Yet another grocery-getting adventure.

March 10, 2015…45* and not a cloud in the sky!

Picking up where I left off on my last post…there is no “perfect world.”  Jake did make it out to the truck on our little 2-wheel-drive ATV but the Pass remained “impassable” to street vehicles.  He was able, however, to get to town for a few heads of lettuce and bags of tomatoes which he carried in a cooler strapped to the back of the ATV.  The ATV is so small that with a cooler on back, Jake has to scrunch all the way forward on the machine…he ends up looking a bit like an adult trying to ride a tricycle.
So, with the knowledge in hand that we wouldn’t be able to put in “a big Sysco order” (as we had fantasized), we decided to put in a “bare minimum Sysco order” to see us through at least a few weeks.  We can carry two large coolers on our trailer so we ordered two boxes each of the three most vital components to our lunches: hamburgers, buns, and fries.
Since Jake had to cover several miles of dirt pulling our trailer with skis attached, he decided to screw metal flashing on the bottoms to protect the plastic from the sharp rocks.  (He couldn’t replace the skis with wheels because he knew there was too much snow on the Pass to get through.)  Well, that flashing lasted about 2 miles before the screw heads sheared off and the metal went a-flappin’ down the road.  A few miles later, one of the skis decided it had had ENOUGH and twisted itself sideways and then backwards rendering the trailer unusable for a good long time.
Knowing that he had no option but to move forward, Jake unhooked the trailer and dragged it to the ditch, to be recovered when we (by that I mean “he”) could get back out to it to replace the skis with wheels.  Meanwhile, the Sysco order was already in West Yellowstone awaiting Jake’s arrival, so he hightailed it to the truck and sped on his way.  I’m sure he was doing some pretty deep head scratching during that ride trying to figure out how he was going to the our load of groceries back to the Lodge!  Well, as it turns out, he was so preoccupied with those thoughts that he forgot the month’s bank deposit in his backpack which was sitting out in the wide open on the back of the ATV back at Henry’s Lake.
You can just imagine the panic that set in.
Jake hightailed it back to Henry’s Lake, tummy rumbling because he didn’t even stop to pick up a bite to eat, all the while cursing his luck, the weather, the trailer, and anything else that popped into his mind.  I’m pretty sure I even made the list a time or two.  But no harm, no foul…the backpack and deposit were right where he left them.
After more head scratching, Jake did manage to load all the food onto our modest little quad and then sloshed his way home through the mud and the muck.  He arrived filthy and exhausted but triumphant in his success at getting provisions back to the Lodge to keep our doors open for our guests.  I wish I had pictures of this adventure to help tell the story, but then again it’s probably best I was nowhere around.  Sometimes a guy just needs to have a little space.
Freezers restocked and frig full, we have been whiling away the days enjoying a slow trickle of guests who still find their way here despite the lack of snow.  Our youngest winter guest arrived on her own machine…all of eleven years old and already brave enough to handle herself not only on the rough mountain trails, but also across the lengthy expanse of frozen lake she had to cross to get to the Lodge.

I hadn’t been out on iced-over Elk Lake all winter, partially because the idea gives me the heebee-geebees, but also because I haven’t had the chance to spend a lot of time on a snowmobile.  I took at lesson from that little 11-year-old girl.  I put my big girl pants on and bravely ventured out onto the ice.

It was exhilarating.  Snowmobiling in and of itself is fun and can be breathtaking, but being out on slick ice is another thing.  The back end of the machine likes to sashay around so there is a need for correcting much like you would if a vehicle started slipping on the ice.  Of course speed impacts one’s ability to do this successfully, so I was consistently yards behind Jake who went flying up ahead.
In this case he was coming AT me!
It’s a good thing I took advantage of the ice when I did because ever since that short ride, the temperatures during the day have gotten up to the mid-40s.  I don’t think the ice is going to disappear any time soon, but it’s prudent to error on the side of caution when you live in the middle of nowhere.  By the way, we spent the rest of the evening gazing at the beautiful sky!

And with these warm temperatures comes the information that Red Rocks Road has been plowed open from the Henry’s Lake side.  Jake rode the ATV out to the truck today and called back to report that while the Pass is very iced over, he intends to bring the truck back home today.  I’ll let you know how THAT turns out in the next post.
Time to put Frosty away.

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