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We have elk!

Now that we are grandparents, it appears our weekends are filling up a bit. I knew we needed to get back to the property to finish up the winter damage cleanup that Lorraine and I had started three weeks prior.

We had cleaned up the massive winter damage in the mow-able areas so the mowers could get in. However, they received 23" of snow the day after we departed that caused some additional trees and limbs to fall. Nick had let us know that we had more trees down. In addition, the floor of the Babcox (our firewood storage structure) had failed to hold the firewood and it had fallen out and the floor had to be reworked. So we needed to get up there since it was the only available weekend for us in the month of May.

When I use the term "clean up", it is really relative to us cutting up the debris and throwing it off to the side. It is not really cleaning up anything other than where the mowers need to mow. To put it mildly, our forest is overwhelming devastation in some areas. The Derecho of 2021 and the winter damage of 2023 has decimated many of the trees in our forest. It is more than we can deal with. But, we just need to keep pushing the ball forward and we will get there when we get there. But this does expose the challenge of keeping the property in a state where people who are renting can get into the property when events occur. We can't have people reserving the property only to find upon their arrival that there is a fallen tree or limb not allowing them access.

I scheduled a trip with Bryan and Dave, but we were going to depart on Saturday and return on Monday instead of the normal Friday-Sunday trips. Bryan and I departed at 7:00 AM on Saturday and arrived in BRF at 11:00 AM. Some groceries at Hansen's and off to the property. We encountered the newer damage at the driveway split, and had to clean up debris to get back to the clearing. Dave showed up shortly after Bryan and I had gotten to the clearing and parked the camper….. Good timing on his part.

We were supposed to get some rain, and had planned on getting Rozarios' pizza on one of the nights. We decided we should do that this night (Saturday) and have our steak dinner the next night when it was supposed to be clear. We started to do some burning of debris, and Dave and I started to unload and clear the firewood that had partially fallen out of the Babcox. To fix the floor, we had to get it all out.

We paid a visit to see Nick, Tiffany and Maddax. We had not seen their building up close and wanted to check it out, especially with our new building being erected soon. We had a nice visit with them and were able to see their building…. Sure is a nice one!!

After burning more debris, we decided to head into town for supper. Rozario's was closed. On a Saturday night. So we went over to try out BJ's Airport Bar & Grill, but they were having a customer appreciation event and the band was so loud we wouldn't be able to hear ourselves talk. Not what we wanted. So, we decided to go try out Little Vinny's, a restaurant Nick and Tiff had told us about on the main drag of BRF down the block from Rosario's. But we saw Cinco De Mayo down the street, and decided we would like Mexican food instead. Good food and good service; we'll definitely go there again. Dave and Bryan both finished off their burritos that had a serving size of about 1/4 of a burrito. But they muscled through it.

Back to the property for our normal "sit around the campfire and burn debris and have some laughs". Storms were on the way, and it was around 7:30 when they rolled in. It down poured, and we had standing water everywhere. Nice to have a camper to retreat to during these times. Also lots of lightning around. We hunkered down for the storm, and then decided to hit the beds around 9:00, the "go-to-bed-time" for old guys, I guess. But chairs and everything outside were drenched-wet, so might as well get some sleep.

Up the next morning to get fire going and get things dried out. Dave and I worked on cutting and cleaning up the stair trail. We had breakfast of biscuits and gravy, and then back to work. I worked on the floor of the Babcox while Bryan and Dave took off down the outhouse trail to clear debris. After I fixed the floor and re-stacked the firewood, I joined them in their cleanup. We also had debris to clean up down the original driveway. We were able to get most of it done; there are just some bent-over trees that we weren't able to cut on this trip.

We took off to Perry Creek then, and hiked the trails there and even did a little fishing, but did not get a hit. But it was a nice day and nice to take them to see something new.

Back to the property to load up and relax a bit before a supper of T-bone steaks, salads from Hansen's, and fruit salad I made up at home. A great meal for sure.

Early to bed, early to rise. Breakfast burritos and on the road back home.

I had collected the trail cameras before we left. All batteries were dead, and it was just easier to bring them all back home to get them reset, re-batteried, and get the pics from the SD cards. I always see some interesting things when flipping through the hundreds of pictures of moving leaves and such.

I had mentioned in the last post that we suspected the elk were on our property, but was looking for proof of this on the trail cameras. Fortunately, I had two pics of an elk. Also had pics of a bobcat down at the water. So yeah, I was pretty excited to see proof of elk on our property!


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