Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome to Hawkeye!

The sign for Hawkeye, through the rainy windshield.

On the road to Hawkeye. See where the two mountain ranges meet? Hawkeye is nestled back there. And do you see the mountains on the right? Just on the other side of them is Yellowstone National Park. Over the mountains to the left is Teton National Park. Cool, huh?

Our welcome to Hawkeye was filled with rain/sleet/snow. It's mostly rain mixed in with some sleet and snow. It's also 45 degrees and really windy. The weather aside, this place is INCREDIBLE! We arrived at 10:15 and took a walking tour. Then, we moved all of our belongings into the Bunkhouse, which is pretty cool! In June when it finally warms up, we'll move into one of the cabins. Until then, we have a bedroom in the bunkhouse, with a living room and bathroom we share with another staff member, Chad, and an old, fluffy golden retriever named Buddy. Buddy loves the rain and mud. He's very, very sweet.

Our bedroom from the doorway. I used our zebra blanket (from home) to cover the beautiful white duvet and protect it from Indy fur and mud.

The rest of our room from another angle.

Aside from Indy and Buddy, there are two other dogs on the ranch right now. Hudson belongs to Mitch and Alice (our hosts/bosses) and is very sweet and friendly, although in his puppy years he was known for killing deer. He mostly avoids that now. And then there's Lucky. She belongs to J.W. (the ranch manager) and his family. She's very sweet but very jealous. She's already snapped at Indy twice out of jealousy, and he's learning to avoid her. In other Indy news, he's already escaped and taken off once today. We were loading our possessions in and he just slipped out the door. Jason chased him for twenty minutes out to the horse corrals to say hello to the "big doggies" (ie - horses) and then beyond. Obviously, he's not ready for a life off-leash yet.

The rodeo ring. J.W. says he rides in there every day, weather permitting. And yes, I'll be able to ride, groom and help prep the horses for guests. I'm very excited!

After we got unpacked, Mitch took Jason and I on a driving tour of the ranch property. It's nearly 600 acres and very, very, very cool. When the weather warms up, we'll explore further on the ATVs.

The Shoshone River, from the Hawkeye property. In another month or so, it will be full from the snow run-off.

Jason and I took a break to scrounge up some lunch in the kitchen. There's not much in there right now, so I had to get a little creative with my celiac/gluten-free lifestyle. I settled for some Turkey lunchmeat and a clementine.
The Hawkeye Indoor Kitchen.

The outdoor kitchen. Once mid-June hits, they'll use the outdoor kitchen primarily. There's a huge meat smoker in there - Jason's excited. And those "walls" along the right will be removed. They're there for the winter to protect the kitchen from snow drifts.

Then, Indy and I spent some time in the greenhouse, so I could write down all of the seedlings that have been started in there, and write down the names of all the kinds of seeds I have available to me already. I wanted to get a chance to do some homework on some of them, and to start thinking about what I want to start this week. I brought a spiral notebook specifically for that.

The exterior of the greenhouse. In front, you can sort of see the outdoor planting boxes as well. I'll be transplanting into those starting in mid-June.

Interior of the greenhouse. All of the hanging baskets for the property have been planted in here and are waiting until June to get hung out. I'll have to work around them for now and continue to baby them. Along the left side are tables covered in seedlings. Along the right side, you see the raised planting beds. And yes, it's heated!

Jason went back to Mitch's office to start playing with this nifty new camera that Mitch just bought - he's having some trouble with the focus on it so they were going to play some. Mitch has all the tools they had at Jason's last job, just in fewer quantities. It's pretty neat. Even cooler, listening to their photo talk, I actually am starting to understand some of the terms they throw around!

This is where Jason will be spending quite a bit of his time.

Right now, Indy and I are camped out in the bunkhouse (which is nice and warm, Mom, don't worry!) doing plant research and working on this blog. Well, I'm doing that, and Indy's asleep on his bed with his squeaky duck out in front of him.

The great room in the main lodge. It's humongous. It has TWO fireplaces, two seating areas, a bar, a library and a pool room.

Anything else? OH! For the next four days we'll be eating like Kings. They're trying out new chefs. They fly them into the airport in Cody, pick them up, and let them cook for us for two days each. AND they told the chefs that I need to be able to eat - the whole meal doesn't need to be gluten free, but there should be enough that is gluten free that I can enjoy. :) That's pretty exciting. I'll tell you how it goes!

View across the property - that's the outdoor kitchen (boarded in currently) on the right and the main lodge on the left.

Tomorrow? I dig into the greenhouse and get my hands dirty. Literally. I think my first plan of attack will be amending the soil in all the raised boxes that haven't been planted yet. From there? The sky's the limit!


  1. This is paradise. I hope you journal everyday. It's a time you'll probably never want to forget. :)

  2. I'm so glad that you arrived safely Erin. It looks like you two are in for an incredible experience! I love reading your updates - keeps me occupied during those midnight feedings ;)

  3. Yay! You are going to have so much fun! It looks so amazing there. Keep up the blogging- I agree with Brandy that this will be a time you won't want to forget!