Trail Creek

Trail Creek descends from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest just south of Victor with Moose creek merging into it before it reaches town, and ultimately the Teton River a few miles away. I stopped on the Old Jackson Highway today and took this shot.

Categorized as The Valley


It’s tough maintaining a personal blog these days! I’ve been doing computer things since there were things to do with computers and I’ve been through it all, developing pages and apps on the Internet since it started. I even maintained a blog back in the mid nineties that required me to update the structure as I posted. Today, WordPress makes the functionality a breeze, but there are other issues.

I created BusDriverJim after coming back from a little jaunt down to Vegas in June, 2011. In a couple of months that will be two years of taking photos of my life and writing about it. This blog really is cool. I’m a computer programmer and I’ve developed countless utilities and tools that let users explore the content in innovative ways.

The toughest part is the mental aspect. Questions constantly swirl about my brain, like why am I doing this, and who the hell is following this blog other than a few friends, and why have my son and my sister only commented once in two years?

There’s also a lot of work involved in keeping this blog going. As it’s grown, the number of spam comments has increased exponentially. I get about 50-60 spam comments a day now, that I have to remove manually. I guess this is a tribute to the fact that my posts are reaching the Internet cleanly and then occupying a favorable position within Google’s ranking. A favorite game of mine is to do a Google search on some catchy post title I recently created and see where it shows up in a search. Often it’s at the top!

As of today it’s been 695 days since the first post. With 798 posts that’s 1.15 ppd (posts per day). I suppose at some point I will reach a tipping point where the perceived reward of feedback no longer motivates my inner being, and I will simply stop…

Categorized as Site Stuff


The nice thing about driving a bus in a beautiful place is that you get to view it from multiple reflecting angles. In this case the sun was rising behind me over the Tetons as I was enjoying the view of the Big Holes, while parked on Packsaddle Road.

Categorized as The Bus


Categorized as Piper

Kitty Pink

I swear, it’s all about the cat around here and these two recent Walmart purchases are very telling. Let’s start with the shampoo: Piper needs a bath but dunking her in a tub of water and scrubbing her down would be a death wish for my hands and possibly my face. I’ve never tried to bathe her, but I just know it would be a disaster. This shampoo looks good, spray it on and then rub it off with a towel. We’ll see…

The canned food is another comical oddity. You see, she really doesn’t eat that stuff. She eats nothing but hard crunchy cat food. So why do we buy it you ask? She likes to lick the gravy. We throw the cat food away after she’s done licking on it.

Now that you’re done laughing, Steph’s sister Sandy was right. This is one spoiled cat!

Update: Get your hot new random CB handle here

Categorized as Piper

Spider Witch

I love creating original content. Everything about this painting, with the exception of the software that created the final effect, is mine. I took this photo back in the nineties at Beer Bottle beach along the Green River in Kent, WA. The river was at flood stage which forced the spiders to build a web above the water to survive.

This painting was rendered last night…

Categorized as Paintings


I remember when we first moved up here from the West Coast I spotted these strange bunker things scattered all over the place on the drive from Rexburg up to Driggs.

I have long since learned that the spacious area within that gorgeous drive is called the Dry Farms and the finest seed potatoes in the world are grown here. These funky looking units store last years harvested seed potatoes through the winter, ready to be shipped to farms around the country, in the spring.

Once the potatoes are placed in these silos they get all sealed up, ready to ride out months of snow and -30 degree temperatures.

These shots were taken this afternoon on our drive back from Walmart…

SlideShow (Storage)

Categorized as Travels


Steph got really tanked at work today. Normally that’s frowned on, but it’s Friday! This was actually out with the old and in with the new day. New 500 and 1000 gallon tanks arrived at her base and the old ones were shipped away.

SlideShow (Tanked)

Categorized as Various

Fax Holder

Ok, I have to admit that this is the third post regarding Piper’s obsession with paper. As soon as the fax cover lifts and the paper begins to shuffle, she assumes the position. It’s a game we began two winters ago when we were hunkered down alone.

It’s like her job to balance the paperwork on her back as each individually fed sheet comes off the fax. She holds perfectly still and then gives me this look, are we done?

Categorized as Piper

Site Status

It’s time for a status report on this blog. The first Post occurred June 6, 2011 from Vegas and there are now 790 Posts with 2929 Photos posted to Flickr broken down into 32 Collections and 329 Sets, along with 1390 Comments and 113 Videos.

I’ve been curious as to who comments here most frequently so I’ve whipped up some slick PHP code to analyze that, and here are the results:


Some notes about this list: I’m the most frequent commenter since I often respond to comments. Steph’s mom Betty is my most prolific commenter (love you mom!) followed by Steph, friends, family and the occasional visitor.

Categorized as Site Stuff

Soaking Heat

The bigger Piper gets the more she flattens out, blending into our hardwood floors and the intense heat from the Rinnai heater seems to melt her down to the wood.

This cat needs Spring to warm above the thirties and some long Summer days to hunt the yard and lose a lot of that kitty blubber! (It is a pretty belly though :-)

SlideShow (Soaking Heat)

Categorized as Piper

Mark Erway

This is my great-grandfather on my mothers side, Mark. The photo here is a follow-up to yesterdays post. He looks like a pretty cool guy and I can see my grandmother in him.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t a mug shot, even though it looks like it. This is a turn of the century photo and as such, impressive!

Categorized as Family


Being a fourth generation Californian, I’ve always been told the generic story about my great-grandparents living almost to a hundred and that they operated a stage coach. Thanks to my brothers ex-wife Deby, here’s the real story:

Mark Erway was an early resident of Mason Valley. Young Mark had come west by ox team in 1862 with his father and brother, and together they mined in Pine Grove, a thriving mining town south of Yerington. He was married to Mary Dailey in Carson City in 1880 by Father Tourmey of the Catholic Church.

Mary was born Mary Smith, her father being Robert C. Smith, who was robbed and killed near Carson City about one week before Mary was born. Her mother was later married to Cornelius Dailey of Virginia City in 1862 by Father Manogue, and Mary assumed the name of Dailey. Mr Dailey was an architect, and designed the fourth ward school house and the Shannon house in Virginia City. Mary as a girl, attended the Virginia City convent.

In 1886, Mark, when his father died, took over the ranching interests in Mason valley. Later he secured the contract for hauling freight between Wabuska, situated at the north end of Mason Valley, and Bodie, California. Subsequently, he was engaged in freighting by contract over Kingsbury grade between Sacramento and Bodie. These were days of hardship in teaming as there were ten or twelve horses to manage with the hazards of poor roads, and in the winter the added danger of stormy weather. However, he “delivered the goods”.

Later, he was a stage driver for twenty years; first between Bodie and Yerington, and then between Pine Grove and Yerington. When Pine Grove’s mining projects were discontinued he operated his freight line between Yerington and Wabuska. Mark Erway’s genial disposition and accommodating nature won him many friends.

He was a member of the school board for several years, and he always liked music. He and his brother Benjamin often furnished music for he dances in Yerington in the 1880s and 1890’s, Mark playing the piano and Benjamin the violin.

Mark’s wife, Mary, a woman with fine ideals with respect to rearing a family, performed her duties in the home which was erected in Yerington in 1894, at the corner of Bridge and Main streets. The residence is still standing. The children, eight in number, were all born in Yerington.

One of those kids was my grandmother…

Categorized as Family

Playhouse Puzzle

Steph likes to assemble complex colorful jigsaw puzzles. It’s then my duty as the in-house blog photographer to take a photo of the completed puzzle, under extremely crappy lighting conditions, and somehow express it’s beauty in a blog post.

This puzzle is called Come to My Playhouse and after looking at the original photo I’m struck by how a puzzle cutout process and a painting app can mess with a nice shot!

Categorized as Steph

Cardboard 13

Well, it’s that time of year again! Grand Targhee is ending it’s season and the Cardboard Derby was in full swing today. I was determined that we were going to ride the Shuttle up and back this year instead of driving so I checked the Saturday schedule online and we drove to the Driggs Community Center at 0940. No bus showed up as they decided to run the Daily schedule this Saturday without telling anyone. How stupid! I’m in this business and I can spot stupid when I see it!

It’s a stormy day and my truck has summer tires but I drove her up to the hill anyway. I know the drill here: show off the cardboard entries for two hours, drag them up to the top of the hill slowly with the snow cat and then launch them downhill with time enough in-between to clear away the carnage. It turns out to be a long day.

I decided to just take some photos and split the scene, so here you go:

Be sure to run the SlideShow (Cardboard 13)
Categorized as The Valley