Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Can Do

We had planned on going over to the cabin today. However, current weather forecasts left us at odds on what to do. We decided to err on the side of safety and stay home. How boring, I know.

There were 2 or 3 more storm systems forecasted to roll through between now and Sunday, each with snow accumulations. Not having experienced a winter in Okanogan and a lack of snow plowing equipment, we were not willing to chance it.

One weather forecast had "moderate accumulation of snow" for two of the nights. What the heck is that? Does that mean 2", 4", 6", what? I haven't a clue. You'd think they could be more specific than that.

So we'll call the neighbors up and see if they want to get together New Year's Eve for a little farkling, Crazy Rummy or something.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Update

First of all, I finally put up a tree on Tuesday. All two feet of it. Ha!

I pulled it out of the box, plugged it in and fluffed it up. Voila. Christmas tree. Then I put it on the mantle and surrounded it with the gifts. Some of the boxes were larger than the tree.

Our Humongous Christmas Tree - Not!

On Christmas Eve, just as we were getting ready to prep the turkey to put into the oven, the power went out. Lately, the power has gone out but then come right back on. Not this time. We kept hoping it would come on but no such luck.

Deciding we needed to get the turkey cooked, Karl fired up the Weber grill and he cooked his first ever turkey over charcoal. It turned out excellent!

While the turkey was cooking, the beer was chilling. Pretty ingenious, huh?

No Power - No Problem

By the time Ryan showed up, the power came back on. It was out for about two hours. Ryan brought along his old Marine Corps room mate, Peter. Then Brandon, Karl's nephew, arrived. Josh and Gregg weren't able to make it due to the weather and road conditions. I'd rather the kids be safe than sorry.

Peter, Jelly & Ryan

Instead of having a formal dinner, we carved the turkey for sandwiches. Brandon brought a honey baked spiral cut ham that is definitely the best ever I have tasted. That also was used for sandwiches. Then there were pigs-in-blankets, chocolate chip cookies, turtle caramel brownies, spinach and artichoke dip, smoked trout dip, various chips for dipping, a vegetable tray and deviled eggs. Nobody went hungry.

We were going to watch A Christmas Story but we've seen it a gazillion times. We opted to watch Ronin with Robert De Niro instead. Of course, we've seen that movie a gazillion times, too, but when you have a houseful of men, well...you get the picture.

After the movie, we ended up at Don & Debi's house. Don is an ex-Marine as well and we wanted to introduce Peter to him. Before long, the guys were all playing Blazing Aces which is a game of flying planes on Don's new Playstation 3 game console. It was actually fun watching them take turns playing and shooting each other down.

Meanwhile, Debi taught me a new card game called "Nerts". It was sort of like playing double solitaire. I enjoyed it.

When the men were tired of being shot down by the younger generation, they joined me and Debi in a game of Farkle.

It turned out to be a fun-filled evening at the Barnhills.

On Christmas Day, after a late morning breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy, we loaded up the gifts for Josh and his girlfriend, Lisa, along with ones for Tim & Patti. The latter two were getting ready to head to Sacramento to spend the rest of the holiday with Tim's brother.

Karl, Jelly, Sally & Buddy at the Hansons'

We stopped at the Hanson house first and visited with them and their kids, Tiffany and Chris. Then we buzzed on down to Josh's house. The roads on the island were atrocious. You can tell they rarely get snow out there. I think the county only has one snow plow by the condition of the roads.

Karl received a nice magnifying glass from Josh, even though we told all of the kids to not buy any presents for us. It will come in handy for his fly tying. We couldn't stay long because we had the dogs with us and they were out in the truck.

We'll visit with Gregg and his family next Monday and celebrate a belated Christmas with them.

Christmas Day turned out quite nicely for us. I hope you had a wonderful day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful time this year.

We woke up to more snow this morning. Got another couple of inches. It's hard to see in the video, but it was snowing. I guess with practice I will get better at doing videos.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Power is still intact

Surprisingly, we haven't lost power...yet...knock on wood.

It has snowed off and on all day today, and it is snowing right now. I think we only got a few more inches, but it is hard to tell because of the drifting.

I checked the weather forecast a while ago and every day through Christmas calls for snow showers. We might just have a white Christmas, although I think it is likely we'll have rain before then. I think it will warm up too much for snow.

Still don't have the Christmas tree up. Shame on me. I know I have to do it before Wednesday. Scrooge is alive and well inside me.

Here are some pictures from yesterday as promised. It seemed strange seeing snowmobile tracks around here. I bet those people who own them never thought they'd be able to use them close to home. Usually you have to go up into the mountains to play.

I told you it was cold outside!

Downtown Stanwood

Snowy Farm with Snowmobile Tracks

I took the dogs out in the back yard earlier today and let them play. Our other camera shoots video so here's one of Jelly and Buddy having fun. Honestly!

All this snow has been hard on the trees. When I've been out shoveling, you can hear the tree branches cracking and snapping under the weight of the snow. Even our neighbor's cherry trees have been hard hit. These are thick trunked trees that seemed impervious to the snowfall, until now. It really is a shame. These trees are very pretty, especially when in bloom in the spring. Ahhh, spring...kinda hard to think about spring (or is it) with all of the snow. When the broken branches get removed, it might open up our view to the lake though.

Trees a few days ago

Trees today

Cracked Branch

I also took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. As expected, a few vehicles didn't make it up the hill last night. It's hard to tell from this shot, but trust me, the upper part of the hill was nasty.

Looking towards the steep hill - Merry Christmas!

In fact, our good friends' son's car wouldn't be able to make it up the hill today so he was going to park it in front of our house. He was on his way to the airport in Bellingham. Unfortunately, he couldn't even get to our neighborhood in it. We met our friends at the Park-n-Ride to pick them up after dropping off their own vehicle for their son to use to get to the airport.

Karl has enjoyed driving the truck in the snow. We drove up the hill with no problem. Good thing we have the truck. The Toyota is not going anywhere anytime soon.

It's Buried

It promises to be an icy commute tomorrow. I'm working, Karl's on vacation, so he'll be stuck at home unless he digs the car out. :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here we go again

The next storm has rolled in this evening. But we are ready. At least I think we are.

Who knows how much snow we will get out of this one. We already have close to 2 more inches. There is a high wind warning with this storm, but so far we haven't had much wind. The winds are supposed to be farther south than we are, so hopefully we won't experience much of it.

The snow we are getting is very fine and already drifting.

Karl and I went into town this morning and bought a few more items in preparation for the storm. It was 7 degrees at 10 a.m. All of the animals are being kept inside except for potty breaks.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow taken while we were out and about earlier. That is if we have power.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Road Trip!

We needed to go to the store this morning, mostly to get food for Charlie, our parrot. Karl had his work cut out just trying to get the truck out of the driveway. This is after we had already cleaned the truck off the previous morning. I can tell you the Corolla won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

And yes, it had started snowing - again.

Before the Big Dig

Getting Closer - Anybody See a Toyota?

We checked with our neighbors to see if anyone needed anything. Bread, milk, eggs, the usual. One neighbor needed milk and another needed mail to go out. Then it was off to town.

Our road still had not been plowed and the ruts in the snow made it feel like the car ride at the amusement park where you "steered" the car, but the concrete strips actually kept it on course. The same thing was happening with the truck in the snow. Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive.

We got out to the freeway, still in 4x4 mode. We have never driven on I-5 in 4-wheel drive but we did today. Slowly, of course. It was amazing to see the idiots go flying past others considering the snow and ice on the road. You wonder why there are so many accidents. It's idiots like these. We even had a semi go screaming by us, and we were doing about 40 mph. Funny how when they came up on the State Patrol car sporting a set of chains himself, most of them slowed down.

I-5 South Approaching Exit 210

We decided to get some breakfast at IHOP. This was our second visit there. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't miss it if I never went to another one. The food is just so-so. At least our waitress was friendly. Busy, but friendly.

While we were eating, a couple of little boys were talking to their dad about the truck out in the parking lot with all of the snow on the roof. Compared to the other vehicles out there, nothing was even close. Karl also overheard two guys commenting on the truck.

Snow on the roof

After getting the errands done, back home we headed. We passed 7 or 8 semi trucks chaining up on the north side of exit 208. On the shoulder of I-5! You would have thought this was a mountain pass. Amazing, to say the least. But the further north you went, the worse the freeway got. They definitely needed those chains on their tires.

This is a view looking down our road on the way home. It was picturesque.

Snow Covered Road

The snow had changed to flurries by mid-afternoon, but in the past 36 hours (approximately) we received 13 inches of snow for a total of 16! Some spots in the backyard were close to 18 inches. This is the most I have ever seen since I've lived out here. And more is still to come.

Snow at 1:15 p.m.

Our mailbox looked so funny with the snow piled on top. I couldn't resist taking a picture. "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds". Guess what? This storm kept them from delivering mail today in our neighborhood.

Mailbox Snow Hat

Poor Buddy, when I took him out in the back yard (where I know he will be safe from cars and ice), he could only walk where I did. The snow is deeper than he is tall. I think he enjoyed playing in it again, especially when Jelly was out there, too.

Buddy Peeking Out from Under the Chairs

Our neighbors invited us over for dinner. We had a delicious pot roast and then apple pie for dessert. It was a good ending to a good day.

And no, the Christmas stuff never made it out of the attic. Our ladder is over at the cabin and we'll need to borrow a neighbor's ladder to get up there.

There's always tomorrow.

Another Snow Day!

Work is closed for the second day in a row. Can you say yippee? I feel like I'm a school kid when you used to pray that school would close because of snow.

You know it's bad around here if work closes for two days.

At least the snow has stopped.

Snow at 5:45 a.m. today

I may just try to get the Christmas tree up today. The snow makes it a winter wonderland around here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Update

Still snowing...14-1/2 inches and accumulating. I think the weatherman messed up on this one.

Snow at 10 p.m.

Baby Girl went outside when we had the dogs out for a walk earlier today. She's on the front porch for the moment, out of the snow. If she comes in, the pet door is getting closed again. The temps are going to drop again tomorrow back into the teens at night. I want her inside.

Our schools are already closed for tomorrow. No update for work yet.

Do Dogs Have 9 Lives?

Aside from the snow storm which gave us a day off from work, we had 2 VERY scary events with Buddy today.

First, Karl had Buddy & Jelly out playing in the snow in the front yard this morning. Buddy took off out into the road and narrowly missed being hit by a SUV. We are talking inches. He wouldn't come when called. Karl was able to finally get Buddy and brought both dogs inside. You could tell Karl was very shook up by it.

Then later in the afternoon, we took the dogs down to the park, away from the road, so they could run and play in the snow.

Jelly running in the snow

Hey! This is fun!

Maybe my ears will help me fly over the snow

Bridge over the creek in the park

The lake was starting to ice over and we watched as the dogs went out on the dock. In a blink of an eye, Buddy was gone! He went over the edge of the dock and broke through the thin layer of ice. We ran out on the dock and Karl was able to grab him. Luckily Buddy was swimming along the front edge of the dock.

Seconds before Buddy disappeared over the edge of the dock

Buddy shook off the water and started running towards shore with Jelly. It was business as usual for him. Karl and I were both shaken up by it and were anxious to get both dogs away from the water and back inside.

We've been having trouble with Buddy coming when called. He's still young and learning, but this is an important command for him to learn. I think it's time for dog training classes since he does not seem to be catching on. We cannot let this behavior continue.

Twice in one day we almost lost him. If Buddy was a cat, he would have used up a couple of his 9 lives today.

No ill affects from going overboard - Bite Me!

The snow has continued to fall all day. It started overnight and hasn't really stopped. Karl has had to make several treks outside to clean the snow off of the satellite dish. We called the kids and canceled family dinner night. We didn't feel it was safe for them to be out driving in these conditions.

Good news - I finished doing my Christmas cards. Now I just need to get stamps and mail them, hopefully tomorrow.

We started out with about 3" from the last storm. By noon, we were up to 7" and by 6:15 this evening, we had a solid 10" on the back deck. And it's still snowing.

Snowfall at Noon

Snowfall at 6:15 pm

Tomorrow should be an interesting commute if the office reopens. There's ice under the snow on the streets. Funny thing is Seattle didn't get much snow. Most of it fell in our area. Go figure. We have these weird conversion zones because of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound in between.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who's Right and Who's Wrong?

It was darn cold this morning. The car showed an outside temp of 13 degrees on our way to work and 26 on the way home. For us, that is cold. And for the second day in a row, our local school district was opening 2 hours late. There wasn't any more snow over night. I think it is the ice on the secondary roads that hasn't melted and maybe the school district didn't want to risk sending buses out that early in the morning.

We can't drive in snow around here any way. LOL

Depending on which radio / news station you listen to, the storm coming in overnight and tomorrow will bring us between 1 and 6 inches of new snow on top of the couple inches we already have. So who's right and who's wrong? Plus there is another storm coming in over the weekend. With the temps not really getting above freezing, the snow will be sticking around for several more days.

I kinda worry about the kids and homeless people in our area. This is a very atypical weather pattern for us and many people don't own heavy winter outerwear. I hope people are staying warm.

All of our critters were kept in today except to take the dogs out for a short walk and potty break. Baby Girl may not be the happiest of cats, but at least she's a warm kitty. Surprisingly, the dogs are not bothering her too much and we don't have WW3 occuring in the house.

Monday, December 15, 2008

North Cascades Highway Closed (for the Season)

Washington DOT decided to keep the North Cascades Highway closed until spring. I kinda figured that would happen. Oh well, better safe than sorry, even if I dislike traveling US 2 across the mountains.

I signed up for alerts from the DOT so I've been getting email updates about Stevens Pass approximately every 4 hours. This may be handy info to have available later so we can check pass conditions before crossing.

We were talking about going over to the cabin after Christmas. If the weather doesn't warm up a bit, we may just stay home. With no insulation in the cabin, I don't think the woodstove and heater can keep up with the cold temps. Just the 4 days at the cabin over Thanksgiving made the electric bill jump. I'd rather take that money and use it towards getting other things done at the cabin - like insulation, at least for the ceiling. I wish we could insulate the whole thing, but the rough-in plumbing and electric have to be finished and inspected first.

It is in the mid 20's at home this evening. Karl took the dogs out after work today and we think it was too frickin' cold for Buddy. Karl said the dog was walking sort of funny and then just toppled over on his side like he was having a seizure. Karl quickly hustled him inside to the warmth and he seems fine now. He was only outside for a few minutes and our guess is that he couldn't handle the freezing weather. We'll have to remember to put the dogs' sweaters on before they go outside. At least for the next few days. Buddy is a California boy and is not used to this kind of weather. Maybe he needs doggy boots for his feet, too. I may check at Petco tomorrow for some. Haha!

I tried a new recipe for a Sausage & Potato soup last night for dinner. To sum it up - deeelish! We're having leftovers for dinner tonight.

Here's the recipe:

4 red potatoes, cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 - 14 oz can low sodium beef broth
1 - 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 lb turkey sausage or kielbasa, cut into 1/2" slices
1 can condensed cream of chicken or cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk (optional)
2 tbsp corn starch (optional)
Ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, combine potatoes, onion, celery, beef
broth, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and
simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Stir in sausage and
condensed soup and continue to simmer until heated through and slightly
thickened. For thicker soup, mix corn starch with milk. Add to soup and continue to simmer until heated through. Season with pepper. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

This is a perfect soup for a cold winter day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

But the fire is so delightful. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Okay, so we had our first snowfall of the year in Western Washington. I like it any way. We received about 3 to 4 inches of snow since Friday evening. Most of it came last night.

I've said in the past that I like snow. It's the cold I dislike so much. And cold it will be here.

Outside temp as of this writing is 35 degrees F. I bought a new digital thermometer so I can see how cold it will be outside over the next few days. It is supposed to be unseasonably cold for our area. At least the snow will stick around for a few more days.

House Blanketed in Snow

View down to the Lake

Lake View

Believe it or not, the photos are not black and white. This was the look of the landscape with the morning light. You can tell because the house is yellow and the trees really are dark green.

It was very picturesque around the lake. And peaceful. The trumpeter swans had already departed for their daily feeding in nearby fields. If I was smart, I would have trekked back down to the lake earlier this afternoon and waited for the swans to return. It's getting too dark now to get any pictures of them on the lake.

I wish we had a webcam over at the cabin. I'd love to see how much it snowed there.

I went grocery shopping today and maybe, just maybe, I picked up a little Christmas spirit when I purchased a few gifts for family members. It has been difficult to not be a Scrooge this year, what with our job situations. I may put the tree up this coming week. If not, definitely next weekend.

For now, it's still Bah Humbug!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

North Cascades Highway Closed (temporarily)

It was announced today that Washington State DOT is closing the North Cascades Highway until at least next Monday. A major snow storm will be moving through the mountains and up to 3 feet of snow is predicted. Due to avalanche concerns, the state will shut the highway down between mileposts 134 east of Diablo and 170 west of Mazama.

If the danger from avalanches remain high on Monday, the highway may be closed for the season.

Map of Highway 20

Below is a slide show from the WA DOT website that shows the opening of the highway earlier this year. This will give you an idea on how much snow they get up there.

2008 Spring Opening

Once the highway shuts down, we will need to use US 2 to cross the Cascades to get to Okanogan. I don't particularly like going Highway 2, but that will be the farthest route north across the mountains before you get into Canada. It will also make for a longer drive. Boo hiss.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Howdy Neighbor!

I stumbled across my next door neighbor's blog today. I was looking for other blogs around Okanogan and opened one of the hits that I got. It was a great looking blog and had quite a bit about scrapbooking. I enjoy scrapbooking, although I haven't done much of it lately. Seems I've been busy building a house or two. :-)

Any way, in reading through this particular blog, I thought something looked familiar. Lo and behold, it was my neighbor! I thought this was so fun to find and know we share common interests in scrapbooking and photography.

I posted a comment in her blog about their Christmas tree. I hope she sees it. And I've added a new section with blogs I'm following. If you like scrapbooking, check out her blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Cabin Stories

Since it has been awhile with the updates (other than Thanksgiving), I figured it was time to share more tales from the Okanogan.

Labor Day 2008

Karl went over to the cabin early in the week to start prepping for painting. Josh and I took the train over on Wednesday from Everett to Wenatchee. Karl drove down about 90 miles to meet us at the train station. It was either that or take the bus all the way from Everett. Too long of a trip!

The train trip was nice. I finally got to see more of the scenery approaching Stevens Pass since it was still light outside. The last time we made that trip, it was dark and you couldn't see anything.

Karen and Jim arrived on Thursday with their camper and painting clothes.

Let the fun begin!

Josh & Karl hard at work

Josh & Karen painting up high

Jim priming the trim on the little cabin

Karen - the painting inspector general

But it wasn't a weekend of all work and no play. You know us...that would be impossible!

The "driving range" was open for business. You whack the golf balls until they are gone, then you have to go and find as many as possible in the field so you can play again. We do have a complaint for the management...you need more golf balls! The supply is running low.

Update for the golfers: the management has procured more golf balls for next year's season.

Of course, it's not a weekend at the cabin without some fishing. Here are some nice crappies that were caught for dinner.

Here is a shot of the cabins all finished. We spent most of the weekends in September painting. The trim is an off-white color and the base is called "Mountain Shade". Its a greenish-gray tint and blends into the colors of the landscape. It felt so good to get both houses done before the winter weather arrived.

During a couple of the weekends of painting, we were fascinated with the Sandhill crane migration taking place.

At first we couldn't figure out what we were hearing since we arrived in the dark. The next day, we heard the noise again way before we saw the birds in the sky. There were hundreds of birds migrating in flocks of all sizes. It was a new experience for us to see the cranes heading south for the winter. I believe they are on their way to the Sacramento delta area where they will hang out until they return next spring.

Sandhill Crane Migration

October 11-12 Weekend

Finally a weekend just to relax. Good thing too since we had just received notice at work two days earlier that our location would be closing down.

No work would be done on this weekend. Kinda. We needed to bring the camper home so we could go on a caravan with the truck camper club plus we didn't want to leave it over there for the winter. That meant packing it up to make the trip home.

We spent Saturday exploring the area. We weren't sure exactly how far we'd go or where we'd end up. It was one of those days to just get in the truck and drive. Have map, will travel.

We drove down Cameron Lake Road past our turn off. It is a wide-open area with beautiful landscapes.

View looking west towards the Cascade Mountains

Duley Lake where we turned east

The road that connected Cameron Lake Road and Omak Lake Road looked substantial on the map. At times, we thought we were going to have to put the truck in 4-wheel drive. We went through one cattle guard that almost scraped the sides of the truck. It was extremely narrow. We didn't think we would meet other vehicles on the road, but we did. Next time, we'll try the other connector road and see how that one is.

The entire area is range area. We've even have had cattle up at our house. It is up to the property owners to fence the livestock out, not the other way around. Eventually we will fence in part of our property.

Jelly gets all excited if you say "Cows!". She loves to look out of the window at them. We saw plenty on our trip.

Range cattle

We finally reached the Columbia River Road and Karl was able to look for places to possibly launch his kayak into Rufus Woods Lake. The lake is created behind Chief Joseph Dam along the Columbia River.

We headed towards Nespelem and then decided to go on down to Grand Coulee Dam. We stopped and had lunch in Grand Coulee and walked around a couple of the parks at the dam. The weather couldn't have been any better for us.

Grand Coulee Dam

At first, I didn't think I had been to Grand Coulee Dam. It wasn't until we went to another overlook that I knew we had been there before. When we bought our truck in Idaho, we came home past Grand Coulee. I just never saw the dam from up close.

At the overlook - Grand Coulee Dam

Upon departing Grand Coulee, we headed back west towards Bridgeport. It was hunting season and we saw many hunters. I'm not a bambi hunter, but there is a huge deer population in the area. The hunting is good to maintain the health of the herd and also to reduce the number that end up in car vs. deer incidents. One popular saying "There are two kinds of people in the Methow Valley. Those who have hit deer, and those that are going to." We have come close to hitting them on our trips over to the cabin.

We checked out the small town of Bridgeport. Yep, its small. Then we stopped at the viewpoint for Chief Joseph Dam for a few minutes. We crossed the Columbia River and decided to go visit Bridgeport State Park. What a beautiful park.

It had a nice little campground that was full of hunters. We saw several truck campers, too. :-)
They have a nice golf course at the park and saw a few golfers out enjoying the warm fall weather.

There was another viewpoint for the dam that we stopped at before heading back to the cabin.

We drove a good 150 miles round trip over the course of the afternoon. Overall, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. We got to see more of the surrounding areas and enjoyed the scenery along the way.

Trip Route (click to enlarge)

Sunday morning I emerged from the camper to see this...

A beautiful rainbow against a dark and stormy sky. We had just been talking about our situation at work and worrying about the future. I think this was God's sign that everything would be okay.

After breakfast, we loaded up the camper and headed home.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We started our Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday, the day before Turkey Day. We left home around 12:30ish headed for the cabin in Okanogan. This was after I fell down the front steps at home taking stuff out to load into the truck. Ouch!

The drive across the North Cascade Highway wasn’t too bad. Karl hit one patch of black ice and the rear of the truck broke loose and he started to go sideways. I was sleeping but his gasp woke me up. After that, we took it much easier across the pass.

We made a short stop in Twisp at a fellow kayak angler's house to do a meet and greet. The guys connected through a kayak angler’s forum and Karl was hoping they could do some fishing over the weekend. After suffering a mild case of disappointment upon learning that a fishing trip wouldn’t be possible, we continued onward to the cabin.

We hit another slick spot coming up Cameron Lake Road. I was awake for this one…yowzer! Scary knowing that the canyon was on one side with a steep drop off. Karl quickly got it back under control and we continued up the hill.

The cabin was cold when we got there. Let’s fire up the woodstove and warm this baby up! We got things situated and before long it was time to hit the sack for the night. There were patches of snow, too.

The steps to the cabin were icy and guess what? I fell down those, too.

Thursday - Thanksgiving Day

We woke up brrrr cold! The stove had gone out during the night, even after restoking it a time or two. With no insulation in the cabin and a little stove…well it takes a lot to keep it warm. The air in the mattress even got cold which made it that much worse.

We decided to see if Wal-Mart was open and purchase a few things, like an electric heater to help keep us warm at night. We also bought a foam pad to put on top of the air mattress to help insulate us from any cold air.

Around 3:30 p.m., we saw a large bird fly near the cabin. It was getting dark early because of the dense fog. We looked out of the windows and found the bird on top of the telephone pole next to the cabin. It was a large owl. Later we found out it was a Great Horned owl. It was huge and we watched as it flew from tree to tree searching for dinner.

Great Horned Owl

I made an awesome turkey dinner for us, if I do say so myself. A turkey breast, two thighs and stuffing all done in the crockpot. I rounded it out with instant mashed potatoes, peas, cranberry jelly, gravy and rolls. We had quite the feast and it was delicious.

Friday – aka Black Friday

We survived the cold night with the assistance of the heater. It was actually too warm to sleep at first.

We did a bit of Black Friday shopping, believe it or not. There was a card table set at Ace Hardware advertised for $50. The camp table and chairs just weren’t cutting it. The chairs were too low for table and they were hard to get up close to it also.

We got up and were at Ace Hardware somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. Ace had plenty of sets so we really didn’t need to be there so early.

Then we went to Home Depot to get a 30 to 15 amp adapter. After that, it was breakfast at McDonald’s and pretty much back to the cabin.

Daytime highs have been hovering around 30 for both days so far and the nights are slightly cooler. There’s been quite a bit of freezing fog, too. It’s been so cold, I made ice cubes outside.

Jelly (below) and Buddy had a grand time playing in the little bit of snow we had.


Karl decided he would go fishing on Saturday so he spent the afternoon working on his kayak. Later he realized he didn't have his license. We think it got left at home so he would try to get a replacement.

We saw the owl again but only from a distance.

For dinner, we ate turkey leftovers, except for the stuffing which we had tossed out the night before. Yummy.

Our after dinner entertainment consisted of watching two DVDs. We were able to hook up the stereo to the computer for extra speakers and it made it much easier to hear than through the computer's speakers.

During the movie, Karl’s friend called about fishing tomorrow. He could make it now. Karl was happy and we finished watching the movie. Then it was off to the warmth of the flannel sheets and sweet dreams.

Saturday – Nov 29th

After breakfast, Karl loaded up the kayak and gear and left around 8:30 to meet Bill.

I cleaned the cabin, went for a short walk with the dogs, and played on the computer.

The sun started melting the ice and the temp probably reached 34 degrees. Heat wave!

In late afternoon, Karl returned from his fishing trip to Rufus Woods Lake with one nice trout and a sunburn on his face. He had a good time. Of course, any time fishing is a good time.

Karl's Trout

I made use of the woodstove to heat up turkey orzo soup. It was nice and warm and filled our bellies. Now I need to figure out if I can make biscuits on top of the stove.

After dinner, we found Buddy sitting in front of the heater on the floor. It was hilarious. Like the woodstove wasn't warm enough for him!

Buddy staying warm

Sunday – Nov 30

Karl made his special pancakes for breakfast. They were oh so delicious. Then it was time to pack up and head home.

We left OK around 11 a.m. We needed to stop in Twisp and drop off a couple of things that belonged to the new fishing buddy.

On the way up Highway 20 towards Washington Pass, we saw a vehicle flipped upside down on its roof. Hopefully no one suffered serious injury. The wrecker was in the process of getting ready to turn it right-side up so it could be towed away.

The accident served as a good reminder to be careful. Even though the roads were clear in most spots, black ice could be lurking around a shaded bend in the road. The higher we climbed, the warmer it got for a while.

Crossing the pass, the outside temp was 45 degrees! The trip on the downside saw moderate temps and not much traffic. Before we knew it, we were pulling into our driveway. The weekend was over. Boo hoo.

Now we are looking forward to our next trip back to Okanogan.