Fort Peck Dam

I didn’t know a lot about Fort Peck, MT before I visited, but it’s a really interesting place. The town started as a trading post along the Missouri River. In 1934, The Army Corps of Engineers rolled in and built a new town about 2 miles from the original town to house all the workers for the big dam project. A number of shanty towns grew up around the area too to house the ~10,000 workers. Some of those buildings are still around, including the hotel where we had brunch on Sunday.

The dam is a monstrosity and it’s incredible to think about workers in the 30s, 40s and 50s building something that enormous. The dam itself is made up of rock and earth. It’s a shade under 4 miles long and 250 feet tall. The coast line of the reservoir is longer than the coast line of California. The reservoir is the 5th largest man made lake (by volume) in the United States.

To get enough dirt for the project, they dredged a bunch of dirt and pumped it to the dam. We went swimming in one of those dredge cut lakes while we were there. They had to modify their design in flight because part of the dam slid while they were building it.

PBS has a great video about the building of the dam. Unfortunately we can’t watch it online here, but it’s a regional thing so maybe it will work for you. Even if it doesn’t work, you should be able to watch a ~3 minute preview.

In the picture below, you can see the road that runs along the top of the dam. To the right there is a park by smaller lake below the dam and that’s where we had the family reunion. Up on the hill on the right side of the picture is the town of Fort Peck. I hope that we’ll get to go back and visit again some day!

F150 Paint Fix

Very early in the life of my F150, I noticed a pretty bad scratch on the hood. I don’t know if I put it there or if it came that way, but I just did my best to ignore it.

After 10,000 miles, I finally realized I should just ask the Internet so I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook asking for help.

Sixteen minutes later, MattM replied and suggested that I use Meguiar’s M2 Mirror Glaze Fine-Cut Cleaner. I had a couple other things in my cart and got free same-day shipping.

I’ve never used anything like this, but I grabbed a clean towel and went for it. I started with a small drop at first, saw quick results and did a few more small applications. Voila! It was GONE! Not just gone like I couldn’t really notice anymore if I didn’t look closely, but totally gone. It worked so easily and so well that I tackled another scratch towards the back of the truck. Thanks for the tip Matt!


While we were camping a couple weekends ago, we came up with a business idea. I don’t know what it’s called yet, but it’s our take on the ultimate “glamping” campground. Here are some of the features that we’d offer (for a small fee of course.)

  • When you arrive at the campground, we’ll set up your tent or camper while you relax in the bar.
  • There are two sides to the camp ground: one for people who want to party around the camp fire until the wee hours of the morning and one for people who want to get up early. There are different quiet hours rules on each side.
  • Don’t wake up early on your vacation. We’ll drop off a dutch oven on hot coals with an egg/sausage/bacon/potato scramble in it. It will be hot and ready when you are.
  • Did you buy a big fancy truck but never learn how to back your boat down the ramp to the water? Skip the pressure of everyone watching you and toss us the keys. We’ll do it for you.
  • Swing by the on-site butcher and pick our some steaks for dinner. We’ll even cook them and deliver them if you want us to.
  • You’ve watched a lot of Bear Grylls and Survivorman in your life, but you still don’t know how to start a fire. No worries! We’ll swing by and get one going for you.
  • You’re probably tired from all this pampering so let us take down your camp for you.

This is so ridiculous, I feel like this probably exists already in some place like San Francisco or Portland.


Tyla’s mom, Nancy, has been battling cancer for three years and very early yesterday morning, we got the call that she had passed away. As adults, it’s a lot to deal with, but it has also been a big challenge to guide a four year old through it.

Who knows what really goes on in the mind of a four year old, but he seems to be taking this all in stride. For the past couple months, I’ve been preparing Elijah for the death of his grandma. He knew she was sick and we talked about how some day she wouldn’t be around anymore. That was hard for him to understand, but what he did understand that she was going to join Jesus in heaven. There have been a number of times when he has walked over to a crying family member, stood there quietly and said, “It’s ok. She’s with Jesus now.” Oh the faith of a child!

We are all comforted knowing that Nancy is in heaven right now. There are still a lot of tears as we come to grips with the fact that we’re not going to see her again here on earth, but the separation is temporary because we’ll be reunited in heaven. Nancy knew that she was a sinner and deserved only God’s wrath and punishment. But when Jesus died on that cross 2000 years ago, he paid for her sins and she believed that. The Bible says that anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. It really is just that simple. Heaven is our free gift and requires zero effort on our part (thank goodness because I know I’d screw it up if any of it depended on me!) Reject that message and the result is much different.

If you’re in the area, you’re welcome to attend the funeral on Friday at 3pm at Calvary. Don’t expect to hear how Nancy was “a great person” or other common funeral quotes. Instead, you’ll hear something like what I wrote above: Nancy was a sinner like all of us, but when she died and stood before the judgement seat, God declared her not guilty, not because of anything she had done, but because Jesus had already paid the debt for her sins and she believed that.

Marymoor Beer Festival

For the third year in a row, I headed over to the Marymoor beer festival. This year’s crew was the same as last year: Don, Logan, Tim, Luke and me. The big change this year was that Chelsea and Tyla were our designated drivers. THANK YOU to both of them for driving us and watching the kids while we sampled the delicious beverages.

We stepped up our game by making pretzel necklaces to help cleanse the palette a bit between beers. But otherwise we stuck with our standard plan: arrive around the time they open, sample some beers, eat some lunch and then finish up our sampling tokens.

There were 131 brewers at the event and they all had at least 2 (some had many more) types of beer to try. With only 8 drink tokens (and one set of organs to process it all), you can barely scratch the surface of the available options.