POTD: Exhumed

Bozeman, Montana

Probably the most charitable description of my workshop is that it has existed long term in a state of controlled disarray. It certainly doesn’t look all need and tidy like all the ads you see for workshop cabinets and equipment. But everything more or less has it’s place and I’m more or less always able to find what I’m looking for with little or no searching. Similarly, cleaning of the space follows a “good enough” policy. I sweep the floors fairly regularly, but usually only the readily accessible space, not behind all the tools, workbenches and stacks of pipe, lumber, etc. that crowd every corner. But once in a while I do spend some time moving things and getting out all the accumulated detritus from around the edges. So, although it was a first,  it wasn’t much of a surprise to me when I unearthed this well preserved skeleton buried in a corner under a pile of sawdust behind a collection of pipe clamps and wood cutting guides. I assumed at first it was a mouse, of which we have plenty. But it was really too big for a mouse so I assume it was a chipmunk, which we also have plenty of and which I’m periodically having to chase out of there (along with squirrels, rabbits and the occasional marmot) when I work with the shop’s garage door open in the summer.

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POTD: Camp Cookie

Camp Cookie
Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Montana

A chuck wagon demonstration complete with a camp cookie brewing coffee over an open fire they way they did back in the day. He certainly looked the part and was very knowledgeable about the job of being a camp cookie. I imagined him to be an old Montana cowboy who may have never gone on a drive with a chuck wagon but who would likely certainly know folks who did. Alas, on query he turned out to be a retired businessman from Alabama who was there on a volunteer gig with the National Park Service for the summer.

Here’s a song about the life of the cowboy as well as a mention of the camp cookie:

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POTD: Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade
Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Montana

Some serious work has been done on this workbench over the years. On a good day my own workbench approaches this level of organization/disorganization. Just enough organization to be able to put your hands on the tool you need fairly quickly (most of the time anyway) but with no obvious anal-retentive tendencies on display at all.

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POTD: Shoe Rack

Shoe Rack
Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Montana

They still use horse teams to do a lot of the work at the Grant-Kohrs ranch, but we saw only a couple in the corral. Even if they have a couple more, they still have more pairs (er, sets) of shoes per horse than the Fashion Queen has in her shoe closet.

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POTD: Bunkhouse Road

Bunkhouse Road
Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Montana

It’s amazing how little details in a scene can sometimes trigger strong memories for your past. This ranch road curving down a hill past the back of the bunkhouse triggered a memory of my grandparent’s farm. Out the back door from the kitchen of their farmhouse you could see their farm road starting gradually down a hill and then curving more steeply out of view to the right between their old barn on the left and the chicken houses and other outbuildings on the right. Other than that similar downhill curve in the two roads and the general agrarian nature of both locations, there wasn’t that much similarity between the farm and the Grant-Kohrs Ranch, but it sure spiked that memory in my head.

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