Saturday, March 31, 2007

Somebody left the water running at Buckhorn Camp

Who left the the water running? It was flowing good at the Buckhorn Camp today. Who moved the toilet outside? I think I saw an ad for a place like yours.

Nice cabin..remote location...running water and toilet. Interpretation: 1/2 mile off an unmaintained dirt road, down a rutted washed out lane, fifty feet to the outhouse.

All the kidding aside I love your off the road dust! I know one thing getting back there to get a picture of your camp made my truck very dirty...I can't even read the lettering on my truck.

Well Paula, the mountain girl out for now.

Mystery Camp Revealed

For anyone who didn't guess where the last two blogs pictures were taken it was behind the Petitte camp. The first picture two days ago was on the cliff up high the second in Cedar Run Creek. I am sure Jimmie got the first one.

As you can see most the snow is gone. Knock on wood we won't be seeing much more white before next winter. As Mickey would say, "Time is wasting, better start getting your firewood, winter will be here sooner than you think!" The first year I lived up here I sort of poo fooed his announcement which seemed to come the first day we got rid of our snow. Then when winter again was knocking on the door, I realized he was right. There are two seasons up here: Firewood burning season and Firewood gathering season and you best be busy during the second or you'll freeze during the first.

So happy Firewood Gathering Season! from the Leetonia Mountain Girls

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mystery camp picture II

I know many of you will guess whose camp this is when you see this picture taken two days ago and still a little snow. The propane man came today and gave us a nice large bill to pay. I often wonder how much more it would be if I heated with propane. We went through about six cords of firewood this year so it came out to an average year. We won't use much more during the next two months and will actually have to move some of it from the porch...due to my residing efforts on our cabin.

The deer must be watching for me in the morning to put the birdseed out. They came down within 10 minutes and ate most of it much to the dismay of the birds. It was a picture perfect day in Leetonia, blue skies, warm breeze, and very few bugs yet. Some of the people are up for the weekend, and we saw a few people fishing Cedar Run Creek. The roads are still muddy in spots, but very negotiable. Travel slowly so you don't hit rocks or holes too hard or you will be getting a tire fixed like I did today. Until something happens this is one of the Mountain Girls signing off.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tires vs Road... Score: Road-2, Tires-0

Well anyone who lives in the woods knows Spring brings the annual flat tire marathon. The sharp rocks coming up through the frost and the broken spikes from snowmobile tread left in road made for my second tire of the month. The first one was on the car and this one on the truck. The only thing nice about it was the weather was great for changing, warm and dry.

Today as I was driving around I took some pictures and wondered how many of you can recognize where I took this picture? I bet someone reading will guess it the first day. I will post another picture clue during the next couple days if you don't get it. Post a comment as to where you think the picture was taken and I will let you know if you are right.

Things are looking good for the weekend. Roads are muddy and ruddy, but drivable. So come see the woods before its gets dressed up with its Spring flowers and foliage. It is amazing how far through the mountains you can see when there isn't any leaves on the trees. It gives you a whole new perspective on the area. Mountain Girl Road update: car drivable...but plan on washing it when you leave. Make sure you have a spare tire and know how to change it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Slate Run Bear Rescue

Thanks to Shar at Slate Run for sending me these pictures of the baby bear rescue taken by Steve Dawson. There are two cubs total one looks a little brown. As I reported the mother and two cubs took a tumble over a steep embankment. The mother got out but the cubs couldn't make the climb without help. Wise onlookers called the DNR guys to give them a lift out.

Even though they look cuddly the DNR guy has leather gloves on for a reason. Soon they will grow and weigh a couple hundred pounds and be picking on Tom's dumpster..

Down the Creek...Pine Creek that is!

If you jump in Buck Run by our house and float down a mile to Cedar Run and then float down 8 miles to Pine Creek then down 5 miles you will be at Slate Run. Better wear a dry suit though the water still has a few ice cubes floating in it.

The First picture is Slate Run General Store and Orvis Dealer. For the non-fishing person, "Fishing Supply Shop." On our visit today we saw Cozette Stoltzfus, second picture, who works part-time for Tom and Deb Finkbinder, owners of the store. Tom was getting his eyes fixed so neither of them were around for pictures.

The fort was being held down well by their hard-working employee, Shar Bohnert. She was doing it all today, selling gas, groceries, gifts, making sandwiches, answering phone calls mostly asking about Tom's eye surgery.

This store is another great gem of our woods. Last week I called about getting some kerosine, since they closed at 5 pm and it was already 4pm. I knew it would be close. Lee and I jumped on the snowmobile for 8 miles, I jogged to the car the last mile, and shot down the creek 5 miles as fast as possible. I looked at the time it was 5:03PM, of course anywhere else you would have been out of luck. I reached for the first door locked, my heart sank, had I missed the cut-off? Then I saw Tom's car still parked in front, I went to the front door, still open.
Upon seeing me walk in, Shar said, "I told Tom you were coming and he said, leave the door open I will wait for her." Can you imagine any stores near you still being open three minutes after the closing time. I was very greatful desperately needing the kerosine for a heater at a camp.

The last two pictures show the tackle shop and the fanciest fly tying table I ever saw. Today at Slate Run, the animal talk centered around a mother bear and two cubs, apparently all of them fell over a steep embankment near the creek and much to onlookers dismay only the mother could climb out. Wisely, none of the onlookers attempted to rescue the cubs for fear of a non appreciative response from the mother.

The DNR was called and they scooped the cubs up into cages and brought them up to the mother. You've got to love a happy ending. Wish I had some pictures of that for the blog.

It got up to 80 degrees yesterday, and that was quite a shock from 30 degrees in the morning. The birds are busy making noise and the peepers were croaking loudly. It is easy to forget how quiet things are in the winter and how fast it changes with some warm weather.

The roads are clear but extremely muddy. If you don't like your vehicle dirty don't drive back the forest roads right now. Looks good for anyone wanting to see their camp this weekend.

Mountain Girl Road Update: Muddy and slippery and full of pot holes. Your car will need a bath after a visit back here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Out of the Woods

Well after several days of being stuck in the snow...I went for a trip to town. First stop....Cedar Run (population about 6 in town today). As you can see it takes two men to put a snow shovel away in Cedar Run at least that's what I think they are doing.
Next stop was in Morris, I think there is at least a couple hundred people in this town, although I only saw one, the store owner at Pierce's General Store. I picked up a Diet Pepsi, which is always my big treat for going out in the real world.

Then I drove up the road another 10 miles to Wellsboro. Many of you will recognize the famous Gas Street lanterns, which are always lite, and the Court house. After going to the lumber yard for materials and another pepsi...they are only $1 there. Cheapest in the town. I filled the truck up with gas at $2.65/gallon and went to the Native Bagel.

My favorite place to eat, sandwiches, soup, and deserts and most specially the owner, Sue. A nicer person you couldn't meet. Last time I was there I saw an elderly person of the community come in. This person whose mind had been left behind with age and hearing aid as well. Came in speaking loudly. Sue meet her with a smile and a hug. One usually reserved for people who are family or best friends. But one given out as easily to a stranger by Sue. It makes me understand why I love living in these small towns the humanity is real close and personal.

Sue behind the counter at Native Bagel.

I took some sandwiches back down the creek to the Cedar Run Inn, were I shared lunch with Charlotte, Lee and Stanley, the shovel holder above. Stanley shared his latest adventures in Cedar Run, which best left unspoken, are causing one of his neighbors fits. I figured out during the slow months when no tourists are around a standard form of entertainment is to pick on someone deserving of stress...usually someone who can take it the least. The more upset they make this person the more fun they have...unless that someone is them.

We ate our sandwiches watching the eagles in their nest wondering if they were going to hatch some youngins this year. We saw the DNR drop off trout for the upcoming fishing season, talked about seeing bluebirds and the bear taking down all the feeders and getting into the trash. Spring is here and there is only time for a small breath before the season of work begins for all who live here. The camps will open, the tourists will come, and the grass will need mowed. For now I am just happy to feel the warm sun and be able to drive from my house out to the world.

Mountain Girl Road update: Roads drivable some areas of ice or snow edges. Mostly muddy and full of holes, limbs, and rocks. Feel free to come up.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Freed from Winter

Hey! The roads are open! We finally got out today and Bravo Button came up from the Galeton area and said the other side of the mountain was passable. The worst roads are about like the first picture with snow on edges so you still must be cautious. I wouldn't hesitate to come up if you have four-wheel drive and I am guessing if we don't have anymore bad weather it will be fine for all vehicles by this weekend.

I made some more progress on siding the cabin and posted the latest picture. Tomorrow I will post my first trip to town since we have been stuck back here and show you what everything looks like all the way to Wellsboro. For now the Mountain Girl Road Advisory is lifted with a note to be cautious until all the edges are melted. Hope to see a few of you this weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Meltdown Update

Here is a picture of the Herre camp, which got left out of the cabin pictures a few days ago. As you can see we still have a little snow. It is melting fast and we were able to drive to Leetonia from our camp today for the first time in a week.

The roads are still tricky although I am expecting them to be much improved by next weekend. Mountain Girl Road Advisory adventurous only--some areas still closed.

Spring Meltdown II

Spring is trying to make a return to Leetonia. The first picture is the road in front of our cabin today. The second Buck Run Creek. And the Last Camp Eaglebear cabin in progress.

As you can see I started re-siding our cabin with hemlock. I have wanted to restore it to original for some time and the best time to do it is while we can't go anywhere.

I may try to make it to Leetonia today to work at Cassels. I am guessing at this point there is limited access to many of the roads. Tomorrow we have to make the run down to Cedar Run so we should be able to access those roads as well. Overnight rain has helped melt some of the snow, but as you can see the edges of the road are still snow covered and tricky. I doubt the other side of the mountain towards Sliders is passable yet. No sign of a snow plow from the township. I am not holding my breath. They won't plow unless they absolutely have to before trout season. Mountain Girl Road Advisory still in effect! Roads are very difficult in snow-covered areas and impassable in some. Best to wait a few more days before giving it a try. I am expecting roads to be open by next weekend if the melt continues. We are more than ready to have winter over.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Leetonia Road's Closed

The deer seem to have little concern this morning for the road conditions and came almost up to the door this morning. You think they would be more concerned about the two pit bulls only 20' away sleeping on the couch.

We got rain yesterday afternoon that created less than pleasant conditions snowmobiling and impossible conditions for other vehicles. I had to pick Lee up at 414 with the snowmobile and we ran through a combination of 8 inches of slushy wet snow and ice and mud; none of which made the snowmobile handle easily. We both had raincoats and still were wet and cold by the time we got home. Out of the 8 miles to Cedar Run only about 2 miles of it is covered with deep snow that would be a problem for vehicles the rest is drivable. The problem is getting past the deep areas. Right now we pretty much decided it either needs to melt more or freeze to use the car. The snowmobile is not usable unless it was a absolute emergency.
Mountain Girl Road Advisory in Effect Emergency road use only! Don't try it for fun because it won't be.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fruits of the Forest

Picked these all up within a few feet of each other in downtown Leetonia. The antlers are from two different bucks.

Leetonia Cabins 2nd Day of Spring

See if one of these pictures is your camp today!

Leetonia Road Conditions

First Picture is up Leetonia Rd from Sliders. Second Picture down Leetonia Rd at top of Cedar Mountain.

As you can see we still have plenty of snow. I don't expect the roads to be passable by car or truck this weekend unless they melt really fast. We have anywhere from 4-12 inches of snow on the road depending on which side of the mountain you are at.

From Galeton side of Leetonia Rd up...some loggers decided to plow to Sliders, which is good for them, but makes snowmobiling down that section impossible. I have contacted the township and they are accessing the problem and will see if anything can be done. I am not holding my breath. On the positive side they have to plow the roads by April 1st so at least by then we will be able to drive in and out.

Don't count on coming up this weekend by vehicle. Mountain Girl Road Advisory in effect! Limited Snowmobiling ONLY! Non-passable by regular traffic.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Snow, snow, snow

Okay, I am starting to wonder what happened to the Spring weather last week. We got down to single digits and it is snowing as I write.

I find myself looking at every flake wondering how much heat it will take to make it melt. Even the animals are upset. Red-winged blackbirds, robins and others flying around in disbelief. I think I heard one of them ask, "Are we in the right place?"

In December, the snow is beautiful and seems to add to the majesty of the woods. Now it just seems to be in the way of getting anything done. I dress up like a large stuffed pepper and push my way through the snow to the snowmobile, strap everything on and hope I get to the worksite with the things I started with. The snow is not flat on the road. The weekender snowmobile riders take great pleasure in patching out and making mounds of snow like waves on the road. These waves create a roller coaster effect that is more like being repeatedly punched in the ass. It also jars things off the snowmobile that you tether to it. I can't even seem to get the dogs to stay out long. They bark and push at the door as soon as they have eliminated their bladders outside. Then they park as close to the fire as they can get without smelling like burnt hair.

Jack warming up today

I find myself wanting to be just like the dog planted in front of the fireplace and not doing anything else. And that is the life in Leetonia today. It is supposed to warm up for the weekend and we can start the meltdown again.

Mountain Girl Road Advisory snowmobile preferred. 4-wheel drive vehicles are dangerous to use today.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St Patricks Day in Leetonia

Those nasty Leprechauns
I think the Leprechauns played a trick on us and decided we needed another taste of winter before they would grant us a real Spring.

We had anywhere from 8-12 inches of snow Saturday and we had to go somewhere with the dogs. Needless to say they are jambed into a dog crate for the 9 mile trip to Cedar Run to get the car.

I don't think they are too happy about the idea of riding in the crate, but they are happier than being left behind.
March is the month most likely to make us wonder why. Why do we live somewhere the plows don't go? It takes so much extra time to load everything into the snowmobile then unload it into the car and do the same thing on the return. Working up here in the winter on cabins takes twice as long and you get half as much done as you do when the roads are clear.

Today upon returning "Sunday", the roads had been somewhat packed down by the weekend snowmobilers. The road is still a little iffy for vehicles other than snowmobiles and there are places where the road is starting to show through...bad for the snowmobiles. Welcome to the March In-betweens. When you don't know how to get in and out until the hour you are ready to go. Things change in an instant with rain, snow, freezing or thawing. Even with the hassle looking at the blue sky with a few white clouds and the beauty of the woods somehow gives you the courage to face it another day.

Mountain Girl Road Advisory: Snowmobile preferred...vehicle possible but dangerous.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Winter's Revenge

No this isn't a picture from a month ago. Unfortunately we are now back in the snowmobile mode. We have 6-8 inches of new snow as of 7pm and still snowing. I just brought my truck home the other day thinking I could keep both vehicles at the house now that Spring had come. Wrong!

The truck did make it through 6 inches of snow, but you must have a steady hand and no fear of sliding. Do not attempt to drive to your camp for the St Patrick's weekend, unless you have a snowmobile it might be more pain than it is worth. I don't expect this snow will last long since the ground has warmed up a bit and the days are longer. But it won't be gone for this weekend.

Mountain Girl Road ADVISORY in affect. Snowmobiling is the preferred method of travel. I just saw Mick on his snowmobile looking like a true mountain man with is leather cap. All the animals are hanging low and they generally know best. Don't bring a truck back this weekend unless you have a lot of time and money to spare. The snow is supposed to continue until morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring took a nap today

Leetonia Rd near Red Rock road close to creek

(Cedar Run)Pine Creek at 8'
Well all hope of Spring snowed away this morning with a cold snap and a couple inches of snow. To top it off, I went out to start the car and my chained tire was flat. This meant changing two tires, since the chains won't work on the the spare donut. Half of my day was spent going to town to get it fixed. It appears an old plug failed. Leetonia is the best place to live if you like repairing tires. I annually plug at least 4 tires a year between the two vehicles and average replacing about 2 tires a year out of eight. These stony roads are extremely bad on tires. This is the first time I have had a flat while there was still snow on the roads.

Leetonia Road coming up Cedar mountain from Sliders Rd is closed to vehicle traffic until it either freezes solid or melts the foot of snow/slush still there. We went down it yesterday...barely and decided going up it wasn't going to happen. We came back on Thompson Hollow to Painter Leetonia which is 90% clear, but adds about 5 miles to our trip. We drove it in the fog so thick we weren't sure we were on the road half the time. I don't recommend doing that...combination dark and fog = BAD!

The creek is up to 8 feet at Cedar Run and roaring down the valley with Spring Melt. They are calling for another 4-8" of snow this weekend, but I suspect it will melt fast. It won't be enough to snowmobile. Mountain Girl Road Condition rating remains: Adventurous ONLY! Have shovel, chains, and the ability to walk for help or enough food to last in your car until someone finds you. On a weekend you might be found in a day...weekdays count on 2-3 days.

Some roads are completely clear and others dangerous...the dangerous ones appear before you can make another choice. Be careful out there.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring has Sprung in Leetonia

Spring is here!!!! Today we spotted the first Robin in the front yard. Of course it didn't stay long enough for a picture. So you are getting the picture of the deer that just completed eating the sunflower seeds I put out for the birds. They seem to know exactly when to show up. The birds are not pleased with the intruders and will sometimes dive bomb them.

The Robins seemed interested in picking up the straw on the front yard. Can they be thinking nest already. That is a very optimistic thought, considering the calender doesn't even show Spring for another week. We've had snow as late as May so they better be ready to keep the nest warm.