Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off to the Cabin

One of the real highlights of every trip to WY is to spend time up at the family cabin. It is out in beautiful country between Sunlight Basin and Cooke City, MT.

There is alot of that great WY open space, with mountains and new country to explore.

Inside there is alot to do for the little kids.
No matter how many times we pick up these blocks, they are always out, always being used.

The big chess set is another popular spot...
The games get pretty good - especially by the end of a long stay.

Down in the TV room there is alot to do, too.

The best part is the outdoors, though. With all the big windows looking out on the meadow and Beartooth Mountains, everyone is drawn to watch constantly for animals to come out.
It used to be that elk, deer, moose, and even bear were regulary spotted. This trip, only one moose was ever seen. Fish-n-Game did tell us that they recently killed 51 wolves up in the area, because they are becoming such an issue... maybe that explains why we haven't seen elk in more than two years...
Anyway, after a nice morning the first day we explored the bench and mountain up above the high-way. There in the old snow was about a quarter-mile of grizzley tracks coming down off the mountain.
The early snow and then warm weather seem to have the bears up and about later than usual...

Up on the bench, the old wood stove is still out in the middle of no where... if only we could get the story on how, why, and what went on here...
... just another WY mystery.

Up on the bench was beautiful - the warm weather was up in the mountains just like it was down in the sage - although when the sun goes down, boy did it cool off!

Here are some more of the bear tracks... paralleled by at least one set of wolf tracks...
... and not a deer or elk track to be found. Hmmm....

Here's a nice view of the cabin and meadow. If you look close, you can see the boys goofing off at the pond.

Maybe the close-up will help.

The pond stayed frozen most of the time - more on that later.

Usually there is a pair of binoculars handy for scanning the edge of the meadow...

Here the kids are training for barrel-racing.
One generation passing along the tips-n-tricks to the next...

... then off to the dining room for more cocoa!

... or dinnner, or whatever. This is the most common room for cards or talking.

A couple of days we had weather blow in on us, but the snow never stayed long or got very deep.

Sure is pretty with the clouds moving along the Beartooths across the gorge...

Some more game playing.

The cabin is a great place for just hanging out, and is a great base-camp for the other activities to come.