Gate Guarding

Gate Guarding

Monday, August 15, 2011

Birthday Dinner & Earthquake Lake

Saturday was Kathy’s Birthday and Chuck had planned a dinner in West Yellowstone at Cafe’ Madriz. This is not your ordinary Mexican Restaurant, but authentic Spanish food from Spain.

So Mac & I,  Chuck & Kathy and  Kevin & Arlene all headed in to West Yellowstone for our first experience of food from Spain. The menu has many Tapas, which are small servings of one item. We ended up having a Meat & Cheese Tray, Meatballs, Shrimp, Chicken Skewers, and an Egg & Potato dish that is kind of like a Quiche. Items were served as they finished cooking and we all ate a little of each dish. There are no dinners served at this restaurant, but we all enjoyed everything. And it was a new experience for all of us. Plus, Chuck treated us all to dinner!! Thanks so much Chuck for dinner and letting us help Kathy celebrate her special day!!



The Birthday Girl:


Chuck & Kathy


all of us except Mac…he was taking the photo…


After dinner we headed back to the RV for some cake & ice cream and a gift for Kathy.


Sunday, Mac & I decided to head out to explore Earthquake Lake and Hebgen Lake.

We had a nice drive, passing some pretty scenery…




on the way to the Earthquake Lake Visitor’s Center. They have a great display of the history of the lake and have a very nice video that shows what happened the night that the earthquake happened and the destruction that followed. This is a short excerpt:

On the evening of August 17th, 1959, the area just west of Yellowstone National Park experienced an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale. At the time it was the strongest earthquake recorded in the United States. It killed twenty-eight people; many were buried beneath the 80 million tons of dolomite that crashed down upon a sleeping Forest Service campground, others drowned when the Madison River, displaced by the slide, engulfed their tents.

For more information on the Earthquake, click on the “Earthquake Lake” in red above.

Here are a few photos:



and the actual Slide Area:



more photos of the lake:


and “Ghost Village” This is an area where several cabins had fell into the water and floated downstream and eventually landed when the waters started to subside. They are still in the actual area that they landed.






Then we were back on the road to continue on down the road to Hebgen Lake. This lake is huge! Very pretty also.





and some interesting old homesteads and buildings:




We had a great day and headed back to the RV for a cookout with our friends. We went inside when the weather started cooling off.

Monday, we just stayed around the RV and got some household chores taken care of…..Laundry, changing bedding, cleaning the floors, and making some phone calls. Later in the day the wind came up really strong and it rained a little bit…but the temperature dropped and it got really cold.

We are starting to get Hitch Itch. We have seen just about everything in the area. It is also a LONG way to do any real shopping for groceries and supplies.

Stay tuned on what we get in to on our last couple of days here in Island Park, ID.


1 Life is Good for Blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Big Springs & Johnny Sack’s Cabin

We have been enjoying the nice temperatures here in Island Park, ID. Although, about mid afternoon it does seem to rain a bit and the wind picks up for a little while. The temps seem to run in the mid 70’s everyday until about 4:30 when the rain and wind hit….lol

Monday, Kevin and Arlene invited us to go to Big Springs and Johnny Sack’s Cabin. This is a really peaceful place to visit…here are a few photos and an excerpt from the history of the man and his cabin:

Born in 1884, Johnny came to the United States with his parents and four brothers and sisters from Germany when he was six years old. The family settled in South Bend, Indiana, and Johnny eventually made his way west to the newly established community of Ashton, Idaho.

Johnny Sak

Along with his brother Andy, Johnny arrived in Island Park by passenger train during a blizzard in June, 1909. The brothers’ ambitious goal was to raise cattle on Henrys Lake Flat. After years of working for various ranchers and serving time in the military, Johnny began making his living building furniture and cabins.

Standing just four foot, eleven inches tall, Johnny leased his cabin site in 1929 from the United States Forest Service , one of more than 30 cabin sites surrounding Big Springs, for $4.15 per year. Little did Johnny know when he first acquired the choice building site, his home would become a landmark one day discussed in the United States Congress. Using craftsmanship that reflected his early training with the Studebaker Wagon Corporation, Johnny created beds, chests, tables and chairs from hundreds of pieces of pine paneled with bark inlay. Even his lamp stands, magazine racks and ceiling fixtures were cleverly wrought from odd-shaped limbs, knots and pine cones.










Due to its unique location and picturesque setting, Johnny’s cabin and nearby water-wheel have long been one of the most photographed sites in Island Park. The cabin attracts thousands of visitors each summer interested in the log and stone structure as well as the building’s colorful creator.

One of Johnny’s trademarks is the split bark decoration used in the cabin’s furniture and interior. He took great pride in detail work. One ceiling lamp, still hanging in its original location, contains seventy-two individual handcrafted pieces of wood. A double bed was made of ninety-six wood pieces which Johnny nailed and glued together. Today many of the individually crafted pieces of wood furniture Johnny created for his home remain in their original location.


The cabin took approximately three years to complete, as Johnny worked primarily with hand tools — saws, draw knives, scrapers and planers. Johnny built a small structure and water-wheel at the edge of the springs to harness the power of the springs and create electricity.


After his death in 1957 the cabin became the property of Johnny’s two sisters. They later sold the cabin to Elberta and Rudy Kipp, who made it possible for the building to be opened as an interpretive center in 1980.


About Big Springs

Producing over 120 million gallons of water each day, Big Springs a Natural National Landmark, is one of the 40 largest natural springs in the world. The springs create the headwaters of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River which travels across Fremont County creating spectacular scenery at Upper and Lower Mesa Falls.




With a constant temperature of 52 degrees, the springs is home to rainbow trout, muskrats, ducks, moose and other critters. It is not unusual to see osprey and eagles dive for a meal of fresh fish from the springs.





We had a wonderful time with our friends exploring this great place. If you are ever in Island Park, ID, or even close, it is well worth your trip over to see the Springs and Johnny’s Cabin.

And here is a photo of the sunset we see almost every day from our RV…


Tuesday we just hung out around the RV and then went over to Kevin & Arlene’s to play cards with them, Keith & Donna, and Chuck & Kathy until the wind came up and cooled things down so much that it ran us all inside.

Today Mac has been cleaning the truck and I have been at work on the computer. We will all be gathering later today to have a cookout.

Tomorrow Mac has to have blood work done again to see what his levels are again.

We have a few more sightseeing trips planned before we leave here next Thursday so stay tuned to see what we do…..


1 Life is Good for Blog

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Trip to Yellowstone & Time with Friends

We have been enjoying our time here in Island Park, ID very much. We are not in town so we have been spending a lot of time just hanging out. We have spent a lot of time with our friends enjoying Dinners, Happy Hours, and some Card playing thrown in for fun.

Tuesday, Aug 2nd, Chuck & Kathy invited us to take another day trip to Yellowstone so we piled in to their truck and off we went. We were going to tour the south loop of the park. It wasn’t long before we saw some Elk off in the distance…


and a couple of freshwater Pelicans floating down the river…


and then we drove on and saw a couple of Buffalo up close & personal…LOL



We turned off at Fisherman’s Bridge and stopped for lunch at the Lodge. The food was just so-so,but very expensive. After this, we were off to see some of the Geyser’s….









a Bald Eagle flying away from us…


and some Deer….



and more Elk….





then a side trip to more Geyser’s…



and a beautiful waterfall…



Click on this link for more photos of our day trip…

Day Trip to Yellowstone, Tuesday, August 2, 2011

and then on the way out of the park….some beautiful sunset photos…




Thursday, Mac Chauffeured Kathy, Arlene & I into West Yellowstone for a little grocery shopping.

Today, Chuck & Kathy and Arlene went with Mac & I to the Smoking Waters Mountain Man Rendezvous. There were a lot of things to see, but not really anything that we were interested in purchasing.

We went in to West Yellowstone to do a little more window shopping. We purchased some Huckleberry Jam and some Sweet & Hot Relish…lol. Arlene made a couple of purchases and so did Chuck & Kathy. Afterwards we headed home to each of our RV’s for some dinner.

Stay tuned for more adventures here around Island Park, ID…


1 Life is Good for Blog