What We Did This Summer

But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. ― Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

As the season ends, and Monica is too busy with the final harvest to write a blog post, I’ll share an essay with you.

We hiked (a lot), dug a sand point well, tended a garden, defended ourselves against grasshopper swarms, stared at aspen groves, did some yurt-improvement projects, befriended (and then sadly hazed) a wolf, took naps in the meadow, savored pink sunsets and misty sunrises, read the Sunday paper, and generally marveled at the natural beauty all around us. So, here is my essay—”What We Did This Summer”—in pictures.

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An Arborophile Copes with Dendromania

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
—Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Monica thinks I’m obsessed with trees, aspens in particular. Perhaps she’s right. I can think of worse things to obsess over.

It’s amazing how many hours I can spend amongst my friends the trees (not my only friends, mind you, lest you think I’m a misanthrope), and I often gain inspiration and insight when I’m alone in the woods.

Here are a few of the many, many pictures I’ve taken of trees near the yurt. I hope you enjoy them. Read more

All the Pretty Gills

Fly fishing for trout: for me it’s not about catching a lot of, or big, fish. It’s about so much more. Standing hip deep in gin-clear water produced from glacial melt high in the Rockies, surrounded by unspoiled wilderness, absolute solitude (with the exception of the bald eagle skimming the water or the bull elk drinking at the bank) … that’s what it’s all about. It’s here that I feel closer to God, more connected to the universe, more at peace with myself, than anywhere else. Read more

A Festive Fourth

Happy Fourth of July! We hope everyone had a great time celebrating 236 years of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. We celebrated by sitting on the side of a dirt road, drinks in hand, to cheer on one heck of an irreverent yet patriotic, charming, and short parade. Classic Polebridge, and we love it.

Here are a few pics of Americana—Polebridge style. Read more

Neo-Pioneers

The thing about living in a yurt in the middle of nowhere is that every task takes three times longer than it should.

In fact, I haven’t seen so many curveballs since my ol’ baseball days. The list of projects is long and never-ending—like building a shed for firewood and the new ATV (Big Camo), gathering river rocks for the firepit, wiring outlets, cutting a path to the river (or trying to), pumping water for the garden, building trellises and wood racks, and on and on.

The good news is that we had our first guest. A welcome extra set of hands, my son Charlie was here for eight days and helped with the projects requiring hard physical labor. That’s what kids are for, right?

Since Monica is busy creating culinary delights using our new Italian pasta maker, I thought I’d post a few pictures of typical happenings during a week at the yurt. Take a look …

 

Charlie collects mountain spring water

 

Monica teaches Charlie how to make pasta

 

 

Hmm, doesn’t look like we’re gonna get any water pumped with this burned-out motor
The pea trellis takes shape
The aspens finally leaf out

 

 

 

 

The view from our Polebridge hangout, the Northern Lights Saloon

 

One fine fire pit

 

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Horses and Courses

Finally, a toilet. We are so excited that we have a composting commode installed that we just have to share. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I finally read the operating instructions, and it turns out this contraption requires constant daily maintenance, so we’re still debating the separation of doodies. Read more