On Thursday, we were up and out of the cabin at Warm River by 7:57 a.m. The goal? Turn in our key, get to our house and make sure we are repacked for the next excursion, and head out on a different road. I’m quite sure we could have gone via the road we were on. However, it just seemed fitting to repack our things for a new trip.
Our Destination: Deer Creek Guard Station in Alpine, Wyoming. We were tired of the rain but still dealing with it. We were actually having a lot of fun, despite the rain. The few times we got out of the cabin at Warm River (when the rain stopped and the sun came out), we went for short walks down the road to explore. Since we knew the rain wouldn’t be long in returning, we didn’t venture too far from the cabin. We were also keeping the fire warm in the cabin and, if we walked too far away, would have to relight it on our return. The cabin at Warm River is, by far, the best cabin – to date. We love the Bishop Mountain cabin from last year and already have a week paid for and waiting for us. We are going to Bishop Mountain on June 7th for 6 nights, 7 days. Until then, we’re just playing around and doing whatever we feel like doing.
After being broke all winter long, how are we getting the money for these trips? We had a great deal of money set aside to send Jen on a very expensive trip. When we found out what we wanted to do wasn’t feasible, we modified the trip she is going to go on. Since then, it has been Jen that has whittled away at her trip funds to go various places around Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. In this, she still gets a trip of her choosing but with the family instead of alone.
Not exactly what was in mind but good enough. I love it, she loves it and it appears the boys (despite being a little rowdy from so much time in the car) enjoy it as well. We have spent time as a family and even created our own card game during our travels (especially with it raining so much).
What is the card game? Again, I am so glad you asked! Here’s the deal (no pun intended):
- Lay out all four Aces on the table.
- Shuffle and deal 7 cards to each player.
- Set the remaining cards on the table.
- Each turn, you have three choices: a) play a card on the Ace (it must be a King of the same suit); b) draw a card and try to play on the Ace (again, a King of the same suit); or, c) draw a card and, if unable to play, discard to the discard pile.
- The goal is to go from Ace to number 2 in the card deck for each of the 4 Aces on the table. The game never really gets that far before someone runs out of cards. At that point, the remaining cards of the other players are counted and points assigned as follows: a) King, Queen, Jack and Ten are worth 10 points; b) Number 9 through 2 is worth 5 points. Obviously, the point of the game is to run out of cards before everyone else and *not* accumulate points.
We have had a lot of fun playing and even the boys are enjoying it! Brendan plays really well for being a newly-turned 5 year-old. It’s also a great way to teach them the numbering system on a deck of cards and how to plan to play. It is now our “go-to” game, even if a simple one by standards, when we have nothing to do because of time of day (late night and unable to sleep) or rain/weather that precludes us being able to do anything.
During our trip towards the new cabin we were to stay in, we got lucky enough to see a few deer. They stood there for quite some time as I took nearly 20 pictures of them. I wanted to get “just the perfect picture” before they took off running like the beaver.
This was our new home for a night. Inside, there is one “great room” that contains 6 beds (3 sets of bunk beds), a table and four chairs for dining. The second room is the kitchen which Jen and I agree is much too small for permanent placement. The last room contained a shower and toilet, with a sink and a hot water heater. Everything here ran off propane. Except for the constant smell of propane to cause a mother worries about explosions of massive proportions, it was a great place to hang out overnight.
Caiden has been declared old enough to sleep on the top bunk of the bunk bed sets we keep running into. Brendan has been told he has to wait until he is 6 years old; which means next year! Caiden, so far, has only scared me once or twice on a bunk bed. When he settles down and puts his mind to it, he does really well as a “big boy.”
Would we stay here for a week like we would at Bishop Mountain or Warm River? I’m not so sure. It has everything we need but the style is just a tad … off for our tastes.
Immediately, I set about cooking up some potato soup for dinner. We had the ingredients from the house this time around. I sent Jen back to town to look around and explore by herself (a good 30 minute drive one way on mud covered roads that slip and slide) and the boys played on the floor. This time, I put a half-stick of butter and no bacon grease.
While waiting for the soup to cook and Jen was off exploring on her own, we set out to look around our cabin a bit. The rain had stopped for a few moments and we walked around.
The strangest plant.
Lots of flowers to give to Mommy.
The mountain range we could see from our cabin. The snow on top looks great and, if not for the cloud cover, would have been beautiful.
I forgot to get pictures but the soup came out a little “clearer” without the bacon grease in it (I’m assuming that’s what it was). We settled in to play in the cabin when it started sprinkling again. The boys learned how to play the Game of Life that someone left in the cabin. They played with me the first time by the rules that I could remember and, when Jen got back from her explorations, we got ready to eat and the boys played with the little cars and people inside of them. They were constantly talking about “getting married” and “having babies.” We were telling they couldn’t have babies until they got married. They truly did love that game and made up their own rules to play it. Caiden was still playing it when we were all packed up and ready to leave the next day.
When the rain let up for a few minutes, we went for another walk to get more pictures. Of course, the children were drawn straight to a mud puddle, looking for worms. At this point, I’m under demand to buy them a small bucket of warms at a local store (a few blocks from our house) so they can play with them when we get home. Caiden is quite adamant about this and even knows the name of the gas station we have to go to, repeating it to me quite often!
Running and playing on the road.
Even with the rain ever-present, the view of this mountain range (I’m not sure I know its name) is stunning. I played a lot with the settings on my camera, trying to get a “perfect picture.”
Using a stick to help him jump across a small puddle. How boyish!
Heading back to the cabin…
Again, no fire outside, so we come up with a fun way to make S’Mores. We quickly learned, however, that it hurts something fierce when you take them off the pan…
Jen dropped it when it started to burn her real good.
Yeah, maybe not the best idea. The boys still loved it, though! Caiden wiped his hands all over his legs (pantless) and was covered in chocolate.
Brendan ended up with chocolate all over his chest and arms.
We got ready to go to sleep and Caiden was going to sleep above me by himself. At the last second, he decided he wanted to sleep on the bottom bunk with me.
The next morning dawned beautiful with nary a black cloud in sight. Brendan and I took a walk to see if I could get some “better” pictures while Jen and Caiden cleaned up.
And, of course, Brendan took my camera for part of the walk home. I have about 20 pictures of me and another 20 pictures of various water puddles.
On the way back, we found some Forest Rangers were building something. We walked close and the man carried Brendan across a stream so he could come see what they were doing. Apparently, this is a weather station. They will track the weather and the mule deer’s progression through the forest to find out if the weather affects the mule deer adversely or not. This is also the gentleman that told us we needed to stay at another cabin on this same road the next time we come up. According to him, it is, by far, the best ever. I have to got to find it and schedule us there!
Driving through Afton, Wyoming after turning in our paperwork for staying in the cabin overnight. It was at this point, I believe, that we decided we really weren’t ready to stop exploring just yet.
The drive from Alpine to Afton in Wyoming is very beautiful and we drove up and down it a few times in one day, looking around. We got permission and stayed in Thayne (between the two) and I’ll tell ya more about that next time! It’s time to get off my duff and get ready to move along.