeman affiliate, get our paperwork down, etc.   
Palisades Falls

Gallatin Peaks of  Hyalite valley

TUESDAY, October 14
Bridger Mountain Explorations

            Whoa.  I slept in past 7am this morning!  I awoke earlier to the sound of the train whistle blowing (the tracks are just across the road – the campground is sandwiched between the interstate and the railroad tracks!) but must have rolled over and gone back to sleep.  But that’s ok, we don’t have a huge itinerary for today! 
   A little reading, writing, posting, emailing, etc. in the morning and by 10:30 we are ready to head out for the day and explore the Bridger Canyon north of town.  Originally Rick had proposed a climb to the top of one of the peaks, but with the amount of snow we saw on them yesterday, we are pretty sure that is out of the question! 
Autumn colors as we head out of town.
            Today is forecast for high 60’s to 70 – the sun is somewhat filtered with a high haze, but overall, it is warmish and sunny.  The drive into Bridger Canyon is beautiful with all the cottonwood trees still glowing in yellows and golds.  We pass the trailhead up to the M on the side of Baldy Mt. which is also the beginning of the Bridger Foothills Scenic Trail (24 miles long). 
Bridger Mountain range
     The roads winds through rolling farms, ranches, and wealthy homes perched on benches overlooking the valley.  It is beautiful, especially after we turn the corner and the full breadth of the Bridger Range stretches out to the north.  We are now on the east side and the snow is much heavier.  More than just a little ‘dusting’ on most of the peaks – solid snow banks in places.  The foreground a mix of conifer greens, grassland gold, and the bright yellows and oranges of cottonwoods and shrubs.  The dark red of small willows also dot the hollows and creek beds.  Stunning and so hard to photograph from the opposite side of the car!  This side of the range is much rockier and steeper than the west side. 
Bridger Bowl ski area
   We drove up to Bridger Bowl, the local ski area only 16 miles from downtown Bozeman.  A nice little beginning-intermediate resort.  We were able to drive up one of the roads past the lodge and lift for about a mile or so before coming to a gate and a trailhead.  Lots of cabins and housing options surround the ski area. 
            Back on up the road – our goal is Fairy Lake, nestled under the peaks of Sacagawea and Hardrabble (both over 9500’).  The lake is 6 miles up a dirt road and we didn’t really expect to be able to get all the way before snow stopped up.  As it was, we COULD have driven the whole way, but the road was deteriorating around the 4 mile marker, so we parked and hiked the rest of the way up to the lake.  The terrain reminds me very much of the Elkhorns – vegetation, etc.  We passed Elk Lake, a small greenish pool, before reaching the trailhead and Fairy Lake Campground.  There were more cars and traffic on the road than I expected! 
Sacagawea Peak
Cottonwood Colors
            Fairy Lake is smaller than Anthony, but like our local gem it is surrounded by at least 4 peaks.  We walked around the lake about halfway in the hopes of getting some good pictures with the peaks behind.  Mostly I was fighting the sun and overcast skies in that attempt!  We stopped to talk to another couple (a gal and her brother in law) who were out exploring also.  That conversation, with a Michelle from Phoenix and Ted from Bozeman, lasted over a half hour!  Michelle has a brother in law who lives part of the year in Bandon with his glass artist wife!   They wanted to know all about Habitat work also. 
Panorama as we near Fairy Lake 
            We hiked back down to the truck – the downhill always goes faster than the uphill!  A beautiful return drive back down the valley and we get back to the campground around 3:15. 
Fairy Lake and surrounding peaks
            Time to empty out the trunk of the truck and prepare to do some work!  We clean out our tools and get our belts and boots and gear ready to go! 
Last view of Fairy Lake
     While Rick is reading out in front of the trailer, our neighbor, Jim goes by to chat.  He is 88 years old, still traveling alone most of the time in his trailer.  He comes up to Montana every year to fly fish in the Madison River.  Every September he comes to this same campground, same site.  His gal friend will arrive by plane tomorrow to help him drive his trailer back down to Southern California and his winter park model at a park near Indio.  He was full of stories and tales of family members, including his 85 year old sister who is still working as a computer engineer for a sensor firm.  Amazing.  We finally had to excuse ourselves so Rick could shower for our dinner date. 
            Dinner at Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant near exit 305 off the interstate.  We arrived early and were seated.  At 6 I went out to check and make sure Dave wasn’t waiting for us out front.  He and his wife Diane were waiting in a side room!  I introduced myself and was glad I had gotten up to check! 
            We had a wonderful dinner – Dave’s treat – as he filled in background on the Gallatin Valley affiliate.  Dave has been here about 4 years now with a background in organization dynamics, etc.  Perfect for an executive director.  It was an enlightening conversation and we were able to share some of our experiences in various affiliates as well.  Dave knows Scott and Nancy Hoag, as well as Dave and Roxanne Draves.  Both live or visit Bozeman a lot and we have worked with them in Columbia Falls. 
            Chance of rain tonight, but after that the weather should be good the rest of the week! 

WEDNESDAY, October 15
Belgrade Habitat Build – Day 1

            We were up and roaring to go this morning.  But a dark and ominous morning it was!  Not overly COLD…just cool and thick clouds.  Dark!  We headed up to arrive in Belgrade shortly after 8am, finding other local volunteers already gathering.  Dave had indicated they didn’t come until after 8:30 or so!  We met Mark and got our paperwork finished. 
Garage area regular volunteers
            The main corps of volunteers will be working to frame in the garage.  That includes two younger guys, probably from MSU, an older couple, and a couple other men.  Volunteer Al has been working on finishing the incomplete home on the other side of the vacant lot – the family has already moved in, but the home isn’t done on the outside.  Rick and I spent the day with Al.
We learned on this small section of gable.  
            What is missing is the gable siding on all the ends of the house, plus the metal soffit work under those gables.   The siding is ‘decorative’ but time intensive.  I don’t think they will use it again.  The main siding is horizontal cement board, but the upper gables are vertical shake panels.  Cement that all have to be predrilled prior to installation and then screwed into the wall.  When you trim them for the roof slant, you end up with little pieces that have to be glued back on in place.  I stayed ‘down’ all day, letting Rick and Al do all the ladder work, and I drilled holes, measured, etc.  I didn’t do those cuts because I didn’t like the cordless saw we were using! 
Building the scaffolding to tackle
the soffit work on this side. 

            After lunch we went to work on the soffits at the tall end of the house, which necessitated the installation of scaffolding.  This affiliate doesn’t have much to work with – just 4 horizontal planks and 8 sets of X pieces – you can’t go very high and don’t have much to walk on!  But we got up enough for Rick to work the scaffolding and Al for the most part an extension ladder on each end.  He was much happier on the ladder than the scaffolding!    We set up the ‘jig’ to cut the soffit panels and I did most of that while they installed.  I had to find protective eyeware since I was cutting metal….cut pink glasses to match the purple ear plugs Al found for me!  I should have had my pink hard hat on!  But the 3:30 quitting time, we had all but one small piece of the soffit installed.  Ready for cement shakes tomorrow!
Crew of workers during lunch break.
            Lunch was provided by Dave’s wife, Diane. They brought in a crock of sloppy jo meat, buns, and chips.  It was good!  Mark had also made a donut run earlier for break!  We met the new volunteer coordinator, Katie, who is a Bozeman native but new to this job.  She’ll have plenty of connections to pursue! 
            It got windy by the end of the day.  A small storm front is coming in from the west!  Shortly after dinner time the wind REALLY hit and a few drops of rain in the evening.  Tomorrow is forecast for much cooler than today’s high of 70, but it will be dry by then! 

THURSDAY, October 16
Belgrade Habitat Build Day 2

            Whoa!  Lots of noisy trains last night AND our neighbor revved up his truck and trailer at 5:45am this morning to pull out.  Ugh.  But…we got to sleep in because Mark doesn’t really want to see us until 9am today! 
Rick gets started on the gable shakes
            We got to the site right around 9am to find Mark scrambling to stack all the metal soffit sheets back up.  I had put a bunch of cementboard on top of them, but they were on sawhorses and the wind came up under them and blew them all over.  Only one is really bent and damaged somewhat. 
Sam puts in a few screws
            Our job today was to put up the vertical shake panels on the north gable of the house.  All ladder and scaffolding work.  Mark was in and out, procuring supplies, making calls, etc.  He really was trusting Rick and I to do the job and to do it right.  But he admitted he had never installed this kind of material before.  His expertise is more in high-end residential construction (his son is beginning work on a vacation home for Justin Timberlake….that kind of high-end!)  We were getting the first level of material up and figuring things out, when a mom and her son, Pam and Sam, arrived around 11:30 to help out for three hours.  Sam is a high school junior and wanting to do a little community volunteer work and he picked Habitat.  His schedule makes volunteering tough, but conferences are going on and students are out of school today and tomorrow.  We decided at 16, Sam could be on the scaffolding, and he went up to help Rick, which freed me to stay down and cut the boards.  Pam helped out with some clean-up and drilling holes! 

Rick and Sam put down another layer

            We broke for lunch and drove over to the Re-Store, where a pot of hearty beef soup was cooking and chicken or tuna salad sandwiches.  It was a quick feed, but fun to see the Restore!   And we saw Dave again and met Chris, one of the Habitat board members.  Chris also said he was a partner family, having received a home himself for his family.  He was very appreciative of the work we do, not just as a board member but as a homeowner.  It was pretty touching. 
            We ‘hauled’ after lunch, taking advantage of having Sam available and he and Rick put up as many of the full boards as possible.  Pam and I were busy drilling holes!  The last half hour we have to start the fussy work of the roof slant ends which slowed things down!  She and Sam were fun to work with and a bonus for a day in which we thought we would be on our own. 
            Mark stayed and talked with us for awhile, but he left shortly after Pam and Sam, with instructions for us to work as long as we wanted and then put the tools away and lock everything up! 
            With Sam gone, I had to start climbing up to the top of the scaffolding to help hold the panels level as Rick screwed them in.  On my second trip up, we had just finished getting a board up, when we heard a cry from the street.  We looked down and saw a lady sprawled on the sidewalk, dog running lose, and a walker nearby.  Rick bolted down the scaffolding, and I followed.  She was calling for help!  Rick helped her up, I grabbed the dog before he bolted, and we were able to get her into her walker which had a seat.  Her home was just down the street and her daughter was there she said.  I went ahead with the dog and knocked on the door to get the daughter while Rick slowly wheeled her back down the sidewalk.  She thought she had hurt her shoulder.  We talked briefly with the daughter and delivered ‘mom’ into her hands.  But…..as Rick and I were leaving an hour and half later, we saw an ambulance and fire truck down at her house.  We went down, but couldn’t make contact with the family.  I am worried she went into shock or had heart problems, etc.  They wouldn’t have needed an ambulance to take her in to get the shoulder checked.  We will walk down tomorrow to check on her. 
            We worked longer than we should have.  The last board was a struggle and I confess I shouldn’t have wanted to get it up because it didn’t really get us any more finished than we would have been.  My bad.  We stopped briefly at Weight Watchers enroute home (thank you Pam and Sam for helping me find the location on the map!) and then a quick trip to Murdoch’s to see about a new tool belt for Rick.  No luck. 
Our accomplishment for the day....we'll finish the detail stuff on the left side in the morning
            Long day.  Back to trailer, shower, dinner, and Rick watched football game!  Early to bed!

FRIDAY, October 17
Belgrade Habitat Build Day 3

            A chilly morning in Montana!  Bozeman was right at freezing, but Mark said it was 22 at his house in Livingston!  Frost on the windows of the truck! 
            We got right to work this morning, knowing we would be flying solo all day long!  First job was to complete the left side of the gable shakes – all the angle cuts for the roof slant.  Once I figured out how to use the angle tool, that really helped.  Plus we decided we could use a wider shake at the corner tips, so less gluing was necessary.  As usual, you learn little tricks along the way! 
View north.  The lady fell down by the white truck
just past the house under construction.
            We told Mark about our ‘time out’ yesterday afternoon to help the lady down the street.  When he came back at break time, all three of us walked down to the house and inquired to see how she was doing, especially after we saw the ambulance out front as we were leaving yesterday.  She broke her upper arm and dislocated her shoulder.  She was feeling very frustrated with herself as she rested on the couch with a little notebook in her lap.  Her husband and daughter all appreciated our visit and concern.  We felt better!  (Rick commented that it seems odd when you are relieved to hear it is JUST a broken arm!)
A quick visit to the Re-Store for lunch
            By lunch we were at a good stopping point with just the final panel at the peak of the house to do.  We ran over to the Re-Store for hamburgers and sausage links (and cherry pie for Rick!).  Took a little time to look around today.  Mark also gave us a tour of where they are planning to install a shower, improve the bathroom,  and complete the hookups for at least five RVs on site.  Dave passed our suggestion on right away about the shower!  We also had a chance to say goodbye to Dave today as he was heading down to West Yellowstone again. 
View from scaffolding across the street to Bridger Mts. 
            We had thoughts of getting started on another small gable section today, but by the time we finished the shakes and installed the trim molding up to the peak and back down, we barely had time for Rick to install the last little section of metal soffit trim before the 4pm ‘bell’ went off.  We felt good, however, with the quality of our joints on the trim.  Again, I found that little angle tool very handy! 
Rick screws in the final piece of shake siding. 
            I did make a couple of cuts today with the circular saw, but I really am not comfortable with that yet.  Rick came down and made all the sharp angle cuts we needed.  We couldn’t use the little cement ‘snips’ for that board. 
            The day gradually warmed up to a very pleasant afternoon, especially in the sun!  Hour by hour we peeled off another layer of clothing! 
            Coming home we had an interesting experience.  We had just exited the freeway and were preparing to turn left onto the onramp for westbound/Frontage Road, but a truck was STUCK under the overpass!  A big semi with a couple of circular trailers with some sort of railing on top.  He couldn’t go under.  Ended up backing up (after all the ensuing traffic had turned around to take another route!) and then turning to go east bound instead.  I imagine he went down to the next exit to try again to head west!  Weird!  We just sat and waited until he was out of the way and all the other traffic had gone by!  Then we could turn onto our Frontage Road and get to the campground. 
Our finished work for the two days: a complete gable - soffit, shake siding, and trim boards. 

            A little clean up and preparation to fold up in the morning and pull out for Belgrade.  We are taking the trailer with us to the job so we can leave ASAP at quitting time bound for Idaho Falls.  Otherwise quiet evening.  

SATURDAY, October 18
Belgrade Build, Day 4
Bozeman to Idaho Falls, 263 miles

Madison Mts. to the south as we drive to Belgrade -
sunrise light hitting the peaks.
            An earlier morning as we are up and rolling out of the campground by shortly after 8am.  We appreciated the Sunrise hospitality, but we are reading to spend a night WITHOUT the train whistles blasting through all night long!  We never heard them the first two nights, but then….oh my! 
            Gas up in Belgrade enroute to the job site.  We arrive before anyone else, which is good so we can park the truck and trailer right in front of the vacant lot.  We started moving a little of the scaffolding while waiting for Mark’s arrival.
My only work pix for the week:
cutting the soffit panels
    It is a lean crew for the day.  Two other volunteers, Wade and Phil, arrived at 9am, along with the homeowner, Katie, for the house under construction.  She was with two of her five sons, but NOT her father who was going to help her today.  Mark was going to have them begin sheathing the garage, but without her dad they didn’t have the numbers who could use power tools.  They ended up heading over to the Re-Store to work there for the day.   Phil had driven up from Gardiner to work – that’s over 80 miles!!  He is on the Habitat board – works for Xanterra at Mammoth Hot Springs in the accounting department.  Wade was a local and this was his first time to volunteer.  Nice guy.  
Rick and Phil up on the scaffolding.
            Wade and Phil helped Rick and I.  We got the scaffolding moved to the other side of the house.  Neither of them were eager to ascend the scaffolding, but Rick got Phil up to the second level where he helped hold and screw from there.  Our goal was to get the soffit in up to the peak, and then as much shake siding as possible so they can move the scaffolding over soon. 
            Wade stayed downside with me and we cut soffit panels, drilled holes, etc.  We scavenged for boards that we could use from the scrap pile to practice a little economical conservation of materials!  Mark appreciated that!  All in all, it was a very good morning as the sun warmed things up, we enjoyed some good conversation with some fine people, and we got a lot done in a short amount of time! 
Our finished work for today: half of the soffit in place, and a good start on the siding. 
House #1 - we were doing the finishing work on the gables.  Homeowner is moved in and renting until
her hours are completed. 
House #2 - Just getting started.  Trusses for roof coming next week.  
House #3 - Currently a vacant lot in the middle!!!
            By twelve noon, we were all cleaned up, tools put away, and ready to go.  Mark again said we could come ‘anytime’ and that we had done good work!  Guess that’s a good recommendation!    We changed clothes, grabbed a quick bite of lunch, and headed west! 
Between Belgrade and Whitehall.  
            Our route today was I-90 to Whitehall, then down a cut-off route on MT 55 and 41 to the town of Dillon, where we joined I-15 headed south. Then a 145 mile straight shot down, over the Continental Divide and border, and on to Idaho Falls.
Jefferson River valley north of Twin Bridges, MT
  The terrain was varied, but not as forested as we expected.  More of the rolling ranch fields, hay and wheat grasslands, of Eastern Montana, but interspersed with north-south mountain ranges.  Plenty of high peaks all around us, just not real close.  We followed a number of rivers, went past a couple of reservoirs, saw thousands of rolls of hay, and an equal number of cattle and sheep! 
Continental Divide!  How boring!!!
   Once again I am disappointed at the Continental Divide.  No sign, no pass marker (it was Morida Pass at 6,811’), nothing….just a Welcome to Idaho sign a little further down the hill.  The hills had been fairly dry and sagebrush covered leading up to the summit.  Once we crossed over to the Idaho side, things seemed to green up rather soon, and we saw more and more tree covered hills.  Interesting. 

            We pulled into Idaho Falls around 5:00, gassed up for the morning, and found the Snake River RV park easily.  Site isn’t anything to cheer about, but it is clean and quiet.  At this point, no trains yet!  
Beaverhead Rock 
Clark Canyon Reservoir

SUNDAY, October 19 
Idaho Falls to Nampa, ID  269 miles
Rendezvous with Luke at Mason Creek RV

            Well….the trains might have been preferable to the noise at a campfire just across the road from us.  A group renting some of the Camping Cabins was at it until around 2:30am.  I could live with the guitar music and quiet singing, but a couple of the gals had the loudest piercing laugh which made sleep difficult.  Around 2am, I remembered my devotion for the day: to thank God for whatever we are given.  So I said thank you for people who had a sense of humor, who had something to laugh about!  I went to sleep shortly after that!  
Big Southern Butte outside Arco with red ground cover
            It also got a little cooler than we anticipated, a damp cool.  Midway through the night I put on my leggings and Rick turned on the heater.  That make a difference, but it was still 47 degrees in the trailer when I got up at 7:15am. 
Lava beds near Craters of the Moon
            We didn’t push things this morning…we only have 270 miles to go!  We got going around 9:30 heading west on US 20 across the middle of the ‘lava land’ rather than taking the freeway down and around.  Two lane road the whole way, but for the first few hours we hardly saw any cars! 
            We gas up in Arco and then across Craters of the Moon National Monument.  We stayed there last fall on the first night of our trip heading east.  A fascinating place, but not today!  The cows are heading to the barn! 
Castle Rocks
            It is a beautiful sunny fall day – actually quite warm for Rick on the sunny side of the truck.  The land looks dry and the mountains somewhat hazy.  We wonder if fires have been a recent problem.  Plenty of hayfields and vast ranches.  More cows in places, but a lot of bare sagebrush land.  This time of year isn’t the prettiest for this drive – it all looks so brown except for occasional clusters of aspens or cottonwoods still golden and some willows. 
            As we neared the junction with Hwy 75 toward Hailey and Sun Valley, the land produced a few more trees and a little more color.  We stopped at a Historical Marker to run back and grab a bite of lunch.
Castle Rocks area
            The east wind blew us from Mountain Home into Boise area – good mileage in that section!  We arrived at Mason Creek RV in Nampa around 2:30…pretty close to our 5 hour estimate for the drive!      Got a great site right out in front, hooked up, and a few hours to ‘chill’ while waiting for Luke to arrive. 
            And he pulled in right after 5pm!!  A good hug and conversation and then it is dinner time!  We head over to the Mongolian BBQ, Luke providing the transport so we don’t have to unhitched the truck and trailer.  Delicious meal, evening spent catching up, talking to Jed, cell phone issues, etc!  Luke curls up on the front bed in my sleeping bag for the night….resting up for his big adventure to start Monday morning! 

MONDAY, October 20
Nampa, ID to Baker City, OR
111 miles

            We are the horse heading to the barn today!!!  Up around 7am (it is dark outside!) to do a few final clean-ups in the trailer (sinks, tubs, toilet, etc – stuff that we won’t be able to put water down once it is winterized.)  Pack and fold everything up and shortly after 8am we are heading down the freeway one exit to Denney’s for breakfast. 
            Trailer to Bish’s and we drive Luke’s car to the airport.  Mistake to stay on freeway as between rush hour traffic and the construction, it takes an hour to go about 4 miles.  Luke is late getting to airport, but OK time wise.  We drop him off and return to pick up the trailer.  I check my phone before heading home and find a message from Luke that his flight is delayed and he will miss his international connection in SF.  My heart drops into my stomach for him.  He assures us to head home, nothing we can do, he’ll get there!  Just another long wait in the Boise airport!
            Off we go!  It is always a thrill to see the sign outside of Caldwell that first shows Baker City mileage: 100 miles to home!  Everything is so dry, especially the hills of the Burnt River Canyon.  I decide I can’t make it all the way home after drinking my whole pop and detour to the Weatherby Rest Area.  I have to laugh as Rick is just pulling in as I prepare to get back on to the freeway.  He couldn’t make it either! 
            We get home about 12:30pm….Baker time.  As I pull into town I think to myself….all these trips this year….do I still live here?  What is going on in my city?  I feel just a little displaced this return.    And sorry….no pictures for today.  I should have taken a couple of Luke, but didn't and then I was driving on the way home.  :(

            As usual, it is three days later as I finally get the blog finished.  We had the trailer and truck all unpacked within two hours of our return.  Wednesday night we took the washed and cleaned trailer, all winterized and ready, over to Classic Storage off 10th Street to park for the winter.  The cost will only be $25 a month.  It is relatively close and secure.  We put the cover over the top and will hope it works out.  This is the first time we haven’t been able to just pull it across the street and leave it in Ryan’s driveway, but his house finally sold!  (Good for Ryan!)
            Luke made it to Indonesia.  He flew out at 4pm MT on Monday to Los Angeles and caught a flight to Tokyo around 11pm.  About 15 hours late in arriving in Jakarta, but he sent a text of safe arrival and pictures with Kady on Wednesday evening.  Hopefully the rest of his trip will go smoothly! 
          Got on the Habitat CAV site this morning and sent my emails to Mary in regard to our extra hours in Columbia Falls and Belgrade.  So....I think all the loose ends are getting tied up and we can put this trip to rest.  It was a great one between concentrated time in Columbia Falls, establishing great friendships, and our visits to the national parks, amazing hikes and scenery.  Thank you God, once again, for the health and means to do this work.  

Total Miles:  3424                                                  Trailer Miles: 1887
Total Nights: 60                                                       Cost per day: $66
Days Worked Habitat:  26

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