Saturday, May 16, 2015

What Do You Do When It Rains On Moving Day? Bloody Mary's Sound Good!

Thornton, ID

We relocated north to Idaho a week ago and have been working in a different type of area for the last few days. We don't have the elevation changes, mountains and trees that we encountered in Utah; rather we've been driving large slightly undulating sage covered cattle ranges. We've seen lots of grazing cattle, mating bulls, a few elk and even a few sage grouse.

Parting shots from Utah

I know it doesn't look deep, but
the differentials are dragging
On our last work day in Utah we had a little adventure added to our normal routine. It had rained the night before and even the regularly maintained dirt roads were filling the tire treads with mud, causing the jeep to slip & slide in certain areas. We got off the maintained roads into the trails when it started raining again. As we began a slow descent down a slight grade the jeep slid sideways into a washed out rut about a foot deep. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but with the tire treads full of mud we couldn't get enough traction to climb out of the rut. Even with the tires turned hard left we just continued to follow the rut in the trail. Ahead we could see the rut deepen to two feet and turn off the trail into the bush. No way I was going to be able to continue forward down the hill. And after several failed attempts at backing up and climbing out of the ruts it was time to try something else. So out came the shovel and I proceeded to dig a trench at a 45 degree angle across the road; piling the dirt and rock into the rut so that the tires would hit the wall of my trench and be forced into turning the jeep away from the ruts. It worked. As soon as we were rolling again we decided to leave the area and pick up some trails a few miles away where things were flat and less muddy.

We had a chance last weekend to visit Yellowstone NP which is about 90 miles northeast of where we're staying just north of Idaho Falls. We spent one night at Old Faithfull Inn and another a little further north near Mammoth Hot Springs. It snowed both days we were there, not enough to stick around very long, but enough to dust everything and add a little ambiance. Enjoy the pics....

Mud Pots

Old Faithful Inn
Old Faithful

Joan, Dave & Maxine

In Mammoth Hot Springs we caught up with friends Herb & Christine who are working there this summer. 

And Joan almost got into a little trouble with one of the locals...

Yesterday we had a couple of situations that required some work on the jeep. At one point the brakes starting squealing. An inspection under the jeep revealed a piece of wood wedged against the brake caliper causing the noise. A few minutes of pushing and pulling freed up the wood and all was fine....for a few miles when we started to hear another weird rubbing noise. A walk around the jeep revealed a 10' piece of wire wrapped around the drive shaft. This took a little more time & effort, but we cleared it and kept the wire for future use. 

We've been working at our first location for a week and were planning on moving about 35 miles north this weekend to another campsite where we would be parking on natural grass. But it's raining and the weather has the ground soggy, so rather than risk tearing up the landscaping or getting stuck we're staying put in this location for a few more days. How to make the most of a rainy day? We're off to our boss's for Bloody Mary's. Yahoo!

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come


  1. It's always an adventure. Looks like fun.

  2. This mud/clay out here is wicked when it is wet. So glad you were able to get out that area.

    How nice to get a few days at Yellowstone:) This is my all time favorite park.

  3. I'm loving your job! What an adventure everyday.....and such a great way to see this beautiful country!

  4. Looks like you are getting some good use out of your Jeep! Sorry we missed your visit to YNP, but if you are back in the area, let us know. Not sure how long you will be in ID, but we do plan on exploring this area. Take care and enjoy the Bloody Mary's!!

  5. I'm having flashbacks watching your mud photos! We had our truck/rig stuck in the NM mud a few weeks back. Not fun. Your pictures are great! Looks like a nice time. And, ya can't beat a good Bloody Mary!

  6. Oh oh that's not good. Now that you have started the rainy day bloody tradition this could get out of hand!

    I bet a change of scenery is nice and it is really nice that you were able to get away for a few days to Yellowstone.