My Journey

Tongtu Outdoor.....welcome to My Journey.....I'll assume that your comment was directed at ITTOG.....and based on my appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon this morning, I agree completely.....

Ace.....that you doing ? Just this morning the Orthopedic Surgeon said to me that a blood clot was a possibility with the hip replacement.....a very dangerous possibility he said.....keep us posted.....wish you a quick rebound.....and thanks.....

Halseyt / ITTOG.....this morning's appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon was an unusual one.....after a review of the x-rays he said that my hip was in bad of the worst that he'd ever seen. That being said, he was astonished that my pain was not off the charts. I'm actually back to 15 mile days, no ibuprofen nor the decision for me was somewhat surgery. He said that it'll never get better, and that it will definitely get worse. One day I will have a hip replacement. But for now, he says the original hip bone is better than any replacement.....

The afternoons are too hot in Montana these summer days to do any work, so often in the afternoon I can be found with a book reclining in one of my dog comes in the early morning or when the cooler weather of the late evening drops latest book was a top ten favorite.....Lost Horizon is life changing (even caused me to change the name of my cabin). I came across this book while wasting my life away on a mountain climbing website.....I absolutely loved this book.....


Early in the mornings & late in the evenings I've been spending quite a bit of my time working on that old barn.....some of you may remember when it looked like this.....


Here's what it looks like today.....




I'm pretty damn proud of that old barn these days.....all trimmed out & repainted.....still not complete but you know how it goes.....are projects ever complete ?



And work continues on the interior as well.....the chicken coop was demolished, six to twelve inches of chicken poop was hauled out, all the holes in the walls were caulked, all the walls covered in Tyvek, and then finished with scrap plywood.....then came the just fine.....not a penney was spent.....



I relocated the old metal signs and license plates.....still plenty more at the hoarders' property to get.....


I had the electricians come back to install additional lighting.....




My plan for one half of the barn is to create a space for climbers, hikers, kayakers, & just good old adventure seekers that need a place to stay & hangout.....the hostel in my town, well, it's no longer space will be free.....



I've got some rock climbers from the local climbing gym coming out this Friday to check out the has expressed an interest in living in the truck camper for a few months to help me build out the've got to love those climbing kind of people.....


That's our world.....



Active member
I'll bet moving all that stone was a real workout, especially with that bad hip. Hope it doesn't cause you too much pain and you can duck that replacement for a long time.


Well-known member
I like the idea of sharing half of your barn!
Ol' Trapper girl looks like she is enjoying more groceries and less exercise? So terrible of me to say such a thing about a gal!

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Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
Thats too bad about the hip exam. Hopefully you’ve got a lot more miles on it.

My doc says ok to travel so ill be starting the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route on the 14th. No filters, just meds. Xarelto was going to cost me $477 for six weeks supply after insurance. Thought that was crazy stupid so I called the VA. Getting the same thing for $33 from them.



Active member
I like the idea of sharing half of your barn!
Ol' Trapper girl looks like she is enjoying more groceries and less exercise? So terrible of me to say such a thing about a gal!

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My dogs always gain a few in the summer as they don't get the long walks due to the heat. Winter comes and the pounds drop off and they are much happier. The colder the better.


Based on your photos and descriptions, my wife and I spent the last 3 nights at Crystal Lake in the Big Snowies south of Lewistown, MT. We lack the fitness and endurance to gain 2,200' in 6 miles to get to the Ice Caves, but we did tackle the trail from the Crystal Lake Campground to the Crystal Cascades. Once we're back home in a week or so, I'll put together a trip report with some pics you'll find familiar (spoiler alert: we also soaked at the Spa Motel in White Sulphur Springs, MT enroute to the Big Snowies--another fine recommendation.

More later,

vintageracer.....of course it's "hip" .....since we are 3 hipsters ! I actually looked up the definition of hipster prior to this post and once I read it I thought damn ! We really are hipsters.....;)

Riversdad.....I love going up into the mountains to gather stones. We always get in a long walk along the forest service road.....I'll post some pictures of our gathering place next I've said we're not far from Yellowstone National Park so yea, it's absolutely beautiful up there.....

tgil.....she's definitely a little miss fatty and I'm dreading her 6 month checkup in September. She loves to eat as well as just lay around on the porch and watch the world go by.....Tanner is the direct opposite.....

Ace.....awesome that you can travel.....regarding my hip, again, don't feel bad for me. I've had a good life.....

Foy.....I forgot about Crystal Cascade Falls.....what a cool little set of waterfalls they are. I'm glad to have steered you to a few nice spots and can't wait to see your trip report and pictures.....

Another week has passed us by and another week of no trip reports for the three of us.....other than our day trips into the national forests, we're pretty much just hanging out at the cabin. So today I thought I'd bring closure to the Ford trucks' airbag dilema.....last week I received a package from Firestone and inside that package I found an entire newly designed & newly released full set of air bags & assembly no cost to me.....a nearly $700 value.....

Am I a fan of Firestone airbags ? Absolutely ! I ran them on my 2005 Chevy Duramax for 13 years without a problem and 4.5 years on my 2018 Ford Super's issues are from improper installation and had nothing to do with the airbags themselves.....

So I took my truck to Les Schwab Tires for the new I'll post pictures of what they found.....a truck obviously not repaired.....


Here's what the old air bag assembly looked like when it came off my truck.....



Shop number one (I'm not out to get them so their shop name is not posted here).....they claim that all they did was install / replace 4 bolts (invoice included $80 for parts). 2 were missing and 2 were broken / bent after just a few weeks of minimal driving without any load.....




I had quite a go around with shop number one.....after multiple visits (yes, I can be persistent).....I finally got my $260 refund.....I never got an apology nor an acceptance of responsibility.....




In this last picture you see where the bracket was actually cutting into the truck doubt in my mind had I not pursed a proper fix, this truck would have had major problems beyond what I just dealt with. Les Schwab only charged me $269.99 to remove the old air bag system and to install the new set supplied by Firestone. And I'd have to say that that was a happy, yet unexpected, outcome for this short story.....



Active member
Good on you for staying on the first shop and getting your refund. I think most would have let it go and taken the shafting.


ITTOG.....did you start physical therapy immediately after your surgery ? I was told that I'd start the day after surgery. I'm curious too as to how long it was before you could drive again ? Next weeks' meeting with the surgeon can't come soon enough for me..... positivity in regards to my situation, I think comes from seeing other people suffer & when I see that suffering, that alone makes me realize how blessed that I am. I feel like it's selfish and it's unfair to the people that truly suffer for me not to be grateful. Just two days ago a friend of mine with a rare liver disease (see Page 1 My Journey) texted me about a small boy in his life that has the same rare liver disease that he has (he mentors this boy as I once did him) and that small boy was just diagnosed with cancer. That small boys' battles & struggles are so far beyond my own. So yea, I have to be grateful day in and day out.....

Arjan.....thanks.....just this morning that guy called me and talked for half an hour. After he hung up I wondered why he called.....probably doesn't matter really.....

It's been a week since my last post so I thought it time to update the blog.....we still await the new truck parts from Firestone so mostly our lives continue to revolve around the cabin, the barn, & the assured that we'll be back out there.....if I open that camper door the dogs bolt right inside.....we're ready.....

Landscaping has been coming along.....

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All the stones gathered during day trips to our National Forests.....nearly 100 trees reaching for the skies.....successfully.....

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Our small garden.....yep, I'm not much with the vegetables.....

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Added weathered wood walls to the bathroom.....

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A little more than one year ago.....

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The house and landscape are looking great. I'm guessing your recovery will be quick considering your being in great shape. Maybe all those hikes and mountains have taken their toll, but on the reverse side they will be the reason you will be at it again quickly. Thoughts will be with you.👍
Riversdad.....the shop manager attempted to portray me as being ungrateful.....his line was something like "I tried to save you money by not installing a new air bag kit".....for me, an exaggeration of the that thought line could have been "I used duct tape to fix it.....I saved you a lot of money".....It just didn't work for me. So yea, I was persistent cause I felt strongly that I was in the right.....his shabby work could have killed me, my dogs, and whoever I happened to kill when it failed and I lost control.....

JD.....I just met another guy that had a hip replacement 5 years ago when he was 46. He said he was mountain biking after 7 weeks.....he said it was one of the best decisions he had ever made.....all this stone gathering is beginning to take a toll on me.....'s the recovery ? We need an update.....

Sierra's the standard 10 shot post.....this one of our stone gathering locale.....


So yea it's not Yellowstone National Park but it sure is beautiful up this road.....




There's a small river / creek that runs through the valley.....right now it's high with snow melt & the recent rains' water and it's running fast.....




So yea not so magnificent / magical as Yellowstone National Park but what matters most to me is that I have it all to myself.....nobody seems to come's that solitude thing.....there's just never enough it seems.....a man could wander here for days I would think.....




Well-known member's the recovery ? We need an update.....
Fortunately, I am ahead of schedule. The hip can do a lot more than I am allowed. It sucks I can't proceed with the PT faster, due to possibility of stitches tearing, but at least it is not a difficult process. I am just biding my time so I can get rid of the crutches next Friday. Thanks for asking.

Since you decided against surgery, do you consider yourself completely healed or do you just grit your teeth and bear the pain.

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