Monday, June 20, 2011

Wyoming–Montana Continued

Tuesday evening I went to the office at the campground to check on the likelihood of the river cresting into the campground overnight.  I was assured if that were a probability, the Sheriff’s Department would already have come by to evacuate all of us.  That was a relief.  While I was in the office a man came in seeking help with a cell phone.  He spoke with a distinct German accent (how would I know that), so I asked him where he lived in Germany.  He says, Heilbronn; and I about fell over.  I was stationed in a small army base in Heilbronn for 30 months from 1962 to 1965.  So I pumped him for information about the current status of my old army base (or Caserne as it is called in French).  He said it had closed long ago.  He and his wife and another couple had flown into Denver and were on a circle tour of the Tetons, Yellowstone, the Black Hills and the Badlands.  An interesting small world story.  How unique is it to run into a German from the town I was stationed in back in the ‘60’s here in a small town campground in Wyoming.

When we rose to a beautiful day Wednesday morning the river had risen a few more inches.  Not close to getting into the campground, but I wondered what the next few days would bring.   We hitched up and got on the road about 9:00 am headed for Hebgen Reservoir in Montana.  We entered Teton National Park from the south and then into Yellowstone Park. 

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There is still snow on the ground in mid-June.                                        Le Grande Teton

We pulled into a turnout in Yellowstone Park and had a leisurely lunch.  We let the puppies run in the woods nearby.  They love all the smells that only dogs can smell; running around with their noses close to the ground.  You gotta wonder what they are thinking when they stop and take a deep sniff at some particular spot.  Anyway, we sat on a fallen tree and did a little sniffing of the forest air ourselves.

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Arrived at the Lonsomehurst Campground at Hebgen Lake about 3:00 in the afternoon.  Lo and Behold; a minor miracle occurred.  One of the four sites that have electricity was available; and it was large enough for our 34’ rig.  Oh Joy.  This means satellite TV is in our immediate future (some roughing it campers we are).  After we got all settled in we went for a walk around the campground and discovered our friend from last year was also here, camped in the same spot he had in 2010.

Thursday morning we took a day trip further back into the woods along the lakeshore.  Let the dogs out to run loose when we found an open area with no one around.  On the way back to the site, we turned a bend in the road and there was a mama black bear with a little bear cub walking on the road.  Mama got between us and the cub until the cub could get into the woods.  I am glad we were in the truck.  Unfortunately, we had not brought the camera along so missed an opportunity for a really cute picture. 


That evening we had a spectacular moonrise over the lake.

Our daughter Michelle arrived about 4:30 in the afternoon.  She was on the downhill side of a national book signing tour promoting her recent book, “Pit Stops”; a story about a cross country trip she took in 2009 with a rescued pit bull dog to bring about a general awareness of the myths and misconceptions of the Pit Bull breeds.  She had left California several weeks earlier and driven across the south to Florida, up the east coast to Baltimore (where the Mayor of Baltimore bought one of her books), and back across the mid-west catching up with us here.  She will have a book signing event at the Animal Shelter in Idaho Falls on Saturday.  You can follow her blog about her travels at .

Friday morning I drove up to Bozeman, Montana for a work assignment that took most of the day.  I got back to the site about 6:00 pm, just in time to grill up salmon for Rosie and Michelle, with a couple of turkey bratwurst for myself.  It was starting to drizzle a little, so we all spent a quiet night inside the camper. 


Saturday morning I set up the tripod for a family photo.

During this trip Rosie and I continued our ongoing conversation about the possibility of taking a couple of years and going “full time” in the camping lifestyle.  We are not getting any younger, but we are currently in pretty good health.  We really love traveling around the country seeing beautiful places and meeting new friends.  So now might be the time to take the plunge.  We did not come to a final decision on full timing, but we did decide to go on a trial run by taking 6 months and “going south” for the winter.  So, sometime in October, we will close up the house, hitch up the camper and head in a generally southerly direction.  So be warned all of our family and friends in California, we may be stopping in for a visit sometime over the winter months.

We head back home this morning (Saturday) for Michelle’s book signing event and a party we are having for her at our house Sunday evening.  Next Thursday we are back on the road headed to Columbus, Montana for a gathering with two of my brothers and their families.  I will be back at the blogosphere in one week.

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