Spring Sunset Spring Teases
and Beckons

Page 32
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Farewell to Winter: Spring Teases and Beckons
April 5th, 2008
Spring slowly arrives and as the deep snows melt mud season begins. The soil in this part of Montana contains a high percentage of clay which rapidly absorbs water and sticks to everything. Dirt roads, driveways and yards turn into soft, gooey mud for about 3 weeks every spring. Gravel roads and driveways fare better because they drain and dry quickly. Unfortunately the road leading to my new home was mostly dirt and my gravel driveway was covered with fresh dirt from excavating done on the tiered gardens last fall.
Several feet of snow still covered my yard in early April. I pulled the plastic tarp off the cellar stairs and slowly carried boxes of books, clothing, bedding and furniture down the ice covered stairs and into the basement workshop. All the while I used great care not to place a muddy foot inside the house. Then I would take my shoes off and sort the Jeep load of stuff and divide it between the workshop and the basement bedroom. Everyday I would try to carry one load up to the new house. By the end of the month I was moved in.
Moving in Mud Season
Spring arrives, mud season begins and I start to move my personal belongings into the new house.
Basement Workshop First I would pile my belongings into the basement workshop. Furniture Storage Then I sorted. Furniture, bedding and kitchen supplies I stored in the basement bedroom.
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Snow Brakes
Warmer weather reveals the greenhouse rooftop copper
snow brakes that previously held two feet of snow
and ice in place while allowing it to gradually melt.
Last year the winter snows melted in April and then the weather stayed warm which allowed us to plant trees and clear the yard. This year the snows started to melt and then it would turn cold and snow again. The last snow was around June 8th and we received almost a foot in one day. Mud season lasted off and on until late June. Once the snow melted the hills were as green as those in emerald Ireland.

In March Rich cut two six inch wide sections from the five foot log that came from the 300+ year old tree that was killed by the forest fire. We will sand and clear coat one of the sections and hang it on the upstairs foyer wall. Tags depicting the rings that coincide with major events in American history will adorn the section. The signing of the Declaration of Independence, the war of 1812, the Civil War, Montana statehood in 1889, the 1893 Columbia Exposition, WW I and WW II, the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, Ronald Reagan's election as President in 1980 and other historical events will be noted. I am hoping that the cut tree section will add a sense of relatively recent history to the house and mark the exact moment that the old house perished.
Basement Workshop
Gradually the basement workshop turned into an impromptu reading room!
300 year old tree
We sliced a six inch section from the 300+ year old tree that was killed by the forest fire in July 2006.
April 10th, 2008
During the winter when almost everyone worked inside, the house grew increasing cluttered and dirty. In late March Rich's wife Kay and her daughter Kayla cleaned the basement workshop and the basement bedroom. Kay often vacuumed the floors upstairs during the winter and the house would be clean for another week. Unfortunately she fell off a tall stepladder while cleaning her own home in early April and broke her wrist and foot. I volunteered to take her place and clean every room as I moved in. I had no idea of what I was getting myself into.
I started with the Master Bedroom. I picked up all the trash, vacuumed the floor and then washed the crown molding and ceiling. As I noticed blemishes and spots that needed painting I marked them with blue 3M tape. Two days later I finally finished washing the walls and windows. Then I moved on to the floor. I removed all the dirty paper and cardboard, scrapped up dried paint spots and caulking drips, vacuumed and then washed the beautiful wood floor. On the fourth day I assembled furniture, made the bed and filled the dresser and closet with my clothing. I slept soundly that night and for many more as I patiently cleaned, room by room, throughout the house over the next several months.
Living Room Clutter
During the winter the house grew increasingly cluttered and encased with a thick layer of dust.
Library Clutter
The library is filled with furniture for the second floor.
Dining Room Clutter
Dining room clutter.
Clean Car
On April 12th the temperature rose to 70 degrees Fahrenheit prompting me to wash my Jeep.
I love a clean car
Snow covered mountains and a clean, white Jeep Rubicon.
A perfect match.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces
Snow banks amidst terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.
April 13th, 2008
My birthday and a beautiful, bright and sunny day. After attending the Livingston Congregational Church I drove to Yellowstone National Park in my nice, clean Jeep to see how the park fared through winter and early spring. Mammoth Hot Springs is open year round and sits at almost the same elevation as my new house, 6238 feet above sea level. We share almost the same ecosystem so the plants and animals are almost identical. A fire burned through Mammoth in 1988 and altered the landscape just like the Big Creek forest fire in 2006 did to my yard. The geology of Mammoth is mainly limestone, hot springs and travertine. The geology of my yard is mostly volcanic ash and a little basalt. Water is scarcer at my place so unfortunately I do not have hot springs like Mammoth.
Although the sun was warm and bright the snow was deep and plentiful. Six to 12 foot drifts engulfed long sections of the wooden boardwalk that traverses the hot springs area. In the back country I waded through wet, icy snow that was often over my knees. Unfortunately the roads to the rest of the park were not scheduled to open for another two weeks. I can only imagine how deep the snow must be at Old Faithful which is over 1,000 feet higher than Mammoth Hot Springs.
Boardwalks at Mammoth Hot Springs Snow covered boardwalks wind amongst hot springs. Snow Drifts Snow drifts up to 6 feet (2 meters) deep bury long sections of wooden boardwalks.
Neil Aakerstrom and his crew spent several days in April sanding and finishing the dining room, living room or parlor and kitchen floors. He used a beautiful herringbone pattern for the kitchen floor and artfully created three diamonds for the parlor and dining room floors. After the floors were dry they were covered up again because carpentry work still needed to be completed inside the house. Kim and Shane turned their attention to the living room or parlor. They carefully installed ceiling trim, crown molding, wall panels, chair rail, two full size Corinthian columns and baseboards. Joe followed with caulk and touch up paint. Then I came in with a vacuum cleaner, sponges and soap and water. After a week of cleaning the rooms were ready for furniture.

Need some wood floors designed, installed, repaired or upgraded?
e-mail Neil Aakerstrom
or call him at (406)222-6343.
Kitchen Herringbone Floor
Neil sanded and clear coated the red oak herringbone floor in the kitchen.
Breakfast Bar Center Detail
North American ash, walnut and maple, Peruvian walnut, Brazilian cherry(Jatoba), Central American purple heart and West African wenge form an expanding diamond at the center of the breakfast bar.
Breakfast Bar
Seven species of wood from three continents grace the breakfast bar that Neil Aakerstrom meticulously designed and built.
Cafe Doors
Joe sanded, stained and clear coated the double,
swinging cafe doors for the main entrance foyer.
Parlor Trim
Kim meticulously installed trim in the parlor near the fireplace.
Deep snow
My Jeep is dwarfed by huge piles of snow made even higher as Yellowstone Park roads were plowed.
April 27th, 2008
After a week of warm, spring like weather Yellowstone National Park started to open some of its roads to the public. I visited on the 27th and drove from Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful and back. I knew that we had an unusually snowy winter at my place but I was astounded at how much more the wetter and higher environment of Yellowstone Park produced. At Old Faithful there was still four feet of packed wet snow almost everywhere. Windblown snow drifted over two story buildings and almost buried them. I measured one cut away drift in a recently plowed parking lot at almost 20 feet(6.6 meters) tall! Below is a selection of photos that I hope will give you an idea of how severe this past winter was in Yellowstone National Park. Let us know what you think. Please post your thoughts in the text box at the bottom of this page.
Gibbon Falls
Melting snow fuels Gibbon Falls as it plummets through a basalt lined gorge.
snow bound crosswalk
Somewhere, under four to five feet of snow, is a crosswalk at Old Faithful.
Old Faithful Inn
The Old Faithful Inn is just starting to shed its cloak of winter white.
Huge snowdrifts engulf log building
This building was almost completely buried by drifting snow. It is remarkable that the roof did not collapse.
Snow stalagmites and stalactites
Melting snow creates icicle stalagmites(up) and stalactites(down).
Old Faithful Geyser behind snowdrifts
Somewhere behind this snowbank is the Old Faithful Geyser!
Snow covered entrance Old Faithful Inn
Someone needs to shovel the snow before the Old Faithful Inn can open.
Skidsteer struggles to plow snow
A barely visible front end loader struggles to clear a parking lot for an almost completely buried, two story, Old Faithful building.
Email, bookmark or share this page with others...
Click on the "ADD THIS" button to:
  • Automatically e-mail a link to this page to anyone.
  • Bookmark this page via Favorites, Google, AOL, Yahoo and other web services.
  • Share this page with your friends on FaceBook, MySpace and other social networking sites.
Bookmark and Share
Please share your thoughts with Tim and other readers...
What do you think of this page? How can it be improved? Do you have questions about its content? Share your thoughts with Tim and other readers by clicking on "Leave a message". I read every message and will respond if you have a question.
comments powered by Disqus
A word from our sponsor, Ads by Google
Click on the underlined text to go to the...

Page 31
Artistic Creations

Tim's Life
Main Table of Contents

Branford Bike
Fire Story
Table of Contents

Page 33
The Question of Beauty