Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever
n. : Boredom, restlestness, or irritability that results from lack of enviornmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparesly populated region or a confined indoor area.

Wikipedia says symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfullness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust with anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside, even in the rain, snow, or dark.

Katie and I might be in trouble. This photo of our house goes seems to go way too well with the definition of cabin fever.

Hey There
Ed here. This is my first blog post in about 2 months. Major formatting issues are driving me insane, but I'm going to continue anyway. Sorry about the small print. I've concluded that not many people read this, however, for some unknown reason, I'm going to try to continue to come up with a few posts now and then. This post has alot of photos, my favorite part of any blog that I read. I suppose I should tell you that I accidentally uploaded all the photos as "small", so if you want to see them larger, you can click on them and view them a bit larger.

To some people, it may seem like we live in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do. I actually think the opposite. I feel like there is just way too much to do. At least, too much of what I enjoy doing, most of which takes place in the middle of nowhere. Recently, we did have a stretch of normal, Montana cold weather. To be honest, after about 3 days in the house, I did feel a bit of the cabin fever. I may have an inherent need for the outdoors. The days cooped up inside did go by quick, however, with both of us keeping busy in our own little worlds most of the time.

Inside Time
I spend alot of my time indoors with my banjo or guitar. A lot more with my banjo recently, learning new tunes, re-learning old ones, or trying to write my own. That little green notebook you see in the photo below, contains all of the music or words to songs that I've written, some of which no one has ever heard except my dogs Hattie and Pfeiffer. I'd be pretty bummed out if I lost that thing. I am by no means, a professional song writer, but I enjoy doing it. Most of it would fit very well in the category of trash to most people. The banjo you see, also belongs in the trash. The thing that causes me to stop playing 99% of the time, is having to deal with the horrible quality of that instrument. It's really time for a new rig.

I spend a lot of time in this little zone, mostly just making noise for others

You can also find me during various time of the day, set up behind my spotting scope, checking out Fan Mountain for anything out of the ordianary. I've been looking hard out the kitchen window as well, in hopes to spot a bobcat, mountain lion, or for the mountain goats to reappear. I've only spotted tracks so far.

Checking for avalanches on Fan Mountain.

Someday I'm gonna spot a cat up there

Outside Time

It really is amazing when you seen the sun and blue sky after a number of days without it. There is an incredible energy in the mountains on a bluebird day that I believe can't be described. I try to finish all of my responsibilities for the day early in the morning, so that I have the day to soak up the sun and enjoy it. That usually includes alot of snowplowing and shovelling and taking care of the horses.

The Northeast face of Fan Mountain on a crystal clear day

Ghost reminds me that hay is definitely for horses each morning.

After our most recent stretch of cold weather and cabin fever, we both had a strong urge to get outside. The sun was shining for the first time in almost a week and the temperature finally was above zero. We'd been spotting this cow and calf moose around, so we decided to head out with the intention of finding them and getting a look at them. We strapped on some snowshoes and headed out the back door. Not far from our "yard", there were tracks everywhere. Deer and snowshoe hare tracks were the most prevalent, but if you looked hard enough, I'm sure you could come up with quite a list of winter critter tracks. We did come upon a mountain lion track not very far from the house. The track displayed a downhill leap of about 20 feet inbetween each track. So cool.

Here's a photo of me lying down inbetween the mountain lion track. Note that I'm about 5'6" and 150 lbs of solid muscle

Here's a family self portrait. These usually take 3-4 takes with the dogs crying the whole time.

Katie with the Spanish Peaks

The Dogs in Heaven, loving life

My girl Hattie, also known as HTD, Hattie The Dog. This looks like we went to Walmart and got that background put on.

After about a 40 minute walk through paradise, we peaked up over a small knob above The Moose Ponds. Katie let out a whistle and Momma Moose came crashing out of the trees a few hundred yards in front of us. The calf was close behind her.

Our goal of finding the moose. This was the calf trying to catch up to momma. This photo is zoomed way in.

This is taken from the same spot as the previous photo, not zoomed in. Can you spot the moose?

Happy that we succeeded in finding the cow and calf moose, we trekked on with our second goal of having some hot chocolate. I built us a little snow bench, and set up The Whisperlite stove to boil some water. We sat and drank some hot chocolate, soaked up some Vitamin D from the sun, and took in the beautiful views of Fan Mountain and Lone Peak.

Katie trekking on in the deep snow

For some reason, I felt this was a beautiful scene.

Hattie and I Building a snow bench

Katie waits patiently for some hot chocolate as Pfeiffer wonders if there are any sandwhiches in the bag

The excitement of The Big Sky Big Grass Festival is upon us. The 3 day weekend of great music, tons of skiing, and no sleep is approaching fast. Definitely one of our most favorite times of the year. Our friends Tom Murphy and John Lowell are a fixture in Big Sky. The play the festival every year and play almost every weekend as well. We were lucky enough to catch them at The Carabiner Lounge after skiing the other night.

Tom Murphy and John Lowell pick some tunes as the snow falls outside behind them

And last but not least, a photo of a trout I caught on my first cast about a month ago on the Madison. The fish were hungry that day and I was able to get my winter fix of fishing. Almost every cast landed a beautiful trout similar to the one in the photo.

I felt like I just wrote a huge novel. Sorry for the monsterous blog post. Wait, no one reads this thing anyway!!!!


  1. I started following your blog a few days ago... Your pictures are beautiful and to someone like me, who lives on the very wet and muddy southern Oregon coast, the snow looks so beautiful and clean. When our dogs go out with me to do chores, they come back in covered in mud. At least with snow, they are just wet, right?

  2. So sick Ed! Please keep the blog posts coming, they mean a lot to a guy back east!

  3. I read! It's how I get my mountain fix these day now that I've left Alaska (against my will) and currently reside in the self-titled "low country" of Georgia. bah. yay snowshoes.

  4. I always read and look forward to them! I love hearing about what you guys are doing out there and seeing your amazing pictures! I just don't always comment - so keep them coming!!

  5. P.S. That post was your sister Sue in case you were wondering :) Love ya!

  6. Thanks Donovan! Means alot PAL.

    I figured that was you Sue!

  7. I read them all the time! You are amazing how you can turn a long cold day "in the middle of nowhere" into a hot chocolate picnic on the slope of a mountain! It is so easy to see how much you love being outdoors in Montana. Your photos are truly beautiful and your comments always make me chuckle. Don't stop writing. It's a great way for me to stay connected with your wonderful experiences. Love, Mom