By: Bears Butt

This week, Sherry and I made a little trip up along the trail that Brigham Young sent a small group of LDS missionaries to look into settling the Salmon River area of what is now called Idaho.  Back then it was called the Oregon Territory.  Brigham Young was actually scouting out another escape route from the US Government, should they decide to come after the Mormons again.  Among the small group, some 25 to 30 young men of LDS faith, was my Great Grandfather, Abraham Zundel.  This trail is followed pretty closely by the current road systems through this same area and so, our trip was especially interesting to me.  The country side has not changed much at all since 1855.   Abraham was designated the mail carrier for the mission and so he made several trips from the mission at Limhi to Salt Lake City and back again.  All alone, on horseback, with only a pistol and a rifle as his company.  The area was home to the Shoshone tribes with the Blackfeet tribes just over the mountains to the East.  The missionaries were met by the Shoshone as they arrived at what is now called “Tendoy”, but they called their mission “Fort Limhi”.  There is a book written that explains all about it, “Fort Limhi”, by David L. Bigler.  You would enjoy reading it, trust me.

Now, back to why I’m writing this:  Along the path, is a stream named “Birch Creek” and in this desolate area any water found is an oasis and is where all the animals of the area come for food, drink etc.  The mountains to the East are vertical rocks with caves and washes carved out of them from millions of years of wind and rain erosion.  Very few trees and not much to look at except for the carved out caves.

Sorry about the picture being blurry, 

This area of Idaho, is called the Birch Creek Recreational area and there is a whole lot more to it than this small stream.   The red area is the camping areas alongside the stream while the blue areas on the map are other atv trails etc. in this area.  The camping is free, but they like to have people donate to the cause and there is a dropbox as you leave the campground.  We found a nice little spot about a third of the way up from the bottom of the red area on the map and made it our home for the night.  The stream flows pretty good considering the desert like area it flows through.

There are some trout in the stream as well and a lot of people fish it.  We chose not to get fishing licenses and so, I could only watch the fish swim in the water.  The water is very cold which makes swimming and/or wading uncomfortable, at least to old people like me.  But can you imagine riding your horse through a virtual desert and how welcoming this stream would have been?  I figure my Grandfather camped exactly in this spot and even peed against the same tree I peed against.  That’s my story anyway.

So, after a very quiet evening and a great nights sleep, I was up drinking a cup of coffee and decided to take MaPa’s out for his morning ritual and relief exercise.  He is a small dog, but can really put you to the test of holding him back while he is on his leash.   When he gets on the trail of a “critter” it is all you can do to hold him back, this walk was not exception.  We went down stream from our camp and when we were about 400 yards down, He had led us over to the stream edge and through another camp.

Looking down I saw some fresh tracks in the dust around a fire pit and held him back from his pulling long enough to study the prints left in the dirt.









As I’m holding him back, he is trying is darndest to pull me over.  But I was studying these tracks and finally I decided it was a big coyote and so I stood back up and headed towards MaPas.  He was nose to the ground pulling like the dickens along the edge of the shadow in the above picture.  As he started to round the left edge of the bush, I pulled him very hard and said out loud, “Come on fella, let’s get back to camp”, reluctantly he turned to come my direction and as he did, a cougar ran out from the other side of the bush and went straight away from us.  MaPas just sat down on his butt and watched as the cat ran off.  I’m sure my mouth was wide open as I watched it too.  It didn’t take it long to get down stream and run into some bushes at the next camp.  My heart was racing like crazy as we quickly walked back to our camp and I kept looking over my shoulder at where the cat was last seen.  Back at the camp, I couldn’t wait to tell Sherry what we had just experienced and it took at least 15 minutes before my heart pounding subsided.  What would have happened had I let MaPa’s continue around the end of that bush?  Was the cat laying in wait for a little puppy on a string?  Had it already decided to get out of there before I pulled him away from his pursuit?  We will never know, but he is now nicknamed Cougar Bait.  I’m very glad that the cat decided to run away.  Why MaPa’s didn’t try to chase after it, I’ll never know, because he loves to chase cats back at home.  He just sat down on his butt and watched it run away.  Maybe because of it’s size it intimidated him, I don’t know.  This is my second encounter with a cougar this year (remember the one in the early morning darkness on my turkey hunt?).

August 4, 2017

Bears Butt

Written on August 4th, 2017 , Uncategorized, Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

On Sunday, August 3rd, we got up late as usual and ate a late breakfast as well.  We were actually stalling for time until Winemaker’s Uncle Clyde would be up and moving and ready for our visit.  Winemaker had made a lot of calls last night and had things lined up but there wasn’t any “time” established for us to show up to his place.  So, we figured a man in his mid to late 90’s would not be moving much before 10.  We got to his place around 10:30 or 11 (I’m not sure) and he had been up early and moved the cows out of the roadway.  He figured we would be there around 8 and so he wanted to be at the gate by the road to let us in.  Well  he had his cows in an area between two gates, one at the road side, the other near his home.  As he made his way to get the gate by the house open, the cows over took him and pushed their way into around his house.  He opened another gate to a different pasture and finally got the cows to move into that place.  Then he opened up the two gates so we could just drive right in when we got there.  After such a cow punching ordeal, he was tired and needed a rest.  We got there about the time he was rested up and ready for visitors.

Uncle Clyde is a great guy.  Short and skinny and full of fun and mischief.  I’m betting that in his younger days he was a hoot to pal around with.  He and his second wife (she has passed), built their retirement home when he was 80.  He is now 96 years young and still giving the cows a run for their money.  We got to visit with him and two of his daughters, Debbie and Terrie, for a few hours.  It was fun to get to meet them and share some of our stories.  Uncle Clyde could remember most of the fun things even if he wasn’t there at the time.  His goal is to live to be 100 and after visiting with him I am sure he will make it.

Well, after leaving Uncle Clyde’s, we decided we would head for Flaming Gorge and see how close we could make it.  Our drive took us over Douglas Pass and trust me on this one, it is a steep and winding road to the top!  Rather scary in some spots, but they were on Winemakers side, so it didn’t bother me too much.  Going down the other side was a slow ordeal in the coach as I dropped it into “1” and left it there for the 7 miles it took to come off the top.  At one point I was very glad I was going so slow, because at a hair pin turn (they are all hair pin turns), a truck pulling a 4 horse trailer was on my side of the road and cut the corner very close.  Had I been going even half the speed limit I’m sure we would have collided.  I ended up stopping and as he went past the back of the horse trailer was only a couple of feet away from the front of the coach.  Just more proof of the intelligence of some horse owners.

Our travel took us up and down and over and back and finally we  found ourselves in Vernal, Utah.  And the time was only about 4:45!  We made pretty good time going over Douglas Pass.  I told Winemaker we needed to get up into the mountains and into the cool air.  The temperature in Vernal had to be in the mid 90’s.  So, up the winding road we went towards Dutch John and Flaming Gorge.  We had no idea where we would finally park for the night, but we just kept on keeping on.

In the pines and quakies, the air was nice and cool and the clock wasn’t much past 5:30, when we spotted a Forest Service campground and pulled into it.  There were lots and lots of camping spots and with our Senior discount the cost would be $8 for the night!  We camped in number 6, backed into the 30 foot opening and shut ‘er down!  A quick setup and I was popping a beer at 5:45!  Can’t beat that.

As the night began to come upon our spot, the deer began showing up.  I think we counted 4 and the first two almost walked right into our camp spot.

We went to bed early, 9:30 or so, and it was very quiet and peaceful.  There were several sprinkling rain storms that passed over us in the night and this morning we awoke to an outside temperature of 55!  Enough that I wore my coat to take the garbage down to the dump site and walk MaPa’s.  We also saw 4 more deer and I don’t think they were all the same ones we saw last night.

We decided to call it a trip and put our rig on the road for home.  I wanted to go back by way of I-80 from Green River and so the trip from Manila to Green River was only the second time I have ever been on that stretch of road.  Nothing spectacular, just a lot of rolling sage covered hills and deep eroded gullies.

I gassed it for the last time in Green River and we made it home just after 3 p.m.

A fun circle of a trip that took us through some spectacular scenery.  Only two of the nights required air conditioning and we saw a lot of deer along the way.

So, what do I think (in general) about the towns we went through?

Moab…Too commercial, too many people, not a really friendly place.

Monticello….Don’t blink.

4 Corners….Worth the trip just to say you were there.

Dolores…..A cool little town to look at as we drove through.  Very glad Dennis and Laura live close by.  I think if you were going to stop there for an overnight and wanted to see the town, all you would see is the inside of bars.  Lots of bars.

Grand Junction….Friendly folks, a bit on the hot side (this time of year).  A town bigger than I expected and it’s spread out over a lot of ground.  There seems to be something there for everyone.

Vernal….A pretty “dirty” little town, reasonable gas prices.

Green River…About the same as Vernal.  I didn’t spend any time talking to anyone as we only stopped for gas and were gone.  They force you to drive through town to get back onto the freeway and the center of town looks interesting.  Again, lots of bars.

Willard….Well, it’s home and always will be.  It’s very nice to be home.

Bears Butt

August 4, 2014

Written on August 4th, 2014 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

We have been covering a lot of ground since I was last on here….sorry, but without satellite computer connections I have to wait until I’m at a place with WiFi.  We arrived here last night and I’ll tell you more about that towards the end of this.

So, the last you read we were in Moab enjoying the WiFi of another campground, it’s funny how this all works…just joking.  You also were told we were going to make the loop up through Castle Valley and over the LaSal Mountain…well we didn’t make that loop and here’s why.

When you are travelling with a 30 foot class A motorhome, you get quite restricted as to the places you can and can’t go, we experienced that when we went into Arches National Monument.  Add to that our little dog MaPa’s and you have just doubled your restrictions.  Signs throughout the park say “No Dogs” on the trails.   So, even though we are not equipped to go hiking very far, we could not go hiking anywhere.  So, take it from me, don’t waste your money on the park entrance fee of $10 and your gas to drive the 30 mile round trip through the park because that is all you will do and you will not see but one arch (a long way off) the entire way and a pinnacle spire of a rock that looks like a phelic  (sp) symbol.  Just pick up a brochure and take close up pictures of the pictures in it and tell everyone “You were there”, close enough.

So, we wasted about 3 hours doing  just that and that cost us our trip through the LaSal mountains and Castle Valley.  But the day was grand weather wise and off we headed towards Monticello and eventually the 4 Corners area.

Winemaker got to see Newspaper Rock, but here again, with little MaPa’s in tow, I took him for a walk across the road, while she visited the rock.  From there we headed toward Foy Lake in hope of locating a good camp spot there for the night…no shade…so down to Dalton Springs we went.  Dalton Springs is a very nice camp ground $10/night, tucked away off to the side of the road leading to and from Monticello.  They have fresh water if you have a way to carry it, but the nicest part about our stay was the quiet.  So very quiet and full of nice shade trees (tall oak trees).  You almost felt like you had to whisper to be allowed to stay.  We had only three other campers sharing the 14 or so camp areas with us and we all maintained our distance from each other.  Only an occasional cough or closing door could be heard.   Of course at the entrance was a sign about “Bears have been seen in the area” and the usual warning about keeping a clean camp and your food inside a locked container.  Oh ya!   For those without a way to keep their food locked up, they have a “Bear Proof” locking metal container in the middle of all the camp sites for you to use.  I opened it up and looked inside…pretty cool.  It was big enough you could sleep in it if you had to, but remember, if you do get inside to sleep, you will have to have someone from the outside let you out.  In that remote of an area you might be in there a few days.

So, we went to bed about 8:45 p.m., it was dark and very quiet.  The distant thunder of a storm way off to the South could be heard and only twice during the night did I hear faint pattering of rain on our roof.  Just enough to make sure no dust was going to ruin our stay.  It was very nice…quiet and very cool, almost cool enough to warrant the furnace heater, but we resisted and just cuddled under the blankets.  MaPa’s made sure he was between us as well.

During our deep sleep, about 5 a.m., a sudden commotion outside sounded like a pack of 50 wolves, began howling and making a very big racket!  I sat up in bed with a start!  What the heck!!!  The wolves were not far off and my mind went racing to the poor people up the campsite sleeping in a tent.  The noise was coming from their direction!  And then my sleeping mind began to sort out the noises…Hounds….hounds that chase after bears and cougars.  A Houndsman had turned his pack loose just up the road and they were baying and charging through the forest trying to locate something of interest.  As time went on, their baying and barking got fainter and fainter and soon they were so far off you could barely hear them.  That was sort of a rush and I’m certain the people up the road (with Colorado license plates) were “rushed” even more.  Can you imagine what they thought with that noise so very close to their camp?  Especially if they had been enjoying some of their wacky weed.

Well, MaPa’s got quite a thrill out of it as well, and he kept his head up, be didn’t move one muscle, nor did he make any sounds.

After a good breakfast, we packed up and headed for the 4 Corners National Monument.  A pretty long boring drive, but we made it and had another tourist take our pictures standing in 4 states at the same time.  Well, we were holding onto one another with two feet in two states for the pictures…Winemaker in Colorado and New Mexico, while I was in Utah and Arizona.  The place is different than we expected and they had many booths around the placard in the middle, each boot selling Indian jewelry and assorted trinkets and bobbles.  We went for a Fry Bread and made a sandwich out of it for our lunch.  The other shining beads and stuff didn’t appeal to us, besides little old MaPa’s was looking forlornly out the coach window, anxiously waiting our return.  He is such a good little dog.

Now, it’s on to another tourist “must see”….Mesa Verde!  Spanish translation for this place is “Green Table”.  We planned on spending a night very near there and then all day exploring the many relics that make up that place.  The brochures we had all said the same type of things that they did at Arches…No Dogs, hiking with guided tours, bring lots of water etc….

On our way, we contacted Laura, Dennis’s wife, and she said she was on her way but would not be at their cabin until about 3 hours or so later, but that Dennis was already there.  We should stay at their place and then go see the Mesa Verde the next day.  It all sounded so good, they even offered us a car and to watch MaPa’s.  Well, we aren’t the type to impose like that but the offer to stay at their place sounded like we could not turn them down.  Soon we got a call from Dennis and he met us at a place (accidently we were lost in downtown Deloris) and led us to their cabin.  As we were about to leave Deloris, his last comment to me was, “When we get to the bridge, don’t worry about how narrow it looks, it will hold the weight of your coach, I take mine across it all the time”!

Bridge?  What bridge?  I don’t recall seeing any bridge when I looked up their place on Google Earth.  Oh well, maybe I was looking at a different place than theirs.  But soon there I was faced with “The Bridge”….just barely the width of the coach (inside duel tires only) and I drove across it like I knew what I was doing.  The back of the rig only slightly dipped as the right rear tires came onto it.  Our speed carried us the rest of the way.  Life is good.

We spent the night at their place, sleeping in the coach and not hooking up to their facilities.  Their cabin runs totally on solar power and to hook up would mean they would have to turn on a generator or go through some other “battery draining” thing and I did not want that to happen….our batteries are good enough for a night’s stay.  They served us a very nice evening meal of venison steaks, spuds and salad…yummy!  And in the morning a great breakfast burrito, one of Dennis’ famous meals….Both meals were very good.  Our visit was super as well and we got to all share stories of our past and of course to see their very nice cabin and properties.  I also got to meet Dennis’ father and step mother.  His dad is in his 90’s and still going strong.  He shared several of his war stories with me and I got to see how he gasses gophers.   22 minutes is all it takes to kill the whole bunch.

In the morning we had convinced ourselves a trip through the Green Table, would be just like the Arches one and decided we needed to head for Grand Junction to visit with some of Winemakers relatives.  We said our good byes to Dennis and Laura and headed for the narrow bridge.

I didn’t even slow down as I approached the bridge, figuring if it caved in with us, that was what was meant to be and off we went.  I don’t think it even creaked as I went across it, after all, Dennis said the “Bureau” had recently rebuilt it.

Now on the road that takes you from Deloris up through Telluride and over towards Grand Junction.  The road from Deloris to Telluride and down the other side is very interesting and beautiful and if it wasn’t for all the folks trying to get to Telluride to get their stashes of weed, it would have been a much better trip, but they were all in such a hurry, I was as tense as could be by the time we started down the other side.  Not much traffic going down, as they were all going up, to get “UP”.  Dennis and Laura say it is fun to go to Telluride to watch the people all standing around in their tie died get ups and saying weird stuff to one another.  Dennis says that even the dogs are on the stuff.   We didn’t actually go into the town, as the road has a turn off before you get to it…just another “Park City” to us.  Pretty scenery though.

As we proceeded down the road, I felt the need to top off the fuel tank because I didn’t know what to expect on the road.  The map shows a series of snake like squiggles and distance marks that didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  I passed on gassing in a small town along the way, figuring the next town would have a bigger place to pull into.  As it turned out we ended up gassing in Grand Junction with the fuel gauge licking the “E”.  The drive was “normal” until we got into a steep walled canyon, with the Deloris river running down the bottom of it.  The cliff walls stood 200 or so feet vertically on both sides of us and it was so cool to be driving down through it.  Miles and miles of it as we wound our way along.  At one point I could see the remains of a cliff side road made out of timbers sticking out of the walls with other timbers laid on top of the ones sticking straight out from the cliff face.  I didn’t get a chance to pull over for pictures as the road is two lanes going each way.  In my mind they would have been wonderful pictures and to think about the people who actually drove their horses and wagons on that “road”, wholly crap!

We arrived safely in Grand Junction, gassed up at the slowest gas pump in the west and finally made our camp at the Junction West RV Park!  I was ready for a beer and to get away from the wheel.

In my excitement to get parked, I left the door open and the step down as I followed our host to our camp spot and in backing in, I hit a post with the step…I didn’t break anything, but bent the step bad enough it would not close.  DANG!  Now what?  After a couple of beers and having taken MaPa’s over for a bathroom break, I remembered throwing in my “new” tool bag that Duck had given me and in it I had placed my “come along”.  At home I thought about taking that out, but figured, what the heck, it won’t be in the way and besides, it’s already in the bag….Nothing happens by accident and I’m sure glad I had it.  I borrowed a short nylon rope from the host and tied it to the rear axle under the rig, hooked the one end of the come along to it, the other to the step and with a couple of clicks and a prayer or two the step went right back into shape and closed just like new!   Thank you Junction West hosts and Thank you God!

While I was busy doing my thing, Winemaker was contacting her relatives and made arrangements for us all to meet today…Sunday….I’ll make us some breakfast now and then we will be on our way.  If we don’t spend all day visiting we might make our next destination….Flaming Gorge, or somewhere between Grand Junction and there.  Who knows, but stand by and you’ll find out in upcoming events on this station…..Bears Butt Dot Com!

Bears Butt

August 3, 2014 (what happened to July???)


Dennis said he has not seen any Eurasian Collard Doves in the Doloris area…..Well, get ready Dennis, they have a firm Wing-Hold here in Grand Junction!!!!

Written on August 3rd, 2014 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

Made it to Moab without much incidents, but there was a big rig driver that wasn’t using much common sense as he passed us with oncoming traffic, had I not been aware of what was going on he would have side swiped us.  I had to move over to the right and almost onto the dirt off the road to avoid his stupidity.  We are all safe.

The evening was comfy but these crowded campgrounds don’t do much for letting you kick back.  Our neighbors were harboring all the shade but we moved in on them and made them uncomfortable in the end.

This morning our neighbors to the East moved out really early and left behind their sewer hookup hose and their fresh water hose laying on the ground…dummies!  They were in one of those rentals.  Skinnie folks who like to ride their bikes.  This campground stuff is full of fun folks to watch.  Just now a lady about my age walked past with her curling iron and comb and headed for the common area bathroom.  When she walked past going the other way a half hour later…low and behold…she looked just like she did going to the place.  I suppose she forgot what she went there to do.

Todays itinerary is going to be a fun one.  A ride through Arches National Park (we have our old peoples life time pass) to see what might have fallen down since our last visit.  Maybe even see some “splatted” people hanging from a rope…who knows?  From there we are going up through Castle Valley and the loop through the LaSal Mountains East of Moab and back to the main road.  Then down to Newspaper Rock, so Winemaker can see all the writing on that.  From there up the steep road where Dennis took us on the elk hunt.  Maybe even camp at that lake he took us to.  At any rate we plan on Boondocking for the night somewhere on that mountain.

Alas:  No internet, no e-contact with the rest of the world, can we survive without facebook, emails, phone service, Bears Butt Dot Com?  Perhaps our time can be consumed with a little trout fishing and talking to each other!

Tonights gormet meal will be beef steak and some special potatoes we made up with Mayo, minced garlic, salt, pepper, onions and wrapped up in aluminum foil.  The instuctions says to place it on the grill, leave it for 10 minutes, flip it over, 10 more minutes and it’s done.  We will see.  I can tell you that the mayo sauce was yummy tasting.

OK!  That is the wrap for now.  Time to eat our breakfast burritos and get on with the days travels.  Could there be anyone stupid enough to be jumping off the arch on a rope today?  We are about to see!

Bears Butt

July 31, 2014

Written on July 31st, 2014 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

vacationToday Winemaker and I are heading out of town for awhile.  With all the heat in the resent past and now the cooling trend, we can feel a chill in the air, so we decided we would go South and get back into the heat some more.  Our plan is to go stand in four states at the same time!  There are few places where you can do that, physically…..mentally you can be in a lot more states than four under the right circumstances.

This is the type of trip I love to take.  We pick a direction in which to head and then just go.  Other than some general planning the rest is just “what happens, happens”.  No real time line and no real return home date.  Just go and when we get back we get back.  Obligations can be taken care of “on line” which is really nice.  Heck who knows, we may end up getting part time jobs to help with the gas.

I’ll try to keep you all posted as our day(s) progress.  Stay tuned and check back each day.

Today’s itinerary  has us leaving town about 9:30 or so, give or take a few hours and heading in our decided direction South.  I hate to think of the drive through Salt Lake City, but we should get through there without too much trouble.  If there was a way around it that didn’t cost us several hours, I’d surely take it, but there isn’t, so I’ll just bite my lip and charge through.  If I thought the other Utah drivers would pay attention and give me the room I need to maneuver our 25 foot motorhome, I’d pin a fake “out of state” license plate on the back.  The folks in Kansas City, Missouri sure knew I was from out of state a few years ago and gave me a very wide birth.

Once through that drive mess, we will continue to the Moab area where we will spend a night relaxing in the red rock country.

More later!

Bears Butt

July 30, 2014

Written on July 30th, 2014 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


Took some time away from the computer to go and see if I could locate a bear…did that!


It was a rather surprising way it happened as well.  Of course anytime you are traveling through Yellowstone National Park at the max speed limit of 45 and suddenly rounding a corner you are faced with a traffic jam of Yellowstone proportions…this is what happened and of course we added to the congestion with our own two rigs!  We bailed out when we heard it was a bear they were viewing.  I made it quickly to the edge of the road an looked way down into the trees, some 100 yards and began my search…I could not see it…then something moved right below me about 10 yards…THERE IT IS!!!!!  Wholley Molley!  All the signs throughout the park tell you to stay close to your vehicle and only get within 100 yards of any bear.  This little guy was right under my feet.  I quickly snapped a couple of photos and grabbed the youngest grandson and headed back to the car!

That was the second most exciting sighting of the visit.  I’ll tell you what was the best sighting but first I have to tell you some of the background.

Like all vacations it was with its bumps and jostles while we were there.  You can’t put 12 people together, sharing the same lodging, riding around in two cars for 4 days and not have that sort of thing happen.  I do have to say the kids were all just about like angels for the whole time.  Very little bickering and I didn’t hear even one “Are we there yet”?  Maybe it was partly due to our “game”.

On the way to Island Park where we stayed in a cabin we rented:


we started to list all of the animals that we could think of that would be found in Yellowstone National Park.  I think our list was about 65 in size and included animals like moths, butterfly’s, snakes and turtles, as well as the big ones common to the area.

At the cabin we took the time to list each on a separate piece of paper and then made up a “bingo” like card out of paper, only we called it “Yello” instead of bingo.  Here is Sydnie with her ready to go Yello paper:


Everyone then went outside and found an appropriate “poking” stick.  Small enough to keep in your pocket or wherever and sharp enough to poke a hole in the square with the animal name once it was spotted.

With this as the focus for the 3 days we had to visit the park, off we went.  The kids and adults enjoyed seeing and poking out the names.  Some saw the animals and some didn’t, but you had to see it in order to poke it out.

We all put something into a plastic bag as the “bootie” and as someone filled out a line or row they got to pick something from the bootie bag.  It was fun.

Our cabin was really nice and had sleeping arrangements for all 12 of us.



At first it seemed pricey, but once you figured alternative sleeping arrangements say at a campground or motel, it was actually quite a bargain.  A very comfortable place with two balconies to sit and watch the wildlife and weather from.  On our second morning there, Sherry and I were up getting breakfast ready for the group and Sydnie got up because she was not sleeping very well.  She went out on the lower balcony and came right back in telling me in a very quiet voice we had a moose visitor!


He stayed around and let us take a million pictures as it ate the purple flowers off the Penstemens …so we named him “Penns”.


We could not mark moose off our Yello cards however, as he wasn’t inside the park.  After a bit, he perked up his ears, looked to the left and wandered off only to be joined by a brother of his and the two of them ambled off toward the deeper forest.

We visited all the normal stuff that people go to Yellowstone National Park to see and it was important for the kids to see it and then if they ever want to go back they will have the freedom to go see the “not so famous” stuff that is found throughout the park.


Of course one of those things that you MUST see is Old Faithful shooting up into the air. ( I took my Bug-A-Salt and was going to get a picture of me with it and Old Faithful shooting off, but I didn’t think it prudent to carry my a-salt weapon into that area).


The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.


The famous falls.


And Mammoth Hot Springs.

And while you are traveling from one sight to the next, you run into the critters like the bear I showed you.  Things like


A Collard Dove (this was seen in West Yellowstone and not in the park and therefore I lost a beer bet to Weasel).




Coyote eating a rabbit (two pokies if you have them both on your list).

While traveling, we came to a road stoppage to find they were all excited to be taking pictures of elk, but we didn’t bother to stop, we have all seen elk a million times and they were of no big concern of ours, we were on a mission to get someplace and just kept on weaving in and out of the cars and people.

My Yello was filling up fast and all I needed was a Loon and a Moose for a Yello, of my own.  There should be lots of both of those animals in the park.  So while I was busy looking for animals and hoping for those two, what do we see?


A large Grey Wolf wandering across a meadow!  The ranger near this spot said there had been three of them off and on and they were busy trying to get rid of an elk carcass that was out there somewhere.  Other people were setting up cameras etc. in hopes of seeing a grizzly bear as well as the wolves.  I don’t know if they ever saw a grizz or not.  But for us, this was the most exciting animal to have gotten to see in the park!  And we saw the wolf and the bear the same day!  What a great day!

So, did I have a wolf on my Yello card?  Nope!  Did I have a deer the day we saw it?  Nope!  But I did have an Osprey and an Eagle and a duck, a goose and a buffalo!


Those all got pokied.  And on we went through the park for 3 full days and I never did get a Yello.  Most of the kids had several Yello’s and they were having a good time picking out first the money and secondly the candy.

Three days is not enough time to see everything there is to see in the park and I think you could be there a year and not see it all.  Someday I would like to go see it in the winter as I’m sure the areas where the hot pots and steaming pools are would be a winter wonderland.  We saw where lots of animals, mostly elk and buffalo would lay down near the hot pot areas for warmth.

The park is vast and beautiful





and full of people of every walk of life. It would be a fun job to work there if you could co-mingle with the people and even though we were pretty much on the go all the time, the few minutes I did take to just watch people was fun.  The funniest thing was that none of them recognized me and if they did, they didn’t ask me for my autograph.

So, if you have not taken the time to go to Yellowstone National Park you really need to.  We were a bit disappointed at the number of Buffalo and elk we did see (I think a total of 10 buffalo and maybe 15 elk) and we never did see any moose.  But we did have a very fun time and I’m convinced the kids will remember this trip the rest of their lives.


Addie, Makenzie, Brandon, April, Conner, Cody, Sydnie, Angela, Mitch and Little Chase!

Bears Butt

August 11, 2013



Written on August 11th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


It’s been so long since I had a chance to sit down and write something I have completely forgotten where I left off…I do remember making comments about the “egging”, so I guess I’ll start there!

Our trip took us to a family party on Sunday afternoon and our “ship” was moved to the party palace that day.  Cathy and Darell have a mansion that sits on about 3 acres of ground in Petaluma, California.  In order to own property of that magnitude you have to spend a ton of money.  Darell races cars on rally tracks…the kind that go up and down mountains, through valley cuts and end up somewhere near where they started.  His cars are all souped up with Corvette engines and the cars are all Ford Mustangs.  He likes the looks and feel of the Mustang, but the power of the Chev motors.  A look into the cars makes you scratch your head and wonder just how on earth they got all that engine crammed into that frame.  He says they will go over 200 mph!  As for me, I say, Not with me in it it won’t!  He loves his speed!  And he told me several of his stories about how guys have “bumped” him to try and get him out of the way.  The rims on his favorite race car has all the marks of a “bump” alright…worn down to almost where the bead of the tire makes contact with the rim.

So, race cars require a garage where they can be pulled apart and put back together.  He has that!  A huge garage where he has 6 race cars and a really cool old 30’s something pickup truck.  The kind of pickup truck you see in the “Rat Fink” books of the remember…the guy with the big head and all the freckles.

There is also a place to park the cars they drive…A Mustang GT and a Mazarati…Oh and then there is the lowly Beamer that sits outside (poor thing).

So, here they have this giant place and the house is as big as the yard with the court room as you walk into it and that extends into the kitchen, dining and sitting areas…total square footage of the entrance and all you can see before you, I’d guess to be in the neighborhood of 50,000…then two doors lead you out into the swimming and patio area.  A short swim takes you to a wall you can dive under and on the other side are two cabana type bars…his and hers if you will.

I’ve made it sound like Cathy and Darell are swimming in cash.  I don’t hardly think they are, however they do have some expensive tastes.  Darell said he got the place as a bank owned deal and it was run down as crazy.  The yard was full of tall dry weeds, the sprinkling system all broken from two winters of freezing.  The roof tiles (clay) were broken and allowed water to get into the walls and the ground had no drainage so water came down off the eves and ended up in the basement.  They poured a ton of money into it to get it into the shape we saw it.  He thinks in 5 or 6 years he will sell it and they will move into something more modest.  Someone also said, the home was built by the first woman to win the California lottery…I don’t know if that is real or not.

The party was a total success and I got to meet cousins that were only names before…now we are all Facebook friends and will be able to keep in touch!  For those of you affiliated with this family, I must say we have a great bunch in our tree.

Well the party ended and the next morning Sherry and I headed over to Mike and Ilenes to spend the last night of our stay in beautiful California.  On a down note, Sunday night, our lovely Aunt LeOra ened up in the hospital with pneumonia, water around the heart and a bunch of other things that made her have a tough time breathing and feeling human.  We had planned to visit extensively with her and talk about family and the farm, but that didn’t happen and we are very sorry about that.  She is getting some very necessary care at this point and will be in better hands once she gets out of the hospital.  They are changing her primary care provider as what put her into the hospital should have been prevented had her doctor been on top of things.  Yes, she is 99 years old, but she still thinks, breathes and is full of life, why take that away from her by not giving her the care she deserves?  I’m very glad they caught up with her problems and are giving her the care she deserves!  We love her very much.

We did get to visit with her on Friday evening and she was full of her normal spirit!  That is why we decided to stay over Monday night, to continue our conversations and laughter.  Oh well!

So now, it was off toward home.  In the past we would have stayed in an RV campground at Fernley Nevada, a nice little “half way” place with nice campgrounds.  Driving the coach is fun for me, but after several hours of driving it begins to cause a stress in the neck muscles.  We reached Fernley and the time was only a bit after 3 p.m.  I decided to make the additional drive to Winnemucka, Nevada.  Construction plagued us about half the way there which added time to the otherwise 2 hour drive…oh well, we made it and put up in a nice little campground…little campground?  It holds over 150 units and was packed!  The people must have been as tired as we were because the night was as quiet as could be and the sleeping wonderful, with a cool breeze and light rain!

We awoke to birds chirping and the sounds of people pulling out of their spots.  When I finally took MaPa’s for a walk, the place was half empty and it was only 7:30 in the morning!  The folks must have had some long hauls to make that day and had to get early starts.  Or else they just like to get to their next spot in time to do some swimming in the parks pool…who knows.  We pulled out about 10 ish after a great breakfast of bacon, eggs and hashbrowns!

Our minds were made up to head for home…I had about 7 hours of drive time ahead of me which is about 2 more than I like, but the thought of sleeping in my own bed at home was appealing enough that I didn’t notice the strain on the neck.  We arrived home about 6 p.m. and MaPa’s was so happy to see his “turf” when I opened up the door to the coach and he jumped out onto his own lawn!

OK, so now I’ll tell you about the gas station guys.  Remember when we first started this trip and the guy came past with the golf cart and pointed out my bad front tires…well that was a “for real” problem that we fixed just down the road from where the guy was on the golf cart.  So, here we are in Battle Mountain and I pull into a Shell station…Three grizzley looking guys sitting on a bench outside the “we can fix anything” bays and as I’m pulling up to the pump (it takes me a bit to pull up to a pump, because first off it has to be on the right side of the coach, and secondly I have to pull up so the back end of the coach is even with the pump handle.  In order to do that I have to stretch out and look carefully through the rear view mirror on that side) one of the grizzley guys is walking alongside the coach looking at the rear tires.  He is obviously in my line of site.  When I stop and get out to see if I’m close enough to pump gas, he is all over me with “This tire is about to lose it’s cap!  You need to replace it!  You need these guys to put your spare tire on!  See here, the cap if about to come off!”  And he points to the weather checking near the rim.  I look at him and say “I’ll be just fine”!  He shrugged and went back to his seat.

I started to pump the gas and then realized the cost of their fuel was $4.56!!!!  I stopped the pump and ended up only putting in 10 gallons of gas.  That was the highest priced fuel of our entire trip!  The next highest was $4.01.

So, when you are out on your vacation, watch out for those “helpful” guys at the freeway off ramp gas stations.  They aren’t all watching out for your well being!

Bears Butt, glad to be home

July 25, 2013

Written on July 25th, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt

Sitting here at Cathy and Darels house after a wonderful party yesterday and a great nights sleep we have enjoyed an aroma filled cup of coffee while watching wild turkeys on the other side of the fence. We don’t have the internet so I’m writing this via my phone. Have you ever tried to do that?    I can tell already this will be short. It was such a pleasure to be able to put faces to names yesterday, people who have been in our lives for many years and now they have become”real”!! The party was sooo much fun!! And I have gained a new bunch of respect for my family, we laughed so much yesterday I think my face is cracked. Maybe we are all just crazy! I say that because how many people can laugh at anothers poor arthritic inflicted hands? I love my cousin Sharron! What’s not to love about her? Cathy and Darel have this big mansion sitting on top of a hill on 3 acres over looking the beautiful Petaluma hills. We are so blessed to have been aforded the opportunity to spend the night. This part of the country is amazing! And for all of you who have traveled you already know that each area has its own beauty.


Bears Butt July 22, 2013

Written on July 22nd, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt


Sunday!  Weather looks to be overcast, however I’m not accustomed to being here and it might be a high fog in the air.  Whatever it is the temp is 65 degrees right now, 6:45 a.m.

Today is “moving day”, not far, but a new place to sleep tonight..Pentaloma (sp), roughly meaning “back side of the hill”…We have had a wonderful time here at Helen and Manards, they have been such lovely hosts.  Helen allowed me to cook breakfast yesterday morning, but in her normal manner did not leave the backside of the kitchen all the time I cooked.  I wanted her to go sit with Manard and Sherry while I did my thing, but she insisted she stay back and “get ready for tomorrows luncheon”.  Most of what I saw her doing was dishes and shuffling things from one place to another.  That is her domain in this house and I was across the line (I guess).  Anyway, I managed to get it done and we had a great meal.

Before the adults ate, I knew that Kathy (Helen and Manards daughter) was going to come and pick up Zach and Elish (I spelled her name wrong yesterday) and so I fixed their eggs and they went ahead and ate.  Meanwhile here came Ilene to pick up her cell phone which she left at the house the night before.  Again and as usual we had a great conversation and I know she just wanted to pop in and grab the phone and head out, she couldn’t.  It was sit down, have a cup of coffee and converse.  Another wonderful conversation ensued.

When we ate, I boldly asked if we could modify the plan for the day…Helen and Manard were both very receptive to our request to stay home and “kick back”.  However as the day unfolded it wasn’t much of a kick back day.  As you recall I had a broken window in the coach to fix, plus the egg splatter on the side to get off. 



Look at the placement of that egg!  A perfectly placed drive by and obvious to me that vehicle was travelling from the rear of the coach to the front when it happened.  The egg toss was perfectly executed for a completly disabling shot had it been with large caliber bullets.  This “Egg Chucker” should know that Bears Butt recommends him/her for aerial combat missions in their future.

Dried egg is usually a nasty thing to try and get to come off and takes a lot of water.  I was prepared to grab my deep pan and scrub away for hours.  Guess what?  Manard had some wonderful stuff called “Krud Kutter”!  I don’t know what’s in it, but that egg came right off!  And I mean it came off without hardly having to scrub at all!  You would think that something that good would cause cancer in people from California, but apparently not because he bought it locally here at the Home Depot.  Have you heard of it at home?  I never have.  Manard gave me a bottle of it and I’ll be testing it regularly to see what it’s limitations are.

It also removed a lot of the oxydation from the side of the coach make it a necessity for me to scrub the entire coach soon.

Once the egg was removed, we moved down the line to the disconnected window.  That baby was completely out of its track and hanging there like a clear shingle.  Its little hinging points hanging on like troopers.  Manard had some snap ring tools and they worked great to get the window off the hinges so we could clean off the residual glue.  Again Manard had the acetone needed for that job.

Then it was a trip to town to pick up some glue for the window, groceries, adult beverages and some items Manard was needing for his next project.  He took me first to a very large store that specializes in adult beverages and party supplies.  They had everything!  Even a 12 pack of Oly!!!!!  Only one, but they had it!  There was a guy putting his stuff in his car when we went out who commented on us buying that Oly and he was going to get it, but we beat him to it first, he had to settle on the only 12 pack of Schlitz they had, but he was happy and wished us well on drinking our “cheap beer”!  I had to laugh!  What is it about me that attracts people like that?

The trip to the “store” took over an hour, but we made it safely and Manard showed me some of the back streets and the open spaces around thier home.  For such a crowded place there is a remarkable amount of open space which is dedicated to stay open and allow people to hike, bike and just plain look at.  It’s these large expanses of space and natural foliage that houses the wild critters around here.  I still question the uncontrolling of the critters, but that’s not my concern.  I just hope all will enjoy it when the raccoons are hanging on their back screen doors and the coyotes are curled sleeping under the rododendrums some day soon, with Fidos leash and a fur ball very close by.

The window glue I bought seemed awefully runny when we applied it, but it is still in place this morning, but then I have not removed the three strips of tape we put on it to keep it held in place while it dried.  Maybe the strips of tape will still be in place when we get home…time will tell.

And so for todays activities…We move from here over to Kathy and Darrells place.  We have been told it’s about a 3 acre secluded place and that we will love it.  They have a couple of Jack Russell Terriers and I have a bit of a concern with them welcoming MaPa’s into thier domain.  Kathy assures me that their dogs (or ours) can be kept apart by kennels that they have but she doesn’t see any problem with them getting along.  I sure hope so, as I have lost a couple of ours sleep thinking about what could happen and of course my concerns is with our little guy…he isn’t that aggressive and has never been in any sort of real dog fight.  We will see in a few short hours.

So, relocation is one step and then preparation for “another party”!!!  I love parties!  This is one in which ALL of California has been offered an invitation, but we all know that if you get an invitation to a party and you don’t know anyone who is going to be their that usually you don’t take them up on it.  That is the expected guest list here today…just friends but mostly relatives and the reluctant spouses (insert smiley face here).  Of course had the invitations been let out with “Bears Butt and Winemaker” as the honored ones, the guest list would have probably doubled.  That might not have been such a good thing and so to have it the way it is designed is probably better.  Afterall, who would want us competing with Arnold Swarznegger just down the road by pulling a lot of his guests away from his bar-bee-que?

And after the party cleanup (midnight I’m sure), we will try and get some sleep among the sirens and police activity and in the morning move again.  This time half way between there (where we are going today) and here (where we are currently parked) and will spend tomorrow night visiting with Ilene, Mike and LeOra.

We are not expecting to have any internet hookup at our next stop and so I must bid adieu (sp) until we get connected once again.  For you military types who are protecting me and my country, keep your heads down and come home safe.  For the rest of you reading this…well, you are just going to have to find something else to do with your time rather than sitting there waiting for your computer to sound off the reciept of another Bears Butt publication.  Maybe it’s time you went out and pulled those weeds you were going to do last week!  Just sayin!

By the way:  All mis-spelled words are brought to you by Toshiba and Windows…I can’t figure out how to enable it on this computer and so, what you see is what you git and if you don’t like it, that’s tough sh…..I forgot the rest of the saying, but you get the drift.

Bears Butt

July 21, 2013

Written on July 21st, 2013 , Vacation Time
By: Bears Butt



Saturday, July 20, already!  Last night we had a wonderful dinner with several of the cousins AND Aunt LeOra.  Again one heck of a meal put on by Helen…All the fixins…potato salad, fresh steamed veggies, Salt rubbed roast, deviled eggs, and some delicious dessert treats.  And of course all the laughter that comes when this gang gets together.

Aunt LeOra isn’t in the best of health right now, but she hung in there until the end.  At one point she said we were going to have to stop with all the funny stuff…but how do you do that?  It’s impossible with a gang like this one.  One comment leads to another to another and the laughter just build and keeps building.


Aunt LeOra is looking good, but she has to use a walking cane and she shakes pretty badly.  You can tell she is having problems with her eyes as well, as when she looks at you she keeps closing one or the other of her eyes.  But for a 99 (almost 100) year old person she is in pretty good shape if you ask me.

We sure had a great time and the food was wonderful!  Thank you big time Helen and Manard.

So, what is in store for today?  They want to take us to some site around here, but we just want to have a day to kick back.  That will be a hard sell for us as Helen and Manard are pretty determined people.  With tomorrow being a day that we are to pack up and move to Kathies for our next Sunday party and sleep over, I have a couple of things to fix on the coach.  Something that I discovered yesterday.

I’m not a coach or travel trailer “put togetherer” so I don’t know what they use to get the glass to stick to the hinges of the windows, but during our hot travel through the desert areas, we had the windows partially open to give us some air and during one of those runs, the rear window came out of the hinge and is now impeading its opening and closing.  I have it parially open right now and when a car goes past quickly it flops.  I need to get it fixed today.  Also, we have been tagged by the local Marin, drive by egg patrol…Mike pointed that out to me as they were leaving last night…little A-holes!  Manard said they got him a couple of nights ago. That has to be cleaned off today.

Also, we had a visit by the local police last night.  I don’t know if someone turned in the egging or if they were just up in this area patrolling, but they turned around so that the lights would shine on the side of the coach.  They stopped as if looking at the egg splatter…perhaps one of the neighbors has told them we have stayed past our 72 hour window for parking on the street…who knows!

People are funny out here or at least not like people back home…They all drive Caddy’s, Mercedies (sp) or very new looking other brands.  The least expensive vehicle we have seen is our own.  But I must say, at least in this neighborhood, they look out for each other (and the rules of the home owners association).  We were sprucing up the back yard yesterday, an area outside the fence and on city property, and when we were putting it in the truck a guy pulled up to snoop to find out if we were picking up trash or dumping it…that’s ok I guess.  Concerned for sure.

Speaking of trash, we heard a bunch of coyotes the night before up on an “open space” hill very close by. They howled and carried on for several minutes, and to be in the city like this I was quite in awe that they would be living here.  I asked Manard about them and his explaination was that the local “animal rights people” have them protected and even if they come into your yard and snatch your cat or dog off his leash, you can not do anything about it…they were here first!

I told him that if MaPa’s was to be a victim of a coyote, I’d sure be trying to find a way to take that coyote and every other one I could find out!  He said that in this area alone, they have seen coyotes, bobcats, cougars, turkeys, deer and every other concievable wild animal around here and every one has been seen during the day.  That tells me first off there are too many of them roaming around, and secondly they have become too accustomed to being around humans.  It’s no wonder we read about joggers being taken out by cougars in California, my hopes on that is that the one getting taken out just got out of a “do gooder” meeting.

So, this morning I, me, myself, get to cook our breakfast. Helen has done nothing but stand in the kitchen the whole time we have been here, either cooking or cleaning up the dishes.  This morning it’s my turn.  Eblskeivers, eggs to order, hash browns and bacon.  None of this “kieshie” sort of stuff, although I must admit yesterdays breakfast was very, very good, today we are going down home with the meal.  Meat and potatoes and pretty much all you can eat.  Kathies two kids, Zach(16) and Alish(12) are here to help clean up whatever I put together and neither one (I think) have had eblskeivers.

Gotta go!  Vacation times flies when you’re having fun!

Bears Butt

July 20, 2013

Written on July 20th, 2013 , Vacation Time | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.