Monday, November 8, 2010

Rocky Roads

Just a little reminder!

Hello, Miley here.  Fall is underway in northwest WY and it's cool enough for me to accompany Mommy in the lower elevations (around 4,200-5,200 feet).  Summer is nice if Mommy is working in the mountains, but just too hot down here.  Fortunately, the higher temperatures only last for about 3-4 months.

We encountered some rough rocky roads.  Since we had to archaeologically survey the area anyway, we parked the truck and walked through.  As Mommy put it, the "Dakota is not a rock crawler".  If she takes the ATV, then I have to stay at home which is boring for me.

    Looking downslope. These show up a little better if you click and make them bigger.

Looking upslope and standing by the two-track road.  I'm heading towards Mommy.

Hugs, Miley

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We're Back!

Hello, it's me Miley.  Mommy has spent most of the summer trudging about the bentonite mines.  It was too hot for me to go with her so I had to stay home - Very boring for me.  I did excavate some elaborate tunnels in my spare time. 

Happily, the weather has cooled down with fall's arrival.  Earlier this month, Mommy and I had one last brief project in the mountains just southeast of Bridger-Teton National Forest.  We made the 350 mile drive (no interstate, mostly 2 lane roads)  in only 7 hours including two bathroom stops, a fuel stop, and the Wendy's drive-thru.  I love hamburgers! Drove by the Farson Mercantile (below).

Our chilly study area was on the crest of Commissary Ridge at elevations of 9,300-9,450 feet.  Very little snow, but the ground was starting to feeze.  I saw a pretty rock (weighing around 7-10 pounds) only 40 feet or so from our truck.  I asked Mommy to pick it up for me - usually the larger nice ones are far from where we've parked.  Mommy tried to extract it, but the stone was frozen into the ground!  Guess it'll stay there until May or June. 

Upon checking in at the motel, we discovered that our room was on the second floor, not the first floor as planned.  For Mommy this simply meant more climbing but I didn't like the stairs (open with expanded metal steps)!  They were scarey!  If I had little paws like a Pomeranian or sheltie, my feet would have went through.  Mommy had to coax me up the stairs then down for the first few times.       

  Had a nice view from the project area (referring to pic below not scarey stairway above)

Have a Happy Halloween!

Hugs, Miley

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back in the Mountains

Hello.  Mariah here, I've finally gotten Mommy to update the bloggy.  In late July, we returned to the Double D Guest Ranch area in the Absaroka Mountains on Shoshone National Forest.  Mom had to do some additional testing on a few sites that we recorded there last fall.  Since no lengthy hikes were needed and the weather was cooler (elevation around 8,200 feet), I went with her.  Most of the time, we were in big, open meadows and no bears were encountered.  In light of  the fatal mauling at the Soda Butte Campground in southern Montana (, we didn't want to find any bears. 

We did find a herd of young cows.  Mommy seems to attract them.  One was licking the exhaust pipe of the pickup within a few minutes of Mom shutting the ignition off.  Since the truck had been running for over two hours, it must have been hot!  Happily, Bessie (good nickname for the cow) showed no indications of discomfort.


We spent some time along the banks of Jojo Creek, a Wood River tributary

I sat and relaxed while Mommy looked at the old swimming pool (early 1940s).  Don't think it can hold water anymore. 

Hugs, Mariah

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summertime and Happy Fourth of July

Hello.  It's me, Miley reporting for the pack.  We've spent most of our spring and early summer doing fieldwork back in the bentonite mine. Mommy found a lot of sites and was very busy. However, she did have time to take more pics of me. I like exploring around sandstone outcrops. There's all kinds of little holes to peek in and sometimes bunnies hop out!  Mommy doesn't want me to disturb any rattlesnakes shading up around the rocks.

There are also some odd clay formations to look at and tiny anticlines. 

Mommy's human Mom passed away in May so she flew back to Florida for a week. Daddy took good care of us while she was gone. Of course, he wasn't as accustomed to our various tricks as Mommy so we Airedales were quite entertained for the first two days. Daddy less amused with our antics.

Mariah and several other members of the High Kountry Airedales pack are indoors today avoiding the initial firework sounds.  I'm outside with my buddies - it's not too hot today.  Mommy will be exercising all the doggies a little earlier than usual tonight before the main blasting starts!

Have a great Fourth of July!
Hugs, Miley and Mariah  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Field Season (finally)

Hello, it's me Miley who has finally gotten Mommy to work on the bloggy again.   The past month has been quite busy with the arrival of warmer temperatures and getting back into the field again.  I've been hiking around with Mommy in another bentonite mine.  We both need to get back in shape after the cold winter and being shut out of the field by snow (then slick clay roads) for about 3 months.  I have four paw drive and can maneuver the steep slopes much easier than Mommy and her walking stick. 

We did find ourselves on a steep, narrow ridge trying to find a way back down to the truck one afternoon.  The steep (60-80 degree) slopes consisted largely of highly tilted, rock outcrops and near vertical clay beds.  After searching, we found a little drainage channel filled with very loose clay and washed down rocks.  Needless to say, we slid down the channel nearly side by side.  Usually I don't slide (Mommy slides well) but I was sinking into very loose clay for several inches.  Of course, Mommy had to stick her hand and her leg into some prickly pear cactus when we "landed" at the bottom.   Happily she only had about 4 little cactus spines to pull out while I waited on her. 

Fortunately (for us) , it has been dry lately.  Although we are a little concerned about a dry spring leading to an overly active fire season on the forests in the mountains.   I've been getting a lot of exercise lately. 

Hugs, Miley

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mariah in the Mountains

Hi, Miley here. It’s been a long time. Mommy and I read blogs far more often than we comment. Last fall was quite busy for me, Mommy, and semi-retired Mariah. Ten years old (and a little grumpy at times), she is actually a distant relative, my great-great grandmother’s first cousin. Mariah says that I chatter too much so I’m going to turn the bloggie over to her. I should forewarn you, Mariah is long winded sometimes.  I'm easier to photograph, she tends to become a black blob.

Hello, I’m Mariah, a black Airedale (yes, a purebred) and not a blob despite silly Miley's comment. I’m older and a little less energetic than Miley so Mom takes her out on the rougher, longer hikes now days. Mom likes for me to go with her when she is site recording because I don’t mind patiently waiting for Mom to take notes.

Me, Mariah, near the Wood River in the Absaroka Mountains

Picked up in New Mexico by my human Dad, I arrived home on Halloween 1999. I was a little fuzzy thing about nine weeks old. I was supposed to be a sort of belated birthday present for Dad, but Mom thought I was adorable and basically latched on to me. Dad could not take me to work with him but Mom could. She bought a Pack and Play, collapsible play pen for me to use while we stayed in motel rooms on distant projects. She packed while I played!

 Me at the Double D wearing my bright orange and highly conspicuous leash

About the first place Mommy took me was up to the historic, abandoned Double D Guest Ranch in the Absaroka Mountains of Shoshone National Forest in early November of 1999. Most of the structures were built in the 1930s through early 1940s although an older cabin and root cellar dating to around 1923 remain. The aviator, Amelia Earhart, and her husband George Putnam, stayed there on several occasions. They were friends with the family who operated the guest ranch and constructed the main lodge and most of the structures. Mom had to record the site and evaluate it for the National Register of Historic Places.

Mommy very briefly tied me to a hitching post - I am not a horse!

Standing in front of the old garage.

Standing in front of Amelia Earhart's favorite cabin surrounded by trees along the bank of Jojo Creek.

We looked inside the cabin to see if things had changed much over the past 10 years.
Sitting in front of the old outhouse (no one was inside)

The barn

Double D Guest Ranch in background.  I am the black blob laying down (if you make photo bigger - my ears almost appear).

Hugs, Mariah and Miley