Beautiful view above Ölüdeniz Beach, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Kas, Turkey until December 8th.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lots of wildlife around Gardiner, MT

We spent the morning waiting for the rain to let up. Fortunately, we have a fast free WiFi connection from where we are parked opposite the Gardiner Library. We used some of that time to do a bit of research on our upcoming drive across Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan during the month of July.

Then, I spent 45 minutes on hold waiting for a live person at Saskatchewan Government Insurance. When I got connected, I was number 43 in the queue. Usually, they are really fast so I don't know what happened yesterday. I renewed the motorhome for another month.

I also tried to fix our oven. That didn't go so well.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets!

Back in April, we were scheduled to fly with Delta Airlines from Kansas City to Ottawa. Of course that flight was cancelled by Delta, and eventually Delta gave us a total refund when the U.S. Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division mandated that they had no choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, not the same story here in Canada where the government stands behind big business instead of the consumer.

We also had purchased Westjet tickets for our daughter and grandchildren to come visit us at Cabri Park at the beginning of June.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Looks like we're in for some bad weather

The main reason that we are heading south east instead of directly east is because we wanted to drive the Beartooth Highway. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the Unites States. It only opened on June 1st and we thought about doing it back then, but the weather was not great at the time.

Well it turns out that the weather might be even worse now!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

You can actually rent this fire tower...

On Friday, we drove down from Whitefish down to Seeley Lake. A scenic drive, but a little too much traffic at times for our liking. Even though Montana has a low population for the size of the state, it's all very concentrated and if you're in one of the busy areas it can seem quite populated!

We're headed southeast now, back to Yellowstone Park. The eastern part of Montana is not as scenic to us, so we're going back to Yellowstone to head east through the park and exit on the Beartooth Highway.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This is why we came to Montana!

We woke up to blue skies and sunshine and it was forecast to stay that way all day.

There are a ton of great hiking trails in Glacier National Park. We wanted to do one that was away from the crowds and offered spectacular views. Hard to find one like that because the really good hikes are often also very crowded. And some are not even accessible for use yet. Ruth did some research and came across the Scalplock Mountain Lookout Trail.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Our first visit to Glacier National Park

One of our favorite Canadian National Park is Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. It borders Montana and actually is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park which is the union of Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in the United States.

So it stands to reason that we would like Glacier as much as Waterton.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Even in town, you have to slow down for the deer

We left our spot near the Canadian border, and headed down to the town of Eureka (pop 1,100) where we wandered around a little outdoor museum and used a free dump station and filled our fresh water holding tank.

From there, we drove southeast on highway 93 towards Whitefish. Along the way were some National Forest Campgrounds. And also a lot of National Forest service roads, but it was tough to find somewhere to stay for the night without knowing for sure how far in there might be a suitable spot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

We had a great day... until right at the end...

Woke up to blue sky and sunshine. What a treat compared to the overcast on again off again rain that we've been having for the last week or more. Blue sky always makes photos turn out so much better, as you will see below!

There were only two other RVs parked in our area, and one of them had a small generator running on Sunday evening until about 8pm, but it was pretty quiet. Could hardly hear it when we closed the window on that side.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Camped only 3 miles from Canada

Pouring rain Sunday morning in Libby, Montana. When it finally let up around 10:00am, we said goodbye to Bob and Denise again. But we will probably see them in August or September in Ontario!

We went for a walk around "dowtown" Libby just to stretch our legs before driving to our next spot. Not much to see in downtown, but then again it was a Sunday so things were pretty quiet.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

First day of summer!

Yesterday was the first day of summer. I remember when that used to mean a lot, but not so much any more. It used to be that summer holidays were coming up, and you could pretty much bet on shorts and t-shirts weather.

But now, we do our utmost to stay year round in climates where it is shorts and t-shirts weather! So the only thing that means much to us about the first day of summer now is that the days are so long in this part of the world.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

You are in bear country!

We had a really nice day yesterday at our almost perfect campsite. Around 10:00am we set off on a hike through the forest, despite the fact that there were some ominous looking clouds. But hey, the weather forecast called for ZERO percent chance of rain, so who are we to argue with the experts?

At the trailhead, there are lots of signs warning about bear activity. We have experience hiking in bear country and so we were well prepared with both air horn and bear spray.

Friday, June 19, 2020

What is your perfect campsite?

Yesterday, I mentioned that unless we find a great overnight spot that ticks all the boxes, we'll be moving a little bit every day. Well, it ended up that we pretty much ticked all the boxes with our spot last night!

We realize that our overnight choices are not what everyone prefers, and it's a good thing. If everybody liked what we like, we'd have a tough time finding these sorts of places! But then it got us wondering... what is your "perfect" campsite?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Back to the boondocks

The word "boondocks" means rough, remote, isolated countryside. And the phrase "out in the boonies" came from the original word boondocks. And so the word "boondocking" came to mean RV camping out in the middle of nowhere.

Yesterday, after three nights spent in the small city of Missoula, we were due for some rough, remote, isolated countryside!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

3 Days in Missoula, but it's time to move on...

Well, it's been a cheap 3 days in the city of Missoula, Montana but we really didn't want to stay here this long. The weather is still overcast with showers, although it looks like that will finally be clearing up tomorrow.

We are moving on today one way or the other. We filled up with cheapest ever propane at $0.99 a gallon. Sherman has a big 20 gallon propane tank, but it's a shame we only needed 11 gallons to top it up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Brand new and it's already junk

We didn't originally plan on staying in Missoula this long, but the weather is not the best. Overcast and with a 50% chance of rain all day, it's tough to plan a couple of hours of outdoor activity. And it's now supposed to be like this through Thursday!

But, we got lucky yesterday late morning when we took the bikes off to go for a ride. We were out for about an hour and a half and did about 10 miles (16 kms) and it was only when we got back to the motorhome that it started spitting with rain.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Researching European motorhomes

We left our free camping spot in the hills early again, doing our driving right when we got up. We didn't really encounter any wind to speak of, which is what we've been trying to avoid. However, we did get some rain.

We haven't had many rain days since we arrived in the United States in early April. And in fact, yesterday wasn't really too bad either, but it was a mixed bag, and so once we arrived in Missoula it became a bit of a lazy day.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Odd art around Lincoln, Montana

We headed out from the city of Great Falls before the wind picked up. We were on the road at 8:30am. Nice drive through rolling hills, but not much vegetation... and not many vehicles either!

We made it to the town of Lincoln (pop 1,100) where we stopped at the Forest Service office where there was a grizzly bear display, but unfortunately it was closed.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bike ride in Great Falls, Montana

We left our overnight spot in the Lewis and Clark National Forest at 6:30am. It's now light out by 5:30am, so we like to get our driving done while there is no wind and hardly anybody on the roads.

From the time we got on the highway, it was downhill pretty much the whole way. In fact, there was one section where I didn't touch the gas pedal for over 20 miles (33 kms)! Amazing. Sure, at one point we were down to 35 mph, but with nobody on the roads there was no need to speed up.

Friday, June 12, 2020

A visit to "the castle"...

We said goodbye to Bob and Denise at 7:30am, but we will likely see them again over the next couple of weeks. We headed over to the library to do some more free internet and then drove up to "the castle"...

There are a couple of interesting attractions in the town of White Sulphur Springs (population around 1,000). One of course is the hot springs themselves that are part of a small motel complex. You don't have to be a guest to use the springs... they cost $7 USD for a soak.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

What footprint is this?

We set out with Bob and Denise at 8:30am yesterday morning. The trail we were doing is actually 15 miles (24 kms) round trip, and I don't think we were quite that ambitious but we didn't have an actual plan.

The skies were mixed, with a little bit of sunshine coming and going but the temperature was nice for hiking at around 60F (15C).

Everything You Need To Know Before Your First Backpacking Trip

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Before you leave for your trip, here are a few tips on the things you must know if you are a first-time backpacker.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Warning. Contents may have shifted.

Tuesday morning, we left Gardiner at about 6:15am. We were surprised at the number of people up and about at that hour, but of course it gets light out so early right now.

Most of the traffic was heading in the opposite direction though. Hardly any cars in our lane going north.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We hung around Gardiner

Which turned out to be not a bad thing. We kind of like the town and the area. Reminds us a little bit of Dawson City, Yukon!

But, had we known that the weather wasn't going to be nearly as bad as they forecast, we probably would have done things differently. Oh well!

Monday, June 8, 2020

So far, they have been totally wrong

We knew they had been forecasting this stretch of bad weather, with Monday (today) being the worst of it. But we woke up this morning expecting to see a dusting of snow on the ground... or at least some rain. But nothing. No precipitation at all so far.

We made a point of going out for a long hike yesterday because we kind of figured we would be stuck inside all day today. But that may not be the case now. We'll see.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Drive through Yellowstone National Park

Once again, we got up early and started driving right away. There's some bad weather coming this way, and we wanted to get into Montana. Our route would take us right through Yellowstone National Park, and all of the campgrounds in the park are still closed.

And, it was a bit of a drive with lots to see along the way. In fact, we took almost 125 pictures. I whittled them down to about 50, so prepare yourself for quite a few photos in this blog post!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Camped with a view?

We were on the road by 6:30am on Friday morning. We're not having any problem getting up early now that we're approaching the longest day of the year. Even now, the sun doesn't set until after 9:00pm, and it is light again by 5:30am!

And, it looked like another nice day although once again they were calling for the winds to pick up after lunch.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Camped beside the river

We got all our driving done in the morning, well before the afternoon winds picked up. Sooo much nicer driving when it's calm. Stopped in Pinedale to have breakfast and use the internet, then headed a bit further north.

We pulled in to the Warren Bridge BLM area. There are nine different free camping locations spread along the Green River over a distance of about 8 miles (13 kms).

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Back on the road

We got a bit of a late start Wednesday morning. We had left the mechanic shop before they opened and headed to Walmart to do a bit of stocking up. When we left there, Sherman's volt meter was reading low. I figured maybe there was a bad connection related to what the mechanic had done since they had the alternator removed as part of the job changing the water pump.

So we headed back to the mechanic shop.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Motorhome repair and maintenance costs... and Sherman's future

We are back on the road this morning after spending another $798 USD ($1076 CAD) on repairs, this time to Sherman's water pump. But, we not only got a new water pump, we also got a new fan clutch, a new serpentine belt and a new thermostat. The labor and the parts were split pretty much half and half.

Rock Springs Auto Repair looked after us really well, They gave us an accurate estimate before starting the job, they ordered the parts right away, and they got to the job as soon as the parts showed up. They were also very fair on the labor costs, charging a total of 2.5 hours when I know the guy spent close to 4. I would not hesitate to recommend these guys if you need something done while in the area.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Stuck in Rock Springs, Wyoming

But, it shouldn't be for too long!

We left the Flaming Gorge Reservoir early. We didn't have any internet access from there, so we got up at 6:30am and drove into the town of Green River and found some unsecured free WiFi. We spent some time there, but we needed a laundromat and I wanted to do some driving before the wind picked up again so we continued on to Rock Springs.

Monday, June 1, 2020

May Expenses

Well, here we are in the month of June already!

May expenses have been tallied, and here are the final numbers... we spent a total of $2,116 CAD ($1,560 USD at today's exchange rates). Not bad, considering we bought a bunch of "stuff" including a new phone.

Hello Wyoming!

Yesterday, we met up with Bob and Denise again just before the entrance to the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

We crossed into Wyoming, and then set about to find a place to camp for the night. There are some beautiful free campsites on the shores of the reservoir, but some of them require a 4 wheel drive to get to. Still, we managed to find a great parking spot with a beautiful view.