Mountain Cabin Adventure - A new Saga Begins...

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Tyler Danann, Oct 9, 2014.


  1. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    This story chronicles my return to the mountains of Wyoming, since 2012 I’ve been granted a small section of land and intent to build it up into a holiday home / hunting cabin / Summer / Winter Retreat.

    Next-door is the legendary Mountain Man Mike who is busy completing his cabin, I’ll help him and he’ll help me but it’ll still be one heck of a challenge.

    There are three major factors: It’s at 9.500 feet and I / we only have a short 4 month window to build on AND the land is Lord of the Rings steep and partially inaccessible.

    The snow still bars the way from winter so at least I have some time to prepare and be ready for when the snow-drifts melt, opening the way in once more to the 'Mountain Hold...'


    So it begins…


    The flight from the UK was smooth enough, the vid screens buzzed with Pax Americana.
    ‘Sit back and enjoy the ride!’ said the automated air hostess cheerily while their live counterparts went through the motions.
    The video screens were set into the bulkheads and there was no turning them off, thankfully a chatterbox woman was next to me and our ramblings breezed away the hours. On my other side a Portuguese fellow fiddled and diddled with his psp videogame – the old ways and the new I thought during my musings.
    We landed at Chicago and once off the plane the fun and games really began. Some women ushered us all into the DHS lanes – one of them reminded me of a Hispanic grandmother, hard bitten and mean. The other was like something out of King Herod’s harem – all dusky and beguiling with her professional reserve. I didn’t have time to chit-chat and I went forward for the rigmarole of fingerprinting and questioning.

    ‘What is your purpose of visiting the USA?’ Asked the oriental man in uniform as the questions came thick and fast. He viewed my passport as he did so.

    I told him my doings.

    ‘How long do you plan on staying?’

    I responded.

    ‘How much money did you bring with you?’

    I answered truthfully once more and placed my fingers onto the scanner as directed.

    SLAM

    A big stamp slammed the appropriate months of stay into my gleaming new passport, complete with embassy approved visa [​IMG]

    A big red circle was made around a section of my immigration form and I was waved on through though and the arrival / transfer ritual common to international airports unfolded.

    A carousel with all our bags open turned on and after collecting my jumbo-bag and backpack I trundled them towards the next set of Gatekeepers who barred the way ahead.

    Upon reaching them they perusing my immigration form and directed me sideways to the dreaded secondary inspection zone!
    It looked like I was going to have to have another barrage of inquisitive questions…

    As I rounded the corner I faced two mega-sized cargo canners and a long steel counter against the wall. All three areas were manned and occupied by others being inspected via baggage or words.

    I waited for one of the three areas to become free.

    Another oriental man of the DHS calling was at the counter and he called me forward.
    I couldn’t help but notice him to be not unlike a character out of one of my short stories – a Jade smuggler lord called Mr Paeng in this case. However, instead of being shrouded in opium fumes with his own army of henchmen to call upon it was three DHS folks who toted sidearms and uniforms.
    I showed him my immigration form and he deciphered the various notes and jottings the previous DHS guy had written on there - I hoped it was nothing negative…

    Churning information from the bowels of DHS / NSA / CIA and-who-knows -what-else blared out onto his screen as he began tapping in keys.

    A silence set in.

    ‘So Mr Ryder why do you come to America?’ Asked Mr Paeng in pigeon English.

    I answered with my reasons, showing this and that from my docs folder. He made a few clicks with his cheeks the way some Orientals do when mulling something over.

    ‘So have you brought a firearm with you this time?’

    I responded I had not, the shenanigans at Manchester airport in previous times had put paid to that avenue.

    The area was quiet now, as only I remained and the other DHS forces loomed in towards me, curious no doubt at this European man with a jumbo bag at my side and a huge military backpack on my shoulder.

    Of the two other DHS dudes one was a Wasp and the other a Celtic mix.
    Hearing the word ‘firearm’ they became excited.

    ‘We should put his bags through to see if the alarms will go off.’ Said the Celtic-looking one with a mischievous vibe about him.

    I made some banterish responses explaining my past doings in the Americas.

    ‘Fill this in’ Mr Paeng said sliding a customs form declaration towards me.
    He didn’t offer me a pen so I reached for my EDC and pulled one out.

    As I wrote it out Mr Paeng asked more questions and the two DHS folks behind me drifted away to attend to fresh meat wandering in bewilderedly with their bags.

    I explained all the reasons while I filled it out.

    I handed it back and Mr P seemed satisfied, he returned my passport and allowed me and my baggage through unmolested.
    I walked forwards and two big security doors opened before me.
    The way into America was open and I was now free to continue….
     
  2. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    An Auspicious Landing


    Leaving Chicago for Denver was without note, but on nearing the infamous Denver International Airport a ferocious thunderstorm and tornado came out of nowhere and for about an hour the airport had to close.
    As the plane I was on was (for whatever reason) low on fuel, it had no time to circle at a distance, instead the pilot announced he’d be heading for Colorado Springs where he’d refuel and then fly us back to Denver.

    Here’s a picture of Dan Dan the Petrol man fueling up the thirsty wings.


    [​IMG]

    The delay of about one hour didn’t bother me, but the crippling altitude sickness began to send me reeling. No amount of eyes-closed, resting, deep breathing would subdue it. Days later it’s hard to describe the impact but it felt like wave after wave of nausea from my belly up to my head.

    The plane was back in the air again after about 30 minutes but by the time we’d reached Denver the sickness was getting worse.

    I managed to stumble through the airport, get my bags then stagger about for the next twenty minutes finding where the shuttle bus zone was. I managed to get my ticket to the Greeley Grotto (GG) and waited in an airport café for my bus to arrive.

    The Star Spangled Banner anthem was playing for some hockey game on the TV in there, while it’s jovial, jingoistic vibes raised my spirits a few degrees the sickness lingered relentlessly.

    I got on the shuttle bus though without incident, the driver on board took one look at me.
    “Have you just flown from a low altitude area?”
    I responded that I had indeed.

    “You’ve got altitude sickness man, but don’t worry it’ll pass, you gotta tough it out.” He said and rambled about a few things. I conversed as best I could, toughing out the urge not to vomit in his nice bus.

    I arrived at Mountain Man Mike’s location in GG without puking and my sickness had begun to abate. The next day I had a busy few days to get through but more on that later.
     
  3. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Rolling Out!​



    The next morning there was no time to waste, my last transport vehicle, the Wolverine had broken down thanks to a busted transmission and Mike’s bang-and-rattle, Blue Beast was nearly as old as fred flintstones rattle wagon!

    Once again I would have to procure a BOV and hopefully with more fortune than last time.

    I scoped out the classifieds using the high-speed internet at the fast food place. Within about 4 hours I’d narrowed down my search to 3 pickups with one being a keeper.

    After a few phone calls I was on my way with Mike to the first location. It was a fancy area, All-American suburbs, fresh buildings surrounded us. The GPS guided us right to the door where the gutsy white pick-up that had caught my eye now waited

    The Chevy Pickup with extended cab had the right stuff about it.
    It was in very good condition, clean interior, with new air-con and a service history. The cargo-bed had a custom lockable cover which was handy and it came with two winter-tyres with studs. The 6.5 ft cargo bed was not the longest one (at about 8 feet) yet it wasn’t the shortest (4 ft) either.
    Like the vehicle, the owners of it were an All-American family - 2 parents, 2 children, all blonde and brunette with that oh-so-innocent attitude so common to trusting middle-America.
    I was already using my profiling ways to build up a picture of ownership. He looked the careful type, bedrock middle-class doing the White Flight thing to the outskirts of the city.
    Compared to the shady dealer I got the Ford Explorer from 2 years ago, I wasn’t dealing with deceptive ways but a fairly open stance…

    The Chevy it had high mileage too at 261,000 miles and lacked 4-wheel drive. Yet the engine was powerful; a 5.7 V8 engine. It also had a looked-after feel to it, all the equipment on it worked, no damage.

    I went through the checks - apart from the seatbelts having what I reckon to be a faulty inertia reel lock it was good. The owner had used it for a couple of years in the mountains of Colorado where (according to him) it had coped with 2 foot snow drifts no problem. Prior to that it was a ranch vehicle in Texas so was likely used on flattish terrain and in a dry climate. Probably towed some stuff about but with a 5.7 liter V8 engine that would not have been a hardship.

    The fuel economy was probably like that of an armored car, I asked the owner and he reckoned about 15 – 16 mpg on the highway, that’s half of what my Nissan Skyline sports car used to get! Thankfully fuel is as cheap as chips here (compared to rip-off UK anyway).

    I took it for a test drive and decided that this would be the new Mountain Hold transport wagon. Some may call this cavalier but sometimes you gotta go with your instinct. Before parting with the cash I haggled using the seatbelt issues as leverage, the owner was adamant but knocked $100 off the price.

    The next two days saw the truck legal and ready for the road. All being well this should see good use at the mountain land for the next 5 years before replacement.

    Behold the White Wolf!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Call of the Hunter​


    Wanting to hunt in the USA can mean you’ve gotta jump through a few hoops, especially in Coloradica or Wyoming.
    After some internet work and a few phone calls earlier in the year I’d arranged a course at the local community center.
    Now in the USA so it was that I was in a classroom having my Hunter Education course.
    It was no attendance course either. We had to do weapon handling, exam and a firing-range shoot.
    As you can imagine weapon safety was taken incredibly seriously – the old grizzled instructor was a no nonsense kinda guy who, on occasion, explained things with quirky euphemisms.
    “…And if you don’t tell the warden / ranger that you did this wrong, hold on to your donut ‘cause your gonna have an invitation to meet with the judge.”
    “…And if you run away from killing the wrong animal without telling us, them ranger boys will be comin’ after ya with guns drawn so , hold on to your donut as you’ll have an invitation to speak with the judge.”
    “…And if you have your headlights on while out of your vehicle hunting you better have them guns unloaded or, Hold on to your donut…”

    As you can imagine I was struggling not to laugh being unused to such quirks, which is probably why the old hunter would go on to point out that compared to the UK the USA had the greatest hunting rights / privileges in the world. I couldn’t really argue, but did politely correct him when he assumed that there were no shotguns capable of taking a detachable magazine. When he understood that the SAIGA-12 was indeed in existence and available on the market he said “Well don’t take shotguns like that hunting then!”
    I was suddenly reminded of Elmer Fudd defiant of the progress of the firearms industry but chose to remain silent - it is never wise to usurp the wind from an instructor during his class.

    Most of the other folks were Coloradan country boys, not a city-dweller in sight. A couple of old boys were there too and I wondered if they were former poachers having to make good with the course.
    After making my shots in the underground firing range I took my exam, I scored nearly 100% on that and flew through the firing part also. The old hunter pointed out my single error then had me sign my card.
    With that I was handed my shiny orange Hunter Education Card, allowing me to buy hunting licenses in all 50 of the US States - quite essential for doing some hunting on the mountain land area - even if you have land you aren’t supposed to kill animals unless you have a hunting license in Wyoming too.
     
  5. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    An Unexpected Expedition


    The Greeley Grotto was struck by heavy rains and wind one night, I was lucky it didn’t get completely wet on the inside, the insides of the tent blew in and out like a giant set of bellows but the pegs held and I eventually settled into a lucid slumber….

    The next few days saw MMM busy with chores and the snow still hadn’t melted enough to make a full expedition to the Hold either.
    I cast my eye up to Idaho, I had some friends that lived up there and it would be interesting to see how they were getting on…

    After making some calls and arranging break-down insurance for the White Wolf I set off on a mini-oddessey to reforge old bonds and new….

    I first blazed a trail up into Wyoming and on towards the Mountain Hold, I had to see how clear the snow was and it would give MMM an idea of things too.

    While the snowy range was clear on the roads some snow (about a foot or so) was still evident.
    At the town of ‘Tonswater’ I picked up my package of things I’d sent over from abroad.
    This done I buzzed up to the Hold’s private road and saw that, regrettably, there was still a snow pack drift of about 5 feet. That being said I walked about on it a bit and noticed it was slushy for the first foot or so.

    [​IMG]
    A part of me was tempted to drive hell for leather in the White Wolf on a surf of snow and sleet, the caution in me pointed out I’d probably either end up stuck (no 4 WD) or possibly even slide down the mountain side into some adjacent trees.

    I turned the Wolf around and began the expedition further west...
     
  6. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Plains of Promise

    The interstate carried me west towards the border but it was quite a journey. I clocked up 800 miles near enough before I’d reached the border zone. At a quiant little rest stop called ‘Little America’ I laid my head then set out once again.

    At another one I experienced the awesome gusts that Wyoming is famous for. Up to this point I’d become aware that my tracking and alignment was indeed not malfunctioning and the very wind itself was blasting against my pickup.
    Nevertheless, I figured it was no worse than any oceanic gusts I’d experienced offshore.
    I’d just pulled up at a rest stop further along when a Wyoming-Whooning rush approached.
    My Opened door had two papers inside it and they both blew out as if yanked by some invisible cord!

    I slammed the door and set off after it in hot pursuit. I retrieved one of them (a tire receipt) but the other was gone to the four winds (it was nothing important, just a receipt) and I returned to the White Wolf where I now noticed a Hispanic family were next to me partially disembarked.

    As the real whooshing wind came along the ones that were still outside assumed this ‘back to the wind position’ and I now realized I’d better do the same or my door would be ripped off or damaged. Horizontal rain drops seemed to shake out and whizz past as micro debris whipped at me.
    There was a break in the wind and some chatter-talk came from the Hispanic ones, I took this opportunity to partially open the door and slip inside. I did so just as the whooshing force returned.

    Sat inside felt a lot better, but I noticed that my very wing mirrors were being pressured, the very plastic flexed and bent slightly as if it was being extruded! It reshaped back again and the wind dropped off.
    It was safe again at the rest stop and I drove on, leaving my brief neighbors behind to fluster and wonder at the force of the Wyoming winds...

    Contrary to what some might say there are small towns in Wyoming, Sinclair was one that stuck out along with a few others. They reminded me of Bartertown or some ‘get er done as we go along’ type place. I was tempted to drive in and explore them a bit (something quite easy given the proximity to the interstate) but I was against time and my schedule thanks to a delay earlier in the week.

    After a few more hours I found another sleeping place once more, then, the next morning saw me entering Utah, the Lands of Mormon and their homebase of Salt Lake City…
     
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  7. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Utah – An Interlude with the Saints

    My next book will hopefully feature this state at least in part and it was easy to see why.
    Great canyons and valleys channelled the interstate through and in times of strife it would not be too fanciful to imagine the statesfolk from garrisoning them in times of independence.
    I passed a mighty reservoir then great stretches of green fields, villages and towns perched on high above the interstate. They looked down like aloof, pristine communities fulfulling the American Dream. I’d seen them before many years ago and the sight remained inspiring.
    An umarked police interceptor had pulled over a driver and I checked my speed, in Utah the speed limit is variable. 65 mph in the eastern entry area and 80 mph in the northern parts of the interstate.

    I headed into the heart of Utah – Salt Lake City. There I would explore and discover as I’d vowed to do all those years before on my adventures (when I had no time to do so).

    Here are the pictures...

    I’d first seen the capitol building while making a firearm video and it was as impressive looking upon it for real:

    [​IMG]
    Opposite it was a Mormon Chapel (locked) and an information center.

    [​IMG]
    Inside the Info Center there was a penny stretching machine that made designs you could choose from. For two quarters and a penny I made a choice:

    [​IMG]
    Some pistols used by Brigham Young, those Mormons, then and now, know a thing or two about gun rights.

    [​IMG]
    There was a monument with Brigham Young and the founders of Salt Lake City.

    [​IMG]
    The last place I visited was the Temple of Mormon. It’s certainly eye catching and having olde-worlde ways.

    [​IMG]
    I had chosen an auspicious time to arrive, there were over FIFTY weddings taking place and as I drove past to park some brides running late pranced in (quite expertly I might say) on their high heels and wedding dresses.

    I took a wander in first to the ‘Logans Run-esque’ visitors center.
    I certainly was buzzed by the artwork, it was very classy and posing the European Mediteranean flavor you might say.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is what Jerusalem might have looked like pre 70 AD...

    [​IMG]
    It was at this point that I began to notice the Mormon Maidens who held court and guided some groups around. Say what you will about these folks but their ladies certainly tend to be easy on the eye, like an olde-worlde purity and fresh-breeze is about them.

    I made my way around the Temple barrier where there must have been at least five hundred Mormons along with a vibrant atmosphere.

    There was a gateway open, but with a elderly Mormon Gatekeeper. I approached him and we engaged in dialogue about the various doings, both essoteric and ordinary. I was ok to enter but the actual inner temple building itself was in use and forbidden to outsiders (something I already knew).

    Without gushing about things there were some real babes in the temple grounds with large families abound. They reminded me of what the 1950s times were like, all conservative values, straight-forward vibes and a cool exterior to outsiders. Mostly White European folks, but a few Hispanic ones also were present.

    [​IMG]
    In the ways of Mormon marriage vows are for eternity, so I hoped they’d all made a good choice, the couples seemed ecstatic though, with some other visitors commenting how in love they were, I couldn’t disagree and made some rounds before heading into check out Joe Smith’s building.

    Departing Utah in a revitalized manner saw me bound for Idaho…
     
  8. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Idaho and Back East Again…

    Although I didn’t take many pictures I did see around Boise area and headed eastwards to the northern Wyoming border. There I would finally get to see the great geysers of Yellowstone. Who knows, perhaps I’d see it really blow it’s top and be among the beginning of the end!

    In my travels nearly every gun store was totally out of .22LR and .22WMR, I found a place in Wyoming that had 4,000 .22LR for only $150 though. Like a fool I didn’t go for it and by the time I’d returned the store was closed (I had a lot to do in that city).

    Idaho Falls, help some appeal for some reason and sure enough after some wandering I found them.

    Not many folks know that Idaho has areas where it generates a lot of it’s power from the force of water itself!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Panoramic footage of the falls

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Next Databurst:

    West Yellowstone.

    [​IMG]

    At West Yellowstone in Montana I took in the scene. It was a bit like a wild west town but full of Chinese tourists, I guess Chinaland is a bit lacking in natures beauty these days being the sweatshop of the world.
    Having said that in the southern realms there are some greenery parts , but for most in the industrial heartlands Yellowstone must seem like another planet. Compared to their ancestors toiling at the railroads I guess visiting Yellowstone with the other tourist hordes was a step up though.

    [​IMG]
    After grabbing food at a bustling restaurant I noticed a firing range offering full-auto weaponry.
    The full-auto didn’t catch my eye as much as the firing range itself. I cased up the AR and moseyed on in to get some range time on it…

    There was a Chinese liason guy with a baseball cap on who almost had a seizure seeing someone walk in with their own weaponry for a change. An ageing blonde boss-lady appeared to let me run the rifle on her range but wanted $50 for fifty rounds of their quirky copper-tin frangible ammo. $50 was a bit crazy and I only wanted to zero the weapon not mag dump the thing. So I settled on $10 for ten rounds which saw her glower at me a bit as I paid the coin and was shown into their range.

    Two range-dudes with sidearms looked on as I got the rifle set up and in position.

    ‘How far out do you want it?’ Asked one of them, a scholarly looking fellow.

    ‘All the way out.’ I said and off the paper target trundled to about 30 yards. Back in the day we’d zero our rifles at about 25 metres, but 30 yards would be fine.

    I fired from the table-top using my elbow and body kinda leaning in for support. Not perfect compared to being prone but good enough for iron-sight work.

    5 rounds saw me hitting the bullseye off to the left slightly in a grouping just over a quarter-size. I made some adjustments to the rear sight.

    ‘Your trigger pull is good.’ Said the Scholar one.

    ‘Thanks but I think it’s the sights.’ I responded.

    I then sent another 5 rounds out and still they were off to the left slightly, but less than before.

    That was it, I had to get going, as I left about ten Chinese tourists wandered in, now I see why they have a Chinese liason. They no doubt want their opportunity for guns, which is something impossible in the Chinese lands…

    I entered Yellowstone having paid my $25 for a seven-day pass.

    I figured this would cover wild-camping, off-road action and the whole shambogle. How wrong I was, off-roading was verboten, wild-camping required a permit and target shooting was also right out. They did allow firearms though, but I guess that was more for self-defense than anything else.

    As I drove through the Yellowstone Highway every now and then a line of cars were just parked up witnessing some spectacle of mother nature.

    I saw three elk, ducks and at one point a small brown bear that scuttled across the road so quickly I had no chance to get a picture.

    [​IMG]

    This elk was amid the trees and isn’t very clear alas, even on full zoom!

    [​IMG]
    I car-camped at a spring area defying the ‘permit’ system, everyone else was tucked up in the ‘designated’ camping spots and by the morning light I was just about ready to move on as the tourist hordes began to arrive at the springs.

    This is biscuit basin, at 0800 it was freezing even near the hot springs, I was only one of two people there though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The White Wolf is the bed tonight for the Ryder...

    [​IMG]

    Old Faithful in action!

    [​IMG]


     
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  10. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    After the shenanigans of Old Faithful I drove on, heading through the Teton National Forest. For me this place was much more beautiful than Yellowstone, which was too basin-like for my liking, and crammed with too many rules also.

    Here's some pictures of the Teton National Forest, a place I identified with much more than Yellowstone...

    [​IMG]

    Misty Mountains on the horizon reminded me of the Mountain Hold, Snowy Range etc:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Indeed Teton NF was akin to another great forest I would soon be heading to, but first I decided to check out Casper and make a night-run to Saratoga…​
     
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  11. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    The wild plains of Wyoming were like a buffer zone between the Tetons and the next wave of National Forests.

    I made it to Casper having passed through some characterful towns of Central Wyoming. The oil and gas industry is big here, lots of fabrication, manufacturing keeping folks in decent work. I sure can understand it's a better place to work than in some desert hellhole elsewhere that's for damned sure. [​IMG]

    I picked up some .22WMR ammo from the bare shelves where .22LR used to be then did some routine shopping. I met a few interesting people here and there, amazed and surprised at a far-flung Briton in their midst.
    I doubt they'd met many that had some mountain land and made sure to return another day before hitting the road again...

    Mountain Entrance - The Way In​



    A week later and things were looking up, a helpful cabin neighbor had used his snowcat to plough the snow drifts apart so a causeway wide enough for a single vehicle at a time was created.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Driving through it I stifled the notion of the wall of snow suddenly cascading down and drove deeper into the gulch.

    Once again though the obstacles of fate appeared. This time a tree lay in my path, lacking the means to shift it at that time I went around the ways coming in via the rough-rider trail.


    [​IMG]

    This is a dangerous part of the Hold, one person was injured and another sadly slain when their ATV went tumble-down on a corner. I took it slow and in manual gear and was soon facing into the fabled Mountain Hold.

    Look how much snow is still about the place! It’s nearly July and still snow lingers in great drifts and clumps!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Mr.C

    Mr.C Monkey

    Question: did you aquire your land thru a realtor or private sale? I live in Washington and am on a land hunt but I can't seem to find a good spot deep enough. Tried contacting DNR for a push in the right direction but no reply from them. Any suggestions where to look?
     
  13. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Well most of the land nearby is gone now alas, I think there's maybe one plot but you wouldn't like it being next to the private trail and on a horseshoe curve.

    I got my little parcel of land via a private sale.

    There is a realtor nearby in the town though and there could be spots elsewhere in the wilderness we don't know about...
     
  14. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    I did a quick recce for bears, predators, signs of intruders etc but found none thankfully. This done I scrambled about getting things pre-prepared for later arrival. I had a cabin to build and what's more a mystery guest was due to arrive in about a week too.

    [​IMG]

    I gave the gate a wiggle and lifted it out of the mud-pine it had sunken into to swing out. There was a creak here and there at first then it smoothly swung clear like the day Mike and I had hung it.

    [​IMG]

    Mike did a good job protecting the Wolverine up at the Hold [​IMG] It has it’s own den now and almost seems a shame to have to take it all apart. One of the motel folk was charging Mike a fortune in lumber for the storage down in the town and I made a mental note to give half the scrap value to Mike later. (I had made arrangements to eventually get it scrapped later that day for a few hundred dollars, maybe less).

    [​IMG]

    Got some free sawdust from the local sawmill. Handy for chemical / composting toilets.

    [​IMG]

    Nice and cool at the underground storage area too:

    http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc174/Ulysses3100/Cabin in the Mountains/DSC00254_zpsa300e37a.jpg

    The drifts may not have looked steep but believe me I had to use my tough oil rig boots and lots of scrambling to get up them otherwise you'd slip and tumble-down them...

    [​IMG]

    After about 3 hours of lazily, carefully and gingerly sliding about, climbing over and across the vast snowdrifts I was ready to tackle the tree barring the way in directly.

    In my book felling trees across roadways kept the bad folk from getting to the Hold, but as it’s not the apocalypse just yet I set about dragging the fir tree clear, hopefully my civic prowess raising the vibe with some of the other cabineers while I was at it…



    The interesting thing about the tree was it wasn’t like most that fell over due to snowpack but it was quite neatly snapped about a quarter of the way up. Perhaps it was a sudden gust of Wyoming wind or a lightning bolt? Whatever it was I got the proper rope attached, put her in manual top gear and began hauling ass!
    The massive 5.7 V8 didn’t miss a beat and those bad ass tires I'd had put on it helped a lot. Within less than a minute it was all over and the way to the Hold was open once more...

    I might return later and chainsaw the tree into log-sections, unless someone beats me to it that is…


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Intermission

    Ryder Grab your Gun


    It’s hard to build a cabin zone on just guns, beans and bullets, but, like a concrete mix not having enough sand or stone, things can get a bit shaky out there when things come to shake your house about.
    So it was time to take a trip to the local gun shows and FFLs to see what was on the market.

    At the gun show the first thing that surprised me was how small the venue was. In times gone by the gunshows were probably much bigger, but since the days of the 1990s things had certainly drawn down

    No guns were allowed to be brought in unless they were unloaded and they even included CCW holders too. I was not searched going in but was of course not conceal carrying anything.

    At the ammunition zone I stocked up on some .303 sold by a surprisingly generous Hispanic man who even threw in a free box of ammo. Thanks for that Cholo [​IMG]

    Armed security folks roamed the show with holstered pistols, these were friendly folk though and allowed photographs (with the gun dealers permission) even though a sign officially forbade it.

    An annex room held more ammunition and some war memorabilia as well, German, Russian and US stuff from WW2 – Badges, emblems, helmets and more. I examined some of the knives but noticed they were made in China. I quizzed the seller of the wares about this.
    “You can pay $50 for reproduction or $250 for the real deal, I don’t have any of the real deal.” He said routinely of a German knife.
    I wasn’t going to spend coin on either and moved on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were no CZ-75 originals but a curious weapon by the boys from Israel was available – Israeli Desert Industries (behind the Desert Eagle / Magnum Research) had made a seemingly-worthy copy including a lower rail. While the Israeli weapons groove wasn’t really my thing I was impressed by the Jericho's polymer construction, it seemed like they’d one-upped the Glocky polymer ways and given some Israeli polish to the Slavic CZ original.

    I examined it carefully and found it was up to a high finish and standard, the take-down markings were on there and it came with a de-cocker feature. The seller assured me they’d done a good job with the line and the Baby Eagle was as reliable and stalwart as the CZ-75 original.

    [​IMG]
    I had to take my time though, as good as it looked there were other places and gunshops to look in as I shopped around.
    MMM saw a very affordable semi-auto pistol in the 'saturday night special' category and paid $190 out the door for brand new High-Point 9mm. It's bare-bones and clubbish and certainly hardcore enough for Mountain Hold duty.

    I made some more research considering my hunting plans, game I was looking at hunting and suitability for the ranges involved plus the ease of carriage for carrying it about while I'm up at the Hold. Then it was just a case of hunting down the best gunshops in town...

    At a place where the flags of Gadsen and that of the Stars and Bars were flying I found myself. With two big envelopes stuffed full of paperwork etc I entered.

    Having presented all the required credentials the background checks began. Let me tell you, the hoops that US citizens have to jump through are pretty rough, but as a foreign national the Watch Ryder really had to have his T's crossed and his i's dotted. We're talking phoning through the details to the state investigators and reading out the credentials, plus even wanting to say hello to WR on the first occasion.

    20 to 25 minutes later, the gun dealers were impressed I had all my credentials, indeed they'd rejected some foreigner-types before they'd even gotten through the door near-enough and the State-checkers were helpful as well.
    To cut a long story short I passed all my State and NICs (FBI) checks for both long gun AND pistol (which took a bit longer), so, contrary to some of the nay-sayers you can buy guns legally as a legal, resident alien in the USA, but you need a knowledgeable FFLs in states that require state background checks.

    I bought a certain, infamous (according to the liberals) 5.56mm rifle and a 9mm sidearm with 'Duty' as it's watchword, thus satisfying small and medium game requirements along with a measure of protection against any foes, be they two or four legged. If you want to know what kind of weapons these are? Well you’ve have to keep on reading, as there’s more to tell than just firearms in this tale let me tell you…

    With this, a food blitz earlier in the week and the chainsaw panoply the three of the four essential requirements for the expedition adventure were now met! I can only hope the White Wolf can fit all my gear plus MMM's without overloading it too much!
    The fourth element would be the raw building materials like wood, concrete and carriage bolts / lag bolts etc. That though would mostly have to wait until we'd arrive at the location otherwise we'd be overloading the Wolf too much.
     
  16. Tyler Danann

    Tyler Danann Monkey

    Toiling of the Land

    Having been on the Hold for over 3 weeks I was soon in the routine of things, yet in that time much happened.

    Here is gathering water in the pristine wilderness from the fresh water spring!



    [​IMG]

    Although MMM had not said anything I wanted to get them at least mounted before starting on my cabin build.

    And get them ready I did.

    Then it was time to work on the final gate frame, this would need mounting as well, no mean feat let me tell you...

    After 2 days of labor I'd sized, peeled, spiked and attached the hinge straps plus hammered and screwed in the hinge bolts. The weight of the frame must have been at least 180lbs and even with Mike's help the height to the top hinge bolt was nearly ten feet!

    After the first attempt at lifting it resulted in it nearly falling we took a break.
    I used a couple of branches as a crude pulley and got a rope attached to the top horizontal log on the frame. Then with the fortunate passing of a couple of other cabin neighbors we got it mounted.

    A bracer was soon attached by lag screws in the middle and bottom sections leaving it hanging about quite happily.

    The Mountain Log Gates are now fully mounted and ready for the board installation.
    In a true medieval-spec gatehouse these would be double boarded, for now it's going to be single-boarded.





    More to follow, stay tuned...
     
    NotSoSneaky likes this.
  1. Tyler Danann
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  4. Tyler Danann
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