That January thaw that our builder told us about seems to be here. He was right about that and he is probably right that we will be back in the deep freeze in a couple of weeks. It was a balmy 44 degrees in Eureka on Wednesday. We got several more inches of snow in the last week and probably have about 4 feet now. We've noticed that it felt warm, a relative term. It was still in the low 30s, but by Wednesday night the thaw began and we had giant icicles and ice blocks crashing off the roof.
Wednesday we went to Eureka. The plan was for John to work with Paul (our builder) on our neighbor's home while I did errands downtown. We'd have lunch in town and then John would heat up the Champ and take a flight to get himself current. We headed out to Gateway Village and found Paul hard at work. He and John started snapping lines on the subfloor to mark the walls.
I watched awhile, took some photos, and rubbed Oreo's ears while enjoying the view of the mountains from our hilltop perch.
After a bit I hiked down the hill (ok, I slipped and landed on my a** first, then I figured out it would be easier to hike down through the woods than to walk down the icy driveway) and got in the Beetle to head to town and do some errands. It started right up and immediately died. it did it again. And again. And again. I called John. He said, "Hmmmm, wait a few minutes and try again." I did. It started right up and immediately died. I hiked back up the hill (this time taking the route up our own driveway which was covered with snow, not ice...and then across the woods (note the elk tracks!) to the neighbors. We decided to call AAA and have it towed to town (9 miles). After a confusing call due to my 253 area code cell phone and having just transferred my membership to Montana, they finally found me and sent Brian from Ted's Body Shop out to get me.
Just as the Beetle was getting comfortably settled onto the tow truck, John and Paul came sledding down the neighbor's driveway in Paul's truck. So, John rode to the garage with Brian and I rode to town with Paul. Paul dropped me off at Cafe Jax and went to get John. I was surprised to see them pull up to meet me in separate vehicles...John in the Beetle! Seems it started right up at the garage. They'd plugged it into the diagnostic machine and couldn't find anything wrong. What??? Did I forget how to drive??? I had already thought it was odd that this would occur the day after we'd had the instrument cluster replaced in the Beetle (maybe you remember the series of car mishaps last summer) and was beginning to think that something had been loosened or whatever. After lunch John and Paul headed back to the job site, I walked to the bank then back to the car to go to the post office. It started right up and immediately died. It did it again. But...this time I noticed a symbol light up on the dash that I had never seen before. A Beetle...with a key. Out came the owners manual. Gee, the key has a security code in it that must match the car or guess what....the car will shut itself off. To make a way too long of a story shorter...turns out that the dealer has to reprogram the keys when they replace the instrument cluster. Gosh, don't ya think it would make sense to tell you to bring all the keys? John had to take both keys back in this morning and have everything reprogrammed.
John was able to get back in the saddle and take the Champ for a flight this week. He built a contraption for heating the engine with a propane heater and it started right up. He was happy to get in the air again. He's hoping now for some clear weather to fly it from Eureka to Ferndale Airport at Bigfork for it's annual inpection. It's been foggy the last couple of days, but the forecast looks better for tomorrow.
Yesterday (Thursday) it was back up to Eureka. John went out and worked with Paul at the neighbor's for a few hours again. He is going to learn a lot and will be putting it to use being the "hired help" for Paul when he builds our house.They got the first wall up. Speaking of our house, John and I visited a couple of appliance dealers in Kalispell this week. We had thought we may want to spring the cash for high-end kitchen appliances. We got starry eyed and are thinking we will probably go with Viking. They just announced a package deal and if we order the whole kitchen (30" gas range with convection oven, 36" refrigerator with bottom freezer, 30" venting hood, 24" dishwasher, and microwave all in stainless steel) by March 31 we can save $1500. Looks like we'll be storing appliances for awhile:) We are really enjoying the convection oven here at Dorothy's!
We attended our second line dancing lesson last night in Trego. We've had a lot of fun both times and hope to keep going every week. Today I visited the local scrapbook store in Columbia Falls and tonight John is at Poker Night in Stryker. Paul and his friends play every Friday night from Labor Day to Memorial Day and he invited John to join in.
We're lovin' it here in Montana...the snow, the scenery, the quiet, and the people! Here's a few images to leave you with...taken at Dickey Lake yesterday (15 miles south of Eureka) and Ptarmigan Village today (where we are staying).