Burnt Mesa

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have hiking trails right out our back door! The hardest part is deciding which one to do first! We used to hike all the time, but this last year or so we have been rather lazy. There was not much to choose from in North Dakota, so we did not get outside nearly as much as we would have liked. That is definitely not the case here!

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I see you!

We decided on a short five mile hike on the Burnt Mesa Trail. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on this trail, so Charbie had to stay home. It was an absolutely beautiful day! The trail meanders through an area burnt by past forest fires. What was truly amazing was just how much poop there was! Deer, elk, coyote, every other step you were dodging poop! We, of course, love this because we rather enjoy the critters.

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My place is usually in the back, making sure we do not lose anyone, so I think I have a “rear hiking” shot from pretty much every trail we have ever gone on. This one was no exception. 🙂 Eventually we end up all spread out, usually with the boys running up ahead, Rob following them, and Catheryn and I following shortly behind.

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The view at the end of this trail was amazing. We sat on a large rock for quite some time, enjoying the scenery, watching a couple of bull elk climb out of the canyon, and enjoying lunch. When the boys started screwing with the cactus, we figured it was time to be moving on.

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After we made it back to the car, we decided to drive down the highway for a little while. We normally turn off towards town, but continued on instead. We climbed and climbed and climbed. I am pretty sure Peej had never seen that kind of elevation before! We found many more hiking spots that will have to wait until the snow melts. Perhaps next year we will have to invest in snow shoes!

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9,115 feet!

Snap Happy

Nathan volunteered to be my scenery photographer on the drive down to New Mexico. He took pictures of just about everything and ended up with well over 300 shots! It was so fun to look through them all. I think I will have to start sharing the camera more often! I would love to share them all, but I don’t have enough space, so here are a few of my favorites… 🙂

Settling In

To most people, a 735 sqft house is pretty small, but to a family used to living in 240 sqft, it is pretty big! Even for our family of five, we have plenty of room. There is plenty of room for us to pass in the hall without turning sideways, and the whole house does not shake when one of the kids jumps off their bed. And, perhaps best of all, Rob and I no longer sleep in the living room, so I do not have to make our bed every night and put it back away in the morning! What a treat to just crawl into bed when we are ready!

Our new view

Our new view

Rob is really enjoying his new position. He works with a great group of guys, and there are a lot of projects to look forward to. The kids started school last Tuesday, but there was no school Thursday through Monday, so they had a nice long break. They are really liking their classes and teachers. Liam was already able to go on a field trip to the junior high, which he will attend next year.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe

We have been trying to split our time between getting the house cleaned up and organized, and exploring the area. There is so much to see that we want to go do it all now, but we have to keep reminding ourselves that we will be here for a long time, and will have lots of time to explore and hike. But who wants to stay home and clean when there are so many amazing things to see?!

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Peej decided that she really wanted a new radiator, so we have already found a good repair shop in town, and since the kids had to be picked up from school while she was still in ‘surgery,’ I also had the pleasure of getting to know the local taxi service! At this rate, we will know the ins and outs of town in no time!

One of our neighbors

One of our neighbors

Everyone is settling in just fine, including Charbie, Remi, and Hammy. We are all getting used to our new house, new town, new school, new job, new surroundings. And we are all loving it. There is something here for everyone, and I think we are going to be busy exploring for a long time to come.

We Made It!

We were starting to think that perhaps we should take up residency in Wyoming. After we finally made it out of Gillette, we did not make it very far at all before we had to stop again, this time for blowing snow and ice. We decided that a night in Wheatland was in order, and hoped that by morning, the wind would stop and the interstate would be a little less treacherous. No such luck. As a matter of fact, the interstate became so bad that they closed it from Wheatland, down to Cheyenne.

Once the interstate was reopened, we decided to stay put until about 11am, giving the sun as much time as possible to help clear the roads. Still, the road to Cheyenne was very slow going. Eventually, though, we made it, and from there, the roads were clear through Colorado. I cannot tell you how happy we were about that! We made it down to Pueblo, CO before we stopped for the night.

We had planned on taking the highway once we hit New Mexico, but decided to stick to the interstate instead. We had had our fill of ice covered roads, and were hoping to avoid running into any more. We hit more snow just before Trinidad, CO, but it did not last for too long, and then it was smooth sailing on dry roads.

It took us a little longer than planned to make the trip down, but we made it in one piece, and that is what really counts. We arrived in New Mexico on February 5th, which also happened to be Remington P. Cat’s 18th birthday. Since then, we have enjoyed nothing but beautiful sunshine and blue skies.

I am amazed every time I look out the window because it is so incredibly beautiful. It feels so good to be here. So good to be… home.

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Hello, Wyoming!

Our drive started out great yesterday. By late morning, we were on the road, which is what we had hoped for. The roads were all dry with little traffic. Everything went smoothly until about 30 miles or so outside of Gillette, where we ran into blowing snow and icy roads. It took us almost an hour to finish up that last bit of the trip. We were really happy to get off the road for the night!

This morning it was still snowing. Schools were all delayed, there was black ice in all directions, and no travel to the south. Sooooo, we are going to hang out in Gillette for the day! We are not in a big hurry, and do not mind staying put, especially if the alternative is ice and snow!

The speed sign on the freeway made me laugh. I do not think Waldo could go 80mph even if he wanted to! Pretty sure there was no chance of us speeding through that area. 🙂 Ah, but those dry roads sure were nice!

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Gotta love Montana!