We broke up our BTE (remember, Big Trip East?) into ‘bites” of 400 miles or less, often less than 300, so that we could stop and smell the roses (and pine trees, and freight trains, and cow pastures, but I digress). The first leg ended at Tamarack RV Park smack dab in the middle of downtown Coeur D’Alene Idaho.
We have some besties there that we haven’t visited in a while, so they arranged a dinner reservation, and we also wanted to visit their new puppy, Dora Bell (NOT doorbell, we are repeatedly told). She’s cute, they’re fun, and dinner was delish!
We yakked on for hours, as we always do when we see each other every couple of years, and eventually had to pull the plug to catch some ZZZ’s before the next day’s drive to Glacier National Park.
The next morning pre-departure, however, we discovered that we had to make a payment to an appraiser in Florida to keep the timeline on the close of our construction loan, and that became a little difficult when we realized we had packed our checkbooks with the household goods. I mean, who uses checks anymore? Well, it turns out appraisers and title companies do. Luckily, there was a branch of our bank across the street (yay for camping in the downtown!), and a short walk after breakfast resulted in a cashier’s check and an envelope, and that went into the nearby Post Office.
We’re hoping there aren’t any more of these little emergencies along our way, perhaps when we are in an internet black hole. We expect one such black hole in Glacier, because when we were there 12 years ago there wasn’t even a cell signal much less WiFi.
Speaking of black holes, there is probably one where my hair stylist used to stand. On my last day at work, I declared that I would go “full hippy” for the BTE, and I had no idea that I would make great progress on that front this early! I mean, just look at the “then” and “now” pictures here!
And here’s a fun fact: not all gas stations have high covered bays. (It looks closer than it is.)
And a quick update on Racy Lacy: Wendy found her a pair of puppies of her own to travel with. Meet Flora and Ida. (Note to Editor: less than 1 week on the road and already mentally unstable)
We’ve been tracking our moving van across the country. We’re sure you all will be happy to hear that it was in Point of Rocks, Wyoming at last report. (Note to Editor: Point of Rocks? Really?)
The drive to West Glacier, Montana was pleasant and scenic. Mountains, more mountains, and yet more mountains, then a very long valley full of mostly cows and lakes. Those are the Rockies in the distance, and yes, we will have to find a way over them at some point.
It is political campaign season, and the billboards and yard signs all reminded us we are in a very very conservative part of the country. We stopped for gas, and every pump had one of these on it.
Wendy came up with a great idea to help us pass the time, and to commemorate our BTE. At every stop, and on every day, we will paint and inscribe a pair of smooth rocks with the same quotation (she has a massive list), resulting in what we call “the twins”. One will be inscribed on the reverse with the date, the location, and our blog address; the other will be inscribed with the date, location, and name of the RV park. We’re planning on putting the twin inscribed with our blog address either in our RV campsite, or somewhere along the road when we make a stop. The other will go into our new garden in Florida. We’re hoping that some of the finders will tune into the blog and leave a comment about finding the rock.
We planned 2 nights in West Glacier Montana, which were originally designed to be an off-grid decompression stop, no internet, no cells, just peace and quiet and sleep and hikes.
But sometime in the last 12 years 5G came to West Glacier. Our “remote” RV park, which advertises “WiFi if you are less than 50 yards from the office”, had a very robust 5G signal, even way out on the perimeter where we were. Our 5G smart phone hotspots happily connected all our devices, smart TV included, to the internet. We were able to stream all our favorite TV shows, email, text, Facetime, even write and post this blog. Despite all that, it was still peaceful, we got plenty of rest, and we hiked. We intended to hike from Lake McDonald Lodge to John’s Lake, about a 3-mile round trip. We ended up hiking about 4 miles and never finding John’s Lake because we followed a smart looking hiker with multiple trail maps that looked like he knew what was going on. Rule #2 in the Book of Smart Living: never make assumptions. The last time this happened to us, we were on a self-guided walking tour of Rome, and there was so much sidewalk construction that we literally walked within 1/8 of a mile of the Coliseum several times without seeing it, in spite of walking well over 10 miles. I mean, you can see the damn thing from space! And we didn’t find it. That was a little like John’s Lake.
We’re off tomorrow to West Yellowstone, where it is forecast with “light snow” for 2 days. Stay tuned! The adventure continues.
And, h e e e e e r’s Tippy!