A Gulch Thanksgiving

We entertained this year, in addition to us four we had three guests up too. It was probably the most fun T-Day I’ve ever had. All the adults were within a year of the same age and we all have very similar beliefs. A holiday where any of us could speak of anything and not worry about stepping on someones toes (politically or religiously) was new and really helped to let people relax. The only awkward moment happen when I thought Sheila Broflovski had some how materialized in my family room screaming WHAT,WHAT,WHAT. It was all caused by “blankerdude’s” comment saying a guy should be able to make coffee naked if he wanted. Unfortunately he used the phrase “It’s a man’s prerogative’ to say this and the feminist (though I’m sure she will deny it) only heard that part. Anywho, here are some pics. The Bird I actually cooked in the propane stove but did use the wood one to keep it warm after it was done.



Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spicy Italian Sausage

Spicy Italian sausage, from hoof to pantry:

Start with one whole wether, we used this one’s half brother who was 9 months old.

Reduce to smaller pieces:


You are done and ready to cook when it resembles this:


Mix with ground pork trimmings, salt, sugar, water, fennel, caraway, and coriander. Form into balls and fry until nice and brown:


If you have 40 Italian relatives near you are all done except the pasta at this point. If you live in the city you can now package and freeze them. If you however live in the middle of no-where, where you make all your own electricity this is your next step:


The total yield was 20 pints of 6-8, 2″ spicy Italian sausage meatballs in broth, 5 quarts of trim scraps for dog food, and 8 long bones for doggy treats.

The Baddest Bad-ass Ever

Albert Johnson:

Life in the frigid temperatures and untamed wilderness of Canada’s Northwest Territories, especially in the 1930s – a time when things like “propane heating” and “not getting eaten by bears” were unheard-of luxuries – was pretty much a miserable experience for anyone who didn’t enjoy freezing their nuts off and/or being forcibly kicked in the abdomen by a bunch of angry moose. Survival in this hostile, almost-inhabitable environment was far from guaranteed, making the foolhardy venture of frontier life one that was generally only undertaken by those who possessed an iron will, a hardy constitution, a modest arsenal of kill-crazy weapons, and a tenuous grip on their own sanity. Unfortunately for the officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the man known only as Albert Johnson, the infamous “Mad Trapper of Rat River” possessed all of these things and more.

Albert moved to the Northwest Territories for some strange reason in July of 1931, and immediately went to work being a total jackass and pissing everyone off with his crazy antics. Living by himself in a log cabin he probably built out of wood he harvested with little more than a series of devastating karate chops and operating a small series of traps on the Rat River, he lived the lonely life of an eccentric badass frontier mountain man – hunting for food, selling animal pelts, fucking with the natives, and generally rocking out like a Depression-Era Unabomber.

Well, one day the local Inuit tribe filed a formal complaint with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, claiming that some local nut was jerking around with their strategically-placed animal traps, so the Mounties decided to pay Big Al a little visit. On December 26, 1931, two RCMP officers traveled roughly 80 miles by dogsled (a two-day journey in temperatures that hovered between negative-40 and negative-50 degrees) out to the middle of goddamned ass-nowhere to ask Mr. Johnson a few harmless questions about why he was being such a jackoff to the Indians. After banging on his door for a half-hour with no response, the Mounties decided that they didn’t basically travel half of a fucking Iditarod just to go home empty-handed, and opted to kick down the door and bust their way inside Albert’s log cabin. This proved to be a tactical error. Mr. Johnson politely declined comment to the nice officer by putting two bullets through the door and wounding one of them. The cops got pissed opened fire on Johnson’s cabin, but he had strategically drilled gun ports through the walls of the cabin and successfully fought them off in a brief but decisive firefight.

I got this from Bad Ass of the Week there is no way I could improve on the author’s writing style. There is a lot more (including pictures) to this story if you follow the link.

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who Knew

Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn’t last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.

The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can’t wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs—
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won’t fall finally down.

Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?

Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I’ll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You’re talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it’s mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.

-Richard Hugo

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 4:12 am  Comments (1)  
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Fr33 Agent

A while ago I was a member of an anarchist social networking site called Bureaucrash. This site was composed of mostly anarcho-capitalist members with enough anarcho-socialists to verbally abuse to keep it interesting. The site helped facilitate a lot of political activism (mostly back East) and it appeared to be really making some difference. Somewhere along the way news got out, and us anarchists were out numbered by Republicans and other statists. Well I stopped going and didn’t really think about it again until the Motorhome diaries boys stopped by to visit us here in P-Burg. One of them was the past Crasher-in-Chief (that I had worked with in the past) and it was from them I first heard about Fr33 Agents, and was urged to join. Well I’ve been busy, etc. but have finally joined. I haven’t done anything except sort of set up my page but will be doing more over there as time this winter permits.

Visit FR33 Agents

I Love Our Micro-climate

The day before yesterday the weather report on the radio said the over night low temperature in our nearest “Big City” was 6 below zero. I spoke to a friend in the saloon last night and he said it was an even zero degrees in “our” town that same night. Out at our place it was 27 above. When I first bought The Gulch one of the old time ranchers told me he use to run cattle up there when he was a kid. He said we would always be 10-15 degrees warmer during a cold snap. It has always been warmer than town during the winter and 10-15 would be a good guess at the average difference, but this 27 degree difference is by far the greatest I’ve seen.

Published in: on November 14, 2009 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fall chores done

Firstly, here is a piece of vintage goodness with thanks to Wolfie for finding it.

Women – Know Your Limits


We finished cutting next years firewood last week, and I killed this big cow elk yesterday.

This is my first Montana elk. After all those years of killing one nearly every year where we use to live, these up here have been more elusive. The really funny thing is this was by far the easiest animal out of the 20+ I’ve ever killed. I stepped out of the truck to shoot it, and it died in the center of the road one switch-back above us. It was also the farthest shot (200+ yards) I’ve ever made at an animal. Much thanks to T for knowing exactly where they were this year.

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment