As You Can See Our Scenery Has Changed

The Crazy Mountains and Yellowstone River

Yes, we are in Montana, leaving Arizona last Sunday morning. We made an overnight stop with our friends Geri and Larry and stopped in to see Jill and Terry also. Geri arranged for a quick, spur of the moment supper gathering of many of our North Ranch friends–Tom and Sandy, Cathy and Mike and Kathy and Joe. It was so, so good to see everyone! Monday our wheels were rolling and we landed in cold, snowy, windy Ely, Nevada for the night. An absolutely miserable night–it was 12 degrees, the wind was howling and the snow was blowing horizontally! Emmi hated it as did the Cowboy and I. Our original plan had been to travel through New Mexico, up into Colorado and across Wyoming to Montana. A major snowstorm changed those plans! Same weather pattern was predicted in Salt Lake City–so travel through Nevada was our choice.

Our truck in Ely, NV

Why are we back in Montana a month early. I need help with this ischial tuberosity (sitting bone) bursitis I can’t seem to shake. The pain is affecting the way I walk with my new knee and the pain literally takes my breath away–sitting, walking, sleeping, climbing stairs, bending over–it’s awful! And I have another health issue (nothing serious) that needs addressing. I called the surgeon I need to see and asked for the first available appointment thinking it would be sometime in May. Nope, April 10th! The Cowboy was agreeable to leaving Arizona a month early if it would help me so that’s what we did.  

Our one stretch of snowy/icy roads

Tuesday was a long, long travel day with two road closures, one for weather, the other for who knows what. We landed in Dillon, Montana about 6:30pm. We traveled on one stretch of snowy road, the rest of the day was on dry pavement. In Dillon the wind was still blowing and it was 13 degrees–at least it wasn’t snowing!

Wednesday was a shorter day with only three hours of travel time but once we hit our driveway travel stopped. The Cowboy managed to get the truck onto level ground in front of the barn which belongs to our neighbors. He then walked up to our equipment shed, one half mile of uphill, sink to his knees with almost every step walking. And then the skidsteer wouldn’t start. Emmi and I were waiting in the truck–for 2.5 hours while the Cowboy managed to use the mini excavator to travel back down to us. The mini wouldn’t plow the heavy snow but it has tracks and stayed moving–thankfully! We strapped some of our belongings on the mini excavator, the Cowboy drove with Emmi in his lap and I stood on the floor hanging onto the roll bars–talk about Beverly Hillbillies! No photos unfortunately!

And off he goes. The tracks don’t really show how deep the snow is. There seems to be two or three layers and the truck only broke through the first layer.

My dear husband was beyond exhausted and in bed by 7:30, sleeping for 12 hours! Nothing like physical activity to help with sleep! Thursday morning he was at it again strapping a generator onto the mini excavator. He used the generator, a battery charger and the skidsteer’s own engine heater to jump start the skidsteer and plowing of snow began. He plowed snow for five hours! After lunch we drove the jeep down to where the truck was parked and managed to get both the jeep and truck back to the house. Whew!! 


In Arizona both our refrigerators were moderately full of food–both cold and frozen–as we were about a month early leaving. The Cowboy has a thick walled styrofoam cooler he’s had forever–pre me. He was sure if we packed all the frozen foods into that cooler and didn’t open it, and put it in the bed of the truck the food would stay frozen for the trip. He was right–everything in that cooler was frozen solid when we unpacked it on Thursday. The regular cooler with refrigerated items still had ice. Of course it helped that with the exception of the night we spent in North Ranch the temps were never above freezing on our trip. And wine doesn’t freeze at 12 degrees! By the time we unpacked the truck and put away some of the items we were both once again beat! 

Fence posts sticking out of the snow on Monida Pass in Montana. So, so much snow for early April!

Walking is dangerous, Emmi has a hard time finding the exact right place to potty–the Cowboy has plowed even more but there is still an icy layer making for treacherous navigating–I’ve ordered strap on cleats for my shoes. Saturday morning Emmi and I needed a walk–we took the Jeep down to the county road and walked two miles on the plowed, mostly dry road–much easier! 

In between unpacking and plowing snow we had some fun. We took the Jeep–slipping and sliding–over to Lonn’s on Friday night to meet our new Great and see the rest of the gang. Lonn cooked seriously good ribs!! 

Our icy driveway
Meet Hattee Rae–she is a good baby!!
Moody sky over the West Boulder mountains
Brooks and Grandpa playing Monopoly–Millee doing what Millee does best! 🙂 🙂
Mount Rae in its snowy glory

Temps in the high 60’s and low 70’s today and Monday should melt some of this snow–then more snow is expected! 😦 😦


29 thoughts on “As You Can See Our Scenery Has Changed

  1. I know it is good to be home, but oh my, your story today reminded me again and again why home for us will never again be snow country. I know it is different when you have family, and history, and a beautiful property to call home in snow country. I am thank ful I don’t have that, and am thankful that you are home safe and warm and can figure out a way to walk with Emmi. Keep writing, Janna…it is a slice of real life that I love.


    1. We have both made a promise to each other–no more late fall or early spring travel to or from Montana! We can enjoy this beautiful spot when there is no snow on the ground or when the snow is short lived. This three feet dump in early April stinks!! Thanks for the praise Sue–this was a long blog post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. UGH! Glad you’re home safely with all your food intact and at the correct temperature……you do what you have to do sometimes….I hope your Dr. gives you some relief.


  3. Oh my word! I’m glad you both (ok, all three) made it through the trip home okay. Montana is so gorgeous, we both loved it, but we couldn’t deal with the cold and snow. Much love to you both and I hope you can get your medical issues resolved!

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  4. Always an adventure for you and the Cowboy!!!!
    Love your picture with the sweet baby. You still look as amazingly beautiful & young as the last time we saw each other, which was a long, long time ago!!!


  5. Hi Janna! Snow pictures are always sooo pretty, but your stories sure tell a different side to all that beauty. Hattee Rae is precious, playing Monopoly brings back sweet memories, and that’s quite the view behind Millee. Hope things go well at the doctor tomorrow. Happy Easter! Gay


  6. That was a wild homecoming for you guys!! So glad you made it safely, but what an ordeal! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in pain. I don’t know how you managed to sit for all of those hours of travel. I sure hope you get some relief soon. Love the sweet photo of you and Hattee Rae. 🙂


    1. It was a spur of the moment decision, tomorrow I hope makes it a good decision when this hip is injected and I’m pain free again. It was so good to see family and especially Hattee Rae!


  7. I’m chomping at the bit, to get back to our home in NW, WY. We are currently in a conservative town N of Austin, TX. The snow is very deep there (3+ feet), and being a a MN boy, not interested. Can’t wait to get back.Hopefully mid to late May.


    1. We would not usually return until mid May and even then we could get a snowstorm–when you live at 5200 feet you can expect snow into June. The Cowboy has seen snow in every month of the year in Montana.


  8. Oh my what a breath taking story
    You lived. Just driving those icy roads
    Is scary.
    Thank you for sharing with us. A
    Adventure for sure.
    How were you able to walk with Emmi
    for 2 miles? So hope your Shot helps
    Monday. Your baby is a doll!
    This comment may have issues as I
    still can’t see as I type.
    Stay safe🙏


    1. It was an adventure! My hip doesn’t hurt as much when walking and Emmi must have her walk!–just all the other activities one must do to live–sitting, bending, stairs, getting out of a vehicle, etc. Thanks for the good thoughts!


  9. Absolutely beautiful! Some would look at that and shudder, I look at it and want to live there! I would have loved to see a picture of all of you stuffed in the mini-ex.

    By now, all your snow is gone and you’ve been to the doctor, hope all is well!


  10. Hope you found your answer today at the doctor’s! I was wondering why you left warm Arizona for still winter Montana so soon. Definitely not a fun trip to get back to the northern home. Glad you finally got to the house. Hattee Rae is beautiful!! I can’t believe how grown up Brooks and Millie are. Time is moving too fast.


  11. I almost missed this post! Saw on FB you were back in MT already so I’m glad I got caught up on the how and why. Hope you’re able to get your issues addressed and have them behind you quickly! That snow and ice is amazing – good thing you have a Cowboy and a variety of equipment 🙂 That moody sky shot is gorgeous. Can’t believe how big Millie is. Hattie is adorable.


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