Thursday, August 27, 2015


Jim and Mary's RV Park
From Glacier NP, we headed south to Missoula where we stayed at Jim and Mary's RV Park.  This was not our first visit here and we can highly recommend this rv park for its beauty, cleanliness, and large rv spaces.  This was our time to get the laundry done using their laundry facilities so that we could do all of our blankets, sheets, etc as well as the little stuff that I usually do in our rv washer and dryer.  We also headed to Costco to stock up on meat and purchase more vitamin supplements to keep us going for a few more months.  And we had timed the visit so that we would be able to take advantage of their wonderful double farmers markets, one near the railway station and the other by the river, both on Saturday morning.  I was able to purchase a big bag of huckleberries along with all the other produce that I normally find.  So for the next few days I  made huckleberry pancakes with the whole grain hand milled flour that I had purchased in Columbia Falls.... and I also made huckleberry scones from scratch.  
Montana Valley Used Bookstore
While we were in Missoula, we made a concerted effort to find a used book store, but we were disappointed with the few we found, until a seasonal baker at the Le Petit Outre (a wonderful bakery we found, as if we needed more baked goods) told us about a used book store about 15 miles west of Missoula.   This was one very old and rickety book store with books piled up ceiling high and a basement with bookcases from one end to the other.  Allan found lots of personal memoir war books and I found a few books on books as wells as some books of essays.  
Allan, lower left corner, with Bud Light
From Missoula we headed east, stopping in Anaconda at the Fairmont Hot Springs RV Park.  After setting up, we drove 15 miles to Butte for lunch and found a great used book store run by the daughter of a man who traveled in Europe and send back books for the bookstore.  Again we both left the store with boxes of books.  That evening we went over to the resort and paid our $4.75 each to use the hot springs.  We purchased a Bud Light at the outdoor bar and settled in for a lovely soak.  They have two pools inside and two pools outside.  The water is clean, not sulfuric, and it is very relaxing.
Yellowstone NP Bison
The next morning we headed out early to the West Yellowstone gate where we stopped briefly for fuel and lunch and a huckleberry ice cream cone.  Then we proceeded on through into the park where I am always amazed how we can use our National Park senior pass for entry at no cost.  We drove on through to the Fishing Bridge RV Park at Yellowstone Lake.  This is actually a great location with most of the bison action just to the north of us and some of the hot springs and mud pots to the north as well.  
Old Faithful
We took a drive even further north the following day to see Mt Washburn which at 10,000 feet did not look all that imposing, but then we were already at 8,400 feet.  The altitude was a bit of a problem at first, as I got a very bad headache and didn't feel well for a couple of days, but then I got acclimated and all was well so we thought we would head over to Geyser Village to see Old Faithful.   You would think that if you saw one mud pot or hot springs, they would all be the same.  Here is a selection of just some of the volcanic features on view around the boardwalk.

All of these features have names but I did not write them down.  There are bison prints all around the pools and crusts of mud and algae.  They come here in the winter to eat the grass that stays under the shallow snow.  They use their big head to push the snow away and then feed on the grass.  

In spite of the many signs of danger, we saw many human footprints out on the crust near the pools and a ranger told us that occasionally a bison gets too near the edge and falls in.  They have had human incidents as well.  There are also warning signs everywhere about approaching the bison.  But there have been 5 people gored already this year and one hiker eaten by a grizzley this year.  For some reason, no one believes the signs.  

When we got back to our rv at fishing bridge after a very long day, we drove up to find water pouring out of the seams of our rig.  Allan shut off the water and we opened the door to find all of the kitchen/living area inches deep in water.  The poor dogs were up on the couch and were glad to see us.  Allan found the problem right away,  the water supply control valve to the water heater had broken and of course this had to happen on the one day we took to explore.  We had stayed home for the two days prior because of my headache, but no, it could not happen then, fate had to wait for us to leave before dealing us another blow.  
We soaked up as much as we could with towels and Allan went to the service station at fishing bridge to see if they could do anything.  Well they said to bring the rig right over and they would make a temporary fix for us.  They closed at 5 and it was already 3:30, so we literally crammed all the stuff sitting around on our bed, in the shower, and any other place we could put something without it being in the living room.... then we got the dogs into the truck and zoomed over to have the water leak fixed.  The following day we drove the 80 miles east to Cody where we purchased a shop vac and hair dryer at Walmart (along with needed food supplies), had a great breakfast at Our Place and returned home to begin the drying process in earnest.  I guess it takes a disaster to get us to do a really deep clean of the rig.  The rug is now dry and looks good.  Most everything is back in its rightful place and we are just kicking back a little, painting a little, and hoping to have an uneventful final week here at the Park.  

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