The Holtsclaw RV Adventure

The Holtsclaw RV Adventure – a public diary…

The Holtsclaw RV adventure began in early 2021 when Sylvia, out of the blue and much to my surprise, began re-homing her ponies, alpacas, goats, mules, rabbit; then, my Wife placed  our log-cabin, located in Northwest Arkansas, on Zillow “for sale by owner.” Motivated by my Wife, we began a search for an affordable RV as our “home;” that is, if the cabin sold.

On March 24th, 2021, we located a 2014 Thor Motor Coach, Class C – 24 foot, on a Chevrolet chassis; the RV was parked on a consignment lot in south Fort Smith a few miles southeast of I-540 on Highway 71. The owner of the consignment lot was experiencing some hard times physiologically and psychologically due to an accident and informed us that he was unable to contact the owner of the RV. I noted the vehicle’s registration and Sylvia and I pursued the owner through State public records.

Subsequent to obtaining the RV’s registration, Sylvia and I drove to the Waldron, Arkansas Police Department where a very kind lady at the front desk assisted us with contacting the registered owner. Subsequent to some negotiations, we completed the purchase of the RV on March 24, 2021. The 2014 Chevrolet Thor 23u Motor Coach had under 9400.0 miles on the OD, approximately 13-hours on the generator, at the time of purchase and appeared to be in very good condition other than the owner’s failure to cover/protect the vehicle from weather. The fashionable stickers on the left side of the RV are cracked due to Sun exposure.

Subsequent to familiarizing ourselves with the RV, its particulars, and performing some routine maintenance, Sylvia and I took our first trip in the RV to Houston/College Station in the last week of March. The objective of this initiation trip was to say goodbye to our son, Charlie, my daughter-in-law, Goli, and my handsome grandson, Luke. They were en route to Scotland for Charles’ new job assignment. En route to Houston, we stopped by our daughter’s home in College Station. Rebekah accompanied us in the RV to Charlie’s home as she would take custody of the Toyota Prerunner that Charlie was giving her.

Subsequent to a sad “goodbye” to Charlie, Golie and Luke, we drove the RV back to College Station where Austin, my son-in-law, grilled some delicious steaks for my birthday. Our virgin trip in the RV was truly a learning experience and I remain amazed at the learning-curve relevant to RV life; one does not simply purchase an RV and function in it; there is much to be learned along the way. It is certainly advantageous if the RV owner possesses at least some knowledge relevant to engine mechanics; metal-fiberglass-rubber restoration/repair; plumbing; electrical.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rv-at-rebekahs-house.jpg

In a matter of weeks, our home did sell (my wife should work in real estate) and we closed on May 12, 2021 at which time Sylvia and I were “homeless” per se but the RV stood ready to fill that void. Two of our eight rescue dogs, Buddy and Lady, were adopted by the new home owners at which time we saddled-up Duke, Finn, PePe, Layla, Zoe, MiMi, into the RV and headed to College Station to deliver a piano to Rebekah along with a plethora of her childhood memorabilia.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-finn-in-the-window.jpg
Finn enjoying the ride to College Station
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-buster-looking-at-rv.jpg
Buster guarding the RV for us

On the trip down to College Station, we spent the night in a “Loves” fueling station parking lot in Hearne, Texas. The next morning, we arrived at Austin’s and Rebekah’s home and remained there until Monday, May 17, 2021; the RV was our curbside home during our stay; this to keep our fur-babies happy and under control; also, we were even graced by College Station with an ordinance violation for having parked the RV on the street for 72-hours…warning only…no fine involved. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rebekah-me-college-station.jpg
My beautiful Daughter and excellent Mexican food, College Station, TX

The Journey Begins (Arkansas to Texas)

Today, May 17, 2021, Sylvia and I left College Station, Texas and headed to Eagle Pass via back roads to visit friends of the family. I noticed early on that life in the RV with six-dogs would be a trial in patience for both of us (and the dogs) but subsequent to lunch in Bastrop, TX and a large cup of coffee (Sylvia ate a WhatABurger and fries-diet & regular Coke mix/I ate a fruit salad with coffee) our patience grew stronger and we arrived in Eagle Pass around 5PM. A storm, high winds, plagued the rather small town and we located a Luby’s Cafeteria that appears to be closed for business due to the COVID nonsense.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-west-texas.jpg
Headed to Eagle Pass, TX

The Luby’s parking lot is adjacent to Lowe’s and Walmart and finding a relatively level spot on the side of the building, we’ve parked for the night with generator running, air conditioner on, dogs falling asleep and a delicious sandwich to be consumed; the sandwich having been prepared by chef Sylvia; comfortably full, we fell asleep…the RV swaying in the high winds mimicking a cruise ship on rough seas. 

May 18, 2021 (Tuesday) (Texas – Eagle Pass)

The evening storms on Monday gave-way to a relatively nice morning, mild temps with a light breeze, partly cloudy. We’re still making adjustments to living with six-dogs in such a confined environment as are the dogs…they’re traumatized by the noise in the cabin, the swaying, the braking, our impatience but…we’re working on it. We were forced to run the generator and air conditioning during the night as the humidity demanded same but even with the intermittent sleep, Sylvia and I awoke relatively rested and took the dogs for a walk around the Luby’s parking lot. Sylvia then watered and attempted to feed the dogs but their nerves would not permit much food consumption although they were very thirsty. Sylvia prepared us some coffee and I continued to walk the dogs while Sylvia cleaned and organized the RV…she is an “excellent” wife. 

There is a Chick-fil-A across the street from Luby’s and after retracting the awning and securing the dogs, we drove there for breakfast; unfortunately, the dining room was closed (most likely due to the COVID nonsense)…the drive thru would not permit the height of the RV so we proceeded to Walmart, ate a light breakfast with coffee at What-a-burger then picked-up supplies from Walmart. Instead of spending two-to-four-hundred-dollars on a GPS, I’ve elected to use my old cell phone and purchased a vent mount to hold it; we will see how this inexpensive option works out.

Leaving Walmart, we proceeded to Ellie’s and met with Tom and Ellie at their home. The doggies were secured in the backyard and after a brief greeting with Tom and Ellie, I drove to Discount Tire as they had called and said my tires had been delivered and they were ready for install. I selected the Durvais R500 HD ($171.00 each x 6) subsequent to reading reviews on a number of tires that would fit the RV…the Discount Tire representative in Bryan agreed adamantly that the Durvais’ were excellent tires for use on the RV. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-tom-and-ellie.jpg
Tom and Ellie, we’re departing for Del Rio

Subsequent to tire installation, I took the suggestion of a Discount Tire representative and searched out a “good mechanic” that would perform an alignment on the RV; unfortunately, this guy works out of his home and the address landed me in an area of Eagle Pass that looked like an LA Barrio; so then, I made my way out of the area and proceeded to Precision Auto…another dead-end as they were closed for lunch. I felt guilty for spending so much time with the tire installation and searching for an alignment because Tom had used a sick-day from work to visit with us; therefore, I headed straight to their home while Ellie had gone to pick up some Mexican food for lunch.

We had a wonderful lunch-dinner with Tom, Ellie and Matt and during our after lunch conversation and coffee, Mom called a potential RV park toward Del Rio. Besides being rather rude to Mom, the representative for the RV park advised that our dogs were not acceptable in her park and that a storm was moving into our area…and…she was correct concerning the storm according to the radar. The radar showed a storm approximately 30-minutes west of Eagle Pass and the weather depiction reflected red, green, pink…not my cup-of-tea; therefore, mom and I opted to put the dogs into the RV and head north away from the path of the storm hoping to only drive through the “green” area of moderate rain. With a quick and heartfelt goodbye to Ellie and Tom, we headed north toward Del Rio with no wheel alignment performed. 

May 19, 2021 (Wednesday) (Texas – Del Rio – Amistad National Park)

The road surface to Del Rio was rather bumpy – rough but the scenery was nice. While en route, mom found a camping site in the Amistad National Park; after some driving and searching, we opted to turn into the campground on the east-side of Hwy. 90 (Ranger Station – boat ramp for Walk Lake)…low and behold, one of the first things we observed was a FREE dump station with trash receptacle and potable water…just what we had been searching for…there were NO dump stations or areas to service our black and gray water in Eagle Pass or vicinity. I almost paid $40.00 to stay at a RV park outside of Del Rio just to dump our black/gray water but the Federal Government’s Park Service at the Amistad Reservoir (north of Del Rio on Hwy 90) came through for us; in fact, just down the road from the free dump station were campsites oriented toward RV’s; so then, we chose camp site #14, paid $20.00 for two-nights…placed the money in an envelope and deposited it into the fee-box down the road. This area had been recommended to us by two-Park Rangers at another entrance to the park approximately .5-miles south…these guys looked like Navy Seals with their beards, military style uniforms…very professional…very impressive. 

As I was walking to the deposit-box, I met a couple, husband and wife, from San Diego, CA who were on a cross-country trip in their RV. The gentleman was very upset with Governor Newsom and his liberal, tyrannical, idiocy…they were looking to possibly sell their home in CA and move east…somewhere. We talked for approximately one-hour; as darkness settled in, mom walked-up with all six-dogs on leashes…she entered into a conversation with the wife but later I learned mom was UPSET with me for leaving her with the dogs and talking so long with these strangers; all ended well and I was forgiven with grace. It was around 10:30PM when we made it back to the RV and mom watered/fed the dogs and we went to bed…the weather was cool enough to open the windows and at one point I actually had to use the covers…desert weather coolness at night. We all slept rather well even though our campsite is approximately 100-yards from Highway 90 and a parallel train track that crosses the lake. The Amistad Lake or “Walk Lake” is beautiful water and the white-ish rocks that encase it are clean against the blue water. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-amistad-me-and-the-babies.jpg
Shores of Walk Lake – Amistad National Park (Me and my babies)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-amistad-bridge-and-rr-crossing.jpg
Walk Lake – Amistad National Park (Hwy 90/RR Bridge over lake)

This morning I prepared coffee for mom and myself and we drank it with the doggies under a canopy/park bench adjacent to our RV…beautiful view. Mom made us breakfast consisting of tortillas, eggs, cheese…delicious; later, I went for a jog, first with PePe, then Finn, then Duke…mom opted for a walk; so then, I ended the jog and we all “walked” to the lake for exercise. We’re now back at the RV, the dogs have collapsed…some are sound asleep. My God is good and I’m thankful for a beautiful day with my family.  

Later in the day, mom wanted to take a hike toward the Ranger Station which would require a cross-country adventure; unfortunately, a quick moving storm from the east to the west drove us inside the RV seeking shelter. Subsequent to the rain and wind, we saddled up, leashed-up the dogs and headed out for an adventure. We found ourselves walking through cactus and prickly bushes…the last time I heard so much bellyaching (from Sylvia) was Marine Corps infantry; my wife had cactus stickers in her legs as did some of the dogs; of course, it was all my fault. We struggled to make our way up to the highway and found the road back to our RV site. Upon arriving at the RV, our neighbors were waiting for us, a very kind couple from San Diego we had met the night before. We invited them to join us under the canopy and enjoyed a great conversation. For supper, I ate four-shredded wheat biscuits and mom prepared some oatmeal for herself…then…my first real shower since leaving Rebekah’s house days earlier…I was overdue. The night air was almost “cold” and we slept like babies, two and four legged. 

May 20, 2021 (Thursday) (Texas – Amistad to El Paso)

Mom and I got up this morning and immediately serviced the dogs; I made coffee for us and walked around the campsite enjoying my cup of brew; afterwards, we prepared the RV for the road and I checked the essentials concerning oil, tires, compartment security…mom organized things inside. Upon leaving the campsite, we headed south to the Park’s dump station and emptied our gray and black water then filled-up with potable water seeing that we would probably be boon-docking for a day or two or three. I then drove to the Ranger Station and met with a couple of Park Rangers hoping to acquire an “America the Beautiful” National Park pass which offers discounts on park fees…as suggested by our neighbor’s from San Diego. The Park Rangers directed me to their “Visitor’s Center” approximately one-mile south on Hwy 90 toward Delrio.  Upon arrival at the “Visitor’s Center,” I met with a Park administrator who asked if I was a veteran. Upon verification of my service with the Marine Corps via my Marine Corps ID card, the administrator issued me a “free” veterans pass; I was very appreciative for this military pass seeing that the “America the Beautiful” pass cost $80.00.

After leaving the visitor’s center, we drove north on Hwy 90 and visited the Seminole State Park but found it rather unwelcoming, no campsites (closed) and all access to the property mandated a group tour guide costing $4.00 per person; so then, we left. Our travel along Hwy 90 north from Del Rio was incredible…absolutely beautiful desert landscapes…breathtaking. We stopped in a small town and parked for about an hour; while there, I took the dogs for a walk while mom prepared sandwiches and chips. The dogs were watered and fed. I prepared us some coffee and we then proceeded north once again. Mom was captivated by the desert views and especially the dust tornadoes (? dust devils) that sprung up all around us. I did not consider these dust tornadoes anything to worry about until I drove into the vicinity of one…it almost caused me to lose control of the RV…mom was frightened…but God is faithful and I am thankful for His intercession.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-hwy-90-seminole-.jpg
Hwy 90/Texas/Seminole area
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-dust-devils.jpg
Dust Devils/Marfa, TX (Hwy 90)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-marfa-dust-devils.jpg
Marfa, TX

Dust Devils video: https://www.facebook.com/1451363214/videos/a.10223874453916531/10223884933978526

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-alpine-tx.jpg
Alpine, TX
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-alpine-caves.jpg
Alpine, TX – Cave in the mountains

Finally, we approached Van Horn, TX at I-10 and headed west toward El Paso; we opted to boon-dock in a Walmart on the east side of El Paso. When I parked in the Walmart parking lot the OAT was 98-degrees…looks like we will sleep with the generator and air conditioning tonight. Maybe a last little walk and pee-pee for the dogs before bedtime…we gained an hour on the clock just west of Van Horn. 

May 21, 2021 (Friday) (Texas to New Mexico)

Last night in El Paso was LOUD…the area sounded like an unrestricted raceway. Temperatures were in the 90’s and slowly cooled but we opted to run the generator and air conditioning for most of the night. I’ve begun a YouTube video channel under my name and “RV Rookies” to discuss with my fellow RV’ers our experiences with boon-docking and life on the road with six-dogs in a small Class-C motorcoach. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-pepe-enjoying-the-view.jpg
PePe enjoying the view

Today, we will probably search-out a Harbor Freight or Northern Tools as I need to purchase a 20-ton bottle-jack for the RV in the event we experience a flat tire. Other than that, we might pick up a quick breakfast and head toward the White Sands National Park in New Mexico. We left the Walmart in east El Paso after taking care of some banking needs and finally located a Tractor Supply that stocked a 20-ton bottle jack. After securing the bottle jack, Sylvia and I headed to McDonald’s for breakfast and then crossed over into New Mexico.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-welcome-to-new-mexico.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-beware-of-rattle-snakes-nm.jpg
New Mexico and a warning

We arrived at White Sands around noon, the drive was tense due to the serious cross winds that pushed the RV around like a toy…the Park was beautiful…it appeared to be cleaned/purified ocean sand for miles in the middle of a desert. Syliva and I, along with the dogs, went for a walk in the sand dunes. Later, we headed to Roswell, NM to speak with some space aliens…none have been located thus far. Looks as though we may have to go to Area 51 in Nevada to fulfill mom’s desire to converse with an authentic alien. In Roswell, mom did some sweet talking and found us a boon-docking gig at the Tractor Supply on Roswell’s Main Street. We were permitted to park in the back of the store where a huge vacant field is located adjacent to the store’s rear parking lot…perfect for the dogs and hopefully a quiet night’s sleep…but…not so quick, unfortunately. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-nm.jpg
White Sands National Park, NM
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-2.jpg
White Sands National Park, NM
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-3.jpg
White Sands National Park, NM
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-4.jpg
White Sands National Park, NM
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-5.jpg
Mom and Finn, White Sands National Park
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-white-sands-6.jpg
White Sands National Park – our home

Main street in Roswell was inundated with loud biker narcissistic asses that raced their illegally loud motorcycles up and down the street repeatedly…they seemed to have picked the Tractor Supply to make their U-turn and accelerate back toward the business district in the Downtown center. It seems impossible to escape the arrogance, rudeness, narcissism, of scum bikers and modified trucks and auto’s….a shameful generation of hedonistic asses while our police are impotent, uncaring, too participatory to protect the citizenry from these loud thugs. We will see how the night progresses. Mom prepared us a supper of hot dogs, corn chips, and watermelon. I’m comfortably full…even the puppies had a taste. After some computer time…I’m headed to bed. Goodnight. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-roswell-sunset.jpg
Sunset – Roswell, NM

5-22-2021 (Saturday) (New Mexico – Roswell – Datil Well National Camp Grounds – BLM)

We got up around 6AM and fed/watered the dogs then prepared to move-out of the Tractor Supply parking lot. The noise abated to a tolerable degree and the illegally LOUD biker thugs must have finally found a place for the night in preparation for another day of narcissistic thuggery and abuse of the citizenry. I drove to a near-by McDonald’s and purchased Mom and I a large coffee. We studied the road map Mom had purchased the evening earlier and decided we would drive to the infamous “round house” in Datil, NM. Mom and I have been considering this unique home as a possible purchase…Mom has watched this home on Zillow for months…now, it’s under contract…but we still want to see the area. It was approximately a four-hour drive from Roswell to Datil and en route I stopped and purchased an AC Delco oil filter for the RV with the intent of changing oil at a local Walmart super-center…there was no super-center to be found so we proceeded onto Datil, New Mexico.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-men-statues-on-road.jpg
Corona, NM (Hwy 60)

Upon arrival, we searched for the “round house” on a mountain located off of Hwy 12; unfortunately, the “round house” was in a “community,” too many people and too much trash in the area for our liking. We never actually found the home…it might be gated-off but we drove for miles on a winding – WINDY – gravel mountain road and the RV performed well but the road was hard on her. Between White Sands and the Datil home search, the RV will probably need an oil change, perhaps an air-filter change as well. Our GPS simply would not pinpoint the location; backing and maneuvering the RV in this environment was NOT ideal. 

After accepting the disappointment relevant to the “round house,” we returned to the very small town of Datil, New Mexico and headed toward Arizona on Hwy. 60…but…we noticed a “camping grounds” sign west of Hwy 12 on SH-60 and opted to check-it-out and much to my surprise, after some gravel road driving, we located the National Park/Bureau of Land Management “Datil Well Camping Grounds.” I met with the Camp’s “host” at the office and discussed the individual campsites that had electrical service. Sylvia and I noticed these on our first ride around the camp grounds to inspect the facility. The host said the electrical campsites could be used if available…I found site #19 and #21 unoccupied so we parked at site #19 and hooked-up the electricity; unfortunately, there was no water hook-up or sewage dump available. The good news was that my veteran’s card “America the Beautiful” permitted free entrance and free electricity…yes!  The camp host said it was all free with a veteran’s pass…much appreciated!

I filled out the necessary paperwork for park entry and Sylvia prepared us a lunch consisting of quesadillas and chips and watermelon…very good, especially seeing that we had not eaten breakfast. After lunch, I prepared coffee for the two of us then we took a long hike into the New Mexico woods (the Park provided trails). The dogs were worn out after the hike…except for PePe…my Navy Seal dog…he was so gung-ho that he pulled me for most of the hike, choking himself with the harness yet remaining overzealous to hunt: PePe was hunting and wanted to attack something, anything, everything…PePe is TYPE-A. After returning from the hike, Mom opted to water and feed the dogs and they’re now passed-out around me on the cushions, chair, floor, while Mom organizes the loft area of the RV and I type this. We’re headed to bed soon and we will probably remain in Datil for another night; unfortunately, the Park has no Wifi service…but hey, it’s okay. The Park seems to be quiet, it has restrictions concerning noise (10P – 6A), pets…maybe we can get some rest?

May 23, 2021 (Sunday) (Datil, New Mexico) – Reality sets in…

The night’s ambient temperature DROPPED significantly under a three-quarter Moon and clear skies; as a result, I slept COLD, uncomfortable, all night with intermittent sleep due to our dogs response to the coyotes singing at the moon. I was not aware that my Wife had a weighted, warm, blanket, caressing her body all night (LOL). Finn licked his “lips” and sucked and swallowed (probably thirsty) a good part of the night and I focused on that irritating noise as well. I love Duke, I really like Finn, but these big dogs are a hindrance in the RV. The dogs, in general, really wear on Mom and her tolerance for them bounces from one extreme to the other. One moment she feels sorry for them and finds it impossible to entertain the possibility of surrendering Duke, PePe and Finn to a sanctuary or re-homing facility. We both agree that the little dogs must remain with us as they’re old and physiologically, they’re wearing down. At other times, Mom is livid, angry with the dogs…her temper flares and she’s ready to re-home them. Personally, I believe re-homing is the best option if the RV is to be a way-of-life for us for an extended period of time. Poor Duke is a good dog, faithful, but his sheer size, shedding, is too much for 140-square feet. For now, we’re dealing with it…I will sorely miss Duke if he is adopted…the thought of him leaving breaks my heart.

Immediately after climbing out of bed, we took the dogs out to take care of business then I prepared some coffee for Sylvia and myself; actually, our conversation was lengthy this morning so two-cups were in order. After coffee, I leashed PePe and we went for a jog on the gravel road that borders two-sides of the campgrounds. This morning was absolutely beautiful during our run…the high winds that plague New Mexico during May and June had completely subsided overnight…the area is clean and the air crisp and fresh. We jogged into town on Hwy 12 then took Hwy 60 west to the road leading back to the campground. Upon arrival at the RV, Mom had breakfast waiting…delicious. After breakfast, Mom took the dogs to do their business while I typed this. My conscience bothered me concerning the free pass to the Park so I retrieved another registration envelope and paid for two-nights (half-price) seeing that the area is very well maintained, convenient, and we have the privilege of a new, efficient, electrical hook-up. 

Also, seeing that I’m still in the learning curve concerning the operation of this RV, Mom insisted that the RV had heat, I disagreed, even though the thermostat indicated a heat setting. Throughout my research on RV’s, nowhere did I find a discussion concerning heaters and I ass-u-me-d that these little RV’s were absent such luxury. Mom flipped the thermostat to heat and YES…the cabin heated-up, warm air bellowed out from portals beneath the dining table bench.. and I thought to myself…I slept miserably cold and heat was available…live and learn.

Mom just now took an “Indian Shower” in the sink and cleaned her pits with a wash cloth (no water hook-up here due to water conservation and the underground well). I’ve not showered in a few days but hey…it’s all good. We will probably take the big-dogs for a walk later…the little dogs are worn-out from yesterday’s off-grid hike through the woods. 

Mom and Finn, Duke and I, walked the perimeter road of the Park, the same route I took on my morning run. We all returned a little tired at which time the dogs were watered. I prepared some coffee and later Mom prepared us bowls of soup for lunch. We have no Internet at this location so there is nothing much to do but discuss properties we would like to view in Arizona and Nevada. As we looked at the maps of Arizona and Nevada, Florida…reality has begun to set-in and we’re both a little depressed by our current circumstances. Mom’s bored, I’m tired…the dog’s are miserable and they’re making us miserable. The RV is dusty/dirty; our equipment is dusty/gritty; the dog’s are filthy with New Mexico desert dirt and dust…we’re un-bathed, unshaven; Dish Network failed to provide us service so there is no TV or news or weather other than the dash radio’s weather band. Undisciplined but loving dogs i.e. Finn and PePe…are making Mom’s life tough and filled with frustration in 140-square feet…Mom hates things to be dirty and disorganized. 

I’m not really interested in properties for sale in States that impose a State income tax…I believe this is abusive and tyranny and it angers me. The properties in Texas all suffer from excessive real estate tax though the State does not impose an income tax. New Mexico has some beautiful property for “cheap” but imposes tax on my retirement income; so then, New Mexico is most likely a no-go for me. Nevada’s properties, those on the market, are mostly positioned in the northern sector of the State…cold and possibly snowy…being a Texan at heart, I’m NOT excited by that. Mom learned through contacts with the Nevada electric providers that bringing electricity to a private property, our cost would be $150.000 a mile…I don’t think so!!!

Though the properties are relatively cheap, I’m concerned about the weather, adjacent farms with cattle, access, and the like…the winds and the cattle dung smell don’t sound feasible nor acceptable. Mom did locate one property in Hawthorne, NV south of Reno, near the California State-Line and my old Marine training grounds for mountain warfare, Bridgeport. There is property in Arizona located near the city of “Kingman” that Mom has expressed some interest in; but again, Arizona is an income tax State and puts a damper on purchasing property there as far as I’m concerned. There is a second property in Nevada’s Reno district that is also a possibility…perhaps we’ll check-it-out subsequent to the property in Hawthorne.

As you proceed north on Interstate 80 out of Reno, there is a plethora of properties/acreage for sale at very reasonable prices. If none of these pan-out for us, Mom really wants to go to Alaska; my problem with Alaska is having to traverse LIBERAL Canada and their zero-tolerance for self-defense weapons. The ferry out of Washington to Alaska is cost prohibitive and the only other viable option is to leave my weapons with family in Portland and take Interstate 5 into Canada…I’ve done this in the past when Sylvia and I rode a motorcycle to Alaska via the Al-Can HIghway…the fascist’ – socialists’ at the Canadian border even confiscated my mace. At that time, I was an actively employed law enforcement officer and the liberal Canadians left me without any means of protecting my Wife as we traversed remote areas in Canada and Alaska inundated with dangerous two and four legged creatures…I was angry. I don’t like fascists and I don’t like Canada…though the Yukon is beautiful.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-us-60-moriarty-nm-windmill-farm.jpg
US-60, Moriarty, NM Windmill farm
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-socorro-nm.jpg
Socorro, NM
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-cibola-national-forest.jpg
Cibola National Forest

Anyway, not sure if we’ll head north to Oregon, Washington, Canada, Alaska, or east toward Cimarron, NM where my Grandfather, whom I’ve never met, is supposedly buried…I would like to find any history on him that might be in the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Cimarron. My Dad talked often of going to New Mexico to hunt but he never pursued that dream as my Mom would have blown a temper gasket at the very thought of Dad traveling to New Mexico. It was only after the death of my Dad that I learn his father had divorced his mom, my grandmother; subsequent to the divorce, the children all went with my grandmother except for Dad who worked the coal mines with His father…I believe they worked mines in Kansas, Oklahoma and/or Colorado. Later, my Grandfather moved from Kansas to Cimaron, New Mexico and allegedly married an Indian woman. Granddad was reportedly a very talented horticulturalist and enjoyed grafting plants/flowers to form a new “species.” Not sure if my Grandfather was using the name Holtsclaw or Daniels subsequent to the divorce and having remarried. I think a visit to Cimarron would be interesting and possibly informative. 

So presently, Mom and I are sitting in the RV in Datil, NM…a little tired; a little concerned; a little depressed; a little unsure; tired of the big dogs and they’re apparently tired of us and the discipline; the New Mexico winds have subsided as the Sun is setting in the west…I need a shower, feeling old…not looking forward to the possibility of having to “build” a home if we are successful in locating some acreage that is acceptable. Truly, I just want to be at peace…I’m easily satisfied and content; in fact, if we re-homed these big dogs and PePe, I could probably live in an RV for years and travel the United States without care and concern other than for my Wife and the RV’s maintenance. My Lord’s will be done.

Though I don’t miss Arkansas all that much, I would enjoy sitting down on the couch and watching Tucker with frozen grapes before bedtime…Arkansas was good to me and though I never felt it was really “home,” I was satisfied and appreciative to my Lord for ten-years of country life. All-in-all, reality is setting-in and I am wholly dependent upon my Lord for guidance, peace, assurance, wisdom, hope, provision and protection…I know my Lord Jesus is faithful; the Father is loving and immutable and the Spirit is my peace and knowledge and patience; therefore, I’m good and I know He will work all things out for the good of my Wife and myself in due time; of this, I have no doubt.

I did not attend Church this Sunday morning…it is possible that the Church in Datil is closed due to Covid. I truly did enjoy Church in Van Buren on Sunday morning with my Wife and the Mexican food lunch that followed and a quiet, intimate, Sunday evening with my Wife…a true joy in my life. I miss being present in my Lord’s house…I do miss that honor as Church is likened to a spiritual shower preparing me for the week ahead. May my Lord also protect, provide for, seal and save my beautiful children and grandson. Goodnight. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-datil-1.jpg
Datil Well National Park
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-datil-2.jpg
Datil Well National Park
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-datil-3.jpg
Datil Well National Park
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-datil-4.jpg
Datil Well National Park

May 24, 2021 (Monday) (Datil, New Mexico)

The night in Datil’s Well Park gave-way to freezing temperatures at 9450-feet elevation, we know this as there was ice on the dog’s water bowl outside the RV’s door. Mom and I woke-up around 4AM to the sound of Finn’s mouth sucking. I asked if she wanted me to make coffee but the suggestion was somewhat ignored and we finally fell back asleep. We woke again around 6AM and Mom got up quickly, turned on the cabin heat, dressed and began taking the dogs to potty, one and two at a time. I laid in bed under the covers for a few minutes as Layla, MiMi and Zoe made their way into bed with me assisted by Mom. The little girls were ecstatic as sleeping with Dad had been the routine for many years in the Arkansas cabin. 

Feeling somewhat guilty that Mom was outside in the cold taking care of the dogs, I climbed out of bed, dressed, and prepared coffee for the two of us. The morning in Datil, NM is absolutely beautiful…the night was clear, I think the Moon phase was “full” and the Sun this early hour with the pines and desert basin is simply gorgeous; that is, until those pesky WINDS begin to blow relentlessly…a phenomenon that manifests in New Mexico during the Spring, May and June…this is what we’ve been told…the winds during the day are incredible but the night is absolutely peaceful…odd. 

Personally, I remain troubled by what to do with Duke, PePe, Finn. I feel horrible for the situation we’ve put them in…they simply don’t fit in this 140-square foot RV cabin…Finn’s hair is shedding, Duke is depressed and frightened of the heater…PePe is just PePe…a type-A personality with a lovable face…WHAT TO DO? Mom’s outside attempting to take a photo of a HUGE Raven that is pilfering the desert ground near the outside bathroom…Duke’s sleeping on the blanket near the stove…the little girls are sleeping on the cushions that surround the table. 

We’re probably going to secure a few things around the RV’s cabin, I’ll disconnect the electricity, do a walk-around and check the RV for the road…I’m concerned about the fuel…we have less than a half-tank and I don’t see any towns or cities that might have fuel on the map…that is, no service for many miles. I might have to go by the little convenience store in Datil and get fuel-raped for $3.45 a gallon – regular…I’ll put maybe $20.00 in the tank to get me on down the road as I search for $2.60-2.80 a gallon fuel. These back-roads, for the most part, have high fuel prices…though the scenery is beautiful away from the congestion of the Interstates…the major thoroughfares do offer many more conveniences and generally much lower fuel prices. 

Well, I’ve elected to skip breakfast this morning, Mom’s in the bathroom taking care of her business…guess I’ll finish my coffee and prepare for the road…fuel and an oil change are on my mind; also, I’ll probably go ahead and change the air-filter with only four-thousand miles on it. This air filter has been working overtime since we left College Station, TX…through the deserts of South and West Texas, to the White Sands of New Mexico…DUST is everywhere. Mom just exited the bathroom having completed an expedited wash…she looks beautiful…anyway, no time for what’s on my mind…which is probably not on her mind; so then, I’ll deal with it…we’re headed out. 

May 25, 2021 (Tuesday) (Arizona)

The morning drive from Datil, NM to Arizona was BEAUTIFUL…I have forgotten just how magnificent America the Beautiful truly is; yes, Europe and South America certainly have their preserved history and architecture but God has truly blessed America…Manifest Destiny was not pretty as it clawed west…but there is no doubt, God’s hand has created and sustained this beautiful Nation and I am blessed to have been born here and experienced it. Appreciative of the clean campsite and facilities offered at Datil Well National Forest Camp Grounds, I stopped-by the “Host” house located at the exit. I thanked him and his wife for their hard work at maintaining the grounds with such due diligence and proceeded to exit the campsite and head toward Hwy 60. 

Feeling as though the RV was too low on fuel to head west from Datil while simultaneously debating whether or not I wanted to be raped by $3.45 a gallon fuel prices on the remote sections of Hwy. 60…inspired me to seek the wisdom of Chevrolet’s on-board computer which showed I had over two-hundred miles of fuel range remaining. Looking at the fuel gauge and the fuel mileage suggested by the computer did not match-up logically but I opted to trust the computer since I was paying cash and waiting for pension payday. We proceeded west to Pie Town, Omega, Quemado, and found some fuel for $3.15 in Red Hill…Mom paid $40.00 cash to the attendant and I put in enough fuel to safely get us on down the road. 

Our intent was to proceed west on Hwy. 60 to “Show Low,” Arizona, then turn north on Arizona’s 77 to Interstate 40, west to “Kingman” and “Yucca” to look at some acreage…but…noticing Phoenix to our southwest and our love for Rodica and Cornel (family) we opted to take Hwy 260 toward Peoria. Our little RV with the 6.0 Vortec engine was suffering on the steep mountain passes and even though I was running Mobile One’s full synthetic “Extended Performance” oil in the engine and the oil was only at “half-life” (as per the on-board computer), I opted to stop at a Walmart Super Center in Payson, AZ and change the oil. Along with an oil change, I found some fuel for $2.85 (actually Sylvia found it with her fuel app) and filled the RV with go-juice and finally got something to eat for the day, a McDonald’s “Big Mac” and fries for Mom; a smaller burger for me (Quarter Pounder w/cheese…and…two-large coffee’s)…God is good.   

The bay doors at the Walmart auto center in Show Low were too low for our RV’s height and wanting to change my own oil, I parked adjacent to the auto center and raised the front-end using the stack-able leveling blocks. I had a couple of quart bottles of Mobile One in the RV storage area and purchased a drain bucket and five-quarts (Mobile-One Extended Performance 5W30) from Walmart…Sylvia helped me retrieve the tools and we changed both the engine and generator oil. Sylvia entered Walmart to do some shopping subsequent to securing the dogs to a fence positioned at the perimeter of Walmart’s auto center.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-show-low-oil-change.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-show-low-dogs-tied-to-fence.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-payson-az-on-hwy-87-.jpg
Payson AZ on Hwy 87

Subsequent to changing the oil and filter, we drove into Peoria, AZ and met with Rodica and Cornel…such loving and kind people…even with our six-dogs…they made us feel loved and so very welcome. Rodica’s home in Peoria, AZ is beautiful and I parked the RV in the cul-de-sac near her driveway. After some good conversation, some delicious Romanian food (cabbage rolls), I actually had the opportunity to take a long HOT shower and shave…felt like a new man. Later, Cornel and I discussed God, politics, while watching Fox News…Shannon Bream and Tucker Carlson…tired, relaxed, a full belly, I opted to get some rest. Cornell assisted me in hooking-up the RV’s electrical system to their home’s outdoor outlet. Sylvia and Rodica were setting on the back patio catching-up on family…Sylvia opted to sleep in the comfy bed offered her in Rodica’s home…I opted to take our six-dogs to the RV and sleep there. I simply could NOT, in good conscience, allow our dogs into Rodica’s BEAUTIFUL home…spotless…the floors were new wood…spotless…so the seven-dogs (me included) slept well in the RV with a floor fan and intermittent air conditioning in the RV. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rodicas-home-and-rv-cactus.jpg
Rocica’s home and our “home” in Peoria, NM

I woke-up at 5AM as we’re now two-hours behind my Arkansas/Texas timezone…the Sun was already shining in Peoria…a beautiful morning; so then, I took the dogs out to take care of their business, one-at-a-time, they were quiet, cooperative, disciplined…I was thankful for that…the neighborhood was quiet. Layla had to poop on a neighbor’s driveway so after everyone did their business, I secured a plastic bag, a rubber glove, and performed my duties as a pooper-scooper; I policed Layla’s mess…then entered Rodica’s backyard and policed the poop left by our “hairy children” the evening before. Having placed the dung into the trash, I entered the RV, washed-up and made myself some coffee; apparently, Sylvia and family are still sleeping. 

Not sure how long we will remain in Peoria. I truly enjoy it here with Rodica and Cornell…they’re both so kind and inviting…but presently, the objective (personally) is to proceed west into Nevada and look at some property in “Hawthorne” near the California State-line. I don’t know why but I feel drawn to Hawthorne; perhaps, due to Hawthorne’s proximity to Bridgeport, CA where I was trained in mountain warfare by the Marine Corp Infantry some forty-four years ago…I’m drawn to Hawthorne and need to see what the area offers for the money. I’m also concerned by how quickly property is being bought-up by people fleeing the liberal idiocy of California, New York and other Democrat strongholds that are exercising tyranny over their citizenry. So then, I’ll wait for my beautiful Wife to wake-up…she’s supposed to come wake me up 🙂 but all of us eagerly await her pretty presence. By-the-way…did I mentioned how beautiful the mountains in Arizona are? My advice, don’t pass into the next world without experiencing the incredible beauty of God’s handiwork that is, America!

We had a wonderful day with Rodica and Cornel, great company…wonderful food (cabbage rolls – some the best I’ve ever tasted); later, we visited Danial and Lavina, their children…wonderful people, wonderful family…impressive. Subsequent to our visit, I headed to the bed with the dogs…Mom and Rodica talked into the night.

5-26-2021 (Wednesday) (Peoria, Arizona)

Another beautiful morning in Arizona. Mom slept in Rodica’s home…I slept with the dogs in our RV. I got up around 5AM and took the dogs out to do their business and sat with them in the backyard until the family was ready for a new day. We’re beginning the day with a good cup of coffee, a discussion around the table…our favorite vacation areas.

We had the pleasure of visiting with Romeo and his wife, Jennifer, their beautiful children. Great conversation supplemented with fabulous Romanian cabbage rolls, soup, homemade bread. Very proud of this family and their commitment to our Lord.

Later, a sweet lady visited and took PePe as a possible adoption…PePe is presently at her home with another small dog about his size and the adoption process is underway; that is, if PePe, his cute four-legged partner, the owner, find peace together.

Another very nice couple, husband and wife, are interested in adopting Finn. They also visited today and expressed intentions to provide Finn a loving home. We will see.

The day ended with great conversation between Rodica, Sylvia, myself…I headed to bed in the RV with our dogs; Mom headed to bed in the house…a beautiful night in Arizona, the Moon is full, the air is cooling down, humidity is almost completely absent. Goodnight.

May 27, 2021 (Thursday) (Arizona)

I was awakened this morning around 5:15AM by “Rocket Mortgage” who was following-up on an inquiry I had made online last night on behalf of a family member. Subsequent to that phone call, I opted to take the dogs out to do their business, took out the trash for Rodica and made me a cup of coffee in the RV. Soon, Sylvia greeted me and we walked the dogs to Rodica’s backyard, I performed the pooper-scooper duties, made coffee, computer time…Rodica just got up…we’ll begin another beautiful day in the great State of Arizona.

May 28, 2021 (Friday) (Arizona)

I took Finn and Duke for a jog this morning around 8AM before the Arizona Sun began to heat the Earth close to 100-degrees. Today, we drove to Prescott, AZ and enjoyed the afternoon with family at the lake and ended that get-away with dinner in a cafe, hamburgers, in Prescott, Downtown, the former Capital of Arizona. All-in-all, a beautiful day with a beautiful family.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-prescott-durango.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-prescott.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-prescott-2.jpg

May 29, 2021 (Saturday) (Arizona)

I got up around 6:15 this morning, freed the dogs from the RV and secured them in Rodica’s backyard. Subsequent to picking-up the poop duty, Sylvia unlocked the side door and I prepared coffee for the two of us. The lady that adopted PePe on a trial basis is supposed to return PePe today at 10AM stating that PePe is dominating her puppy; therefore, the adoption will not work out. I hope to take Sylvia and Rodica to breakfast this Saturday morning after PePe is returned.

Later, Rodica, Sylvia and I went to Cracker Barrel and consumed a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, bacon, hash browns, coffee. Subsequent to returning from breakfast, Sylvia and I drove to an area RV service center in Peoria and emptied our black and gray water then headed to Walmart from some supplies and onto Sam’s for $2:85 a gallon fuel…not cheap but the best in the area this Memorial Day weekend…thanks Joe Biden, you mindless communist.

This evening, family visited Rodica’s for pulled pork, BBQ, salad. A wonderful visit and finally, time for bed. Goodnight.

May 30, 2021 (Sunday) (Peoria, AZ)

I woke up around 6AM, dressed, texted Sylvia who opened the side door for me to enter Rodica’s home. When I opened the door to allow the fur-babies to exit the RV, PePe ran directly over to a neighbor’s home who only had the screen securing the front door. A very large dog just inside the screen door was waiting for PePe and a huge bark echoed throughout the neighborhood…I spanked PePe and escorted him and the others to their rightful place in Rodica’s backyard. A young couple is supposed to arrive at the house today “after church” to take custody of Finn…we will see. For now, Sylvia and I are drinking our coffee and catching-up on social media…Rodica is sleeping but Finn continues to bark at people and noises around the perimeter of the home…Rodica’s home is next to a busy parkway and traffic is beginning to flow this early Sunday morning.

I am ashamed to say that I won’t be attending a Church this morning, no excuses. I may take Duke and Finn for a jog before the temp’s rise to levels that make running unlikely.

This afternoon, family drove to Scottsdale, AZ and enjoyed the upper-scale stores and restaurants in this beautiful area. Sylvia and I enjoyed a delicious hamburger at the “Shake-Shack”…the children played in the water park as mist emitters cooled the crowds of people. We returned home at approximately 8PM and in an hour or two, I’ll probably retire to the RV for the night. BTW: Finn was adopted today by a very sweet couple with their daughter. May Finn and this family enjoy many years of happiness together.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-scottsdale-1.jpg
Scottsdale, AZ
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-scottsdale-2.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-scottsdale-4.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-scottsdale-6.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-scottsdale-5.jpg

May 31, 20201 (Monday – Memorial Day) (Peoria, AZ)

I woke up around 6AM and texted my beautiful wife to open the side door to Rodica’s home. I escorted the fur-babies into the backyard, Layla would NOT follow me to the gate so she had to be carried…Layla preferred the RV. Anyway, the dogs have been watered, the poop cleaned, coffee made and another beautiful morning in Arizona. Cornel slept on Rodica’s couch last night and we had a good conversation this morning about eschatology, medications he is presently taking subsequent to his surgery. Hopefully, breakfast will be forthcoming. Also, this morning I received a text from the lady who adopted Finn stating that she had completed her first run with Finn on a leash…he looked happy.

We accompanied Rodica and Cornell to “Sam’s” today and assisted Rodica in purchasing a laptop computer. Mom purchased some clothing for our RV adventure and food/coffee to help-out Rodica who has been providing for us over the previous week. Later, Rodica drove us to Danny and Lavi’s home to celebrate the Memorial Day Holiday…incredible food – mici, chicken, fajitas, beans/rice, pound cake, brewed coffee. A beautiful family. Goodnight.

June 1, 2021 (Monday) (Peoria, AZ)

Well, a change…I actually slept in a house on a concrete foundation last night as opposed to tires. Rodica made it clear that since Finn had been re-homed and the barking was reduced significantly, I should sleep in the bed with my wife; actually, that sounded wonderful; so then, I did…a quiet night with my bride…yes! Today, Syliva and I got up around 6:30AM, I prepared coffee for us while Rodica remains fast asleep. I hear the traffic outside on the busy roadway adjacent to the kitchen window, it’s the beginning of a new work week for many subsequent to a long holiday weekend; as for me, I’ll do my best at bumming around on the computer and maybe go for a jog after coffee and servicing my fur-babies. Sylvia and I are interested in possibly using our RV as an advertising vessel…a “wrap” application that allows a business to advertise their product. Just a thought. Sylvia told me last night that she plans to contact a couple of local businesses in Arizona that do the wrapping on motor vehicles to see if they’re aware of any business, corporation, seeking such advertisement.

Unfortunately, the “wrap” companies Mom called today advised that RV advertisement was a thing of the past; so then, no advertisements for us. The day was beautiful at Rodica’s…I turned-in early at about 9:30PM, Mom joined me later.

June 2, 2021 (Wednesday) (Peoria to Kingman, AZ)

Sylvia and got up this morning around 6:45AM. I prepared coffee while Sylvia began preparing for the road…we’re leaving this morning subsequent to having a wonderful week at Rodica’s home. It’s not good to impose upon family members for too long as even the Scriptures warn against this. I love Rodica and her family…I felt at home and loved and cared for; actually, Sylvia and I had to slow them down as they were insistent on taking us to tour popular spots in Arizona even after having toured Prescott and Scottsdale…this family eats together, travels together, whenever possible. 

Subsequent to preparing the RV for departure and policing after the dogs, breakfast and coffee…we headed out toward Kingman, AZ on Grand to Hwy 60 to 93 to I-40. Arizona’s Hwy 93 is a rather mountainous route and worked the RV pretty hard. There are some beautiful mountains and valleys along the route to I-40. We arrived in Kingman around 1:30PM; I was surprised at the size of the municipality and the amount of traffic. WE found a Golden Corral in Kingman and subsequent to letting the dogs out to pee, I turned on the generator/cabin air conditioner and Sylvia and I took time to eat a good meal consisting of fried fish, beans, vegetables, mac and cheese. 

As we left the restaurant and turned west on I-40, I spotted another sign pointing to Route 66…we opted to take it and I’m VERY glad we did. Route 66 (Oatman Hwy) is probably the prettiest scenery I’ve seen since leaving Arkansas. Incredible views of mountains and valleys and washes and a twisty-tight road…the wild donkey’s in the area hung around the roadway, probably to get fed and get fed they did by MaMa Sylvia. Approximately 30-miles east of the Nevada/California State Line, we pulled off the road into a gravel area offering a beautiful view of the mountains and valley below…this is where we will boon-dock tonight; hopefully, without interruptions; unfortunately, it’s approximately 104-105-degrees right now, the dogs are suffering but I positioned the RV for shade from the setting-Sun…hopefully this desert cools somewhat in the late evening. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-105-degrees-in-arizona.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-donkey.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-donkey-2.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-donkey-3.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-oatman-info-sign.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-terrain-near-oatman.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-terrain-near-oatman-1.jpg

FB Video: Mohave Valley west of Oatman, Boon-docking site for the night, https://www.facebook.com/sholtsclaw1/videos/10223966984869747

June 3, 2021 (Thursday) Mohave Valley (Oatman, Arizona)

Sylvia is simply NOT a rough-it-out boon-docking lady…she enjoys her air that is conditioned to 65 – 70 degrees; so then, I activated the generator and air conditioner for the first-half of the night. At 0-dark-thirty I got up and turned off the generator and opened the bed and table top windows…the mild night wind blew through the cabin with ease, the desert was very quiet and sleep continued until about 5:30AM…Mom and I got up, the Sun attempting to climb above the mountains in the East…Mom allowed the dogs to go pee and I prepared coffee. I put the chairs out for morning coffee while the dogs lounged around on and off the blanket spread out on the desert floor. Mom filmed a brief video for WhatsAP and subsequent to a walk with the dogs, we prepared the RV for the road.

Proceeding west on Route 66, we entered the small town of Topoc near the Colorado River. The desert area on Route 66 between Oatman and Topoc is an off-road paradise for four-wheelers, motorcycles, trials-bikes. This area is simply beautiful and almost completely unoccupied, at least it was during our boon-docking experience. Charles, you and Luke would love riding four-wheelers/dirt bikes here; Rebekah, bird-watching…animal viewing is par-excellence.

I was fully expecting to see an “Entering Nevada” sign at the Colorado River but instead I passed a “California” State-line sign…I immediately pulled over into a parking lot adjacent to I-40 to take a look at the map and get oriented. I noticed that I would have to proceed on I-40 to Needles, CA and access Hwy 95 North to Las Vegas to enter Nevada. In Needles, we pulled into the commercial vehicle parking lot adjacent to a Roadway and Quality Inn along with a McDonald’s; Mom entered McDonald’s and purchased us a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage and potato’s…and of course, a large coffee. I turned-on the generator and air conditioner as the desert heat was rising and Mom was not happy with the cabin temperature. Mom is currently letting the dogs pee and we will be on our way to Nevada shortly. Governor Gavin New-scum’s gas is $4.99 in California at Needles…I still have over 300-miles of fuel remaining according to the vehicle’s computer…we will continue well into Nevada and hope the fuel prices lower significantly.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-welcome-to-california.jpg

The drive NB on Hwy 95 was enjoyable, especially as we exited California and entered Nevada; the roadway smoothed-out significantly, the desert terrain began to change as did the mountain ranges. The area felt more desolate, the mountains in the distance were almost barren, but beautiful. About an hour before entering the Las Vegas area on 95, we observed an incredibly large solar panel farm on the west side of the Highway. This solar farm, called the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, stretched for miles and miles with high-tension/high-voltage wires leading north and south. Apparently, our government is serious about “green” energy, see: https://www.fastcompany.com/3057288/this-huge-new-solar-farm-near-las-vegas-provides-power-even-at-night

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-hwy-95-calif-to-nevada-toward-vegas.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-solar-farm.jpg
Solar

We entered Las Vegas around noon and operating the RV through that traffic reminded me of my days on I-10 in Houston. Though the computer showed another couple-of-hundred-miles on the fuel range, I asked Sylvia to check fuel prices at Sam’s Club seeing that fuel was running in the mid-three-dollar range at the local gas stations. Sure enough, Sam’s was advertising gas for $2.98…not good but better than the average around town so we headed to the nearest Sam’s…but…having negotiated a lot of traffic, as I approached the fueling area I was trapped by a semi-truck that had backed-up into the Sam’s tire installation area and was off-loading tires. Traffic began to back up behind me but there was simply no room between the truck-tractor and the curb to pass and to make matters worse, this particular Sam’s was almost as high on their fuel as the gas stations I had passed in number; so then, I exited the RV and asked how much longer the truck would be blocking the driveway…I was told by an employee, “A long time.” I advised him that I needed someone to stop the traffic behind me and allow me to back-up and exit the area, he cooperated.

Sylvia then located another Sam’s that was, in fact, selling fuel for $2.98 so we headed there…subsequent to fighting more traffic, when we arrived at this Sam’s, the fueling area was WAY across a busy parking lot…we endured…we navigated…we arrived to fine lines of vehicles waiting for fuel. I opted to get into the line with all of the auto’s….and we waited and we waited; finally, working the RV up to the pumps, I opted to use Mom’s Sam’s card and our credit card since the debit tends to cut me off at a certain point before the RV is filled. I was able to put $100.00 worth of fuel into the tank when the card cut me off. Then, exiting the fueling station, the exit to the right was blocked by construction which required that I turn left…there was insufficient room to turn the RV to the left without at least a two-point maneuver. As I entered the turn and maximized my radius, I backed slightly and was ready to proceed forward when an idiot squeezed in to my left and passed me…had I accelerated, there would have possibly been problems. Anyway, we fueled and opted to enter Sam’s to check on their phones and investigate some options relevant to a “hot spot” application with sufficient gigs for our purposes while boon-docking.

Mom was sure that there was a Verizon rep in Sam’s; unfortunately, AT&T had replaced Verizon and we received the hard-sale from the female representative that assured us she could provide the best deal. Mom was not convinced; therefore, we proceeded to Walmart which was positioned next-door to the Sam’s. There was only ONE phone representative in the Walmart; therefore, we waited and we waited and we waited and we waited until finally she offered to multi-task us into the line. We explained our problems with Verizon and our desire for a phone-plan that included sufficient gigs to make a “hot spot” viable. We talked, she talked, we talked, she talked…then we opted to go with AT&T and a new phone for me. Unlimited text, data, 60-gigs of hot spot. The Walmart rep initiated a financial contract with AT&T and had me type-in my social security number while the computer masked the actual numbers. After some 20-30-minutes, AT&T said the social security provided belonged to a dead person and from that point forward, AT&T would not talk to me; AT&T via Walmart, did not check to confirm the social number entered was correct. This process at Walmart probably took 1.5-2.0-hours in with no success…I became politely irritated….Mom became angry…the dog’s were locked in the RV in the parking lot of Sam’s, generator and cabin air conditioner running burning expensive petrol; the temperatures in Las Vegas ranged from 102 to 115 degrees; so then, hungry…no afternoon coffee…we angrily exited the Walmart and drove to the nearest AT&T store; it was my intent to correct the error relevant to my SS-number. Upon arrival, we met with a female sales representative that was relatively new at the job but we conjured up patience as this rep had direct access with AT&T Corporate as opposed to the impotent Walmart rep who was 3rd-party at best.

We spent approximately 1.5-hours in AT&T. First of all, AT&T would not accept my paper temporary license from Texas; so then, I had to return to the RV and locate my Passport. Once the correct name and social security were submitted to AT&T Corporate, all was approved and we opted to go with the “elite” (I think) plan which provides unlimited text/talk/data and 30-gigs of hot spot per phone. With my military discount, we will pay around $113.00 dollars-a-month after the first-month’s rip-off for activation fees, unwanted insurance and other such nonsense. Being cheap, I opted to keep my old phone as my mobile WiFi hot spot and Sylvia also kept her phone.

Having spent most of the afternoon chasing after a new phone service provider and hot spot options, Mom wanted to drive down the Vegas Strip so we followed the GPS to Harrah’s Casino…fighting traffic…we worked our way through the narrow streets, the crowds, the noise, the heat, and opted to head toward Reno on Hwy 95. Working our way out of Las Vegas, finding Hwy 95 toward Reno, we drove for hours and there were very few options for services, parking, boon-docking. Interesting though, Area 51 was strung along the eastern side of “Alien Highway” (Hwy 95); I was pleased that Mom finally had the opportunity to experience this controversial area as Roswell, NM had been a disappointment; finally, we entered into a small municipality called “Indian Springs.” The Town was most consumed by an “Air Force Base” that was highly secured at which time I noticed that a drone was being tested for departure and approach while military helicopters operated dangerously close to the approach end of the runway. I believe the name of the AFB was “Creech”…the spelling requires verification.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-las-vegas-strip.jpg

Sylvia opted to shop at a Dollar Store in Indian Springs and purchased some milk and tuna, bread, to get-us-by while boon-docking. An employee in the Dollar Store advised Sylvia that a Kip’s Big Boy Restaurant was next door inside the casino…we headed over and entered but discovered the Restaurant had closed at 7PM…it was now about 8PM…MOM WAS UPSET. I almost opted to stay the night in Indian Springs but decided to continue north on Hwy 95…and…there was NOTHING and nowhere acceptable to park for boon-docking on the highway…it was getting dark, I was tired from a lack of sleep the previous night…we drove and drove and drove in the darkness. A semi-truck and trailer attempted to pass us on the Highway but could not pass me in sufficient time as another vehicle approached from the north…I observed the truck’s rear tandem lock up, smoke from the tires…the driver was able to pull right before a head-on collision in the middle of nowhere. This is the second instance of a near head-on collision, the other one took place in Arizona where the idiot pushed cars to the shoulder as he passed. I don’t like most people…this is my weakness!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-kips-big-boy.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-bombs.jpg

Not wanting to drive much more for the evening, we took the exit to an area called “Mercury” and the street sign had attached in large lettering the notation “NO SERVICES.” I was NOT concerned about “services”…I simply wanted some rest…we took the exit and found ourselves almost entering a “restricted area”….the warning looked ominous and not wanting to mess with Area 51 and military police, we immediately made a three-point turn around and headed north on Hwy 95. Finally, in the dark, we opted to pull into a short gravel driveway with a gated fence and some sort of faded notice…who cared at that point (?)…I needed to rest. We serviced the dogs and Mom made us some tuna sandwiches, chips and I drank a mix (juice and water). Subsequent to brushing our teeth, we headed to bed, generator on-air on…we pursued much needed rest.

June 4, 2021 (Friday) (Hwy 90 N of Las Vegas)

I woke-up at zero-dark-thirty and turned-off the generator; by that time, the OAT had moderated somewhat and the morning’s rest was pleasant. We got up somewhere around 6AM, watered and serviced the dogs in the sandy soil outside. I checked the oil-level on the generator, started the generator and prepared coffee while mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of quesadillas, egg/cheese.

We closed up camp and after a check of the RV, we headed north on Hwy 95 and believe it or not, approximately one-mile north was a nice little town (no name) with an RV Park, ample parking for boon-docking, a brothel for “resting.” Mom and I entered into the Alien Store and Mom purchased some memorabilia. I had an interesting discussion with a couple of seasoned motorcyclist’s from Boston who where in the midst of an 8000-mile journey riding Honda ST-1300’s. One of the motorcyclist’s said he found his 1300 in a crate for 9k as the motorcycles were allotted to be police bikes but they were never purchased; therefore, they sat in crates for years…he purchased two.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-area-51-alien-center.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-brothel.jpg

Finally, Mom and I opted to head north on 95 and drove through the municipality of Beatty (nice but expensive property), Scotty’s Junction (not much there), Goldfield, and presently we’re in Tonopah. We stopped in Tonopah because a casino there had a Kip’s Big Boy statue out front and Mom was wanting an ice cream shake; unfortunately, there was no Kip’s Big Boy…just a casino restaurant and bar…so we returned to the RV, I prepared coffee, typed the day’s narrative into WordPress while mom searched for property in the area along Hwy 95.

In Tonopah, Sylvia and I opted to try some Mexican food at El Marques. The food was pretty good; I ate cheese enchiladas and Syliva ate some chicken enchiladas, both with rice and beans…plenty of thick chips and hot sauce. Unfortunately, I had to pay $3.79 for fuel…thank you Joe Biden, you stinking communist environmental puppet…at a Valero station near the restaurant, I put $60.00 cash in fuel to get us on down the road. Fuel prices are beginning to concern me. 

We proceeded northwest on Hwy 95, the roadway was incredibly WINDY in the desert…it was a challenge maintaining control of the RV…I was a little concerned. Rain threatened in a few areas but the cross winds and dust storms were my primary concern traversing the Monte Cristo Mountain Range. Well before dark, we approached the town of Hawthorne which is home to the Hawthorne Army Depot…a HUGE ammo dump facility stretching for MILES…bunkers galore. Passing through Hawthorne, we approached Walker Lake and found the area to be beautiful, quaint, as it is nestled in a mountain range, sheer jagged cliffs protecting a beautiful blue-water lake. 

Driving around the Walker Lake area to investigate the possibility of boon-docking there, we located a construction area that is being developed for real estate, individual lots available near the lake. I was apprehensive to park there and boon-dock not knowing what security existed and whether or not an RV would be allowed in the development. Moving north through the area on Hwy 95, we located a park where some RV’s were positioned facing the lake…searching the area and talking with an RV owner there, we discovered the park was free and welcomed RV’s…so we took advantage of the opportunity and backed into a gravel parking area for the night. Sylvia walked the dogs to the lake and allowed them play for a while…I met her there…we returned to the RV at dusk and fed, watered, the fur-babies, lawn chairs put outside and a beautiful sunset viewed. The overnight hours were comfortable though initially HOT in the RV; we elected to not run the generator but opened the windows and went to bed; overnight, the temps dropped significantly and the cool breeze blowing inland from the lake was VERY comfortable. 

June 5, 2021 (Saturday) (Walker Lake, Nevada)

We woke up around 5:30AM…sunrise was fast approaching, the dogs were up and wanting to pee…so then, a new day…coffee…a wonderful conversation with Charlie in Scotland…some computer time…the awning is now extended…Mom is feeding the fur-babies outside…our neighbor is driving around slowly in their Razor and I understand the beech will host a large school graduation party today…should be interesting. If all goes well, we will remain here for the weekend. I had to place Mom’s phone on the roof of the RV in order to attain a hot-spot connection…I’m afraid the phone is probably just about out of juice…I’ll end this for now. 

This morning, subsequent to coffee and Mom’s shower, we opted to go and investigate the property for sale adjacent to the location of our RV…no response from the the real estate agent. We then walked with Duke to the only “store” in the vicinity of Walker Lake; I sat outside with Duke while Mom went inside to purchase some groceries. I listened-in on a conversation between some folks (man and wife) from California and locals from Nevada …they are angry about Biden; the Keystone Pipe Line and Warren Buffet; gas prices; communists in our schools; the deception of our children in socialism…on and on…I just smiled in agreement. Mom exited the store stating they had no groceries of any use to us so we returned to the RV, Mom prepared some hot-dogs with chili and we ate till bloated.

I had originally positioned the RV backed-in on a gravel parking site and attempted to level the RV using leveling blocks…but…this morning I turned the RV around and used the blocks on the rear-wheels…we’re now about level…much better.

Mom is currently under the awning watching for critters and people…the dog’s followed me into the RV…they left the outside to come back inside while I type this narrative. The temperature is rising, the dogs are panting, we’re getting low on water, Mom is now reaching for a tub of ice cream. BTW, besides the chipmunks and lizards running around, about an hour ago, we saw a long, 4-to-5 foot snake, tan in color, slither across the sand near the awning…he paid us no attention though he had my full attention; fortunately, the dogs did not see him. Anyway, signal/hot spot/Internet connection is sporadic here…I’ll see if I can update now…multiple fails this morning.

It’s almost 5PM on the beach of Walker Lake; Sylvia, Duke, PePe and I just returned from a swim in the cool-salt water. Both Duke and PePe are quite the swimmers. I had to be concerned about a sunburn seeing that skin-cancer is an ever present danger for me…but what the heck, I sprayed before we left but the swim and trip home may have left me a little “red.”

I’ve not bathed for four-days so the water felt especially good, even if salty…subsequent to our swim and walk on the rocky beach, we returned to the RV and I actually took a very quick show and shave to wash-off what the salt water had failed to remove…how nice it is to be “clean.” Sylvia said we’re down to three-forth’s on our fresh water storage…that’s OK for now. So the dogs are passed-out, Mom’s downloading some photo’s to her computer; I almost forgot to mention that we actually had the mountain goats walk by our RV earlier today, en mass…they are BIG goats…kind of reminded of Arkansas’ deer population…there were babies in the group…Mom was thrilled. Presently, we’re sitting around in the air conditioning on our computers…I’m also staring out the window at that beautiful lake…nice.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-big-goat.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-goats-at-walker-lake.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-walker-lake-pe-pe.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-walker-lake-me-and-pepe-and-duke-in-water.jpg

June 6, 2021 (Sunday) (Walker Lake, NV)

We woke up this morning around 6AM…the dogs were ready to go outside as the Nevada Sun was up and shining through the open windows of the RV. We initiated our sleep last night with the generator on-air on as the Nevada heat defied the cool breeze blowing west from Walker Lake; in fact, some of the wind currents were incredibly STRONG and blew chairs over, trash across the ground, at alarming speed. Sylvia gave-up on the evening outing and entered the RV in fear of the high winds, I soon followed and readied for bed.

This morning, I prepared coffee for Mom and myself…I then went for a jog with PePe and Duke…a nice run uphill to the main road then along the water frontage/beach. When I returned, Mom and I opted to hike up the hillside lining Hwy 95; we entered a cave that is neatly positioned in the mountain that lines the roadway to the west. The mountain goats were atop the mountains and ready to descend for food and water. Returning to the RV and the barking dogs anticipating our return, I opted to do some theology defense on FB and update our diary…the weather here is beautiful.

We’re running low on water, propane, creamers, wipes, food and so on. Mom was obviously getting hungry without a good breakfast so we opted to secure the dogs in the RV…except Duke…and walk toward a “store” positioned on Hwy 95 near the entrance to Walker Lake Park. With Duke on a leash, we initially surveyed the vacant lots, some of the property prepared for RV’s with hook-ups; immediately south of the Park…we observed a lady working in her garage in one of the few homes in the area and we approached her to inquire about the property and life, in general, at Walker Lake. She was probably in her 70’s and very fit, proper, educated, polite, conservative, kind…she and her husband have lived in this present location for some 31-years…she said she loves it, the winters are fairly mild, they’re currently experiencing a drought…so the lake water level is low…groceries can be purchased in Hawthorne…their governor is a loser and wants to close private area clinics…medical is available in Hawthorne but there are no physicians there, just PA’s…who are good and will refer you to a specialist if they’re unable to diagnose and treat a specific medical condition…medicare/medicaid is accepted. Sylvia provided the lady with our phone number and the lady said she would contact us if any information concerning the properties was forthcoming.

Subsequent to our conversation with the area homeowner, we walked up the hill to the restaurant/partial convenience store where Mom ordered a hamburger and fries, I ate a chicken sandwich, both were very good and filling. Duke laid at my feet while we ate. We then walked back to the RV and spent the afternoon relaxing, typing, walking the dogs, chasing the shade around the RV…the group of party-goers who had flocked to the beech area Saturday were leaving the Park and by Sunday afternoon, we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Night time rolled around accompanied by a very beautiful Sun setting over the mountain range immediately to our northwest…Mom prepared us some chicken salad…delicious, with crackers…we ate and serviced the dogs again…relaxed outside until Mom was ready to enter the RV for the night. The wind here, especially in the evenings, is terrible…the gusts are almost hurricane strength…one gust right at dusk was so strong that Mom yelled from the bathroom in fear…the RV felt as if it would overturn…then, the winds dissipated…Mom fell asleep and I accompanied her…the temperatures lowered from 95 degrees to the 50’s-lower 60’s overnight…very comfortable, windows open…a good nights rest.

June 7, 2021 (Monday) (Walker Lake Park)

We woke up around 5:50AM, Mom immediately began feeding and watering the dogs outside the RV…I got up to assist her and prepare coffee. Though we’re running low on supplies, I would like to eke-out another day here at Walker Lake…we have the entire Park to ourselves…the weather is beautiful…but Mom seems to want to move-on down the road…she has walked to shoreline to take some photo’s…it’s currently 7:01AM…we will see how the day goes…

Well, Sylvia felt it necessary to move-on down the road as opposed to garnering some supplies and remaining at Walker Lake until Friday. I’m angry about the decision as I understand the necessity of sitting in one place for a week or two when conditions are acceptable; Walker Lake is a virtual paradise and we’re alone here for the most part…the wise move would be to head back to Hawthorne, refuel, purchase necessities, return to Walker Lake’s various camping facilities and park by the Lake for a week…relax…allow the dogs to get out of the RV…chill…but my Wife has not internalized the concept of living in a RV full time…we simply cannot stay on the road and make this work…fuel, maintenance, safety on the road…pushing the limits…this is NOT financially wise for the long haul. Yes, Sylvia wants to view some properties; personally, I’m not concerned, the properties will be there or they’ll be gone…I don’t care. Mom is having some difficulties “doing nothing”…she’s not wired that way. I hope this inability to relax does not ruin our RV Adventure; as for me, I could sit outside the RV on the shores of Walker Lake for another month…drink coffee…blog…defend the Gospel on FB…jog…walk with the dogs…relax…that is how RV-life is meant to be…not on the road continually, IMHO.

Currently, we’ve entered into a small municipality, possibly “Yerington,” NV and Mom has entered a Raley’s Grocery to purchase needed supplies. The lowest gas price in the area is $3.30 to $3.39…we’ll try to locate that fueling station once we leave the grocery store…maybe McDonald’s en route to the station would be nice…I see a McDonald’s down the street. For now, me and the fur-babies are sitting in the RV waiting on Mom…my frustration over leaving Walker Lake will surely subside…more later if my Lord wills….

6-7-2021 (Tuesday) (Humboldt Toyabe National Forest – Northern Nevada/Hwy 95)

I don’t have any cell service in this massive National Park – incredibly beautiful rolling hills adjacent to Hwy 95, a small gate leading into a vast wilderness that gives-way to a beautiful mountain canyon dirt road in the Santa Rosa Mountain Range…a mountain range that stretches N-S on the east side of Hwy 95 in Nevada as one approaches the State-line of Oregon. 

I will end the 7th day of June (Monday) in this segment as I’m unable to access the Internet/Wordpress that houses our RV Diary. Yesterday, having regrettably left Walker Lake, we proceed NB on Hwy 95 to Schurz and we were halted by road construction on Hwy 95 proper; therefore, we opted to take Hwy 95 ALT toward Yerington…a nice/quaint town where we located a Riley’s Grocery. Mom entered the store and purchased much needed supplies for the road; we then drove across the parking lot to McDonald’s and Mom purchased me a “double Quarter Pounder w/cheese” and a Big Mac – fries for herself. I drank a large McDonald’s coffee with my meal while Mom opted for a Coke-Icee. I took the puppies out to pee and we then proceeded to a Dollar Store adjacent to the Riley’s Grocery where Mom found wipes and a few other things for the road. 

Needing fuel, Mom searched the fuel app for the lowest prices in the area…fuel has become a major expense due to the communist in the Oval Office and his idiotic policy of ending the Key Stone and selling his perverted soul to Warren Buffet. Mom located a filling-station/store in the country side north of Yerington on Hwy 95. At $3:39 for fuel, I used the Mastercard to purchase $100.00 worth (max allowed by MC) then the debit card to purchase an additional $29.95 which filled the tank…OUCH!!! We then proceeded NB on Hwy 95 toward Fenley/I-80…the winds increased once again and driving was hazardous in the flat-sided RV…the sides of the RV resemble an airfoil that interacts with wind in a precarious manner as they slide perpendicular across the airflow…driving the RV in these incredible cross-winds is a challenge.

Eastbound on I-80 (actually NE bound) toward Winnemucca, Nevada, the Interstate was pleasantly smooth, well maintained, 80MPH speed limit…I generally drive between 55-63-MPH…old and slow and careful for the old man…we’re in no hurry. The scenery on I-80, beautiful views of a white sandy desert floor with interspersed greenery growing on the huge mountains…this made for a very pleasant drive. We stopped in Lovelock to view some property; Mom discussed the particulars with the owner on the phone; unfortunately, once again, the property could only be accessed by a four-wheel drive vehicle…so once again, property viewing was a no-go. 

Arriving in Winnemucca, we found the Municipality to be beautiful, clean…Mom called a real estate agent concerning a number of properties in the area surrounded by BLM land. Once again, the land was relatively cheap because there was no easy access, BLM authorization was required, four-wheel vehicle was mandated…so another no-go for us and the RV. While in Winnemucca, Mom located a dump-site for our gray/black water at a local “Maverick” convenience store/filling station but their potable water was declared “unsafe”…we dumped but no water for our fresh tank. I topped-off the fuel at Maverick, $56.00 till full. Our fresh water tank was in need…so Mom found a Pilot Truck Stop nearby on I-80; we proceeded there and met with a manager who was extremely helpful and informative. Pilot offered fuel, potable water, a dump station, propane. Our propane on-board was low so we filled-up the tank and filled the fresh water tank with potable water sufficiently safe-clean for rinsing, washing. 

With no properities to view, we opted to proceed NB on Hwy 95 from I-80 through “The Dunes”…a large area inundated with mountains that looked as if they were made of pure beach sand…the wind was really blowing strong, crosswind gusts from west to east/variable…the RV was being pushed around like a toy…two-handed steering for sure…the steering wheel was canted so far left in order to maintain lane orientation that it looked like I should be negotiating a shallow left turn.

As we proceeded NB on Hwy 95, we entered the Santa Rosa Mountain Range…INCREDIBLY beautiful mountains, especially on the east side of Hwy 95.  We were in need of a boon-docking location; preferably, one that could be enjoyed for an extended period of time…transportation costs mandated us sitting when possible. Mom located the Humboldt Toyabe National Forest on her phone…somewhere near the small town of Orovada, NV.

The Sun was giving-way to the mountains and darkness was creeping upon us…we drove and drove and drove…I was intently looking for a place to pull-over for the night…yet we continue to drive in the desolate mountain terrain in hopes of locating the entrance to the National Park. Mom said that we should look for a road labeled either Canyon or Buckskin…I thought surely we would see a National Forest sign on the Highway…finally, a sign noting “Wildlife Viewing Area”…National Forest appeared near a small gate allowing access to untold thousands of acres of rolling hills, mountains, inundated with sage brush…the road was LONG, gravel, well-maintained…desolate…we were completely alone and cell-service finally disappeared in the encroaching darkness…we crossed a small stream and finally entered the canyon area subsequent to maybe 45-minutes of navigating the gravel one-lane road through cattle herds and fencing. 

Cautiously, I entered the canyon, mountains surrounding us…we drove down, we drove up…the road was often times precariously bordered by steep sides that if we had missed the line of tire trails ahead…we would be in serious trouble. We drove approximately two-to-three miles into the canyon that continued to who knows where…there were some huge cricket type creatures slithering across the canyon road en mass…I later learned from a local that these are called “Mormon Crickets” but they look like a hybrid between a Texas cockroach and a cricket…Mom freaked-out…coupled with the intermittent steep drop-off on her side and the creepy crawling creatures inundating the roadway…she was hilariously frantic.

Concerned about the RV, the narrow canyon road…minimal places to turn around…the skies looking like a chance of rain…I opted to maneuver the RV back and forth to turn around and head back to the canyon entrance, at least for the night…when I exited the canyon, we noticed a gravel pad that apparently had been used by miners in the distant past as their rusted mining equipment lay in the area. I parked on the pad…the on-board levels showed we were acceptably level…so we parked and prepared for a nights rest…the temperatures were cool in the dark desert and ultimately, this morning, the OAT was 51-degrees…a welcome break from the 95-115-degrees behind us in Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Mom and I woke-up around 5:30AM this morning; actually, the dogs licking…shaking…scratching…woke us up…we tried to sleep but no luck…we got up, Mom serviced the dogs, I prepared coffee…presently, Mom has just prepared a breakfast of tortillas, eggs, ham…looks good…let’s eat. It is a beautiful day, clear skies, cattle have come to check us out…cute…my God is good. 

After breakfast, a truck and animal trailer parked near our RV…Mom went out to meet with the “Cowboy” who was off-loading a beautiful horse accompanied by a Blue-Healer working dog. I went out and joined-in on the conversation as the Cowboy saddled his horse and headed-off to join his family who were also pushing cattle into the canyon area. Later, these Cowboys arrived at the horse trailer and Mom and I spoke with them for approximately 30-minutes. The Dad, 59 YOA, looked like he was 35…the Dad was 6’3 tall, the son was 6’7, the daughter 6’3, the son-in-law was around 6’5..I asked if there was something in Nevada’s water causing their height…these Cowboy’s and Cowgirl…they were some tall and big people…I could envision them back in the day riding into town with respect…

The Cowgirl spoke at length with Mom and told her that the Canyon road was acceptable for RV’s; so then, when the Cowboys and Cowgirl left to continue their daily chores, Mom and I opted to drive the mountain Canyon to the summit and then locate the camping area positioned about 30-miles away in back-country…THIS was a HUGE MISTAKE. Though the first half of the trip up the mountain was pleasant and very scenic…the last 30-miles were torture on the RV and myself…I hated the stress the gravel road put on the RV that was loaded with water, fuel…but…we survived as did the RV and presently we’re back where we started on BLM Land east of Hwy 95 (the campgrounds were not to our liking – over-grown-not maintained…this time we monitored our distance into the Government Land to make sure we had a phone signal for our computers and the ability to talk with family; unfortunately, that signal comes with the cost of a faint noise from HWY 95 about .5-miles away…Elevation at Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest was between 5000 ft to 9700 ft, beautiful. If I get my way, we will probably stay in this HUGE field bordered by beautiful mountains until Friday or Saturday; then, we will probably head into Oregon to visit with family.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-boondocking-senic-sunset.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-boondocking-senic-2.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-canyon-boondocking-hwy-95-me-and-rv.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-canyon-boondocking-95-mom-and-mountains.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-canyon-boondocking-me-and-mom-selfee.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-canyon-boondocking-senic-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-humbolt-natl-park-flowers.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-humboldt-snow-cap-mtns.jpg

This evening, Mom and I ate some chicken strips she purchased at a Sinclair Fuel Station I stopped at subsequent to exiting the National Forest. I opted to top-off the fuel and we purchased a case of water for boon-docking the remainder of this week unless plans change. Subsequent to chicken strips and a tossed salad and of course, evening coffee, we took the dogs for a long walk down the gravel road leading into the canyon. The Sun was chasing the mountain tops in the west and temperatures were dropping steadily. We’re now back at the RV, typing on our computers, the dogs are passed-out around us, it’s 9:17PM and I’m comfortably tired…hope to be headed to bed around 10PM…a beautiful day with my beautiful Wife…for which I thank my Lord. Goodnight.



Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest)

The night air was very cool, sleep was good, we got up around 6:30AM, dressed…I took the dogs out to pee and was unaware of the sticker-burrs inundating the ground in this vast wilderness floor of sage and grass. MiMi seems to suffer the most…her paws are especially susceptible to the stickers…so we walked on the gravel road then returned to the RV where Mom was shaking the dust from blankets and making an effort to keep our home as clean as possible. I am concerned that repairs I have made recently to the mud-guards at the rear duly tires might be allowing dust to enter the cabin.

While in Arkansas, I repaired a loose mud-flap (Left side) that had rubbed against the tires and become compromised (the L-bracket corroded and broke)…it required fashioning a new bracket and repositioning same in the fender well…two-new holes in the metal fender that was suffering from what was possibly road-salt corrosion. While at Walker Lake, AZ…Sylvia noticed the right-side mud-guard was a little loose and pulling away from the attach point in the fender (no corrosion here). I made repairs to that area as well but both sides, the open holes, were never covered or filled. Is it possible that the small screw holes are compromising the integrity of the bulkhead and permitting dust to enter the cabin?

Yesterday’s “adventure,” consisting of 40-miles of gravel-dirt-DUST galore, left dust residue in the cabinet drawers under the cabin sink…I mean a lot of dust…this area is near the dully tires and fender…perhaps I’ll have to fill those screw holes with expanding foam or chalk…maybe a strong bonding tape…we will see if the holes are permitting the dust to enter or some other area is not fitting properly.

Anyway, Mom and I are charging our computers with the generator…I’m defending the Scriptures on Facebook…perhaps I’ll take the little ones for a walk and relax…I hope Mom can do the same as her nature is to be “productive.” We will see. It is a beautiful, clear, cool, morning…I am thankful!

The day progressed peacefully and I took the pup’s on several walks…run…walk (intervals) when we felt up to it. Rather ominous looking clouds moved in this afternoon and it looked like rain to our south…the forecast calls for steady rain over night into the morning hours tomorrow…Mom is concerned that we’ll become stuck in this wilderness plateau…I’m not concerned seeing that I hope to remain here until Friday or Saturday…even if the desert floor was to turn to muck…the forecast has fair weather for Thursday afternoon through most of the week, we’re good…things will drain and dry.

I spent hours today trying to convince FB that my account had not been compromised…I was locked-out of Facebook. They had an old Gmail account on file for me and I could not receive the text for my pass-code to verify my identity. I was finally successful in recovering my old account and there it was, FB’s code(s)…so I’m back on FB and hope all goes well. The winds are picking-up and the ominous looking storm clouds are draping down toward the mountains…Mom is worried/frightened. Forty-mile-an-hour winds are possible…Mom is afraid they will overturn the RV in this flat prairie absent trees or any wind block…I can’t fault her for being concerned. Anyway, we’ve eaten supper; we’ve done our walking; the dogs are getting comfortable for the evening…I’ve started the generator to charge our laptops, again…sleep may not be far away. Mom’s looking at homes for sale…it’s a rap for today. Goodnight…may my Lord keep us safe tonight should the sky become angry…the weather is concerning…

Thursday, June 10, 2021 (Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest)

RAIN-RAIN-RAIN-wind-wind-wind-snow on the mountain tops to our east …over night, but sleep was pretty good as temperatures dropped somewhere in the upper thirties here in the lower elevation – plateau. We were awakened by the dogs this morning…they needed to pee so Mom and I climbed out from beneath the covers, dressed, and began taking the fur-babies outside to the gravel road…the ground is soaked. Duke didn’t care, he just did his bathroom duty and trampled the RV with his dirty paws…Mom was not happy. Anyway, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my exceptionally BEAUTIFUL bride of 36-years…the one who makes me complete. God Bless my Wife!

I started the generator to prepare coffee this morning and Mom turned on the cabin heat to break the cold in our bones. Presently, we’re enjoying coffee at the table, Mom’s looking at homes on her computer, I’m defending the Gospel on Facebook and appreciating the beautiful view through the large side window. I miss you guys and I’m filled with pride and happiness every time I think of my children and my beautiful grandson…my beautiful daughter-in-law and handsome son-in-law…you guys are awesome! Love you all. Miss you more than you know.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-snow-on-mountains.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-mimi-on-cushions-looking-outside-rv.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-snow-with-rv.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-snow-and-road.jpg

The day passed too quickly. I took PePe and Duke for a run down the gravel road while Mom prepared breakfast…eggs on a hamburger bun…cheese, sauce…a yogurt…it was all delicious. After breakfast, we both played on the computers for hours; after lunch, we walked all of the fur-babies…I took four for a long walk, Mom stayed with MiMi in the vicinity of the RV while taking pictures of bird life in the area. Those ominous cloud finally passed to the northeast and gave-way to a beautiful-cool day. As I walked the dogs toward the snow-capped mountains, I had to thank my Lord for blessing me and my Wife with such beautiful scenery. I hope to remain on BLM property for another day or two before making our way to Portland, Oregon. I did not see one person on the property today…such solitude. Mom’s located some interesting properties in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington…I’m in no hurry to purchase as I’m concerned about homes being overpriced in this inflated seller’s market.

Currently, it’s 9:42PM here in Nevada, I’m just about ready for bed…the fur-babies are passed out…don’t think I’ll be far behind them. Mom looks fairly engrossed in her computer so I’ll leave her to that…I’m sleepy. Goodnight.

Friday, June 11, 2021 (Humboldt National Forest)

We woke-up at approximately 5:30AM to the sounds of dogs scratching, shaking, wanting to go pee…Mom was up first, I followed…carried MiMi to the road to avoid the grass-burrs. Entered the RV…prepared some coffee, charging the computers, defending the Gospel…Mom’s house hunting…it’s cool and partly cloudy outside; we’ve turned on the heater to break the cold in the cabin…my Lord is very good…may the day be used for His honor. I need a shower 🙂

The weather was beautiful during the day. I took the crew (minus MiMi and Mom) for a long walk toward the mountains and canyon…when I returned, Mom prepared us some tomato soup and tortillas…very good…I prepared us some coffee and we typed for a good part of the day. Mom’s still searching for properties, I’m defending the Gospel on FB…all is good.

Subsequent to supper (ramen noodles and crackers), we all went for a short walk down the road to let the fur-babies take care of their business before dark. Upon returning to the RV…the Sun setting behind the mountains, I opted to get into bed…we’re planning on leaving early in the morning and head north into Oregon toward Portland. Mom followed me to bed a little later.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 (Humboldt National Forest to Oregon)

We got up this morning at approximately 5:30AM to the sound of scratching and shaking dogs wanting to go pee; I took the dogs outside to the road while Mom prepared the cabin and stored trash for the road trip. We decided to skip breakfast and coffee and find some on the road…I did a careful walk-around the RV to check things out…checked the generator oil level…started the RV, moved off the leveling blocks under the L/front wheel, cleaned the windshield…we hit the road, exited the National Park/BLM onto Hwy 95N toward McDermitt, NV/OR.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-hwy-95-leaving-humboldt.jpg

The drive NB on Hwy 95 was beautiful this morning…as we entered Oregon, the roadway was not as well maintained but still nice. Passing some Antelope on the highway, Mom was in camera mode…pictures taken. We turned NW onto Hwy 78 in Burns Junction and I videoed the roadway in portions due to the beauty. I’ll have to download Movie-Maker or another program to edit and upload the videos to YouTube.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-leaving-nevada-on-95.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-welcome-to-oregon.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-hwy-78-in-oregon.jpg

We’re currently in the City of Burns, OR where Mom located a McDonald’s…we’re parked in the parking lot along with very brave seagulls flocking to the McDonald’s hoping to get treats from passerby’s. Mom entered the McDonald’s and purchased us the breakfast platter plus some blueberry muffins, large coffees. We just finished our breakfast so I thought I would take time to catch-up on this diary. Mom has located an RV-dump site in Hines (just down the road on Hwy 20)…we hope to dump our tanks, get rid of bags of trash from the days of boon-docking on BLM land. It’s a beautiful day…almost time to hit the road.

Fueling, dumping, potable water, all a success in Hines, OR at the Chevron station…Oregon; strangely enough, still mandates that a service attendant operate the fuel pump for you…the guy who waited on us was incredibly kind, happy, jolly…the dump station and potable water were free with a full-up…THANK YOU Chevron!!!

From Burns/Hines, NW on 20 to Bend, OR, the drive was absolutely beautiful, high desert to canyons, farms, mountain pines. We stopped in Bend…obviously a college town…young people…restaurants, coffee shops, quaint downtown settings, crowds…beautiful. We located a McDonald’s, a large coffee for me…an ice coffee/fries for Mom. We opted to take Hwy 20 out of Bend and what a great option it was…the drive to “Sisters, OR” was incredible…I videoed some of the trip, we took Hwy 22 off of 20 and drove next to a white water river that paralleled the 40mph parkway road…beautiful trees, campsites, National Forest.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-mountains-from-sisters.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-forest-from-sisters.jpg

Hwy 22 led us to Salem, OR and our first impression was the homeless tents, trash that lined the I-5 Interstate in the Capital City. Northbound on I-5 toward Portland rapidly became absent facilities, stores. Approximately 20-30-miles south of Portland, we located a Walmart…Mom entered and purchased some toys for the children in Portland then we proceeded across the street to Denny’s for a meal. After a dinner of 55+ (discount) chicken-fried steak, potatoes, veggies, Syliva and I opted to take a shower in the RV (Denny’s parking lot) before taking our stinky-self to Peter and Estera’s home in Portland. As we approached Portland, the rain began…we arrived at approximately 9:30PM…Estera prepared us a beautiful dinner of Salmon, vegetables…Estera is the only one who can make baked salmon that I actually enjoy.

Subsequent to great conversation, calming the dogs, Sylvia and I opted to sleep with the dogs in the RV…Estera and Peter prepared us a beautiful bedroom and bathroom but the dogs demanded we forego that luxury and make use of our new home…the RV. The sleep was wonderful.

Sunday, June 13, 2021 (Portland, Oregon)

Estera prepared an excellent breakfast of eggs, bacon…coffee with wonderful conversation. Later, Danny and Bianca, their children, Theo and Oliver visited…truly enjoyed their company; later, Danny drove Syliva and me into Downtown Portland and showed us the homeless, the BLM and LGBTQ movements in full-swing…Karl Marx and Lenin would be proud…it was difficult to find a pedestrian without a face diaper…the progressive communists have thoroughly captured Portland and its people…they exist in fear and submission to progressivism though these same people are personable, kind, polite…their heart is good, their understanding of the damage done via their corrupted ideology has not been internalized. Compassion and love void wisdom. This makes me sad…worried for my Nation’s future and the future of my beautiful Grandson.

Later in the day, Carmen, her husband, Jason, their children, Caden – Elijah – Marius – Tyler visited. Beautiful families…a great evening of conversation, fun and food…pizza…chicken…delicious. Later, midnight approached far too quickly and we all opted for bed.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-peter-and-grand-boys.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-grandboys.jpg

Monday, June 14, 2021 (Portland, OR)

I went to bed worrying about the discharging cabin batteries seeing that I had failed to hook the RV to electricity upon arrival; I woke-up at 5:30AM worrying about the cabin batteries, I laid awake worrying about the cabin batteries, fell asleep and we woke-up at 8:30AM, prepared the dogs to exit the RV. I started the generator and escorted the dogs to the backyard of Peter’s home…I asked Peter if it would be possible to hook-up the electrical to the outlet…Peter was wondering why I had not done so already….the batteries are charging…all is well. I’ll need to check the water level in the cabin batteries soon.

Ester prepared us a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, fruit, coffee…later, I went for a run with PePe and Duke…we ran through the neighborhood streets in a light rain…great run, very nice people on the roadway; subsequent to a good hot shower, we had a lunch of bean soup, fresh garden onions…more coffee…it’s good to be showered. After lunch, we visited Estera’s sister (across the street) where we were served some delicious meech (sp?), potato’s, cremish…excellent…with good conversation.

Later, Peter located his “buzz-box” welder, rods, helmet, gloves, and I made a valid attempt to weld (build up) the square iron section of the RV spare tire mount that fits too loosely within the receiving hitch. Currently, the mount/tire swing back-in-forth and sound terrible within the cabin when parked with a strong crosswind. I welded, and smoothed, welded and smoothed until the fitment was much better, approximately on-half the amount of “rocking” within the mount but I was unsuccessful in securing the mount void complete movement; perhaps this is the better scenario seeing that removing the mount won’t be as difficult in the event I need the spare tire and tools (access to the rear cargo door).

Estera prepared us some meat-balls, sauce, rice…for supper…delicious. Great conversation with Daniel and Bianca this evening as they visited to pick-up the boys. Mom and I talked with Estera and Peter into the night…we discussed wild pigs, memories of hunting in California (Peter and Cornel), our DNA, politics the truth about being old in today’s society…we solved most of the World’s problems last night. The rain has moved off and the night air was approaching “cold”…at least for an old Texas boy. Peter and I gathered-up the fur-babies and put them into the RV; Mom and I settled-in for a night’s rest…sleep was excellent in the coolness.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 (Portland, OR)

We woke-up this morning at 7:25AM…I took the fur-babies to the backward, donned a rubber glove and picked-up what dog-poop I could find in the yard before the boys began play-time. Estera prepared coffee, croissants filled with bacon, eggs (all lightly toasted)…incredible-loved it…it would be very easy to gain 10-pounds here in a week…I may go for another jog today; if for nothing else, the conscience. Presently, I’m sipping on a delicious cup of coffee, typing…I may go over and defend the Gospel for few minutes while Peter entertains the boys and the dogs; this, while Mom and Estera do the “girl talk” thing AKA gossip.

Later, Peter and I opted to work on the RV’s microwave compartment seeing that I’ve removed the microwave due to noise…a poor design by THOR in my IMHO. We fitted a 3/4″ piece of furniture grade plywood into the open chasm and Peter cut, fitted, two sides to the plywood to protect the exposed circuit board and wiring. Until such time Sylvia decides on a new microwave where I can fit a thick piece of rubber matting to dampen the noise…we will use the current format to store our cereals, coffee machine and “miscellaneous.” Peter’s help, time and expertise is MUCH appreciated.

The day progressed beautifully; intermittent rain in the afternoon but clearing with a cool, comfortable, breeze. Daniel and Bianca came by to pick-up the boys and their visit was nice…I do truly enjoy conversing with Daniel and Bianca. Sylvia and I talked with Estera and Peter…good times, good conversation…childhood memories…we finally went to bed around 11:30-midnight.

Around 1-2AM, Sylvia and I were awakened by an aluminum can being kicked around the street in front of Peter’s home…Sylvia got up and observed a male in a long overcoat pilfering the trash cans awaiting morning pick-up by the City. The male was obviously angry as he pulled trash from the neighbor’s trash cans…loud and obnoxious; finally, he moved down the road looking for additional recyclables. We finally fell back asleep.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Portland, OR to Montesano, WA)

We got out of bed around 7:30AM. I escorted the dogs to the backyard…Mom made the bed and prepared to enter the house. Daniel arrived with boxes of samples, donuts/coffee, from the Portland coffee scene (Pip’s Donuts). Daniel wanted us to try the coffee-donut culture that is so very popular in Portland. My favorites were the mocha coffee and the honey donuts…needless to say, subsequent to consuming these, I took PePe and Duke for a run through the neighborhood. Thank you Danny…you’re very thoughtful and kind…we love you and Bianca.

Upon returning from the run, I ate some “brunch” of egg and taco fixings…delicious. A good shower was in order; later, Peter and I topped-off the fresh water tank in the RV. Sylvia is washing the last of our dirty clothing…the drier has just stopped…we will be leaving soon…headed toward Washington…our stay has been incredible…we have been loved.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-sylvia-and-the-kids.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-me-and-peter.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-sylvia-and-estera.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-sylvia-and-dannys-boy.jpg
Sylvia and Oliver
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-sylvia-estera-peter-myself.jpg

Subsequent to some photo’s and video…sad goodbyes…we left Peter and Estera’s home at approximately 5:30PM…we caught the 205 to the I-5NB into Washington. Washington is a beautiful State and the I-5 corridor is no exception even though it’s a typical Interstate. We took the #82 exit where Mom located fuel for $3.39 at a Safeway store. Subsequent to fueling, I dropped Mom off at the Safeway store to purchase some dog food, water, sliced meats, in preparation for boon-docking…we then continued NB on Interstate 5 to Washington 12, turned westbound toward the coast seeking Hwy 109NB to the Olympic National Park.

We observed a sign for “Sylvia’s Lake” (State Park) and simply could not pass-up the opportunity to visit Sylvia’s personal Park area :); so then, we exited Hwy 12 at Montesano…a beautiful, quaint, clean, well-maintained municipality nestled in the Washington coastal woods. Following the signs through town, we entered Sylvia’s Lake State Park at about dusk…the office was closed, things were quiet though we detected the odor of a campfire in the area. Sylvia and I read through some of the literature on the Park’s main station-house and opted to pay the $12.00 fee for a night’s stay in camping site #H1. We drove the campgrounds which were pretty much full with tents, campers, RV’s…but we were unable to locate site H1; so then, we returned to the headquarters area and I made a search for a map of the Park…finally, locating site H1…we proceeded there and parked the RV for the night. I completed the necessary documentation for a reservation and Duke accompanied me back to the administration building to deposit the money.

When we returned to the RV, Mom had taken the babies out to pee and was prepared some potato soup for our evening meal…delicious… with farm style bread. I sure do miss Estera and Peter, Daniel and Bianca and their children…it was very nice to see Carmen and Jason, their boys, as well…miss them all and I am VERY thankful for their hospitality and their love. Currently, it’s 10:20PM here in Montesano, WA…just about time to brush the teeth, floss…rinse and possibly “snore.” God Bless and I thank my Lord for a beautiful, safe, day.

Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Sylvia’s Lake State Park to Olympia National Forest)

We woke-up around 6:30AM…Mom serviced the fur-babies, I got dressed and prepared to move-on down the road. We proceeded west on Hwy 12 from Montesano to Aberdeen where there was a McDonald’s (according to the GPS); unfortunately, the dine-in portion of the restaurant was closed; so then, Mom reentered the RV and we continued west to Hoquiam…another McDonald’s with the dining room closed…so we proceeded NB on the 101 hoping to find some quick food and COFFEE…no luck; funny thing, I’ve always accused my Wife of becoming the DIVA when she’s hungry but as of late, I’m an angry old man without my morning coffee…I’ll deal with it. Should have pulled-over and made some coffee in the RV…but we wanted to find a boon-docking location within the Olympic National Park up the road.

Subsequent to entering the National Forest, we located a camping ground adjacent to the beach…far tooooooo many people for my liking so we moved on. I drove into a rather spooky place on the east side of 101 that I thought was National Forest…the gravel road went on and on and on…I attempted to convince Mom to camp there away from the crowds…she did not feel comfortable nor did we have reliable phone service…it is possible that the property belongs to the people who are harvesting the trees…they’ve raped the country-side in areas…UGLY areas of tree stumps and plowed ground…shameful to destroy such a beautiful forest.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-coast-view.jpg

We exited the suspicious area and proceeded NB on 101…finally opting to take a roadway to the west that looked as if might offer solace. A couple of miles down the intermittent paved/gravel road, we’ve located a campsite deep into the woods but adjacent to the road where campers are seeking positions by the Hoh River. Not really interested in the River but in quiet and peace…hope the travelers behave and their mufflers are legal/quiet…a tree just snapped and fall in the forest near the RV…hope our RV will okay for a few days. Presently, we’ve serviced the dogs (water and food)….they’ve done their business in the forest, I’ve prepared some coffee and Mom put together a brunch of strawberries, yogurt, Estera’s wonderful banana bread, cheese…I feel much better having had some coffee and food and the DIVA in me has been suppressed, for now…it’s 11:15AM…time for Facebook while Mom house hunts on her computer…the dogs are sleeping next to us at the table and Duke is sulking on the floor at my feet…it’s a beautiful day outside as the Sun works its beauty through the dense forest of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, trees showering moss…Sitka…Spruce…Western Hemlock…beautiful. I purchased a Washington Parks “Discover Pass” on-line for $35.00 to make our stay “legal”…if the Lord wills, we will remain here three-or-four nights…perhaps a house viewing appointment in northeast Washington bordering Idaho on Monday as well. May my Lord’s will be done!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-olympic-natl-forest-trees.jpg
Olympic National Forest, WA
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-mimi-on-tree-stump-olym-natl-forest.jpg
Olympic National Forest – MiMi striking a pose
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-syliva-and-mimi-in-forest.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-olympic-natl-forest-brush.jpg
Olympic National Forest, OR
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rv-in-olympic-natl-forest.jpg
Our “Home” in the Olympic National Forest, WA

Mom prepared us a lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips, salsa…I prepared some coffee and we enjoyed same at the table with our fur-babies in the RV. Later, we leashed everyone up and went for an adventure down the road to observe the unique life running about in the rain forest. When we returned, Mom removed the chairs from storage, set-up camp and even initiated a campfire in the provided pit. Seasoned cedar logs are stacked adjacent to the campsite in a forest-clearing…I made use of another’s labor…much appreciated.

We all gathered around the fire, the fur-babies continuing to investigate the rain forest’ damp floor cushioned by moss and grass…Duke loves running in this area as his big paws are well cushioned and I don’t see any burrs mixed in the damp, soft, forest floor. As we waited for the twilight that is almost absent at this latitude in the summer months, Duke became increasingly concerned about the wildlife in the dense forest that surrounded us…he considers himself quite the watch-dog, an incredible nose, though we all know he’s just a big baby and would probably pee himself should a real threat manifest in the dark. Considering the wildlife that prowls these woods, the Glock 19 is an appropriate companion for outdoor activities.

A little after 10PM…fire still blazing in the damp, cool, night air, we opted to head-into the RV for a night’s rest. The fur-babies were tired, I was tired from a short-night at Sylvia Lake and the morning drive to Olympic Forest…Mom wants to check her phone for messages before bed…goodnight! Love you guys!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-sylvia-and-me-campfire.jpg
Cottonwood Campgrounds – Olympic National Forest, WA
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-me-and-duke-campfire.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-firepit-wa.jpg

Friday, June 18, 2021 (Cottonwood Camp Grounds – Olympic National Forest, WA)

A fantastic night’s sleep…cool…comfortable…we got out of bed around 7:30AM…the dog’s needed to pee so I leashed PePe and we all went to the forest to take care of business. Mom provided our babies with water and food…I prepared coffee…Mom prepared a breakfast of blueberry bread (thank you Estera, love you), incredibly rich smoked sausage, cheese…and I remembered to take my vitamin as well. Presently, the generator is running, computers charging, dog’s snuggled with us on the table cushions…a comfortable, kinda damp, morning in the rain forest…Duke is stretching in anticipation of maybe a jog…the military sounds is if their training in the skies above…let’s see what the Lord has in store for us today.

The afternoon highlights included a wonderful lunch of soup, crackers, sausage (in the soup) and another cup of coffee. We’ve both been on our computers most of the day, Mom is house hunting and calling agents, I’m debating the Gospel. Later, I took Duke and PePe for a run through the forest…a beautiful, cool, day…perfect for any outdoor activities. The campgrounds appear to be filling-up or are full…Father’s Day weekend…I blocked campsite #1 with logs…our site appears sufficiently large for two-vehicles…it’s a first-come, first-serve protocol here…I don’t desire neighbors, especially with the dogs needing to do their bathroom business in the area. One couple pulled into our site and stared at the table and fire pit…I guess they came to the correct conclusion that the site was a single. The Sun is chasing the ocean to the west, I think we’ll head outdoors to the chairs and maybe start-up a fire for the evening. Hope any noise from the neighbors is distant and our solitude here void trespass.

I’m content with living the rest of my years in an RV…I’m not really interested in a stick and brick home or property…but RV life may be more attuned to a single man or woman…maybe. Living with a partner under these conditions requires more than mere human effort…love makes the difference…I am very appreciative of the opportunities provided by RV life allowing the United States to be enjoyed tangibly and intimately; for this, I thank my God.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rain-forest-veg-1.jpg
Rain forest – Olympic National Forest (Cottenwood Campgrounds)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rain-forest-veg.jpg
Rain forest, Olympic National Forest, WA

We sat around the campfire for a couple of hours last night. Visitors to the campground down the road appear to be increasing as the weekend crowd searches for a place to park, sleep, entertain, celebrate Father’s Day weekend. I think Sylvia wants to leave tomorrow (Sunday) and get around the water way that separates us from I-5 and Hwy 90? that will take us to a real estate appointment on Monday afternoon in eastern Washington on the state-line with Idaho.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-rain-forest-veg-hole.jpg
Rain forest, Olympic National Forest, WA

Saturday, June 19, 2021 (Cottonwood Campgrounds, WA)

Sleep was intermittent last night…my nose would not cooperate…the sinuses were blocked…I opened the side window for fresh air…that helped…sinuses have not been a problem up to this point…most of our travels have ventured through arid, desert, type climates…a bloody, dry, nose was the prevailing problem relevant to the sinuses…but the damp and cool rain-forest offers new challenges to the nose…things are much better today, we will adapt. Mom had a few issues with breathing as well last night…a little snoring was evidence. We woke-up around 7AM and exited the bed at 7:30…I took the dogs out to do their business, fed and watered them as well. I then started the generator, positioned the computers for charging and prepared coffee. Mom has prepared us a wonderful breakfast of oatmeal, bagels w/cream cheese… I am thankful.

I really enjoyed breakfast…will sip this coffee for all it’s worth while typing this and defending the Scriptures on available debate forums. The weather is mild, maybe a bit cloudy…the rain-forest feels damp…a little dark as a very light breeze flexes the ferns adjacent to the RV. We’ll see what this day brings…happy June-teenth Galveston, Texas…history declares the truth.

This afternoon I took Duke and PePe for a long walk down the gravel road and located a broken-down Harley “Electra-glide” with sidecar abandoned…illegal pipes and all. Mom joined us as we were returning…we then walked to a point in the forest where the river and the ocean were visible…beautiful.

The popular entrance to the Hoh River is positioned at the end of the gravel road adjacent to our campsite; unfortunately, the road is not maintained, it’s inundated with holes that almost span the entire width of the roadway…these are filled with river water. I opted to not traverse the road to the river seeing that the dogs would get filthy and cleaning them would be a chore. We’re rationing potable stored water in the RV’s water tank. Returning to the RV, I prepared coffee for us and Mom prepared a lunch of soup and crackers. Mom did a little exploring in the area while I sat with the dogs near the fire-pit…a beautiful day here in the forest…relaxing and peaceful. I’m back on the computer while Mom searches the RV for a disc reader attachment given us by Rebekah…I hope to upload some videos from my sports camera.

This evening has been somewhat stressful as campers are entering the campgrounds and no spots are available. We’re in site #1…the roomiest and most attractive site in the entire area…our driveway is huge and passerby’s slow to look and decide if they want to impose on a camping area designated for one family or single use…and…it’s first come, first serve…there is no registration and a Discovery Pass is required.

When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, subsequent to positioning the RV, I took PePe and Duke for a walk toward the river entrance which requires that one walk through the main road of the campgrounds and campsites that are accessed from said road. Parked in the very last spot near the trail that leads to the river was a Hispanic fellow (?), a young girl (his daughter?) and I think a Pit Bull dog. This gentleman asked if I was parked in the first campsite to which I responded “yes.” He asked how long I would be there or was I leaving and I stated we had just arrived…he responded with something to the effect, “Enjoy, it’s a good spot.”

I did not think much about that until this guy, along with the young girl in the right-front seat, pulled into the driveway of our campsite yesterday evening (Friday)…he stopped and stared at the picnic table, fire-pit adjacent to and slightly behind the RV. Mom and I were inside the RV at the time and we waited to see what he was going to do…finally, he backed out and drove toward the other campsites down the road where I had spoken with him the evening earlier.

Yesterday evening, I elected to place a log and long limb across the driveway with the intent of stopping anyone from attempting to impose upon our single-use campsite and also to provide the dogs a physical barrier where they know their limits and hopefully prevent them from walking into the roadway. Again this evening, the same guy and the young girl stopped on the roadway outside our RV, turned on the vehicle’s sound system…blasting…then erratically pulled into our driveway and ran over the large logs positioned there. Sylvia and I were preparing to eat supper when we observed this odd and rude behavior…I immediately exited the RV and approached the idiot’s SUV and told him that our campsite was a single…he responded arrogantly and defensibly that he was just turning around…the logs were somewhat stuck behind his front tires which meant that he would have to back over the large logs to exit…I told him I would remove the logs…so he arrogantly waited…then asked why the logs were there? I explained that I had placed them there to prevent people from entering the driveway and thereby cause our dogs to bark frantically…he responded that perhaps I should find a larger campsite…finally, he backed up and returned to the campsites down the road. This guy is either burned-out on drugs, a mental case…a trouble making narcissist or a combination thereof…it is so difficult to love my fellowman and eschew the hatred in my heart for people, generally.

Sylvia prepared a small fire this evening as we walked around our campsite and listened to the noise from loud off-road vehicles near the river and our “neighbors” down the road, generator…a barking dog…I won’t be looking for camping sites like this one in the future…the more distance between me and humanity, the better…I pray that I don’t end up in prison during this RV Adventure from a confrontation with these numb-skulls.

It’s almost 9PM here in Washington, the Sun is chasing a western heading, the rain-forest is darkening…the wind is calm…the temperatures are dropping slightly…I hope sleep will be good and there are no interruptions during the night with intoxicated, high, irresponsible, confrontational, campers out on a Saturday night party…may my Lord’s peace surround and fill our RV? Goodnight.

Sunday, June 20, 2021 (Cottonwood Campsite #1 – Olympic National Forest, WA)

We got up around 7AM, sleep was on the poor side due to concerns about the idiot down the road, my bride’s snoring, Duke’s snoring…Mom said I was snoring and woke her as well…she said between Duke and me…her sleep was interrupted…oh well…Mom got up and serviced the dogs while I started the generator and prepared coffee. Mom is presently preparing a small breakfast for the road, Eggo’s…we both require something in our belly and coffee if the road trip is going to be pleasant as we’re prepared to visit some landmark Mom wants to see; then, we will work ourselves around the water obstruction to our east and head toward the real estate appointment scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (1PM?)…reportedly, the location is approximately 8-hours to our northeast on the state-line of Idaho. I might go for a jog with the boys and take a spot-shower seeing that I’ve not washed since Portland, OR…Mom would probably be appreciative as she took a spot-shower yesterday…we have two-thirds fresh water remaining in the tank. Anyway, I’ll down these Eggo’s and coffee – a vitamin, maybe defend the Gospel for a few minutes and get the day started with a jog or check the RV and drive away…for now…bye…oh…Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Son…I love you and God bless you and that beautiful family…very proud of you! TTYL Charlie just called to wish me a Happy Father’s Day..thank you!

My beautiful Daughter called, wished me a happy Father’s Day; she and Austin are in Missouri City at his brother’s house. While conversing, I prepared for a run with Duke and PePe…later, our run was nice…the day was beautiful. When I returned to the RV, I took a shower, Mom prepared lunch/breakfast of eggs, sausage…delicious. Subsequent to an inspection of the RV, we exited Cottonwood Camping Grounds and turned NB on Hwy 101 toward Forks then Sappho where we intersected the 113 NB to Clallam Bay then west to Neah Bay…Neah Bay is controlled by the Makah Indian Tribe. Mom has been longing to see this area of the coast as it promised whales and other sea life in addition to an opportunity to walk the shore line for a mile+ (photos-video)…but…there was a road closure immediately prior to entering the Makah Reservation. We were met at the road block/check-point by a flaming, embarrassing, transsexual “male” to female Indian who stated that “due to COVID, we’re closed.” Mom was so angry…I won’t express that here. We squeezed through the turn-around and followed 113 back toward the 101 without even seeing the beach.

By this time, I was past due for a large cup of coffee…Mom was angry…the dogs unable to rest…we stopped by three McDonald’s and all dining rooms were closed – “due to COVID?” The West Coast is inundated with liberal idiots who are so naive and gullible and afraid and compliant to this present communist government and its tyrannical policies and pursuits. People masked-up, DRIVING their CAR…what an embarrassment the American people, the liberal left looney-toons have become. Heaven forbid our Nation be drawn into another World war…these misfits could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag; in addition, Washington is inundated with young to middle-aged (Gen-Z/Millenial) narcissists who drive like demons in their arrogance, treat motorist with much disrespect, while the thug LOUD biker community plagues the beautiful municipalities with illegal aftermarket exhausts overwhelmingly affixed to Harley products…I mean LOUD…dressed in their thug apparel with Nazi helmets…some with masks of skulls and the such…the law enforcement here, local and state are absent and impotent…it would be embarrassingly laughable if not so arrogantly narcissistic. Personally, I can’t get out of Washington State soon enough…the State’s geography is beautifully breath-taking but its population is far too inundated with narcissistic, liberal, entitled, idiots. America is dying before my eyes.

On our journey to get around the Puget Sound and onto our real estate appointment in east Washington, we took the coastal road 112 to Port Angeles…a treat…a beautiful municipality nestled between snow-capped mountains and the ocean. We attempted to get a McDonald’s coffee in Port Angeles but this McDonald’s was also fearful of COVID, the dining room closed…the drive through overhead too close for comfort with the RV’s height…so, no coffee. We proceeded south on the 101 to 104 to 16-S over the toll-bridge ($6.00) toward Tacoma…then the I-5 to 18 then onto I-90. We located a Walmart at Poulsbo, WA(?) (Washinton 112)…peopled masked like liberal sheep…Mom entered (unmasked) and purchased essentials while I drove to the rear of the store, a HUGE concreted area behind the facility with partial shade…I parked and took the fur-babies to pee and then began uploading on YouTube some of the videos taken on the trip…the upload speed with Walmart’s WIFI was incredible. Mom purchased us some Subway sandwiches which we enjoyed with water…then we proceeded EB to the I-90…Mom located another Walmart with fuel for $3.24…I exited, fueled the RV with over $130.00 in overpriced gasoline…then…we proceeded to another McDonald’s that was closed for dining…I parked and walked to the drive-through window hoping to get some coffee. Plexiglas shielded the cashier from my possible COVID spittle and he was masked as was his female assistant…I asked if I could get a cup of coffee…he asked if I had the McDonald’s app and a cellphone…he told me to wait a minute…I walked away and reentered the RV…we headed west on the I-90 and void my afternoon coffee and considering it was already 7:30PM…I suggested we find a forest or a park and boon-dock for the night…the goal was to reach a Love’s fueling station at exit 221, approximately 150-miles away, to dump our black water, retrieve some potable water…I was feeling a little weary and did not want to search for a suitable boon-docking site in the dark.

Mom located a State or National forest off of a street called Kachess Lake Road…we exited and followed that roadway into a beautiful forest and ultimately to Kachess Lake and the camping grounds… a monitored and fee required campgrounds…$21.00 per night for a camping spot that had no facilities for RV hook-up…just a cleared spot of dirt…the sites I observed were already reserved…not wanting to duplicate my error at Cottonwood i.e. camping grounds are for the birds…too many people…I exited the Park and followed the roadway out…I then opted to turn on an unnamed gravel road to the right that apparently went up a mountain…along this path, I located a clearing large enough for the RV…I backed in and we set-up for the night. Mom was a little spooked by the thick forest surroundings, the sound of a waterfall adjacent to the RV; at the rear of the RV there is a cleared trail sufficient for traversing with an ATV or mountain bicycles. After the dogs took care of their business, we ate some cereal with fruit and soon after, I headed to bed…soon after that, Mom headed to bed as well.

Monday, June 21, 2021 (Boon-docking on Kachess Lake Road/I-90/Kachess Lake, WA)

Sleep was somewhat intermittent as my mind pondered the next oil change, tire rotation..the generator’s maintenance and…I was concerned about our safety in this very isolated area…later, a vehicle drove-by on the road…it ascended the mountain and a few minutes later, descended…but did not stop…that’s a good thing…I sleep with my Glock, the revolver is upfront in the loft as well…the Benelli is secured next to my driver’s seat.

Currently, I’ve re-positioned the RV to a more level position before starting the generator – I had to break-off a few evergreen branches in the process but we’re almost level side-to-side. The dogs have taken care of their business….we attempted to enjoy some more sleep after I took the dogs out to pee but Zoe would not allow it…they were thirsty so we got up and Mom provided them with water, I prepared coffee…we’re now on our computers enjoying the quietness of the beautiful woods around us. Mom prepared a breakfast of bagels, sausage, cheese…wonderful and appreciated.

Madeline and her husband, Andy, contacted Sylvia last night and invited us to dinner at their home. They live in central Washington and noticed our travels on Mom’s Facebook page. They’re approximately 90-miles northwest of our present location so we will proceed there later in the day…much appreciated! BTW—our real estate appointment has been canceled as the agent is apparently playing a form of bait-and-switch on Mom…Mom’s not having it…the agent called and said that two-offers on the property were just received…Mom said she was not going to play that game…so we’re free to travel around. The housing market is crazy right now…agents are making money and many don’t care about losing clients…they’re being greedy and house prices and building costs/lumber is off-the-chart…not interested in playing the game in an inflated market….this will NOT last, the market will burst…Lord, give us patience and wisdom, please?

The drive to Monroe took us WB on I-90 to 203 NB through Carnation, Duvall…a beautiful drive through the Washington countryside, farms, picturesque small towns nestled within the surround hills with snow-capped mountains in the distance.

For the most part, the roadway was well paved, one lane each way and the width of the RV mandating that I pay attention to the business of driving. Arriving at Madeline and Andy’s beautiful home at approximately 5PM, we first met with Madeline…such a sweetheart…and their two-beautiful daughters, Alysia and Adalynn (all three are too beautiful for words) . Soon, Andy returned from work and along with great conversation and much love, Andy and Madeline placed a virtual FEAST of appetizers (special crackers-salami-two cheeses-cherries (fresh picked)-tomatoes-grapes-strawberries-jam; then, grilled steaks (incredibly tender) by Andy, corn on the cob, mash potatoes, a side-salad with love-handle producing tres leches cake…to top things off, Madeline prepared us a “to-go” package of food and desert for the road subsequent to convincing them that we would have to leave that evening though we were invited to stay…our visit was so nice, Madeline and Andy are incredible people, they made us feel so loved (FAMILY)…I miss them already.

Andy and Madeline provided us an overview of things to see on our way east toward Idaho. It was suggested that we take US-2 to Everett then proceed NB on the I-5 to Hwy 20 in Burlington. We left Andy and Madeline’s home at dusk and worked our way to the I-5, turned NB looking-out for a dump station for our black-water and hopefully some potable water for our fresh water storage. Unknowingly, at the time, we passed a large “rest stop” on I-5 that we later discovered provided a dump-site and we could have possibly boon-docked there overnight as well though the Interstate would have been very noisy. It was approaching 10PM and I was a little concerned where we would find a boon-docking site that offered at least a modicum of safety for my girls and boys. I asked Mom to locate an area Walmart and the next one was located in Mount Vernon approximately 25-miles north. I then observed a Pilot fueling station and opted to proceed there hoping to find a dump-station and potable water. Fuel was $3.38, not good…but not bad for liberal Washington. While fueling, Mom entered the Pilot store and inquired concerning a dump-station and possibly boon-docking in their parking lot for the night…behind the commercial vehicles parked to the rear of the store. The employee said there were no RV services available and we would have to sleep at a roadway rest-stop that was located down the road…that rest-stop was too far south to make it worthwhile…even with a dump-site; therefore, we elected to proceed NB toward the Walmart in Mount Vernon.

Arriving at the Walmart a few minutes before the store closed for the evening, I observed a HUGE RV cabin attached to a commercial style truck-tractor parked on the far south side of the large parking lot…I also noticed the parking lot was shared among various vendors, not just Walmart…a little tired and finding the parking behind the large RV allowed access to sufficient grass for the fur-babies, I positioned the RV behind the large truck/rv-cabin. Just as I shut down the engine, a female security guard, orange lights blaring, pulled her little SUV along side and informed me that the store was closing and overnight parking was not permitted. She said that Mount Vernon’s ordinances prohibited overnight parking/sleeping in the municipality…we would have to proceed out of town to boon-dock.

So then, we drove through some back-streets and eventually worked our way back to I-5, turned NB and soon we turned EB on Hwy 20…maneuvering our way through Burlington…navigating through the rather dark city streets (kind of reminded me of night-time in Tijuana – LOL), we worked our way out town and in the darkness of Hwy 20…we drove and drove and drove…NOTHING looked safe or inviting for boon-docking; finally, in a community noted as “Hamilton” on the GPS, we located a new construction truck fueling station with lights-on…no services…no people; a new parking lot and fueling pumps for specified large truck/tractor rigs. It was a new, clean, huge parking lot; so then, with no other options in-insight, I elected to pull to the far south-side and park the RV for the night. It was midnight…

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (Hwy 20, Hamilton, WA)

I took the fur-babies out to pee, Mom prepared a water bowl for the babies and the cabin for sleep…the night was beginning to cool from the rather HOT day; unfortunately, there was a flaming idiot operating a straight-piped Harley tormenting the homes lining Hwy 20…he did this intermittently for hours…until around 2AM…incredibly LOUD…up and down the roadway revving the twin-cylinder piece of refuse. I’m amazed no one has terminated this narcissistic thug if this a nightly occurrence. All-in-all, we managed to get some sleep and got up around 6:30AM – rather rested – I took the fur-babies out to do their business, Mom prepared a feast using Madeline’s gift of food, I prepared coffee…we enjoyed an excellent breakfast of sweet-bread, fruit, cheese, sausage and a “vitamin.” Thank you Madeline, God Bless you, Andy, those beautiful girls!

It’s approaching time for us move on down the road…we’re low (monitor shows empty) in fresh water, almost full of black water…God is good and He will provide. TTYL.

Leaving Hamilton, we proceeded EB on Hwy 20 toward Concrete, crossing the Skagit river (beautiful) we entered Rockport (I videoed along the route) then Marblemount; near Marblemount, we located the Alpine RV Park (Park Rangers had advised Mom about this option to dump and refill)…entering the rather poorly maintained RV Park, we noticed a sign on the unoccupied office area wall advising that overnight occupancy was $50.00; Veterans/old people $35.00; Showers $4.00; Dump and Water was $5.00, so needing to dump our gray and black water/fill our fresh water we pulled into site #25 and hooked up our dump hose, Mom filled the fresh water tank…she took a good shower with the LPG on for hot water; once Mom was finished, I took my shower/shaved…we dropped-off $14.00 for the service and proceeded eastbound Hwy 20 to Newhalem; here, we took video and photo’s of the mountains (Visitor Center), the river basin and gorges below…incredible scenery reflecting God’s handiwork (a beautiful dam); finally, we entered the Diablo Lake area…locating the Colonial Campground positioned on the south and north sides of Hwy 20, we immediately noticed that the campground to our south was labeled “FULL;” so then, a bit frustrated, we entered the campground to the south…”reserved” “reserved” reserved”…finally, just as we were preparing to take the turn south to exit the Park, we found a parallel parking roadside site that was labeled “available 22&23” (June)..we took it as my Lord had provided.

Once parked, the RV was positioned nose-down so Syliva and I retrieved the leveling blocks and stacked them for maximum height under the front wheels: laterally, we were level, longitudinally, we remained nose down…we decided to live with it as turning the RV around would positioned us against the one-way street and position the side-door toward the street…not good for the fur-babies exiting. I placed our table cover on the available picnic table…Mom prepared a chicken salad for lunch…delicious…we fed the fur-babies and watered them…I had the pleasure of stepping in dog-poop and spent some time cleaning my crocks (slip-on shoes)…fun…then Mom wanted to go for a walk-about…so, we did just that. 

Leaving the Lake’s beach, we headed to the flood zone which blocked-off the north-side of the campgrounds due to rushing streams of water from melting snow on adjacent mountains. Mom and PePe, me and Duke/Layla walked through the rushing water and up onto a narrow bridge with a handrail on one-side (video)…carefully we exited the bridge into more rushing water and rocks…clearing the rushing water, we entered a trail-head (Thunder Knob Trail) and ascended a mountain navigating a well manicured gravel pathway. About three-quarters of the way up the mountain path, I encountered two-liberal women (politically) descending…one of them chastised me (politely and with tact) concerning the dogs stating that it was a $300.00 fine if caught by Park Rangers…the concern having to do with bears feeling threatened. I advised Mom of the warning and with better judgment in mind, I convinced Mom to return to the campgrounds just in case the woman’s warning was legit. 

Earlier, while traveling EB on Hwy 20, we pulled into an area park which housed a Park Ranger Station…Mom went into the station-house and talked with the handsome Rangers…she returned a little giddy, commenting on one of the Ranger’s height…Mom said that there was an RV Park down the road where we could dump and retrieve potable water; also, our dogs were required to be on a leash at all times (no other restrictions relevant to our dogs were given); Mom said that Diablo Lake was the place to be for the sights and trail walking; so then, we “ass-u-me-d” that walking the dogs on the provided trails was permissible though I had observed a sign on a billboard positioned at the park entrance (here at Diablo) does restrict dogs on certain trail-heads…rather ambiguous to say the least…what-which “trail-heads?” 

As evening rolled around, Mom prepared us some delicious sandwiches…chips and being rather fatigued from a lack of sleep the night before, we opted to hit-the-bed a little after 9PM…Mom was not all that tired but agreed to try and sleep seeing that me and the other dogs were well on our way to Cloud-nine. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (Diablo Lake, Campground, Site #43)

Around 2 – 4AM, a most incredible engine noise could be heard from either the sky or nearby Hwy 20…the loudest engine nose I’ve heard without hearing protection (Mom supposes it’s from the nearby Dam)…it woke-up Mom as well and we listened in silence as the noise increased and increased…I’m still not sure the source but believe large truck/tractor rigs were moving very heavy loads or equipment up the mountain east of Diablo Lake with the engine noise reverberating off of the mountain walls lining the roadway.

This morning, we woke-up around 7AM, attepted to get the dogs to lie back down…they needed to pee…we finally got out of bed around 7:30AM and Mom took the little dogs outside…I took PePe and Duke to pee then prepared coffee. Before breakfast, I opted to take PePe and Duke for a good run; I initially wanted to jog the mountain path we had ascended the prior evening but not wanting to soak my excellent running shoes given me by my Son…I opted to stay on the roadway where the dogs were permitted while on a leash; the run was excellent, weather perfect, and upon our return, Mom prepared a wonderful breakfast of butter-soaked bread and cheese inundated eggs…an excellent Wife, who can find? I did. 

Subsequent to breakfast, a National Forest employee, in her green uniform and smokey-hat, walked by our screen door and said “Hello” in passing…she stopped by the campsite sign that designated the site as reserved or available…we greeted her through the screen and she asked if we would like to stay another night to which we respond “yes.”…She was very polite and professional…asked for our name in order to write it on the registration sign clipped to the post…I then asked her about the process of becoming a “camp host.” The camp host site has full hook-ups, the site seems to be leveled…strategically positioned at the entrance to the campsite parking. She retrieved Mom’s e-mail and said she would contact us.

The camp-host positions are generally five-month commitments (according to this employee); here, in this part of Washington, five-months is the maximum as Hwy 20 and the parks along its path are shut-down for the Winter…all are closed for approximately seven-months out of the year due to high snow.  She said that she needed a camp-host right now and was searching for someone to fill that vacancy…the duties would include administrative duties like completing the “reserved signs” with names…other duties will probably be discussed on the E-mail and she said that if we were interested, she would chat with us via phone. 

My only concern about the camp host duty is obligating myself to one-spot for five-months; a special concern is hosting a campsite where no communication service, phone connection, is available. It would be nice to be able to camp-host at different sites in the north during summer, move south in the winter. Mom asked the Park employee about taking our dogs on the trails around the Park…the Park employee said that dogs were allowed on the trails…no problem…how to reconcile this with the sign at the Park entry…I’m not sure but we took our dogs with us on a subsequent hike.

Later, I read a little in my Bible at the picknic table; then, I took PePe and Duke for a short walk around the Park’s roadway and upon arrival to the RV, I met an Asian woman with a map in hand walking about as if lost. She was seeking the “camp host” as that site is positioned adjacent to our RV; for this reason, the lady thought we were the camp host though it’s obvious the pad for the host is unoccupied. I asked if I could assist her as she was a little concerned that the campgounds offered no assistance or information or instructions…no one around to help; obviously, a self-service area. The lady pointed to a place on the map that, in her opinion, indicated that Hwy 20 was “closed.” Searching the map carefully and noting there were ZERO alternatives to Hwy 20 in that area, I advised that the map was most likely referring to a small bridge extending north of Hwy 20 that provided access to either a trail or lake. I explained that an abundance of traffic was traversing Hwy 20 and if it was closed at that point, there would be an incredible back-up…I assured her that Hwy 20 was accessible. 

The lady then expressed her concern about climate change, her son, who is employed in the Washington area, had advised her that the Southern United States was becoming very hot and dry…droughts would possibly devastate Texas, California, Arizona…the wildfires manifesting early; then, out of nowhere, she asked if I was vaccinated (for COVID)? To which, I responded “no”…she was amazed and began to keep her distance…then slowly she retrieved her mask…she advised she and her 80-YOA husband were fully vaccinated…she went-on to say that she worked for Pfizer as a statistician and fully trusted the company and its vaccine. She said her husband is a lawyer/bio-chemist…he is knowledgeable relevant to COVID and the vaccines. I told her that I don’t trust this government (Biden’s communism) any further than I could throw the 80-pound dog at my feet (Duke). I told her I fully trust my immune system and that I am more fearful of the vaccine than the disease (it supposedly inoculates and protects). I explained that I believe COVID is a manufactured crisis, it has irreparably harmed America and its people, that I believe COVID is a government strategy…a “back up” plan to counter the success of Donald Trump and unseat one of our finest Presidents…she responded that they had tried to do the same to Obama but Obama was too clean and free of dirt/suspicion…with that statement, the battle-line was obvious. Finally, with mask in hand and keeping her distance from this filthy conservative supporter of Donald Trump, she said, “we should stop” as she prepared to walk-off…I reiterated the point that Hwy 20 would be clear and she was free to proceed east as far as Maine…she thanked me and returned to her RV evidently parked in the south campgrounds across Hwy 20. Angered and frustrated with liberals, communism and the manufactured crisis, COVID idiocy, and liberal pomposity, arrogance, I entered the RV and told Mom of my discussion with Biden’s fool and Lenin’s useful idiot. 

Currently, Mom is trying to download (offline) some of her photo’s to free-up space on her phone. The dogs are sleeping on the cushions around us…Duke is stretched-out on the RV floor under the stove…we might go for a walk-about soon…I’ve prepared coffee for us both…we’ll sip these down for now. Love you!

BTW…yesterday, I noticed a gash/cut in the sidewall of the right-rear dully tire…I am concerned but glad I purchased commercial-rated tires with steel belting in the sidewalls…I will attempt to drive on the tire until I find a “Discount Tires”…possibly call ahead of time and have the correct tire ordered and waiting…I think it will certainly require replacement; if Discount Tire disagrees, I will probably bite-the-bullet and pay for another tire…I do not want damage in the sidewall of my RV tires. 

Later in the afternoon, Mom wanted to take all the dogs (including me) for a walk around the campgrounds…I asked if she wanted to cross water areas and she indicated that we would stay on the dry areas; if not, I would wear my damp boots as opposed to my loafers. So we hooked-up all the fur-babies and set-out for a short walk that turned into a full-blown hike…I videoed the area and will save typing everything here…we hiked approximately five-miles (round trip) and it was worth every inch…incredible beauty. Frustratingly, again, my camera defaulted to “mute” the microphone on some of the trail-hike footage is like a silent movie. The cause for this muting of the mike could be the result of the 85-90 short videos I have stored on the micro-disk and the camera is attempting to make room by reducing the complexity of the video by muting the mike…don’t know…that’s an uneducated guess.

Finally making our way back to the RV, the dogs were watered, fed, and they collapsed. Mom prepared us a delicious supper of pulled-pork sandwiches and chips…we sat around and talked for a while…both of us were ready for bed…early…so we laid in bed and talked for a bit and fell off to sleep…a fairly good night’s sleep it was, especially with the temperatures dropping down to the higher 50’s/lower 60’s.

Thursday, June 24, 2021 (Colonial Campgrounds to Hwy 20-eastbound)

We began our morning at 6AM with the sounds of restless dogs wanting to pee…so Mom got up, began taking the dogs outside…I got up to assist. I then opted to take a shower even though the LGP has just recently been turned-on to activate the hot-water heater. Mom wanted to wait for hot-water…I did not care that much…I wanted to shower and coffee…as we were preparing to leave as soon as possible. Subsequent to my shower, Mom took hers as well while I prepared coffee…once Mom exited the shower and dressed, we backed the RV off of the leveling blocks, stored them and then backed into the camp-host position to top-off our fresh water tank. I asked the Park representatives about using the water (it was OK and the water tested) but forgot to ask them if I could use the available sewer hook-up to dump our waste water…so we filled with water only and took the waste water with us.

We exited the campgrounds around 7:30AM and headed east on Hwy 20…just down the road was a turn-out which we entered and observed some birds and deer in the area…beautiful views of Diablo Lake. Parking the RV in a shaded area, we took the dogs to pee, Mom took photo’s while I videoed the beautiful area. Mom prepared us a breakfast of cheesy eggs and buttered toast, salami, and yogurt…wonderful. Mom and I then cleaned the windshield of the RV…Mom took a special interest in the back window…we then hit the road. Eastbound on Hwy 20 was simply too beautiful for words…perhaps the attached photo’s and video will do God’s handiwork some justice.

Exiting the North Cascades National Park/Diablo Lake, watching the lush mountains and snow areas pass-by us with frequent stops for photos and video, we finally reached the small and beautiful town of Winthrop and presently, we’re parked on the side of a Walmart Supercenter in Omak, Washington. Thus far, In Omak, we’ve found the people rude, the temperatures hot…but WiFi is available so we’re doing good.

Laughing…Upon arrival, subsequent to locating the Walmart store, we parked the RV toward the back and side of the store where green grass was available in a retention pond…allowing the dogs a place to pee. Subsequent to the dogs taking care of business, I drove slowly down the side-parking lot between the auto center and garden center; here, I observed a young woman placing her groceries in the rear of her vehicle…she looked up…shook her head in anger, flipped me off…why? I don’t know. Mom said the general public inside the Walmart was rude but the employees were somewhat kind and professional. It’s truly a shame…my most difficult struggle is loving my neighbor as myself…I’m afraid I fail more than succeed.

Mom’s back from her shopping and searching for a good Mexican food restaurant…I will probably upload some videos to YouTube and go eat. Love you…

While the RV was positioned in the Walmart parking lot, I was in the process of uploading video from my camera to YouTube, Mom stated that she had located some Mexican food restaurants in the area…one or two with excellent reviews. It was then that I noticed the “DIVA aura” beginning to glow in my Wife’s face…subsequent to 36-years of marriage, I’ve become knowledgeable by trial and error that when my Bride becomes hungry, all things are to be put on-hold until she is fed; so then, I secured my computer and we headed to a family Mexican restaurant on Omak’s main street…the restaurant’s decor was very well organized…felt as if we were at the southern border. Prices were a little high (in our opinion) compared to Mexican food in Texas and Arkansas but hey, we were there, the ratings were excellent, beautiful horse saddles were positioned next to our booth…so Mom ordered the nachos with beef and I ordered a cheese and beef enchiladas with beans and rice. The chips were thick, kinda heavy on the lard, the salsa was good – mildly hot and served with pickled vegetables. The food eventually arrived and MAN…it was gooood….not simply because we had not had our Mexican food fix in weeks…it was truly delicious…worth the extra couple of dollars a plate…even the iced tea was good; funny thing, they had no sugar substitute…I had to retrieve my own from the RV…disturb the dogs who were sitting inside, parked on Main Street…generator on-air conditioner on…spoiled dogs…but the OAT was something like 93-degrees…much hotter than we were used to experiencing in western Washington near the water and in the mountains.

Having committed the sin of gluttony and reaping and sowing same in my gut…Mom wanted to go to Home Depot, next to Walmart, hoping to locate a metal plate protector for our screen door. Mom is concerned that when we use the screen door apart from the heavy main door, one of the dogs is going to see something of interest outside and plow through the screen and make the door useless as it would be compromised and allow insects to enter the RV.

I drove Mom to Home Depot but her search was unsuccessful as the door protectors in-stock were for larger doors, not the narrow RV door; so then, we opted to type-in Newport, WA and allow the GPS to take us back to Hwy 20…hoping to find a boon-docking location before late evening. I asked Mom to do a fuel price check for the area to find the cheapest fuel…fuel prices under Communist Biden, the stinking communist environmental nut of the Green New Deal, are robbing our checking account. Mom located a fueling station with $3.49 fuel…lowest in the area…so I proceeded to that station. Arriving, confirming the sign verified the reported $3.49 fuel, positioning the RV for fuel, I entered the station and gave the attendant a $100.00 bill to fill the RV to “full”…seeing that we intended to boon-dock for several days or longer. When I went to fuel, I checked the fuel price on the digital readout which showed $3.53 a gallon…I know, not much difference…BUT…if you advertise, on your sign out-front of your business, that fuel is $3.49 and you charge more…you’re a scammer or a liar or both.

I went into talk with the clerk and correct the error…the attendant said he had changed the prices for fuel…but his sign was not changed…so I received my $100.00 bill back and we proceeded to a Travel Plaza up the street where Mom had seen a sign indicating an RV Dump was available. Fuel at the Travel Plaza was $3.54 a gallon but the RV dump was free with ten-gallons or more or the RV dump would cost $10.00 without fueling…I put around $100.00 worth of fuel in the tank at which time we proceeded to the dump station, emptied our RV’s gray and black water…washed our hose…proceeded to Hwy 97/Hwy 20…shortly thereafter, I remembered we did not have our afternoon coffee…a fatal error on my part; so then, I pulled into the nearest parking lot, started the generator…prepared us some coffee…then…we continued on our journey. 

Subsequent to waiting in a long traffic jam for road construction NB on Hwy 97 out of Omak, we intersected Hwy 20 off of sixth street in Tonasket, WA. The drive, the scenery, EB on Hwy 20 was beautiful…the rolling hills…those hills forming sharp mini-caverns between them…odd shaped…sparse evergreens dotted these desert looking hills…some of the hills appeared to be nothing but massive mounds of gravel…very different terrain than what we had observed in southern and western Washington.

As we approached Wauconda, WA, we noticed a National Forest indicator and a “recreation area” sign pointing to the NB exit into the mountains…toward Canada…so what the heck…we took that exit that led to a couple of campgrounds…we entered one-campground at Bonaparte Lake that was not “FULL” and eased our way to the on-site restaurant/bar…the area was fairly run-down…dirty, dusty…crowded…a Harley rider had apparently rented a cabin next to the restaurant…just not my cup of tea.  A couple of women were standing near the restaurant, one pointing at the roof of our RV; concerned, I politely stated that I hoped she was not pointing at one of our dogs stuck up there…they laughed…said the dogs (some of the little ones were in the window) were cute. I advised they were rescues and one of the ladies expressed an interest in PePe…Mom took PePe to her and I explained that PePe was a pure Type-A+…the ladies dog had recently died and she wanted a companion…when she expressed a sincere interest in PePe…my heart broke…the thought of leaving PePe grieved me as it did Mom…Mom gripes about the dogs as they’re a handful in this RV but when the rubber meets the road, Mom loves these dogs…well…maybe not Duke (because Duke loves me and I love Duke)…but Mom cares for her dogs…she was not going to give PePe away. So then, we exited that RV park area and proceeded down the lonely, asphalt road headed NB toward Beaver Lake and Lost Lake…we drove and drove and drove and finally came to a bend on the desolate road with a gravel road to the left crossing a cattle guard or the paved road leading to Beaver Lake. 

I took note of the cattle guard construction with the gravel road and recognized it as possibly BLM property…I had seen these in Nevada at Humboldt and in Datil, NM…I felt relatively sure the “Winter mountain” property belonged to BLM and if it did…boon-docking was an option. There was a standard near the gate with an old map of snowmobile trails in the area…there were no posted signs, no private property or no trespassing signs anywhere near this intersection; so then, we opted to climb the gravel mountain road…and we drove and drove up hill toward the top of the mountain…some of the evergreen limbs slid against the side of the RV as the road was somewhat overgrown…the trees extending over its path in places; finally, a little path to the left that allowed the RV sufficient room to be positioned nose-in; actually, this was a cleared area leading to what might be snowmobile trails for Winter use. The area is very remote, no cellphone service, no connection available for our computers…so I parked the RV, placed almost a full stack of level blocks under the right-rear tires…we’re laterally level (almost) but longitudinally, rear-low…I checked the generator oil…it was perfect with this configuration…so we’re good. 

Subsequent to positioning the RV, the dogs went to take care of their bathroom needs…Mom and I, along with PePe, Duke, Zoe and Layla…went for a walk up the gravel road toward the top of the mountain to see if any better parking spots were available; unfortunately, the trees in the road and the evergreen trees overhanging the road would have made RV passage very difficult if not impossible without a chainsaw…so we opted to remain in our present position. 

Still too full from the Mexican dinner in Omak, I brushed my teeth in preparation for bed as darkness was approaching; Mom ate a chocolate chip cookie with milk…we took the dogs out once again to finish their business…Mom and I stayed up and talked awhile as the Sun chased the western mountains; Around 10PM we headed to bed…the dogs were exhausted. 

Friday, June 25, 2021 (South of Buckhorn Mountain, near Beaver Lake, south of Canadian Border, possibly BLM land)

I woke-up this morning around 4AM to noises taping on the RV’s roof and windows: I was unable to verify if the noise emanated from falling debris from the trees squeezing in on our RV or maybe flying insects…I was somewhat concerned for my Wife’s welfare in this very remote part of the Country…forest fire was on my mind and I wondered what our evacuation route might be should such a disaster strike in the vicinity? If the road was not passable, I would probably choose to take the family down the mountain toward Beaver Lake; also, not knowing what kind of wildlife was in the area or the type of human “wildlife” prowling these woods, these thoughts concerned me…so I’ve opted to put on the Glock and keep the Benelli ready…better to have it and not need it…

This morning, we climbed out of bed around 6AM…the dogs were demanding bathroom time…I took the dogs out and walked them…I had to leash PePe but the other dogs enjoyed the freedom of not being leashed as that was necessitated in the campgrounds regulated by State and National authorities. Entering the RV, I prepared us some coffee and Mom prepared some bagels with cream-cheese.  Currently, Mom is bird-watching/photographing, I’m sitting in the RV, catching-up on this diary…the Sun is out, temp’s are in the upper 60’s…the night was cool…I hope we’re able to remain here through Sunday or Monday, at a minimum. My God is good. 

I opted to take Duke and PePe for a jog up the mountain this morning…the run was nice, the weather beautiful; when we returned to the RV, Mom made us a wonderful brunch of scrambled eggs with cheese, tortillas, salami…ham. Mom and I put the lawn-chairs in the shade near the road which required us to chase the shade as the Sun chased the western mountains. Later, we went for a walk/adventure with the dogs but not wanting to leave our RV unattended in the woods for too long, we shortened the adventure significantly.

Later, determined to find out what was at the top of the mountain, Duke and I readied ourselves for a long hike, I donned my boots…and we hiked to the mountain top and reconed the area for a space sufficient to fit the RV’s bulk.

I finally located an open area near the mountain top. I returned to the RV and advised Mom that there were some nice camping opportunities at the top of the mountain but the road and the hanging trees would not permit the RV to pass. While sitting at the table in conversation with Mom, she heard voices outside and much to my surprise, I observed two-women walking up the mountain road in conversation. Mom asked, “Should I go meet them?”…then she headed out and introduced herself…I prepared coffee for Mom and the incredibly nice and very interesting ladies who have been friends for some 25-years (since their children were in 4th-grade)…The most interesting life experiences of these two-beautiful ladies were shared in conversation…we talked for at least a couple of hours…we prayed together…we talked some more. They invited us to dinner at the Bonaparte RV Park; unfortunately, the dogs prevented us from accompanying them down the mountain. The ladies were pulling a RV trailer and parked it at the foot of the mountain and drove their truck part of the way up…it was a true blessing to have met these beautiful ladies…their wisdom, their faith, their friendship, their history and their family stories…a true blessing…they drank “black coffee” so I knew they were tough hombres.  

As evening approached, I opted to remove the cheaply made E-Tool from the storage bin…I walked up the mountain road and began chopping at the trees blocking passage. Duke and I were successful in clearing a number of the trees out of the way but the E-Tool was too cheaply designed to withstand much abuse…I returned to the RV and advised Mom to pack-up…we would seek better accommodations atop the mountain. Mom was a huge help as I maneuvered the RV up the mountain path…she pulled trees to the side, broke off potential damaging limbs…finally, we arrived but struggled with positioning the RV to the point of level; ultimately, having to settle with a slightly front-down attitude but level laterally. Getting everything set-up for camp, Mom prepared us sandwiches and delicious Washington cherries provided us by Madeline…thank you Madeline and Andy!!!

Subsequent to dinner, Mom wanted to take the fur-babies for a walk before dark so we leashed PePe and allowed the others the freedom to walk with us unhindered; unfortunately, that proved unwise. As darkness began to engulf the mountain top, a chipmunk, groundhog or marmot (?) exited its hole in the sandy soil and Zoe was mesmerized…Zoe took-off in hot pursuit, totally focused on the small creature…unaware of our yelling for her to stop and return…Zoe ran-off into the darkness, down the mountain and into the higher grass and woods. Mom and I took-off in pursuit of Zoe…Mom was frantic…angry…accusatory…upset that I was not running sufficiently fast to catch Zoe…I was in my rubber-clogs…don’t let Mom tell you she’s going to re-home these dogs…those are empty words…these dogs are like her children!!!

It eventually became too dark for safety…I was concerned about finding our way back to the RV in the woods. Mom wanted to return and put on her shoes and go back out with a good flashlight and find Zoe…NOT A GOOD IDEA (in my opinion)! As we returned to the RV using a different route than the one we had initiated our hike…I observed a white object walking down the mountain road headed toward the RV…it was Zoe who found her way back home using our earlier scent. MOM WAS FURIOUS, Zoe recognized this and walked over to me…I could not be upset at her…but I was impressed that the tiny dog used good commonsense and did not panic but followed the our scent to find her way back.

Mom required little time to compose herself as we all entered the RV and prepared for bed…sleep was fleeting as our adrenaline, from the nights search for Zoe, would not allow us to relax. I thank my Lord for answered prayer as He guided Zoe safely home and provided peace for my Wife and I…Zoe would have certainly fallen prey to the coyotes that were yelping this early morning in the woods east of our RV…not far from the area Zoe had entered in pursuit of the fleeing critter.  

Saturday, June 26, 2021 (Beaver Lake – Mountain/BLM or Forest Department land)

The dogs woke us up around 5AM…Mom took them out to pee…She returned to bed but sleep escaped us and finally, we got out of bed around 6:30AM. We took the dogs outside, leashed PePe to the RV, Zoe and Layla to a lawn chair…I prepared coffee and Mom and I sat outside with the dogs and drank our coffee…but then MiMi observed a small squirrel jump from a tree in the forest adjacent to our RV and the mountain road…she flew out of my lap and chased the squirrel into the forest…not again? Mom was in hot pursuit and caught MiMi; angrily, MiMi was confined to the RV…these small animals atop the mountain are running the dogs crazy. 

Having settled her nerves, Mom decided to go bird-watching by herself…I tended to the dogs and sipped the remaining coffee in my cup. Upon her return, Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal w/prunes and pecans…buttered toast…salami and smoked ham, yogurt…Mom drank a hot tea, I had water…God Bless my beautiful Wife! The Sun is now attacking the RV as its heat has risen above the tall mountain pines; we may have to use the awning to enjoy the early afternoon until the Sun chases the mountains to the west…offering cooler weather, comfortable lounging. Mom is currently cleaning-out the garage-storage area in the RV…I may attempt a repair of the cheap E-Tool and clear the mountain passage for our descent on Sunday or Monday. Mom has extended the awning…she is currently disciplining PePe for his hyperactivity and has placed the Type-A personality into the RV…it’s a beautiful day…let’s see what happens in the Washington woods? 

Later, we all went for a hike over the top of the mountain and investigated some interesting trails leading down the other side. The heat was taking its toll on Mom and the dogs; we returned to RV and opted to sit outside under the awning to cool down…but…the heat approached 96-degrees…the flies and mosquitoes were relentlessly tormenting Mom, me, the dogs…it was borderline miserable for them; so then, we entered the RV, started the generator and turned-on the air conditioner. It was at that point we decided that perhaps we would leave the mountain top the following morning, Sunday, as the days here were miserable with the flies and the heat..the evenings and the nights were WONDERFUL and cool…but it was time go go.

As evening approached, Mom and I, along with the fur-babies, sat outside under the awning and watched the little subterranean creatures feed and raise their family…a mound of dirt very near our RV was home to one-family while the actual mountain top was inundated with them. The holes these creatures dig into the roadway and mountain top area are very destructive…if they’re not controlled, this entire area will be structurally compromised.

Later, Mom prepared us a wonderful dinner of tuna sandwiches, corn chips, salsa. After some good conversation with my Wife, I took Duke and PePe for a short walk down the mountain road…it’s good to get alone with my Lord and talk.

Upon returning to the RV, I brushed my teeth in preparation for bed…Mom wanted to set in the doorway behind the screen and observe the lush forest for animal movement…I did the same but from the bed…the forest area is incredibly lush, green…I wanted to dress and go out into the forest with Mom and just sit until dark…it was so quiet outside, the wind was still…I could actually hear the sound of my blood rushing though by arteries/ears; eventually, sleep won and the cool night allowed for some excellent sleep.

Sunday, June 27, 2021 (Leaving Okanogan National Forest headed EB on Hwy. 20)

We woke-up around 5AM and convinced the dogs to go back to sleep. We woke again at 6:30AM and Mom took the dogs out to pee…I then leashed PePe and Duke and we jogged down the mountain road for some exercise. Mom took her shower while we jogged; I prepared coffee upon returning from my jog…then Mom and I had some cereal for breakfast…I showered and we prepared the RV for the road. Collecting the stack-able leveling blocks and storing them into their carrying cases…we slowly descended the mountain making every attempt to avoid the evergreens, the limbs that would scratch the RV or damage the roof….Mom performed Forest Duties by clearing trees from our path.

Heading back toward Hwy 20, we stopped by the Bonaparte RV Park and Mom inquired concerning the fee for dumping our waste-water and filling with potable water….$25.00…so we proceeded down the road…not getting gouged by these overpriced RV parks.

We proceeded EB on Hwy 20 and we’re currently in the small Washington town of Republic. Mom is washing clothes at the laundromat…I’m going to dump our waste-water at a dump just southeast of the laundromat (suggested donation fee of $4.00)…maybe find some potable water in the area as well.



Well, no potable water to be had in Republic…even City Hall has a lock on their spigot…so, we’ll search elsewhere. It’s 11:33AM, Mom is still washing clothes…the fur-babies and I are parked on the side of the road, Hwy 20, in Republic waiting for the phone call to pick her up.

Subsequent to picking up Mom and the laundry in Republic, we headed east on SH-20 toward Kettle Falls…needing to dump our trash and fill with LPG, we stopped at a station offering $3.54 fuel…while filling, I entered the store and advised the female clerk that I needed some propane if there anyone to assist me…I then asked if I could place our two-trash bags into their dumpster…she said I could not…so then, I filled the RV and drove away…if a facility wants my money…work with me; so then, onto Coville; here, I stopped at an O’Reilly Auto Parts and purchased an AC Delco oil filter; Wix air filter; fuses, for the RV as our “Appliances” 15A fuse blew sometime early this morning while on the mountain at Beaver Lake…that shut-down our refrigerator; so then, I opted to confiscate the 15A fuse from the speakers/audio/radio fuse position to get the refrigerator back into service (no spare fuses); leaving O’Reilly’s, we ate some delicious Mexican food at Rancho Chico Family Restaurant – and much to our surprise, it was an affiliate of the Mexican restaurant in Omak, WA where we ate prior to boon-docking at Beaver Lake. I ordered the same dish, a cheese and beef enchilada with rice and beans; Mom ordered the mixed-combination fajitas.

With our bellies full, we headed to Walmart where Mom purchased some necessities for our RV; I opted to purchase 5-quarts of Mobile 1 Extended Performance (5W30) and with the 1-qt of Mobile 1(ES) in the RV, I drove behind Walmart and changed the engine oil, filter, air filter and the generator oil. The mechanics at Walmart allowed me to dump the used oil into the recycle barrel…and they took my used AC Delco oil filter and associated garbage as well. We finally got rid of the garbage from our boon-docking on the mountain by stopping at a filling station on the outskirts of Coville/SH 20 and filling the LPG tank…almost full…but the attendant was worried about the incredible temperatures in the area (100-108) and for safety measures, he left the tank just shy of full.

The ONAN-Cummings 4000 generator built into the RV can be problematic if the oil level is filled to full or even half-full on the dip-stick. The oil level must not be greater than 1/8th to 1/4th” above the fill-line; otherwise, the generator will not start and if it does happen to start, it won’t remain running much over 20-minutes…this problem raised its ugly head today…in 105 to 108-degree heat…subsequent to changing oil in the parking lot (I found a shaded area in the rear of the store)…now, the generator was acting-up and did not want to start…so it was the old remove a little oil at a time and finally…we had generator power for the air conditioning…but, not until I ruined my shorts with splashing oil from the generator subsequent to having touched the remote start lever by accident with the oil dip-stick removed…my new shorts were stained as were my relatively new shoes…so goes RV-life. Mom was irritated by the incredible heat in what was supposed to be an area of mild temperatures in June-July…but we were advised that a serious heat-wave was ravaging mid-America…Washington was directly in its path.

With this in mind…Mom began searching for an RV-Park, full-hook-ups, so that we would not have to run the generator all-night while boon-docking in these extreme temperatures. 100-108 would work the generator extremely hard; so then, Mom located the “Cedar RV Park & Car Wash” in Ione, WA, 4404 Hwy 31. Mom spoke with “Dan” by phone; Dan is the owner/operator of the RV Park and he assured us that we would have a place at his location. Upon arrival, Dan and his wife met with us in the parking lot…Dan introduced himself and explained the particulars of his RV Park and walked Mom toward site-15…where he supervised our parking and preparations for set-up. Soon, Dan and I walked to their office-store and completed the necessary paperwork for a two-o- three night stay. With the 4th-of-July approaching, Dan was not sure how long we could remain at the Park but stated that he would see if any spots would be available during the busy week of the 4th (If we desired to stay) as some travelers were concerned about the heat wave and the dangers of traveling/camping in same.

Subsequent to paying for two-nights and for a water-pressure reducing valve to protect our RV’s piping from high-pressure water…I returned to the RV to assist Mom with the hook-ups. Later, we took the fur-babies for a walk along a trail at the rear of the Park…I policed their refuse…we returned to the RV, air conditioner ready…we will see how RV life in an RV Park works out…this is our first RV Park experience. Currently, it’s 10:53PM…Mom is taking the dogs out to pee one last time before bed…and has decided to take a good shower with unlimited water…God Bless!

Monday, June 28, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

We finally got into bed around midnight and sleep was intermittent due to neighbors conversing at 2-3AM and disturbing PePe…chastising PePe for his low warning gruff barks was useless…the boy is a true mental issue; so then, I got up and plugged-in the floor fan and dialed it to “low”…for ambient noise to drown-out the outside noise…we climbed out of bed at approximately 6AM.

RV parks are nice as far as hook-up convenience and security are concerned; that is, if one tows a road worthy vehicle, they can park their RV…feel relatively comfortable that their personal property will be secure…go and enjoy themselves in the surrounding area. If you’re without a vehicle, you’ll have to unhook your RV for transportation…this can be done, but it’s not anywhere near convenient.

Presently, it’s 7:13AM and Mom has taken the dogs out to pee…I’ve prepared coffee…MiMi has observed a calico cat wandering the RV Park…she’s now obsessed with finding the cat…PePe is eating; Duke’s eaten and sleeping on the floor under the stove; Zoe and Layla are sleeping beside me…Mom is seeking information on the Internet; the little town of Ione is waking-up…I hear sporadic traffic passing in SH-31…let’s see what the day brings.

It’s currently 3:30PM in Ione, WA…the OAT indicator on the RV reflected 113-degrees outside…we’re inside the RV…air conditioner blaring…somewhat comfortable. Mom is in the process of washing the chair covers and bed-sheets…those things she was not able to wash yesterday in Republic. If I didn’t know better, I swear I was in Phoenix or Tucson, AZ. We will have to deal with it…the heat wave is supposed to subside here in Washington toward the end of the week. Mom and I are debating whether or not we should remain in the RV Park Wednesday night as well.

Later in the evening, Mom prepared us some sandwiches and chips for supper; then, we opted to take the fur-babies for a walk down some abandoned railroad tracks adjacent to the Cedar RV Park in Ione. Approximately two-tenths of mile north on Hwy 31, the old City of Cement, it’s remains…a ghost town…peeks out from the thick forest. An interesting history: https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ione-wa-walking-the-dogs-1.jpg
NB on the abandoned RR-tracks, Hwy 31 at the ghost town of “Cement, WA” See: https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

Upon returning from our walk, we played around on the computers…Mom looked at homes, I defended the Gospel…as midnight approached, we prepared for bed. Goodnight.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

The incredibly HOT temperatures are forecasted to inundate Washington’s east side once again…I’ve been told that even Canada is suffering record breaking heat…we will probably seek another night here in Ione…electricity, apart from the generator, to run our air conditioner is wonderful. We were awakened this morning at 6:50AM by the dogs who needed their bathroom break…Mom was the first to exit the bed…I followed and we leashed the fur-babies for their morning bathroom needs. Upon returning to the RV, I watered and fed the dogs while Mom made the bed and organized the RV…I prepared us some coffee and we’ll mingle on the computers for the time being…I might take Duke and PePe for a jog before the heat begins its assault on nature.

Later, before the asphalt and concrete became unbearably hot for the dog’s paws…I took PePe and Duke for a jog SB on Hwy 31, through a riverside community. Upon our return, Mom prepared a delicious breakfast of sliced sauteed peppers, eggs, cheese, on tortillas. After breakfast, seeing that the temperatures are too hot to function comfortably outside, we opted to remain in the RV and allow our electrical hook-up to power the air conditioner which is working overtime. I’ve prepared us some afternoon coffee and discovered my computer crashed and deleted some of my videos from WordPress which would not update prior to crashing…controlling my anger…I’m working on uploading the videos once again. Mom is looking at homes and property…I’m needing to go pay for another night…it’s too hot to subject my Wife and fur-babies to this heat on the road and not knowing where we will boon-dock and what the conditions might be.

Dan came by the RV yesterday evening to square-away our plans as site #15 that we’re presently occupying has been rented out previously by appointment. Mom expressed an interest in remaining for two-additional nights…we’re hoping this heat wave will subside. Dan provided me with some options to which we agreed to reposition our RV to site #6 (a forty-foot concrete pad) tomorrow and spend our last night there, departing on 1 July 21.

I rode over to the office with Dan in his Polaris side-by-side and completed the necessary paperwork; when I returned to the RV, I finished the delicious supper Chef Sylvia had prepared for us. After supper, Mom and I took the fur-babies for a long walk, first to the river front community I had jogged earlier then into the small municipality of Ione, Washington…a cute but struggling community of approximately 400-people. I LOVE these little towns, their history…the old homes…the architecture…the old train station (now remodeled…a Lion’s Club). Walking these streets is like stepping back in time…the America I remember as a child visiting Hearne, Calvert. I thoroughly enjoyed our walk.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ione-walking-sidewalk.jpg
Ione, WA…a lonely town full of memories I’ll never know…
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ione-neighborhood-street.jpg
Ione, WA…approaching the old High School (for sale)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ione-high-school.jpg
Ione High School – abandoned/for sale/lonely with memories – wish I could purchase-remodel
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ione-river.jpg
Pend Oreille River in Ione, WA
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-walking-with-sylvia.jpg
Ione, WA, Hwy 31 NB to RV Park
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-me-and-duke-in-cave.jpg
Hwy 31 in Ione, WA across from RV Park – you can read about this cave here: (Cement, WA) https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

Returning to our RV before dark, Mom searched for property on her computer; I worked on our RV diary and defended the Gospel; ultimately, we both showered and went to bed around midnight…a wonderful night’s sleep as the temperatures moderated, the air conditioner took a break, the floor fan mitigated any noise…a wonderful night for us all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

We awoke (6:40AM) to the sound of our fur-babies restlessness and their need to take care of business outside…so Mom got up, I followed…Mom harnessed the ones she had given a haircut the night before and leashed them, I escorted our babies one and two at a time to the trail at the rear of the RV Park…business completed, I returned to the RV and prepared us some coffee. I’ll give my neighbors time to wake-up and get their day started before repositioning the RV to site #6 and hooking-up to the facilities. It’s a beautiful morning here in Ione, WA…upper 60’s with clear skies. There is a black cat outside…curious about our dogs…let’s see how the morning progresses :). My God is good!

Mom and I re-positioned the RV to site #6 at 9:30AM. We’re slightly nose-down as we were in site #15…this caused the air conditioner compressor water to flow into the air filter area and leak slightly into the cabin when I re-positioned the RV…now that we’re hooked-up, I’m not going to level the front-end for one-night, we will deal with it unless a problem manifests. Mom cleaned the air filter and reinstalled it…the OAT is rising exponentially and the air conditioner is working to keep us comfortable; fortunately, site #6 is shaded. I think we’ll eat breakfast/brunch soon…Mom is feeding the fur-babies…they’re still adjusting to RV life.

During the afternoon, the temperatures rose to approximately 108-degrees…incredible heat. Mom, the dogs and I remained inside the RV for the day, air conditioner working hard…computers buzzing away at our fingertips…the dogs sleeping. I might take Duke (maybe PePe) for a walk into town when the Sun is defeated by the small mountain and evergreens to our west.

Around 6:30PM, the Sun and the heat were sufficiently blocked by the small mountain and tall evergreens to our west allowing the pavement to cool to tolerable conditions for dog paws; so then, Duke, PePe and I went for a walk into town; following, are some videos taken during that walk,

Thursday, July 1, 2021 (Cedar RV Park in Ione, WA – departure)

Our day began with the sounds of restless dogs wanting to go outside for a bathroom break, 6:10AM, so I climbed out bed, Mom followed and we took the fur-babies out for a cool morning pee on the lawn. I entered the RV and prepared coffee…defended the Gospel and published an article concerning God’s will for our life while Mom contemplated the day and possibly washing clothes one more time before we pack-up and hit the road. I do hope the temperatures will moderate as the days progress and that heat wave finds another part of the World to torture. Mom prepared us a quick breakfast of Eggo’s and yogurt…I’ll probably go for a jog, shower, stow our sewage pipe, electrical, water…maybe wash the RV on the way out. Let’s see how the morning progresses…check-out is at noon. It’s a nice morning here in Ione, WA…but I can already see that the heat will be a factor today as well.

I went for a jog into town and around the baseball field and back to the RV Park while Mom washed a few remaining dirty clothes. After a good shower, I packed the hook-up hoses and electrical plug. We left site #6 around 11:20AM after a heartfelt thank you to Dan who was leveling a gravel site using his Kubota Tractor.

Before leaving, Mom and I rinsed-off our RV seeing that it had not been bathed since Arkansas…even White Sands remained on parts the hard working machine. We then proceeded SB on Hwy 31, slightly east and south on Hwy 20 where we paralleled the beautiful Pend Oreille River…beautiful water, beautiful landscapes (video).

Finally, we arrived in Newport, WA and ate some pretty good Mexican food at MI PUEBLO, 311 N. Washington, Newport, Washington. After lunch, we picked-up Hwy 2 SB into Spokane where I found a Discount Tire store and had the damage in our tire sidewall inspected. The front desk employee accompanied with me to the RV and inspected the tire; his summation was that the cut was cosmetic only and was of no concern…we were good to go; so then, somewhat relieved, I prepared coffee for Mom and myself and we headed to Walmart for boon-docking supplies…I’m currently parked in the Walmart parking lot…it’s VERY busy and Mom is probably doing her best to expedite her exit.

Our plan is to head to the Coeur d’Alene Lake area approximately 30-miles east of Spokane in western Idaho and find a place to boon-dock for the night. The generator is acting-up and won’t start as we’re sweating in this 100+degree heat in the Walmart parking lot…I think the temperatures are creating an air/fuel-problem for the generator with its current altitude setting. If this continues…a fix will be forthcoming.

This area of Spokane is apparently inundated with narcissistic White punk boys and their loud sports cars and radios…in the mix is the Spokane homeless seeking shelter in the parks and grassy areas; apparently, air conditioned stores like Walmart is also a homeless destination.

Washington is BEAUTIFUL relevant to geography, I’m not impressed by its gullible and naive populous of liberals. I do believe that Washington’s socialist-liberal-communist-BLM-ANTIFA problems are primarily confined to the larger municipalities…this is a narcissistic-mentally ill, communist-socialist deception, problem that is destroying the entire West Coast…happy to be proceeding east though I doubt it’s much better there. On the flip-side, I did find a plethora of conservative Patriotic Trump supporters in the smaller towns and municipalities, especially on the east side of the State. Mom’s back, putting up the groceries…we’ll be heading-out shortly.

Traveling EB on I-90 into Idaho, Mom began searching for the lowest fuel prices in the area and located a Walmart on Hwy 95 advertising $3.17 a gallon gas…so we headed that way. Subsequent to refueling, we opted to continue NB on Hwy 95 toward Hayden, to Sandpoint, then the search for a boon-docking site began.

We had hoped to find a National Park in the area to boon-dock a few days but nothing obvious was forthcoming; finally, before dark, I pulled off onto a road paralleling McArthur Lake (95-2 Hwy) (McArthur road); first, we attempted the boat ramp area but overnight parking was not permitted; second, I continued down a paved road, McArthur road, into a heavily wooded area and came to a fork in the road with a gravel road to the left (White Mountain Road) (Dead End)…so why not? We traveled that road and located a “Wildlife Management Area” driveway which offered a nice flat spot adjacent to the locked gate, behind some trees…so why not? We descended the hilly drive and hid the RV behind the trees. The dogs took care of their business, Mom prepared some delicious sandwiches; soon, we prepared for bed. Sleep was initially fleeting as that third cup of coffee had me wired and the days heat was lingering; Mom was scratching and rubbing her bug bites and slapping at a mosquito that had made its way into the cabin during the dogs exit and entrance…Mosquitoes were BAD! Finally, the temperatures moderated and cooled…sleep was good.

Friday, July 2, 2021 (McArthur Lake to Bonners Ferry)

I woke up around 5:20AM needing to go to the bathroom…but waited; soon, the dogs became restless in the bright morning sunshine and we got out of bed at 5:30AM…I took the dogs out to pee and Mom prepared the cabin for the road, made the bed. We headed out and intersected Hwy 95-2 NB toward Bonners Ferry; presently, it’s 7:15AM, we’re parked behind an AutoZone and Grocery Outlet in Bonners Ferry, positioned in the shade. I turned on the generator and prepared us some coffee…Mom said there is a McDonald’s 28-miles away but we’re not sure if it’s on 95N or 2EB…we will be leaving in a few minutes with breakfast on our mind. Mom has just consumed a huge blueberry-lemon muffin…I could not bring myself to go down that road…maybe some fresh cherries that Mom has just washed will hold me over…bye for now.

Proceeding NB on 95-2 in Bonners Ferry, we found the town to be exceptionally pretty with some Canadian influence and ambience. Crossing the bridge over the Pend Oreille Lake, we intercepted Hwy 2 EB and within a few miles I noticed a sign for Dawson Lake and Meadow Creek Campgrounds…I asked Mom if she wanted to head that way…the campgrounds were 10-miles to the north toward Canada and it was July the 4th weekend…not sure if we could find an acceptable spot in the campground but perhaps we could boon-dock on one the neighboring mountains owned by BLM or Forest Management. Not sure, Mom and I continued EB on Hwy 2 until finally Mom located a blog entry by a gentlemen who found the Meadow Creek Campgrounds using Google Maps back in 2018…he noted that the Campgrounds were isolated…difficult to locate…his 28-foot trailer was about maximum for maneuverability within the area; so then, Mom and I opted to turn-around and intersect the paved road headed north toward Canada. 

As we proceeded NB, we found Dawson Lake…but no campgrounds…we drove and we drove and we drove…beautiful forest, mountains, BLM or Forest Management numeric small signs with their specific codes for location acquirement…but no campgrounds; finally, a sign designating Meadow Creek Campgrounds…a gravel road leading into the forest and over a wooden bridge spanning a deep gorge. At the fork in the road, another sign for the Campgrounds but no directional arrow…I stayed “right” which is my “natural orientation :)” and within half-a-mile we observed a highly intoxicated/HIGH white male sitting in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle with a left front flat tire. Then, out of the woods, appears his buddy…Bubba…not a good scenario…I asked directions to the campgrounds and was advised that the other road, leading to the left, was the proper route…we proceeded back and on the reverse side of the sign was an arrow pointing to the camp grounds. 

Upon arrival, we found the Meadow Creek Campgrounds were a FEE area, no longer free as reported on the Internet but I did like the fact that those with an America the Beautiful Pass pay half-price…so Mom and I took the road leading to the right and found site #5…in my personal opinion, it’s the best campsite in the entire Campground. The Moyie River flows loudly immediately down the hill from our RV position…we have a trail that leads down to the River…the site is spacious, a burn ring, nice picnic table…beautiful trees inundate the area providing an abundance of shade. I backed the RV into the parking position and we noted a rear-low, starboard-low, position so Mom retrieved the leveling blocks and we did our best to square-away the RV seeing that we planned to remain here three or four+ days. 

After leveling, Mom began preparing the RV and the dogs for our stay. I walked to the Campground entrance and retrieved a pay-envelope. I returned to the RV, completed the necessary documentation, paid $30.00 by personal check and took the payment back to the pay-box…then placed the receipt on the attach-point located on a 4X4 near the campsite. Soon, a National Forest representative drove by and checked on us…all is well. We spent part of the afternoon lounging with the dogs under the awning and shade trees…the hot temperatures we had experienced in northeast Washington were moderated here and mitigated by the fast flowing white-water river near our site plus the abundance of shade trees and light breeze navigating itself through the trees…pleasant! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-4.jpg

Later, Mom wanted to go to the river so we leashed the dogs and followed the trail from our site to a private section of the River…Mom and I entered into the water and Mom’s “Rachi” obsession with rocks took hold…the Moyie River is replete with beautiful river rock…from the size of a dog’s tooth to large granite ROCKS that stood against the rapidly flowing water…simply beautiful. If Rebekah, Peter and Dan were here…we would never get them to leave the area…beautiful, colorful, rocks abound. 

The water temperature was “cool” and then “warm” depending on where you stood…there was even water flowing from under the mountain…perhaps a spring…it was numbing COLD as it flowed into the River.  The dogs took a plunge as well and they needed it. After a wonderful afternoon in the water, we returned to camp, changed clothes…chilled in the lounge chairs and allowed the dogs to sit with us unleashed, except for PePe…then…the Camp Host, Joe, walked up…the dogs off their leases…barking at him…but he was cool…did not overreact…and introduced himself…we talked for the better part of an hour. Joe looked like he was in his late 60’s, early 70’s, long white beard, long hair up under a hat…great conversation but he did mention the necessity of leasing the dogs…if for no other reason, for the danger of bears that frequented the area. I got the message. Joe is supposed to bring me a book about two guys who hiked the Appalachian Trail…a movie was made from the book starring Gary Bussy and Robert Redford. 

Mom and I were very surprised that our section of the campgrounds was almost empty of people except for one elderly couple, 1960 hippies?, backed into a spot northwest of ours; they’ve pitched a large tent…they seem like very interesting people but we’ve not met them as of yet. There are some families in the campground area to our north…but we’re the last site in this section and next to the beautiful Moyie River…secluded…God’s blessing. We will see if any other campers move into the campgrounds tomorrow, Saturday, July 3rd. 

Later in the evening, Mom and I took the dogs for a walk along the river on a trail that proceeded NB from the campground entrance; returning, we sat outside with the dogs until it was almost dark. I was getting sleepy…the dogs were done for the day…Mom opted to please us and get ready for bed…we climbed into the covers around 10PM…the night air cooled then got rather chilly…I closed the bedroom window next to the bed as one blanket was insufficient. A good night’s sleep was had by all.

Saturday, July 3, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We woke up at 6:15AM and escorted the dogs outside to take care of their business. Mom made the bed and policed the cabin, I started the generator and prepared us some coffee a little after 7AM. Mom put together a light breakfast of blueberry-lemon muffins, cheese, Washington cherries, grapes. I opted to catch-up on this diary even though we have insufficient service in this area to access the Internet…I’ll make notes on Google Documents. Mom walked to the River with camera in hand…she has returned and wants to take the dogs for a hike down the Moyie River. I told her I wanted to jog first…she asked why jog when we can just hike? I noted that I needed to get my heart-rate up and hiking did not accomplish that…Mom’s in a hurry…let’s get this day started.

Joe, our Camp Host, just stopped by to check the reservation stub on the standard next to our campsite. He gave me the book he promised, “A Walk in the Woods” by Gill Bryson. Inside the cover, the first page has a stamp “RECEIVED NOV 01 2000 Piner High School SIP”…interesting. 

Later, we saddled-up and walked the trail that parallels the Moyie River NB. The trail led us to a gravel road and we opted to walk that gravel road to the south…I believe this road is rough stone and gravel continuing to Moyie Springs, east of Bonners Ferry. All total, the hike was approximately 3-miles long…the dogs were tired and thirsty. When we returned to camp, Duke and I went for a jog down the road leading to the Campground entrance, across a beautiful wooden bridge and to the paved road that leads to Bonners Ferry SB and 95 NB into Canada. 

Returning to the RV, I began reading my book, “A Walk in the Woods” while Mom photographed and later prepared us a brunch of sausage and egg over mashed potato with mushrooms; for supper we had beef-tips over pasta…EXCELLENT!!!. For the afternoon, we spent some time at the river…Mom collected some beautiful rocks for Rebekah and Peter; I sat in the cool water enjoying God’s creation. The evening was spent back at camp, reading and entertaining the dogs…a beautiful day and a wonderful night…cool and restful…peaceful. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-river-rock.jpg

Sunday, July 4, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We got out of bed around 7:15AM. The dogs were serviced and I walked to the water fountain in the center of our Campground to fill the dogs water bowl. Mom has prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal and bagels with cream cheese…time to eat. The morning is beautiful…the Sun’s out, temperatures are probably in the lower to mid-50’s…the Camp is quiet…not too many people here this 4th of July…that’s a good thing! 

I spent part of the morning reading while Mom made every attempt to find an animal, any animal, to photograph; unfortunately, without much success. Later, we leashed the fur-babies and went for a good hike. Out on the access road to the campgrounds, we located a powerline right-of-way leading north from the intersection of Meadow Lake Road. We decided to walk it toward the Moyie River and discovered the area was under lease for mining…we found a narrow trail and walked back into the Idaho forest…I was anticipating the presence of any number of animals in this beautiful, remote, wooded area…NOTHING to be seen here but what I refer to as a ground squirrel…like those that were destroying the terrain on the mountain top we boon-docked on near Beaver Lake in Washington. NOTHING!!! Mom is disappointed.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-4-1.jpg

The evening was spent primarily with me reading and baby-sitting the fur-babies while Mom ventured to the river access near our campsite and waited for wildlife to appear for their evening watering…nothing but a Robin and an Eagle or Hawk that would not cooperate. Later, after a wonderful supper of sliced beef, mac and cheese, Mom initiated a fire in the pit and we all enjoyed the late evening into darkness with the glow and warmth of a beautiful fire in the quiet and beautiful forest that surrounded us in conjunction with the relaxing sound of the Moyie River’s peaceful white-water flow. Sleep was wonderful with the exception of the train horn that echoed from the surrounding mountains several times last night. At midnight, I made an attempt to record the strange horn these trains make as they travel from Canada south with what I believe is crude oil as it’s placarded with a combustible/flammable placard…I’ve not been able to retrieve the placard number as of yet but the tanker cars are black and very large…priority cargo…the one train I did observe had no freight cars intermingled with the tankers. If I was a betting man, I’d bet these railroad tankers are Biden’s tactic of importing crude from Canada to circumvent the Key-Stone while lining the pockets of Special Interest scoundrels like Buffet and Big Oil. I despise Communists and Biden/Harris/Schumer/Pelosi and the DNC are at the top of my list. Just saying.

Monday, July 5, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

This morning began at 7:00AM with climbing out of bed in the cool, still, mountain air…leashing the fur-babies and taking them for bathroom necessities. Mom fed the babies while I walked to the camp’s water access and filled their large blue bowl with water. I then started the generator and prepared us coffee…Mom is currently preparing a breakfast of bagels and eggs…we will have to decide if we’re going to spend a few more days here at Meadow Creek or move-on to another location, either north or EB toward Montana.

An extremely nice fellow, walking his dog, stopped by our campsite yesterday and conversed with us for probably 20-minutes. Originally from Nebraska and now having lived in Idaho for 6-years, he suggested we go south on 95 to St. Maries/St. Joe area and head EB…incredibly beautiful…some of the most exquisite terrain he’s ever seen…lots of parks, National Forest…absolutely beautiful. Mom wants to head NB on 95 to Copper Falls and check-out the campground there…me…I’m OK here…I would like to pay for this site for a few more days, drive into Bonners Ferry, eat some Mexican food, dump our sewage, shop for necessities, return, fill with water from the access spigots in the campground…relax with a beautiful river in my backyard until Thursday or Friday or….whenever. Time to eat, TTYL.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-rocks.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moyie-river.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moyie-river-1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-me-and-babies-in-river.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-mom-and-babies.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-me-in-river.jpg
Moyie River w/PePe



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-furbabies.jpg

Later, I took Duke and PePe for a nice run; afterwards, I drove the RV to an adjacent campsite within the same campground area…there is a spigot there with a threaded-end allowing a hose hook-up to fill our RV’s fresh water tank. The remaining spigots throughout the campground are of a smooth variant and will not allow the attachment of a hose but next to each water pipe there is another protected by a green fiberglass/plastic box and locked with a key-lock. Joe, our camp host, said he had the key and that those water pipes would allow me to fill our RV should we need it. I returned and re-positioned the RV to level…I spent the afternoon completing Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” while Mom walked around the area and ultimately spent time at the river in hopes of seeing anything worthy of a photograph.  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jesus-july-6-me-and-babies.jpg
Duke and Pepe at Meadow Creek Campgrounds
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-6-verticle-view-from-camp.jpg
Looking up at the night sky from our campsite (Meadow Creek Campgrounds – Idaho)

about:blankImageUpload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL.UploadSelect ImageInsert from URL

 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-stress-in-the-forest.jpg
Hard at work – Meadow Creek Campgrounds – Idaho

In the evening, we took the dogs for a hike to the railroad tracks and just missed the passing train by a few-minutes. Returning, we relaxed under the awning and shade trees until dusk…Mom returned to the River for photographs, I took a much needed shower. Later, Mom took her shower and we all retired for the evening.

A note about Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods”…

Bill Bryson is a very good writer with a style and applicable intelligence that keeps the reader interested; actually, I had difficulty putting the book down. “A Walk in the Woods” is replete with historical, geographical, ecological, statistical, information that has apparently been well researched and is presented in a way that makes history, ecology, geography, a flowing and interdependent singular subject; unfortunately, Bryson is a proponent of Darwinism and goes out of his way to insult the Creationist and the faithful in Jesus Christ. This put a damper on my read but I continued the journey with some anger. “A Walk in the Woods” is a non-fictional account of two-men in the midst of a mid-life crisis seeking adventure beyond their physiological and psychological capabilities yet they endure sufficiently to satisfy their personal desires for achievement and ultimately garner a sense of self-worth. It is the Appalachian Trail that provided Bryson and Katz a worthy challenge. I enjoyed the book immensely even though I consider Darwinism to be demonically rooted and destructive to the soul of our posterity and America’s Constitutional Republic. The book is definitely worth a read!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 (Leaving Meadow Creek Campgrounds?)

We climbed out of bed around 7AM this morning and allowed the dogs to take part in their morning ritual. I prepared us coffee while Mom made us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, cheese, bagel, sliced ham. 

Sylvia is adamant that she wants to move-on down the road while I, once again, attempted to convince her that in order for RV-life to succeed, we must stay-put for a period of time. We simply cannot continue on the road with communist-Biden’s fuel prices at the pump. Currently, we’re positioned in a virtual paradise. We’re in the most beautiful, secluded, campsite in the area…the Moyie River is in our backyard and we’re tucked up under a canopy of wonderful shade trees. We paid $7.50 a night for four-nights totaling $30.00…we have access to fresh water; we could easily pay for another four-nights and relax, go to Bonners Ferry, eat some Mexican food…purchase supplies and return here without worry – RELAX…but Mom is bored of this place and wants to move-on; unfortunately, I’m not sure what she hopes to find, contentment is not part of her personal repertoire; so then, I’ll finish this section of our diary and prepare to move-out…to where? Who knows? Mom just returned from the river…she and PePe had an encounter with a beautiful red-squirrel…PePe wants more…Mom is showing me the pictures on her camera…time to brush the teeth, fill the RV with water and say goodbye to Meadow Creek – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time here. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 203222152_10224169702617564_8256811701248056243_n.jpg

Mom, sensing my displeasure with leaving Meadow Creek for an unknown location, asked if perhaps we should pay for another night and take the RV to recon the Copper Falls Campground, Robinson Lake and Brush Lake Campgrounds as well. So then, Sylvia retrieved a camping permit envelope and I completed same, placing the receipt on site #5’s standard. We retracted the awning, secured all that could be secured, loaded the fur-babies and proceeded to Moyie Road then Hwy 95 NB to the Canadian Border. Sylvia was nervous when she observed the border crossing area and we immediately made a U-turn and headed SB to Copper Falls. The campgrounds at Copper Falls were unsatisfactory for our needs…though paved, they were too close in proximity to other campers…NO WAY! Robinson Lake’s campgrounds, the entrance, was blocked by a logging truck…so we turned around and proceeded SB on Hwy 95…a beautiful drive to Brush Lake. We navigated a mountain road, washboard rough in areas, to find the campgrounds….they were rather nice, quiet, only one-spot was occupied. We might consider them tomorrow or later in the week…they’re free (no fees) but no potable water is available. Mom is concerned about navigating that mountain road again and the fact that we’re in the middle of “Grizzly Country.” She wants to see a bear…but the Grizzly scares her.



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-copper-falls.jpg
Copper Falls, Idaho
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-hwy-95.jpg
Hwy 95 in the Brush Lake Campground (overview area), Idaho

Leaving Brush Lake, we proceeded SB on Hwy 95 into Bonners Ferry. Immediately, we drove to what is reported to be a good Mexican food restaurant but unfortunately for us, it was closed for the 4th-6th; in place of the Mexican food, we opted for fish and chips at Mugsy’s Diner…not bad at all though I consumed the greasy french fries and now suffer guilt. After lunch, Mom and I walked to a nearby Bookstore and I purchased a couple of Sidney Sheldon novels from the $1.00 rack outside the store; meanwhile, Mom was searching for a hair salon…it was booked…we walked until we found another hair salon…they upset Mom with their attitude…so then, we proceeded to fuel the RV, shop for groceries as Big One Groceries…Mom was upset with the prices and lack of inventory; so then, we’re now in the parking lot of Safeway in Bonners Ferry waiting on Mom to finish her grocery shopping. Unless I pass by some cheap LPG, we will probably head back to Meadow Creek Campgrounds and chill for the evening…it’s cooler up there, much more so than in town…whoever said the Northern United States had a “moderate” climate in the summer was either lying or ignorant…maybe it’s just this heatwave? It’s HOT up here in these municipalities…the river and shade trees are the place to be…not bad near the Canadian border along the rivers…mild and relatively quiet. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-fish-and-chips.jpg

Subsequent to leaving the Safeway store in Bonners Ferry, I stopped by a 76-Truck Stop and topped off the already full-tank of fuel and the attendant filled our propane tank to full as well. I did this as we still had one bag of garbage remaining in the storage compartment…previously, we had BAGS of garbage collected over the July 4th weekend at Meadow Creek Park. 

An issue with the National Park Service, 

I am MOST appreciative of the military discount afforded me by the National Forest-Parks Service; I am most appreciative of the abundance of campsites in some of the most beautiful locations in America. What I must gripe about to some degree is the policy in far too many campgounds of “Pack it in – Pack it out” and the absence of RV dumb facilities and in far too many cases, the absence of potable water with a tap allowing hose-fitment to fill the fresh water tank on RV’s. With just two-people occupying a campsite for one-week, the amount of trash that is collected can be overwhelming. Wild animals in the area love trash; so then, trash must be stored in luggage compartments (if not full) or inside the tent or RV. Why not provide at least ONE bear-proof trash bin/dumpster at the entrance/exit of all campground? The absence of trash disposal sites encourages bad behavior e.g. burning trash in campfires and illegal dumping.

Also, there is an untold number of RV’s traversing parks, Interstates, back roads, daily. Two or three people occupying an RV in a campground for one-weekend will fill the gray and black water holding tanks…what are they to do with this refuse if they want to remain in the park for a week? Do they pack everything, drive into the nearest town, possibly many miles away, find a dump station and then return? Most “camp host” sites are replete with RV hook-ups i.e. power-sewage-water and there are usually a number of toilets scattered throughout the better campgrounds; so then, why not position a sewage dump station for the RV’s and potable water for their fresh tanks at either the entrance/exit or near/at the toilet locations…the sewage storage is already there for goodness sake? 

Failing to provide garbage and sewage disposal inspires bad behavior on the part of those wishing to enjoy these parks managed by the US Forest and Park Service. 

Anyway, subsequent to finding a dumpster for our last bag of trash and having filled our propane, we proceeded NB on Hwy 95-2 to Hwy 2 EB and worked our way NB to the Meadow Creek Campgrounds where site #5 was waiting for us. Upon arrival, we consumed the delicious Asian food and fried chicken Mom had purchased from Safeway. The dogs were serviced, fed, watered, bathroom needs taken care of. Mom and I, Duke and PePe, lounged in the dark for an hour or so…listening to the Moyie River’s white-water…then off-to-bed around 10:30PM. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds)

This morning we got out of bed around 7:10AM, serviced the dogs. I serviced the generator’s oil (added) and prepared us some coffee. Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, a muffin, and cherries. Today, my plan is to reserve a couple of more days here at Meadow Creek and maybe leave Friday en route to Brush Lake for the weekend…then…EB on Hwy 2 to Montana? We will see. Later, I hope to begin a new book I purchased at a bookstore in Bonners Ferry; Sidney Sheldon’s “Memories of Midnight.” Mom is rather bored seeing that the animal population is not cooperating with her camera…not sure what she’s going to do…sitting unproductively is just not Mom…I hope she adapts. Anyway, PePe and Duke need to run…I need to run…so a jog is also in order. Unusual, but the skies here in northern Idaho are cloudy today…it feels like rain…we will see? TTYL. 

Later, Mom walked to the River for photos and I watched the fur-babies while reading my book…when Mom returned, I saddled-up the boys and we went for a good jog in the countryside. Returning, I opted to shower seeing that water access is within the campgrounds. The day was pretty much spent reading and watching Mom make every attempt to find something to do with her time…relaxing and just “being” is not working for her. In the evening, we walked the dogs down to the entrance leading into the facility…returned and prepared for bed.

Thursday, July 8, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We climbed out of bed around 8:15AM and immediately serviced the dogs. I started the generator and prepared us some coffee. Not sure what Mom has planned…hope she can endure doing “nothing” for another day while I read, drink coffee, enjoy this paradise…doing “nothing” for me is a blessing. Tomorrow, we’ll most likely leave camp, proceed SB on Meadow Creek Road, intercept Hwy 2 and either head east into Montana or west into Bonners Ferry for Mexican food and then east…who knows? We’re paid-up here for one-more night… 

Later in the morning Mom and I opted to take a very long hike; but first, we decided to leave Layla and MiMi in the RV…they’re not doing well on the longer hikes…MiMi’s suffering some hip dysplasia and Layla’s paws are on the sensitive side…the gravel takes a toll on her pads. We walked and investigated a side-road leading to a private-gate; suspiciously, how does one purchase land or post it as “private” in the National Forest? After approximately 1.5-hours, we returned to the RV, I prepared some coffee; later, Mom made us tacos with some of the most delicious ground beef I’ve ever tasted. After lunch, Mom went to the River with PePe while I finished my book, “Memories of Midnight.” 

A word about Sidney Sheldon’s “Memories of Midnight.” 

In its totality, Sheldon masterfully exposes the utter futility of man’s pursuit of wealth – sensuality – power – influence through wickedness and an alliance with the sinful-nature. (Potiphar v. Potter) I was struck by the parallel used by Sheldon, whether knowingly or unknowingly, relevant to the Biblical character of Joseph and the temptation he faced from Potiphar’s wife as she, the wife of a an Egyptian officer who directly served the Pharaoh, made every attempt to seduce Joseph into the act of adultery but Joseph ran away and rejected the sensual temptation (Genesis 39); the main character of Sheldon’s book, as a young man, faced the exact temptation by a wife of a very powerful and influential oil magnet (named Potter)…but the main character opted to engage in adultery and used same to enrich his personal life beyond one’s imagination. Both of these men, Joseph and the main character of the book, reaped what they sowed…one to life, one to death. The theme of the entire novel is Solomon’s sermon, “Vanity of vanities” – “All is futility and chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes). I enjoyed this murder mystery…it’s worth a read IMHO. 

Later in the evening, we took the dogs for a walk to let them take care of business and get a little tired in preparation for bed. Mom and I lounged around and watched the evening fade into night and prepared for bed.

Friday, July 9, 2021 (Leaving Meadow Creek Campground – Idaho toward Montana)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY REBEKAH – LOVE YOU!!!

We woke-up around 7:40AM, temperatures in the 50’s/clear, and serviced the dogs. I initiated the generator and prepared us coffee…Mom is preparing breakfast. I plan to go for a quick jog this morning with the boys and prepare the RV for travel. The campground is filling with people for some reason…I expected the week of July 4th to be busy but it was not so…NOW…the camp is bustling…I’m NOT a fan, neither is Mom. If all goes well, we will pick everything up this morning, prepare the dogs for the road, fill the RV with fresh water and make our way south to Hwy 2 then EB toward Montana. 

Later…We exited the Meadow Creek Campgrounds around 10:40AM, turned SB on Meadow Creek Road, intercepted Hwy 2 EB and began our journey toward Montana. Eastern Idaho and western Montana’s beauty defies words…the beautiful mountains, the Kootenai National Forest…the Yaak River…the white water…it’s a must see with one’s own eyes. We’re currently in Libby, Montana…Mom is in the Rosauers Food and Rx shopping for supplies. I took the dogs out to pee next to the busy parking lot and I think we’ll continue EB on Hwy 2 to Kalispell, Montana. Feeling a bit tense today…nothing apparent…just a feeling of caution, don’t know why.

Arriving in Kalispell, Montana, Mom located a great Mexican food restaurant, Casa Mexico, a little too expensive for me but the food was delicious. Leaving the restaurant, Mom wanted to wash clothes so we located a nice laundry…too expensive for Mom’s taste…so we topped-off the RV with fuel ($3:17 gallon) and headed toward Kintla Lake near the Canadian Border. Proceeding NB on Hwy 2 then onto an unknown NB road toward Lake McDonald, the pavement ended and a very dusty, washboard, gravel road was before us…20+miles to Kintla, Lake…so we slowly proceeded NB and observed a gravel road to our west that appeared to be National Forest…out of curiosity, we took it…and we ascended a mountain for many miles…passing bear scat…and continued to climb until the road came to a dead end…at the top of the mountain was adequate parking for the RV; so then, Mom and I positioned the RV and leveled her fairly well. The dogs were fed and watered…Mom set-out the carpet and chairs…but…the mosquitoes and flies and bees are pretty bad, even though the temperatures up here are cool and will possibly get COLD overnight. The dogs are sitting next to me asleep on the cushions, Duke is passed out on the floor. It’s 9:25PM…a beautiful sunset on the adjacent mountain…all is quiet and peaceful except for the song birds in the forest. Mom is very fearful of bears; supposedly, we’re in Grizzly Country…the scat on the mountain road up here testifies to their presence as the scat appeared FRESH. I’ll remain armed while here…I hope Mom will ease her fear and enjoy herself. Mom entered the RV and said she heard a growl in the woods…Getting late…we will probably head to bed shortly…maybe? 

Saturday, July 10, 2021 (Mountain Top – south of Kintla Lake, Montana)

The night was COOOOL…the “Big Sky” was filled with stars and beauty as I watched out the screen bedroom window. Mom and I both had difficulty falling asleep. Mom was concerned about the mosquitoes, I was preparing a strategy for defending us should a young man we met on the way up the mountain opt to bring his friends and try to take advantage of us on this dead-end mountain peak. Yesterday, as we ascended the mountain and neared the top, a young W/M, longer black hair, 18-YOA, with his girlfriend (W/F – long black hair) in the right seat, operating a blue, smaller truck…was descending the mountain…he was kind…courteous…I moved as far right as possible…much to Mom’s anger and fear of the steep drop-off on her side. The young man said he has lived in this area all his life…he discussed the huckleberries at the top of the mountain…said no one ever goes all the way to the top…said he wanted to do what we’re doing and own an motor home…kind…polite…but…I’m suspicious…

At Mom’s request, I readied the Benelli last night by removing it from its stand next to the driver’s seat and securing the flash-light to the rail. Concerning the local population and the bear scat observed during our ascent yesterday, I’ll stay armed. 

We got up around 6AM, serviced the dogs. I made coffee for us both while Mom has cooked us some “Idaho Potatoes” with Amish butter…she peeled a fresh Idaho potato so we could experience this popular mainstay of Idaho. We’re very much secluded up here on this beautiful mountain with incredible views of mountain peaks as far as the eye can see…Mom said some of the mountains have snow on them…beautiful. I am thankful to my Lord for His grace, mercy, patience, love and provisions. 

Currently, Mom is outside chasing wildlife with her camera, I’m defending the Gospel…9:30AM.

Later, I took PePe and Duke for a good hike around a portion of the mountain we’re on top of…we are north of Columbia Falls, possibly on Whitefish Mountain. Roads circling this mountain have been blocked by the building of waves of dirt at their entrance making them accessible only by ATV or off-road motorcycles…the Forest Service prefers these roads are hiked on foot; the view from the roads is beyond description. Mountains extend as far as the eye can see, some are snow-capped…some are incredibly high…looking north toward Canada…beautiful. Unfortunately, there are small forest fires far to our distant south, the smoke from these has filtered into the mountains and valleys surrounding us and a haze has formed that obscures the clarity necessary to truly appreciate the beauty…I hope tomorrow will be clear once again.

Mom prepared us a supper of meaty burgers and the fur-babies partook to some extent as well. We all took another hike down the mountain road for a little ways as the Sun was setting…Mom is intrigued by the beautiful and interesting rocks that are embedded into the steep roadside. Returning to the RV, I read a little…Mom searched for RV parks in Colorado in preparation for her “Sisters” reunion in the last part of August. I went to bed around 10PM, Mom tried to upload photos from her camera…it was a wonderful night of sleep…absolute quietness, peacefulness, on the mountain top.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 216461039_10224193205965133_1920436402852564527_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-july-10.jpg

Sunday, July 11, 2021 (Mountain Top – Whitefish Mountain? north of Columbia Falls, Montana)

We woke around 6:40AM and serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee while Mom policed the RV and made the bed. We’re currently online as Mom’s phone has made connection with our AT&T Hotspot…nice. The OAT is in the 50’s, clear sky…perhaps the smoke in the valleys has cleared? I will probably take the boys for a run in a bit…miss being in my Lord’s house today.

Later in the morning after breakfast, the boys and I jogged the road leading down the mountain. The afternoon was spent primarily defending the Gospel on social media while Mom searched real estate, property taxes and such. Later, after a delicious supper of sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, we took the fur-babies for a walk down the mountain road and enjoyed the beauty of God’s handiwork in front of us; then, upon returning to the RV, we secured the little dogs inside and took the boys for a good hike partially around the mountain trail to our northwest looking toward Canada…incredible views, gorgeous sunset. We returned to the RV around 9:30PM and readied for bed…the night was beautiful, cool, clear, fresh air on top of the mountain with solace and peace. I am very thankful.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-11-duke-me.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-mompepe.jpg

Monday, July 12, 2021 (Whitefish Mountain top – Montana)

We woke up around 5:45AM to incredible weather…cool…clear. The dogs were needing their bathroom break, as were we; subsequently, I prepared coffee while Mom policed the RV and made the bed. Currently, we’re both on our computers taking advantage of the cellular hotspot while it’s operating with some speed. Mom hinted that she wants to leave today…need to do laundry…it’s piling up. Me, on the other hand, I would like to stay here another day…I genuinely enjoy this mountain, the views, the fresh air. We’ll see how the day goes.

Later, Mom made us a wonderful smorgasbord breakfast and we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon on our computers. The boys are getting restless, we’ll probably go for a hike in a bit. Later, Mom, me, the fur-babies, went for a long hike down the mountain road and onto a trail-head leading into the wilderness…we hiked until the girls and my girl were done…then hiked back to the RV. After some rest, reading, social media, I took Duke for a long walk around the mountains…absolutely beautiful…upon returning to the RV, Mom had supper ready…we then talked for bit, I read some…we prepared for bed.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-12-food-1.jpg

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 (Whitefish Mountain, Montana headed toward Coby, Wyoming)

Overnight, the mountain top received some HUGE droplets of rain; initially, I thought it was hail but later learned rain had moved into the mountains. We got up around 7AM, serviced the dogs, I made coffee and we prepared some cereal for breakfast. I then took PePe and Duke for a jog while Mom showered; upon returning to the RV, I also showered and we prepared the RV for the road. Exiting Whitefish Mountain at 9AM, we turned SB and drove most of the day; currently, we’re in Butte, Montana at a Walmart…Mom is shopping; later, we hope to find some potable water for our fresh water tank. We’re full of fuel…hoping to find a boon-docking location en route to Coby, WY where Mom has some property she wants to see. TTYL

Before it got too late in the evening, Mom and I attempted to camp at Harrison Lake off of Montana 287 but we did not read the State Park instructions carefully and come to find out they wanted “non-Montanans” to pay $18.00 a night to camp at the Lake, no water, no electrical, no sewer…this after setting-up the RV for a few nights at the site; so then, we drove the RV off the leveling blocks, put them away and headed out. Heading SB on Hwy 287, eventually we noticed a “National Forest Access” sign pointing to the right…we turned right and traveled for MILES on gravel road until coming to a dark and non-maintained Forest entrance…there were a couple of campers in the area, it was dark, getting late, so we opted to take the forest road and proceed up the mountain; once on this road, it was not possible to turn the RV around so we continued in the dark on this rough, poorly maintained mountain road for miles until we crossed a cattle guard or two and finally came to a side road leading up to another section of the mountain…visibility was poor in the dark…steep drop-offs and culverts made maneuvering the RV dangerous in those conditions so we opted to pull onto the side road, service the dogs, and get some sleep. This RV is not designed for such rough and harsh conditions but she’s dealing with it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (North Willow TRHD – Natl. Forest to Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Camp Grounds – Maddison River)

I slept fairly well, Mom not so much. We got up around 6AM, serviced the dogs…I walked and reconed the area for a flat-spot to camp. Up the hill on the side road we had parked on for the night, there was adequate flat space to position the RV but the road was high center, trees that could possibly scrape the RV…we opted to not proceed up that road…I reconed the main mountain road…it looked pretty good ahead so we proceeded up that road toward the west (Forest road #161) searching for a flat-spot to position the RV for boon-docking. Eventually, we came upon more cattle guards and finally a closed gate. A sign next to the gate notified us that we were entering private land on a public road, to please close the gate behind us for the safety of the horses; also, access to property on each side of the road was prohibited for the next 2.4-miles. So then, Mom opened the gate that was chained to a standard…we proceeded on Forest Road #161 for 2+ miles passing by a HUGE home to our distant right on top of wooded mountain top (numerous horses in the area)…finally, we reached the second gate…Mom opened that gate and we proceeded through and down the mountain…there were no signs or indicators that suggested the road we were on was anything other than Forest Road #161 once we exited the second gate; we drove and drove until the road reached a rearward fork…the intersection showed a Montana County Road (47 or 48?) leading back toward the east…we continued on Road #161 wanting to remain on what we thought was National Forest. We passed an encampment on our left where people had pitched tents near a creek…a wooden bridge led into that property…we passed that and continued down the road with the intent of either camping or at least discovering our location as we had no phone service in order to use the GPS. 

Finally, we came to a gravel road intersection. The road to the right was marked “Private Road” and the road to the left seemed to head southwest through some absolutely beautiful landscapes. We opted to back the RV onto a grassy flat area next to a soothing babbling brook of water…perhaps 30-yards from the roadway. I figured this was county or state property…we would stay here unless told to move. I prepared us some coffee, Mom made some breakfast; the dogs were serviced. I reconed the road to the southwest hoping to see a street sign and find our location on the road map…no luck. Soon, two middle-aged white-males rapidly approached our RV in their enclosed side-by-side. I exited the RV to meet with them. The driver, named Butch, exited with bravado and a confrontational tone, revolver on his right hip. I greeted the man and he said you’re trespassing. I politely asked how it was that I was trespassing on a county road right-of-way? Butch said that all the property except for the roadway was private as he pointed to the sign making the roadway leading from the intersection as private. The sign was clearly prohibiting trespassing on that road, NOTHING else. Butch said that in Montana, land must be considered private unless you can prove otherwise. He said that if his boss, Terry, found out about our presence, the county sheriff’s department would be here quickly. 

Keeping my temper under control for the sake of peace and my Wife, I explained our situation, how we had come to be where we were and asked how we could find our way out of the area…Butch pointed to the roadway that headed in a southwest direction. He stated that in about four-miles we would see Virginia City/Nevada City…his partner stated from inside the side-by-side that there was a lot of history there…or we could proceed back to the fork in the road at the bottom of the mountain and take the county highway, a short distance down that road there was level ground adequate for camping and we would be good there. Subsequent to finding out that I was retired law enforcement and meant no harm, Butch’s conversation and tone lightened up…we had a nice chat about Texas and politics…he then provided me with his phone number and said that if we needed help locating a place to camp we could call him and he would fix us up. Butch and his coworker left the area, Mom and I prepared the RV for the road and opted to head into town.

Finally, we found a hardtop roadway and took that into Virginia City…we toured that unique and historic area and proceeded to Ennis, Montana; while in Ennis, I filled with fuel for $3.08-a-gallon and we proceeded through the downtown area…beautiful and historic…then back onto Hwy 387 SB. Driving SB on Montana 387, we observed a National Forest Access sign for Indian Creek (4.0 miles EB toward a large mountain range). With the incident involving Butch fresh on my mind…a little angry, we reluctantly proceeded toward Indian Creek hoping to find a boon-docking location. The rough, washboard, gravel road leading to the Indian Creek was VERY ROUGH…we proceeded at about 5-10MPH to prevent beating the RV to pieces…the county access road was bordered by private lands, fenced…finally, we arrived at the National Forest entrance only to find that the bridge leading to the Forest was closed and a parking area available to park and hike the trails prohibited overnight camping and threatened prosecution of anyone caught remaining on the property overnight…I was angry…Mom was even angrier.

We serviced the dogs in the rather small day-parking area and began our slow exit toward Hwy 287. Arriving at the highway, we turned SB toward Yellowstone Park and south of Cameron we noticed a sign indicating a recreation area “Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River, so we thought, what the heck…let’s go see. Arriving at the campgrounds, we found the facility managed/owned by the Department of Interior/BLM and the $12.00 camping fee was half-price with my America the Beautiful-Veteran’s pass…the facility had potable water for our RV but no sewer or electricity…I booked us for six-nights and backed-up very near the Madison River…a beautiful white-water river with easy access and a lot of fly fishing opportunities. 

We found campground site #1 available…at the end of the campground, kind-of by itself…we parked the RV…the parking area was level…we spent most of the afternoon hiking to the boat ramp, sitting and watching wildlife, talking about the people and the RV’s entering the area, we lusted over the camp host’s site (#11) that was empty…it was equipped with electricity, sewer, water, on-site. I did some reading in my Sidney Sheldon mystery while Mom pursued some wildlife with her camera…the evening was a blessing, the weather comfortable…mosquitoes were a bit of a problem for Mom but we enjoyed ourselves; unfortunately, insufficient cell service here to access the Internet. Funny and frustrating, we can land on Mars but I’m unable to access cell phone service adjacent to a community off of a major highway. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-madison-river.jpg
Madison River, Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-madison-river-sylvian-and-me.jpg
Hiking along the Madison River – Palisades, Montana, Hwy 287
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ennis-montana-downtown.jpg
Ennis, Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is r-madison-river-1.jpg
Our backyard – Palisades – Madison River, Montana, Hwy 287

Thursday, July 15, 2021 (Montana – Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River)

Overnight, the winds picked up…temperatures dropped significantly…we had left the awning extended and it was being abused by the wind; eventually, I got out of bed and retracted it. Sleep was intermittent due to the wind but both of us got sufficient rest. We got out of bed around 7AM and immediately serviced the dogs. Zoe was not feeling well and puked on the floor…Mom took care of that…I prepared us coffee and Mom prepared a breakfast of cheesy eggs and toast…with some cherries. Mom’s currently out chasing the birds for a photo-shoot, I’ll probably brush my teeth and take the boys out for a jog. I’ve not worked my upper-body since leaving Arkansas…I’m feeling soft and flabby around the waist…perhaps I’ll purchase some rubberized dumbbells from Walmart and a flat bench…I’ve got to work my upper body…I feel like a slob. Anyway, I think I’ll take advantage of the cool weather and go for a jog. The Madison River out our rear window is beautiful…thankful. 

The boys and I went for a good jog; afterwards, I got some reading done. Mom swears that she saw a young bear in the rock caverns behind our RV across the river…so she’s busy on bird and bear watch and keeps demanding that she get a new camera…I agree, it’s time. Later, Mom and I secured the dogs in the RV and we went for a long hike to view the homes in the immediate area. Upon returning to the RV, I’ve prepared some coffee for us and Mom is planning supper…perhaps some spaghetti and meat-sauce…sound good to me. 

The spaghetti dinner was WONDERFUL…with garlic toast….what a blessing. Mom and I bummed around the area, sitting outside enjoying the beautiful views and the weather but the campground was getting busy…fishermen and families gathered to “party” in the evening. Not good news. 

Later that night, as we were attempting to get some sleep, two-campsites over…the families of fishermen, their wives especially, appeared to be drunk…laughing into the night even though camp rules are no noise after 10PM. We attempted to close the windows to silence the asses but it was too hot so we reopened the windows and dealt with the noise…finally falling asleep. Around midnight, a horrible wind storm, lightning, rain, moved into the area…I was genuinely concerned for our safety. I opened the side door of the RV to inspect the furniture and cage we had left outside…the wind literally tore the door out of my hand and slammed it up against the RV’s bulkhead…by God’s grace neither the bulkhead, the bulkhead window or door glass were damaged. Mom and I opted to collapse the the dog cage and place it inside to prevent it damaging the RV’s bulkhead, I collected bowls and towels and anything that could fly into the RV or the river…finally, we located the rug we use under the awning…it had blown behind the RV…we secured door and attempted to listen to the weather band…the signal was too weak but we could understand a partial forecast telling people to take shelter…really? Subsequent to much lightning and high winds and rain…we finally fell asleep and exited the bed close to 7:30AM…beautiful weather followed the night’s storm. The RV survived and the roof was washed by the rain.

Friday, July 16, 2021  (Montana – Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River)

Climbing out of bed around 7:30AM and servicing the dogs, I prepared us coffee while Mom prepared breakfast. We discovered last night that when I activate the hot-water tank on cabin battery power only, the appliance’s dedicated 15A fuse blows and the refrigerator power shuts-off as well, both electrical and propane. I had one more 15A fuse as a spare…I replaced the blown fuse, started the generator, there was no problem with the fuse but now, the hot water tank is not heating….I’ll have to try and troubleshoot this as cold showers are NOT our forte. 

Subsequent to breakfast, we opted to secure everything but left the carpet, our chairs and the cage outside…then headed into Ennis, Montana (approximately 20-miles north) to dump our gray and black water, get some propane and do laundry. In Ennis, we located a large RV Park on Hwy 287 northwest of downtown…we dumped our sewage for $10.00 and met a very interesting couple from Montana. They were traveling with a Dodge 3500 diesel PU with a large camper attached in the bed…truly enjoyed their company. Subsequent to dumping our sewage, I drove Mom to the Madison Cleaners outside of town…currently, I’m in the RV with the dogs waiting for Mom to finish; then, we’ll seek to top-off the fuel and LPG at an area station…perhaps shop for food supplies, maybe a fishing rod and fly-bait…maybe even Mexican food if available…and head back to the Palisades, site #1, and hopefully not have to confront anyone that may have barged-in our paid site. Unfortunately, we have no usable cell service at our campsite. Void any problems and if my Lord is willing, we will remain at the Palisades until July 20th.

Leaving the laundromat, I drove to the Exxon in downtown Ennis and topped-off the fuel but there was no LPG available there. A major supplier of LPG for the area was closed so Mom did a search and located a supplier out on 287 headed north. The lady who ran the LGP service was a spitting image of Sara Palin…it was funny…she talked like her, looked like her…sounded like her…acted like her…when I brought it to her attention…we laughed…nice lady. Subsequent to filling with LPG I plugged-in the only Mexican food restaurant in in Ennis, MT…”Nachos MaMa”…111 W. Main….we drove the area until successfully locating a parking lot of sufficient size to park the RV…the temperatures were in the upper 80’s or lower 90’s mandating the generator and air conditioner for the fur-babies. Mom and I walked the town and found Nachos MaMa closed for business so we walked down the street to a cafe and ate hamburgers. I was interested in some cheap fishing supplies to fish the Madison River to the rear of our RV. The sporting goods stores in Ennis are overpriced…but that’s to be expected.

En route back to the Palisades, we drove into a terrible storm…incredible winds…heavy rain with some pounding hail. Finally, arriving at our campsite, we filled with potable water and backed into position. The dogs were serviced, fed and watered…I prepared us some coffee and we relaxed…Mom hunted birds with her camera and I read some more in Sheldon’s book…an interesting murder mystery. Later, we walked over to visit with a gentleman (Dennis Laughter) who is operating a beautiful “Freightliner” Class C “Super-plus”…that thing is incredible…but expensive…$230-250K. The Freightliner front-end was awesome and powered by a Cummins diesel motor…MSRP is a little to “rich” for my blood.

Returning to the RV in heavy winds and very light rain, Mom warmed spaghetti leftovers for me and she ate some cereal. I read my book…Mom caught some interesting birds in the area on her camera, one had a wildlife management tag on its leg…Mom believes it’s an adult Osprey. When we approached our RV, subsequent to our conversation, there was a beautiful Bald Eagle flying above the River over our campsite…Mom could not retrieve her camera in time to get the photo. Mom and I sat around and talked as the wind blew with strength from the North, most like from the storm we had driven through earlier…I weighted down the carpet with stones from the area. As the daylight surrendered to darkness, we prepared for bed…it was a wonderful night of sleep in the cold air. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds – Hwy 287 south of Cameron, MT)

We got out of bed around 7AM…the temperature was in the high 40’s to low 50’s…beautiful clear skies but rather hazy in the distant mountains. Mom serviced the dogs quickly, I’ve prepared coffee and will probably take the boys for a jog in a bit…it is a virtual paradise here along the Madison River with the beautiful rock cliffs on the opposite side of the River very near our RV…it reminds me of an old western movie…I can see the Indians atop their horses positioned on the rock ledge above looking down on the settlers panning for gold and opting to circle the wagons in preparation for a bloody confrontation over land rights/territory…it truly does seem as if we’re on a movie set. Fly fishing is the THING here…this is a fly fisherman’s paradise. 

I finished Sidney Sheldon’s, Tilly Bagshawe’s, novel “After the Darkness.” Some thoughts. Grace is an interesting main character…there are more twists and turns in this murder mystery than the Madison River to the rear of our RV. Anyone seeking to enjoy this book should take the time to make a brief note concerning the names and personal information of each character as they’re introduced to lessen confusion as the plot thickens and investigations become entangled in intrigue and “who done it?” I enjoyed the book and the harrowing ride that displayed the futility of wealth spent on narcissism.  

Later in the morning, I took PePe and Duke for a jog…the loud fishing neighbors down the road had not leashed their dogs as required and their Golden Lab (mix) ran into the road and attacked Duke…Duke held his own until the people called their dog off…they were very apologetic…I don’t like camping around some people but for the most part…people in these campgrounds are kind, conservative, helpful.

Subsequent to our jog, I cooled down and Mom prepared us a fruit dish of sliced apples, grapes, cherries and cheese. I prepared us some coffee and finished my book while Mom took a dip in the river. Currently, four of the dogs are outside on the shady side of the RV in their large cage…Duke came back inside with me…I think I’ll shower and Mom will prepare us something to eat…Temperatures are probably approaching the 90’s…it’s fairly hot but a mild breeze and low humidity mitigates the heat somewhat…the shade is very comfortable.

The hot-water heater actuator won’t activate the pilot…I may have blown a 2-AMP fuse protecting the circuit board on the heater…I don’t have a replacement “mini” fuse so we’ll have to take cold showers until I find an auto parts store to purchase this rather unique looking fuse. I can’t tell if the fuse is actually blown…if our problem is not the fuse…I’ll have to research the problem on YouTube and hopefully make the needed repairs.  

The evening was spent lounging in the shade of the RV and in conversation with our neighbor who owns the Class C-Super-C RV. He’s a Vietnam Veteran, alone/divorced…traveling without any companionship…we talked for probably two-to-three hours. Our neighbor walked back to his RV about 8:30PM…I showered and we serviced the dogs and began preparing for bed; unfortunately, our noisy neighbors two-spots over arrived with their fishing boats and partied until maybe 11:30 or midnight…laughing, yelling, burning a fire that the south wind was blowing the smoke into our cabin…Mom was irritated…we could not fall asleep, the dogs were barking in the cabin in response to the noise.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rv-palisades-mt.jpg

Two-trucks operated by these morons, Montana 664182C and Montana BHX397…these are the same people who own the dog that attacked Duke yesterday. Campground noise is to end at 10PM until 7-8AM…Dogs are to be leashed and kept under control…according to Federal Park rules. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds, Hwy 287, Madison River, south of Cameron, MT.)

Another absence from my Lord’s House today…not happy about that. The dogs woke us up around 7:10AM and Mom began taking them outside. I checked the generator’s oil level and prepared coffee for us. I’m currently deciding if talking to my neighbors concerning their rude behavior is worth the potential confrontation or not. Mom’s preparing some oatmeal…I do NOT think highly of my fellowman at times like these; thankfully, these unruly neighbors left the campground around 10AM.

Later, we walked over to our neighbor, Dennis Laughter, who owns the Super Class-C RV…Sylvia wanted to lust over the spaciousness of the behemoth and its sliders…I too was interested in this beautiful machine constructed on a Freightliner chassis. The RV was incredible…but for $250k…I’ll have to pass. We visited for about an hour; Dennis gave me some books to read as I had given him my collection the evening before. Subsequent to our tour of the RV and good conversation, we returned to the RV quickly as we could hear Zoe barking from inside the cabin where the dogs had been secured, window open. I apologized to my immediate next-door neighbors for Zoe’s barking…they were incredibly nice…we visited with them for hours…they have quite a history, both in their late 70’s…he’s an old Montana cowboy, rancher, rodeo roper; she’s a business woman…sold goose-neck trailers for years here in Montana. She was widowed and remarried with a Montana cowboy (Keith)…they’re full-time RV’ers now. 

Later in the evening, our second visit with our neighbors continued till about dark at which time I walked back to the RV to service the dogs…they were sitting in the darkness…alone…not happy. When Mom returned, we prepared for bed and sleep was good as the weather turned very cool outside overnight. 

Monday, July 19, 2021, (Palisades Campgrounds, Hwy 287, Madison River, south of Cameron, MT.)

We got out of bed around 7AM…Mom serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee but the coffee machine decided to give up the ghost on my cup of brew…water leaked out of the seals and made a watery mess…guess she’s shorted-out and is ready for a dumpster…I finished my coffee prep with instant and boiling water. We’ll have to search for another coffee maker.

This will probably be our last day at the Palisades, Mom’s ready to move-on. I couple of young ladies drove-by our campsite yesterday evening asking if they could stay close to us…said the National Forest campsites they tried to access toward Yellowstone were closed due to a forest fire…I never thought of allowing them to stay in our driveway near our RV…there is plenty of room; instead, they stayed the night in the “Day Parking” site next to our location….I felt bad about not suggesting they stay with us in our lot as guest…these ladies out alone like this worry me…

Not sure what this day holds for us…I’m reading a book titled “Rattlesnake Lawyer” by Jonathan Miller; Mom’s got her jacket on…temps are cool…camera in-hand…preparing to capture whatever she can. I’ll take Duke and PePe for a jog in a bit…maybe take advantage of the cool, dry, air. It’s beautiful here…I’ve enjoyed my stay thus far. 

Later, I leashed PePe and Duke and we went for a nice jog up toward the highway and down a long gravel road…the dog’s were DONE, tired, as the heat began to filter in carried by the south wind. Returning from our jog, I visited with our neighbors briefly advising them we were headed into town for supplies and asked if they needed anything. Mom prepared the RV for travel and I took a cold shower…much needed.

Mom and I discussed the fire situation manifesting toward Yellowstone Park and noting the absence of places to stay in that area, we opted to extend our stay at the Palisades until the 28th of July. Mom has a “Sisters Reunion” in Colorado late next month, no since in straying past Montana and Wyoming when Colorado is immediately south of us.

Currently, we’re in Ennis, MT and Mom just finished her shopping in the Family Dollar on Hwy 287 and now she’s in the Madison Foods next door. We will probably search for a restaurant and grab a bite to eat. I need to find some mine fuses for the hot water heater’s control panel…I do hope that’s the problem. I may go ahead and purchase a inexpensive Zebco 404 rod and reel with some spinner bait and fish the Madison…it’s too beautiful and popular to not experience it.

I do apologize to my family for the absence of cellphone and Internet connection…I love you and I miss you.

Later, we stopped by a brewery in Downtown, Ennis and consumed a 16″ thin crust pizza…Mom had a “real” Coke…I had water as there was on iced tea but they’re very proud of their home brews; apparently, the beer is potent…intoxication was present and open container laws or carrying alcohol out of the bar is OK here. Also, I did purchase a Zebco 404 with some spinner bait for fun…we will see? Currently, we’re back at the RV sitting in the Ennis – Lyons Park (parking lot) sponsored by the Lyon’s Club…we’re near the Madison River as you enter Downtown, Ennis on 287 NB. We’ll catch up on some social media then head back “home” to the Palisades. Love and miss my family.

During our SB trip on 287 toward our RV site at the Palisades, we spotted a herd of Pronghorn deer in a field near Cameron, MT…we U-turned and Mom was able to capture some good photos…then we observed an Eagle or Osprey nesting atop an electric pole just north of the Palisades…we stopped on the shoulder and Mom captured some good photos of mother bird protecting her babies from an approaching rain storm. 

Upon our return to the Palisades, we refilled our fresh water tank and backed into position. I did some reading, Mom hunted with her camera…nightfall came too quickly and we prepared for bed. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 (Palisades Campground – Hwy 287 – Montana north of Yellowstone Park)

This morning we were forced out of bed by the fur-babies, somewhere around 6:40AM. We took the dogs out to do their bathroom business and I then attempted to make coffee; unfortunately, the generator is acting up again so I retrieved the necessary tools from storage and a new spark-plug for the generator I had purchased in Butte…I replaced the spark plug and manipulated the altitude sensor adjustment until the engine ran smooth. Yesterday, thankful to YouTube, I took the Multimeter and followed the instructions relevant to troubleshooting a hot water heater that is malfunctioning during ignition. Come to find out, the thermo-coupler on our water heater had gone bad; unfortunately, there are no RV suppliers in the area, maybe in Bozeman, MT. but that’s too far and out of the way to search for a replacement coupler; so then, by way YouTube, I learned that the coupler can be bypassed until one is located. At least Mom can enjoy a hot shower…even in warm weather, cold showers take effort. 

Later in the morning, Dennis, accompanied by “Al” from Colorado, came by the RV to see the Rock Chuck that is living in the rock canyon wall behind our RV. Al stayed for approximately 30-minutes but went back to his travel trailer in preparation for a drive to Utah. Dennis hung around and talked for about an hour or so and returned to his RV…Mom then prepared us a delicious brunch consisting of mixed-meat sandwiches, salad, chips, cherries and grapes. We’ve brought the fur-babies back into the RV…the weather is looking and sounding like an approaching storm…we’ve retracted the awning and may have to secure some outside lawn chairs and dog kennel. I am thankful for my Lord’s kindness, provisions, protection, love. It’s beautiful here!!! (1:20PM)

Subsequent to storm passage, Mom and I went back outside to relax with the fur-babies. Our next-door neighbors came by and we talked until dusk at which time Mom and I serviced the doggies and prepared for bed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (Day-trip from the Palisades to Quake Lake to West Yellowstone to Yellowstone Park)

We climbed out of bed around 6:15AM as the puppies wanted to go pee. It was too early to start the generator so Mom heated water on the stove top and I prepared coffee. We enjoyed our coffee at the table in the RV and I then took the boys for a good jog up the road…Duke is getting older and I’m afraid he’s having trouble completing these runs. Upon returning to the RV, Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs, toast, bacon, tomatoes. I then showered and prepared to head to Yellowstone Park.

Subsequent to checking the RV for road-worthiness, we left for Yellowstone around 9:30AM traveling SB on Hwy 287…not too far down the road, we observed a visitors center for Quake Lake…a horrifying earthquake in 1959 devastated the area and formed this beautiful lake…28-people lost their lives during the tragedy. I will share my videos of the area when and if I can find a WiFi with sufficient speed to upload the videos. Currently, we’re in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in West Yellowstone…drinking coffee and I’m eating a Quarter Pounder and Mom’s digesting a Big Mac…we’ll head into Yellowstone Park a little later.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-earthquake-lake-7.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake.jpg
Sylvia at Quake Lake, Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-6.jpg
Quake Lake – Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-5.jpg
Dedicated to those who lost their life in the earthquake
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-4.jpg
Quake Lake, Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-land-slide.jpg
Landslide area – Quake Lake
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-3.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-2.jpg
Quake Lake, Montana
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-quake-lake-1.jpg
Quake Lake, Montana

Leaving McDonald’s turning NB then EB onto Yellowstone (Hwy 20), we entered the Park…our America the Beautiful pass was accepted by the gracious female Park Ranger, we were given maps and information and entry was free. It was a beautiful day, mild temperatures, clear skies. Yellowstone is a BEAUTIFUL PARK but restrictive to RV’s and trailers on many of its turn-outs offering closer observation of certain features. Suffice to say, no one should pass through this life and not visit the following, 

  • Lower, MIdway, Upper, Geyser Basin – these areas reflect the incredible power and energy of our Earth’s core.
  • Old Faithful – patience is required but she does deliver. 
  • Mud Volcano – words don’t do it justice…a must see.
  • Hayden Vallen – replete with Bison…incredible views…a step back in history – birds galore.
  • Sulphur Caldron  
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – MY FAVORITE…one of the most beautiful geograhical phemona I’ve ever seen.
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River
  • Roaring Mountain

I hope to download videos/photos reflecting the beauty of Yellowstone Park. We have reserved our spot here in the Palisades until the 28th of July; when we enter Ennis later in the week for supplies, Mom hopes to schedule a campsite in Yellowstone Park for a couple of days before proceeding on to Cody, WY to view property. Old Faithful – Yellowstone National ParkGrand Canyon of the Yellowstone

We exited Yellowstone around 9:30-10:00PM…it was dark as we drove through West Yellowstone and proceeded NB on Hwy 191/287 to Hwy 287 toward Ennis, MT…in the dark, we passed the Palisades and had to U-turn…finally arriving “home” at 11:57PM…I drove as quiet as possible and turned off the headlights hoping to not disturb anyone. We managed to fill our fresh water tank and quietly backinto position. The dogs were quickly serviced, I gobbled down two hot dog in two-pieces of bread with cheese…we went to bed. It was a wonderful day at Quake Lake and Yellowstone! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-21-neighbors.jpg
Our neighbors at the Palisades in Montana, Hwy 287

Thursday, July 22, 2021 (Palisades Campground – Madison River – Hwy 287 south of Cameron, MT)

We got out of bed around 7:40AM and I serviced the dogs while Mom dressed and babied a twisted right ankle from yesterday’s trip to Yellowstone. Mom twisted her ankle while exited the RV with MiMi on a leash…the surface was uneven as it transitioned from asphalt to gravel…she fell pretty hard…probably bruising her hip and injuring her right wrist as well…she appears to be doing “OK” this morning. 

I prepared us coffee while Mom prepared a wonderful breakfast of oatmeal and toast. There was some rain last night and WIND…this morning is cool, clear with a little smoke in the atmosphere, possibly from forest fires around Oregon or Idaho…that’s what I’ve been told. 

We’ll see what the day brings…my plans are to read, relax…not sure what Mom has planned, if anything. I want to fish some but I’m too cheap to pay for an out of state fishing license. 

I completed my book “Rattlesnake Lawyer” by Jonathan Miller…a “fun” book that is definitely worth a read. Rattlesnake Lawyer brought on pangs of regret for my failure to pursue a law degree.

Much of the evening was spent indoors as rain and cool, high winds, inundated the area. It’s days like this one where we miss the Internet and TV connection.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-21-front-yard.jpg
Our front yard at the Palisades near Cameron, Montana

Friday, July 23, 2021 (Palisades to Ennis, MT)

This morning we exited the bed at 7:10AM…I serviced the dogs and then prepared coffee. Mom prepared us a breakfast of eggs, bacon, bagels, delicious. I then took the boys for a nice jog in the cool, crisp, air while Mom showered and prepared the RV for a trip into town, Ennis, Montana.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-7-23-traffic-jam.jpg
Traffic Jam leaving the Palisades heading to Ennis, MT

Subsequent to my shower, we headed to Ennis and we both got a haircut by the lonely and only female barber (pregnant) in Ennis. We then purchased fuel and dumped our trash at the area Exxon; went by the Dollar Store to purchase some laundry detergent; we proceeded to the RV Park and dumped our waste-water; proceeded to the Propane Dealer and filled our tank; we then went to the local grocery and presently…we’re at the local laundromat washing clothes; afterward, we hope to locate some lunch-supper and maybe head back to the Palisades….we’ll see.

Once Mom was finished with the laundry, we opted, by recommendation from the barber in Ennis, to search-out the Ennis Bowling Lanes and Bistro…rumor was, they had very good food. I was under the impression that the Bistro was on Hwy 287 north of the laundromat so we proceeded NB…nothing but highway…so Mom found the Bistro on Google and guess what…it was in the same parking lot as the laundromat…so much for paying attention. We proceeded there, backed-in the RV and got on social media until 4PM when the restaurant re-opened after closing from 2PM-4PM after lunch. I turned on the generator to charge Mom’s computer that was almost dead and ultimately air condition the cabin for the dogs as we entered the Bistro for supper. The prices were outrageous but the pizza was at least affordable…so we ate whatever Mom selected along with two-teas….with tip, somewhere around $40 or $50-dollars…at least there were left-overs. 

After supper, Mom wanted to go see Ennis Lake…so we proceeded out 287 toward Bozeman for about 6-miles and took Ennis Lake Road…a pretty…clean…lake with an abundance of private and some commercial property on the east side. After a couple of miles of gravel road, I wanted to leave…Mom was a little frustrated with me but the area did not seem welcoming to RV’s and strangers…so we headed “home” to the Palisades. Arriving home, we refilled the RV with fresh water and positioned the RV for the evening. Our neighbors came over for a visit and admired our haircuts received in Ennis…the lady barber really did a great job on Mom’s hair…I got a military cut, #1 on the sides, 2” on top and this lady knew how to cut men’s hair…a military cut was not problem for her…quick and accurate. 

The neighbors stayed until dusk at which time we serviced the dogs and prepared for bed…the night temp’s got COLD and extra covers were needed…there was a beautiful blood full Moon in the southeastern sky…Mom took some excellent photos of it.

Saturday, July 24, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds, Montana, Hwy 287 at the Madison River)

We climbed out of bed around 8AM this morning and quickly serviced the dogs who need “to go NOW!!!” The temperature was so COLD that I started the generator and Mom activated the cabin heater to break the chill…MiMi was shaking. I prepared us coffee while Mom made us some delicious pancakes…I had been wanting pancakes for some time…Mom came through. After breakfast, our neighbor visited with questions concerning Texas, Hwy 90, Amistad National Park as he and his wife will probably summer in Texas. Later, I extended the awning as the beautiful Sun was warming the day quickly…we put the dogs in the kennel and Duke is sleeping in the shade behind the RV…I did some reading in my new-used book “The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly…wished I had gone to law school…an interesting (so far) account of a defense lawyer’s personal and professional life in Los Angeles, CA and a murder case that affects him personally and professionally. 

At the moment, Mom is preparing left-over pizza and a salad for lunch…perhaps coffee afterwards…then…maybe more reading and relaxing. Apparently, the National Guard is running maneuvers this morning…three Blackhawks flew over earlier, low and fast through the Palisades over the river…got my blood to flowing…they were absolutely beautiful and the sound of those rotors flooded my memory of piloting. Looks like the pizza is done…bon appetit!

The evening was spent reading, on the Internet (I actually got connection sufficient to transmit) and visiting with our neighbors who came by seeking Mom’s assistance in locating the Rock Chuck…actually there are at least two in the rock ledge behind our RV. Before dark, we took the fur-babies for a walk and watched a woman enter the campgrounds in a pick-up truck pulling a fishing boat with a small outboard motor attached. We noticed that she drove through the area and was unable to locate an open campsite; this obviously angered her and she sped away and eventually approached Mom and I walking along the roadway. I stopped her as I noticed a young girl in the right-front seat and advised the woman that she was welcome to stay the night in the “day parking” section next to our RV. She had been driving Idaho and was very tired; I also noticed that the woman was either highly intoxicated on alcohol or meth…she was very vulgar, angry, tatted-up…but polite toward us and thanked us for the offer…she was angry that Montana was so full of tourists and rejected our offer stating that she would proceed down to Ruby Campgrounds north of our location and maybe find a place to park there. 

Returning to the RV, we prepared for bed…the night turned cool but sleep was intermittent.

Sunday, July 25, 2021, (Palisades Campground – Hwy 287 – Madison River, Montana)

We got up a little after 7AM and Mom took the dogs outside while I prepared coffee. I successfully got-in a little reading while drinking my coffee; Mom went to the river and searched for birds frequenting the area about 150-yards north of our RV. Later, I took the boys for a good jog and upon returning, Mom had prepared an excellent breakfast of eggs, potatoes, and fruit. It’s now 9:53AM and the weather is absolutely beautiful, clear-mild-sunny. Mom’s outside talking with a neighbor…I’m going to try and connect to the Internet and debate the Bible…it’s “uncomfortable” not being in my Lord’s house on this Sunday morning.  

The afternoon was spent reading and relaxing while Mom visited with the neighbors and searched for wildlife photo opportunities. The day passed much too quickly in the beautiful weather with the sound of the Madison River to calm the soul…Later, Mom prepared us late supper of oatmeal…the night was cool and sleep was good.

Monday, July 26, 2021, (Palisades Campground, Cameron, Montana)

We slept in this morning and got out of bed close to 8AM…Mom serviced the dogs, I prepared coffee. I spent much of my morning reading while Mom showered and later took some photo’s of wildlife. I found it necessary to give Duke a good shower…He stunk-dirty boy…and Duke’s presently in the cage outside drying in the warm temperatures. Mom’s cleaning the kitchen, the fur-babies are asleep around me…I’m thankful for my Lord’s kindness.

I spent most of the day reading an excellent crime novel and talking with Mom about our travels and hopeful destinations. Mom gave the fur-babies a haircut and we discussed our plans for hitting the road on Wednesday morning. Mom prepared hot dogs for lunch and they were so delicious that we opted to finish them off for supper as well. What a blessing! Currently, the babies are outside in the cage and Duke is on the floor of the RV near me, asleep. I think Mom’s out hunting for wildlife pictures while I watch dusk creep in around the RV…we’ve had a wonderful time at the Palisades in Montana, I will miss this place. Love my family, goodnight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 (Palisades, MT to Yellowstone Park, WY to Newton Creek Campgrounds, WY, Hwy 20, 14, 16 in Wyoming)

Tuesday morning after coffee, I took the boys for a jog and upon returning, Mom was ready to hit the road…even though we were paid-up through tonight. I opted to prepare the RV for travel by checking the tire pressure and performing a general inspection of the vehicle. We topped off our fresh water and backed back into our campsite, we showered, Mom washed dishes and prepared us some breakfast. Subsequent to saying goodbye to our neighbors, Lupe and Keith, we topped the fresh water tank off and exited the Palisades SB on Hwy 287 to 191 toward West Yellowstone. In West Yellowstone, Mom purchased us two large coffees from McDonald’s and we then entered Yellowstone Park via the West Entrance then taking the southern road passing Old Faithful and ultimately exiting the Park through the east exit toward Cody, WY…a beautiful drive thorough Sylvan Pass entering the Shoshone National Forest…this area is a must see!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-lupe-keith-bye.jpg
Lupe and Keith Osborn
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-lupe.jpg

Continuing EB on Hwy 20/16/14, with evening rapidly approaching, I wanted to find a place to camp before nightfall. Highway 20 is inundated with camping opportunities so we opted to make use of the Newton Creek Campgrounds. Subsequent to leveling the RV, the dogs were serviced, fed, watered…and Mom took some photo’s of the creek and mountains behind our campsite. Mom then prepared us some sandwiches for supper; afterwards, we prepared for bed; unfortunately, it was too HOT to sleep…the Park had restrictions relevant to noise, generator noise, after 10PM but it was only 8:30PM at that time…I started the generator, activated the air conditioning…we cooled-off for a while. Subsequent to turning off the air, we had a difficult time getting to sleep due to the still, hot, air temperature. Sometime after midnight the temperature cooled slightly, I got a little sleep, Mom’s sleep was intermittent; also, Hwy 20 was only 100-yards +- to our north so traffic noise added to the sleeplessness…illegally loud, illegally equipped motorcycles, especially Harley products, run rampant here… we woke up tired…at least I did.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 (Newton Campgrounds, WY to Cody, WY)

We got out of bed this morning at 6:15AM, the dogs were serviced, Mom boiled water on the stove (to not activate the generator) and I prepared coffee. A whitetail deer and her fawn entered the park near our campsite and Mom pursued photos…I enjoyed my coffee with MiMi in my lap. Subsequent to coffee, we prepared the RV for travel…Mom stowed the leveling blocks, I took trash to the area dumpster and we hit the road at 8:15AM, EB on Hwy 20. This area of Wyoming is inundated with the most unusual mountain formations…they must be observed to be understood and appreciated…unique and beautiful.

Continuing EB on Hwy 20, we passed through the small town of Wapiti then Buffalo Bill State Park, the Reservoir, the Dam, the tunnels…absolutely beautiful. Soon after exiting Buffalo Bill State Park, we entered Cody, WY and pulled into the area Walmart. Mom is currently in the store shopping for supplies…I’m baby-sitting the dogs…we hope to see some property Mom’s interested in around the Cody area…we will see.

From Walmart, we crossed Yellowstone Street (Hwy 20 through Cody) and Mom purchased Duke a bed from Tractor Supply. From there, we drove to “Our Place Cafe” for breakfast…the cost of prepared food in these communities adjacent to parks, lakes, rivers, is ridiculous…I miss the price of food in Arkansas. Currently, we’re sitting in the “Our Place Cafe” parking lot while Mom checks for property in Wyoming…possibly another dead-end in this bloated real estate market.

Leaving Cody, WY, we opted to head northeast on ALT 14 to Deaver, WY and look at 130-acres for sale near the Montana State Line. Using directions from the real estate agent, we found NOTHING and what we did find was inundated with trash/salvage cars, active oil wells, rough gravel roads and the odor of sulfur. We opted to take a back road to the Deaver Reservoir where we found a camping site on/near the shoreline…nothing to write home about…just a small lake but the wind is blowing out of the south with sufficient velocity to keep the flying insects on the run and maybe sufficient to cool the temps tonight for some restful sleep. There are mountains to the south but the terrain reminds me more of far west Texas or New Mexico…not that pretty. There are presently three or four campers in the area but we’re spread a good distance apart…much better than your average campground…we’ll see how things go.

We’ve positioned the RV, leveled it, very close to a covered picnic table, the dogs have been watered, fed, and Mom is preparing us some supper…there appears to be a variety of birds in the area…maybe Mom will keep busy with the camera. Wanted my family to know our current location…we may be here a night, two-or-three…right now we have access to AT&T’s hotspot…not sure if I can transmit. Love you guys. Time to eat.

Before dark, I too the boys for a walk down the gravel road that apparently intersects a hardtop road to our north as I can hear the sound of traffic in the distance. Mom took the girls to sandy beach of the reservoir and captured some wildlife in their evening routine. At 9:30PM, I was ready for bed seeing that the previous night’s sleep was destroyed by the hot temperatures. Sleep was pretty good, the air cooled somewhat but wildlife around the water and our RV did make the night interesting…growling-eating-arguing.

Thursday, July 29, 2021 (Deaver Reservoir, Wyoming)

We got out bed around 7AM…dogs were serviced and coffee prepared. Our RV is not really prepared for boon-docking seeing that we’re down to a half-tank of fuel, our black water shows full, grey is two-thirds, potable is two-thirds…maybe a day or two and we’ll have to hit the road. There is some property in Lovell, south of us, that Mom wants to see. Mom prepared us a breakfast of eggs, onions, toast, a fresh peach…with our coffee. The light breeze off of the lake is pleasant and once this food settles a bit, I’ll take the boys for a jog. Things are very quiet…peaceful…I’m thankful to my Lord for His kindness.

Later in the morning I took the boys for jog around the lake. Mom and I spend a good part of the day online…Mom searched for properties, I defended my Lord’s Gospel in debate forums. The Deaver area received some steady rain for the afternoon; in fact, Mom got caught out that rain while photographing bird life on the lake. Just before dark, we took the babies for a walk in the comfortable post-rain air. Sleep was good for me, Mom had some difficulty with the intermittent pungent sulfur odor in the air.

Friday, July 30, 2021 (Deaver Reservoir to the open road)

We woke up about 7:30 to shuffling of dogs wanting to pee. Mom serviced the babies, I prepared coffee. Mom’s preparing a breakfast of oatmeal, toast..we will see what the day brings. We’re going to make another attempt at locating the property for sale positioned on Lane 5 1/2 between Deaver and Frannie on Hwy 310. From there, another property of interest is in Lovell. We need to service the RV with fresh water, dump our waste and find some propane.

Just prior to entering Lovell, we stopped for fuel…Mom located a city park within Lovell that offers free RV dump/potable water fill…we went directly there and serviced the RV; afterwards, I drove to Lovell’s City Hall and spoke with representatives in the administration office thanking them for the RV service facilities. After leaving Lovell City Hall, we drove to view a property a few miles south of the City near Lovell Lake; unfortunately, the access road was in terrible condition and not worth risking damage to the RV to view. Heading SB on Hwy 310, we entered the City of Greybull…a tourist town for those headed to Yellowstone Park on Hwy 14/20. In Greybull’s Downtown District, Mom and I ate some mediocre Mexican food, Mom purchased some honey from a local honey bee collector, we then continued SB on Hwy 16/20 through Basin; in Manderson the GPS took us to Rd. 433 SB to Worland then 16/20 into Thermopolis (Hot Springs – video) then SB on Hwy 20 through a beautiful canyon (video) to Shoshoni then EB on Hwy 20 where we ran into some rain and wind storms…at “Hell’s Half-Acre” (Video) (on Hwy 20 between Waltmon and Powder River) I initially passed it but was able to U-turn on the Highway…returning to Hell’s Half-Acre (video) we opted to position the RV in a safe place, checking the area for any camping restrictions and finding none…we parked with the intent of boon-docking and waiting out the bad weather. If we’re not told to leave by County or State authorities…we’ll remain here tonight…hopefully the weather will improve before morning.

Saturday, July 31, 2021 (Hell’s Half-Acre to Alcova, WY)

The night turned comfortably cool…we went to bed a little before 9PM as darkness is approaching earlier and earlier now…the tourists began thinning out and as the night progressed, Hwy 20 became almost silent…sleep was good. We got out of bed around 6AM and immediately serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee and currently, Mom’s preparing some breakfast. Soon, we will head EB on Hwy 20 toward Casper, WY and turn SB on 220 toward Alcova. I hope the weather cooperates; currently, the skies are overcast, temps are in the upper 60’s…not a fan of driving into storms in these plains states…unpredictable. about:blankYouTube URLPaste a link to the content you want to display on your site.EmbedLearn more about embeds(opens in a new tab)Sorry, this content could not be embedded.Try again Convert to link

Subsequent to breakfast, we prepared the RV for travel and exited Hell’s Half-Acre around 8AM heading EB on 20 toward Casper. The weather was cool, in the 50’s, traffic was light and as we entered Casper I observed a Conoco station advertising fuel prices at $3.19 a gallon…I foolishly passed it by thinking there would be an abundance of fueling stations en route to Alcova where our target real estate was located; unfortunately, as we drove around on the bypass of Casper and turned SB on Hwy 220, the fuel prices began to steadily rise. We ran into rain on Hwy 220 but the traffic did not slow…I was driving in the wind and rain maintaining between 55-60MPH but the traffic recklessly passed at 70-90MPH…we were almost rear-ended by a truck/tractor-tanker as we prepared to turn onto the street in Alcova where our search for the real estate target would be initiated. 

Following the directions of the investment company located in Houston, we searched for the 40-acres for sale in some of the most beautiful terrain we’ve seen on our trip thus far…the Alcova rock formations and multiple reservoirs, their beauty, is beyond description; unfortunately, we could not locate the exact property we were searching for and after a slow trek for miles through the mountains, we opted to take an alternate route back NB and get fuel at a Sinclair station on Hwy 220 and begin our search again; this time, prepared to boon-dock in the thousands of acres of BLM land in the area…but…Biden’s fuel prices continued to rise and the Sinclair station wanted to rip me off on fuel seeing that they were the only option for many miles around; so then, we opted to turn SB on 220, intersect Hwy 789/287 and head toward Rawlins, WY for fuel and supplies. Entering Rawlins, WY…the lowest fuel price was $3.47 at Walmart…still too high…so I opted to head WB on I-80 toward Rock Springs then turn SB on 191 into Utah…but…the fuel prices escalated…Pilot was $3.88 a gallon…I was ANGRY…Mom did a fuel check and there was a steady decline in fuel prices heading east…so, I U-turned and headed back to Rawlin’s and paid for fuel at Walmart. Mom shopped for supplies while I serviced the dogs. We then drove to McDonald’s and Mom purchased us some lunch which we consumed in the RV while deciding where we go from there. In the parking lot adjacent to McDonald’s, there is a Tractor Supply. I went by the TC and filled with propane and potable water from their hose. Mom and I then opted to head toward Medicine Bow National Forest south of I-80 and east of Saratoga, Wyoming. 

We headed EB on I-80 and turned SB on Hwy 130 eventually veering EB on 130 and entering the National Forest. We drove through two campgrounds on Forest Road 100 but neither were acceptable…too many people…camping sites too close together…so we opted to drive up the mountain toward the Turpin Resivoir…about 17-miles north then east up the mountain. At around 9200+ feet elevation and miles of rough gravel road, we found the Reservoir…it was cold, windy…there were some fishermen there…we opted to leave the Reservior and head WB until finding a nice place to set-up camp/boon-dock at just a little over 9200-9300 feet elevation…beautiful trees and a babbling brook next to our RV. The dogs were serviced, I walked the area to check things out…we were alone! Yes!

Temperatures at this elevation were in the 50’s, overnight I guess they dropped to the lower 40’s; maybe, the upper 30’s…sleep was pretty good.about:blankYouTube URLPaste a link to the content you want to display on your site.EmbedLearn more about embeds(opens in a new tab)Sorry, this content could not be embedded.Try again Convert to link

Sunday, August 1, 2021 (Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming)

We got out of bed around 7AM to a clear, COLD, sunny morning. Mom let the dogs out to pee while I dressed. Approximately 40-yards to the left-rear of our RV near the babbling brook of water, a handsome bull-Moose was feeding in the grass on the hillside. Mom was very excited…photo’s taken. I attempted to video the Moose but my camera’s battery was dead…my fault. I prepared us some coffee and Mom prepared breakfast. The dogs are relaxing around us….shaking from the cold…Mom’s prepared herself for a day of photo-taking…I will take the boys for a jog in a bit…after coffee. 



August 2 – 3, 2021 (Medicine Bow National Forest to Rawlin’s, WY)

I’ll combine the 2nd and 3rd of August as we had no connection at our boon-docking site on the mountain and my Goggle Doc program was malfunctioning which I use to make notes when we’re unable to connect via our hotspot. Our time on the Mountain in Medicine Bow was wonderful. Mom and I took a number of extended hikes in the lush, beautiful, forest. Mom was successful in capturing some excellent video and photo’s of wildlife…especially the awesome moose in the area. Today, 8/3, it rained overnight and for most of the morning but that did not stop Mom…she went into the forest adjacent to the RV and located some excellent photo’s of two-bull-moose. Later, we opted to give the property in Alcova another shot now that Mom has downloaded a Long/Lat app on her phone. about:blankYouTube URLPaste a link to the content you want to display on your site.EmbedLearn more about embeds(opens in a new tab)Sorry, this content could not be embedded.Try again Convert to link

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose3.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose2.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose4.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose6.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose7.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-medicine-bow-deer.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-bird.jpg
American Dipper

about:blankYouTube URLPaste a link to the content you want to display on your site.EmbedLearn more about embeds(opens in a new tab)Sorry, this content could not be embedded.Try again Convert to link

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-ground-squirl.jpg
Ground Squirrel
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-me-duke.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-duke-me.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-mom.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rock-print.jpg
Print in Rock (Medicine Bow)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-me-rock.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-moose.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rawlins-bird.jpg
Rawlins, WY – Tractor Supply Parking Lot – begging for food
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rv-rawlins-bird-1.jpg
Rawlins, WY Tractor Supply Parking Lot

Currently, we’re back in Rawlins, WY in the Walmart parking lot. I filled the RV with fuel and Mom is doing some shopping. From here, we’ll likely search for a late lunch/early supper and maybe do some laundry. The plan is to sleep in the Tractor Supply parking lot tonight, fill with potable water from TC in the morning, eat a McDonald’s breakfast…McDonalds’s is located adjacent to the TC, then head north toward Alcova in the morning…maybe spend the night on the property if our computers will link to the AT&T hotspot and we can sign the required waiver to stay on the property.

Currently, we’ve exited Walmart, drove to a hole-in-the-wall Mexican food restaurant about a 1.6-miles down the road “Rose’s Lariat” (EXPENSIVE), traditional Mexican, it was incredibly GOOD. From the restaurant, we’ve arrived at the Matag Laundry on 15th Street…it’s raining cold rain outside…Mom and I are inside the Laundry, the clothes are washing and I’m making use of their WiFi to upload some videos…we will probably head to the Tractor Supply once the laundry is done and boon-dock for the night.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 (Rawlins, WY to Alcova, WY)

We got out of bed at 6AM; sleep in the Tractor Supply parking lot was fleeting, intermittent, frustrating, as we’re near the industrial section of Rawlins and adjacent to Interstate 80…the cowboys here are proud of their Magnaflows and Flowmasters illegal exhausts on their trucks…the little fart-can children in their sports cars also plague the area while the thug LOUD biker boys are like flies on poop in these northern states…I don’t blame these narcissistic thugs…I blame the impotence and compromise of local and state law enforcement and the liberalization of morals and ethics in our Nation.

With that said, Mom’s walked over to McDonald’s to purchase breakfast and coffee…the hot-water heater is activated, a shower is hopefully in my near future and later we’ll top-off the fresh water at Tractor Supply, Mom wants some rubber boots from there as well; then, we plan to drive back to Alcova and make every attempt to locate a 40-acre tract of land for sale. Mom’s arrived with food and coffee. Bye now 🙂

Subsequent to filling our RV with fresh water, we made the trek to Alcova and following the directions exactly along with the trip meter to verify distances; we finally arrived in the vicinity of the property but could not narrow down the exact location; a long time resident, Leon, drove by with his faithful dog and provided us with another neighbor’s name, Dick, who was very familiar with the properties in the area. We drove to Dick’s home and sure enough, he had an area plat posted in his garage. He then escorted us to the property across the street from his home and pointed out the boundaries of the 40-acre tract we were searching for. Mom and I walked the property and climbed the steep rock-mountain making up approximately 75% of the total acreage…Mom LOVED it…I’m skeptical about the winters and the prep and equipment necessary to endure them…I am NOT a fan of COLD weather…Wyoming is COLD and replete with snow through very beautiful and historical.

Leaving the property in Alcova, we searched for a boon-docking opportunity in the vicinity, specifically Pathfinder Dam and Reservoir…all State land and regulated camping areas…not interested. We made our way to Hwy 220 and headed back toward Rawlins, MT when Mom wanted to stop by the Martin’s Pass and Devil’s Gate visitors center…I’m glad we did. This area and the compound located there documents the horrors, the suffering, of Mormons who made the incredible journey from Europe in the mid-1800’s and came ashore in the Boston/New York area then families, men-women-children, followed what we know now as the Oregon Trail to Zion in Utah. It’s worth a good study, research, to understand the history, the courage, the suffering, the love for one’s fellowman that involves Martin’s Pass. The Mormon ladies and gentleman serving at Martin’s Pass, servants who provide visitors with tours and information about the town/compound around Martin’s Pass/the Devil’s Gate, were supposed to be off-duty at 7PM…but they stayed passed 7PM and made sure we had the opportunity to view the visitors center and a very informative and emotional film documenting the trials and suffering of those Mormon’s who made the trip from Boston, New York, to Utah via the Oregon Trail…the death, suffering, freezing, starving,…the incredible courage. A worthy historical study.

Theologically, Mormon’s are considered a cult as are Jehovah’s Witnesses but these people are some of the nicest, most faithful, hard working, individuals I’ve ever met…I don’t know how my Lord is going to reconcile their lack of faith in the sufficiency of Jesus as Messiah as with their diligence to God’s will in all other things. I’ll simply let God be God.

Subsequent to leaving Martin’s Pass, we drove on a poorly maintained back road (by accident) through thousands of acres that have been donated to the Mormon’s (Church of the Latter Day Saints) by a Mr. Sun who established a million-acre ranch in the Oregon Pass area back in 1872. A beautiful drive with an abundance of Pronghorn Deer…yes…Mom took photo’s. We finally intersected Hwy 220 once again traveling SB and visited the historical site “Independence Rock” — a very important landmark for those crossing the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express back in the 1800’s…there is also a large “rest area” next to the “independence Rock” historical site … we found an RV dump station there and too many thug looking bikers…Sturgis MC Rally is this weekend…so we continued SB and located some BLM land that was also labeled”Ranch 66″ “Missionary Campgrounds.” I took that gravel road leading WB and eventually rolled-up on a gated community…concerned…unable to reconcile public BLM land with a gated community showing “campground closed” at the entrance…we stopped at the open gate while Mom searched her phone; guess what, the same Mormon couple that patiently assisted us back at Martin’s Pass were exiting the “Missionary Campground”…they stopped and explained that the campground was part of the property deeded to the Mormon’s involving the Sun Ranch…this area is the old Oregon Trail. They did not possess the authority to allow us camp in their facility due to COVID and associated liability but two-men in a pick-up truck also exited the campgrounds and asked if we were looking for a place to camp…they were incredibly nice, Mormons, retired, but dedicating their time and talents to Martin’s Pass for 18-months; these men agreed that we were currently on BLM land and were therefore free to camp anywhere outside their gated perimeter. They said no matter where you go, the Mormon’s will find you…laughing. The driver told us that if we needed water for our RV in the morning, feel free to enter the camp and water was available at the far end of the entrance road. I asked him in the event we’re stopped and questioned in the camp area, who should I say provided me with permission to access water?…he laughingly replied…tell them “The Prophet.” Subsequent to an entertaining conversation, we parked near their gate and will camp here tonight…we’re approximately one-mile west of Hwy 220…it’s nice and quiet, I’m thankful and appreciative. All the dogs were serviced by Mom except for Duke…he wants Dad to take him out; afterwards, it’s time for bed. Goodnight.

Thursday, August 5, 2021 (Mormon Campground – BLM property – Martin’s Pass, Wyoming)

The coyotes sang us a song last night on the massive prairie, PePe was not too happy about that but sleep was wonderful in the cool night air. We got up at 6AM to the sound of Layla grooming, biting, scratching, herself. The dogs were serviced, I started the generator and prepared us some coffee, Mom’s making breakfast. I’ll take the boys for a jog down the gravel road this morning after breakfast; then, we’ll probably shower and enter the camp proper and refill our fresh water tank. Not sure where we’re headed today…I’m thinking we might check-out what appears to be a BLM river access road off of Hwy 220 SB toward Rawlins, WY…if that pans out, we might stay there a few days; if not, Mom mentioned that she would like to head south into Colorado and check out the Medicine Bow National Forest as it extends from Wyoming into northern Colorado. I’m sure my Lord will provide a place…I just have to seek it. It’s a beautiful, clear, morning with temp’s in the 50’s and an incredible sunrise over the mountains. I am thankful.

I’ve been suspended by Facebook’s moderators for another 30-days as I foolishly debated an atheist who reported me as threatening them and insulting them as we discussed the ramifications of unbelief in Jesus as Messiah and the truth about the lies of atheism. These atheists are trolls who enter Christian forums to undermine their discussions concerning faith and obedience to our Lord Jesus. With that said, it’s a blessing to have some books aboard to fill in the hours where there is little to do…I’ve learned to enjoy the simplicity of life and just “being” while appreciating the beauty of my Lord’s handiwork as we travel through this aesthetically gorgeous place called America. RV life is not without its challenges…the concerns over safety, maintenance…I feel that stress at times but my God is good and faithful.

Recent books: Michael Connelly’s “The Gods of Guilt” – one of the very best “who done it” murder mysteries I’ve ever consumed…well written and provides insight into the mind and life of a defense attorney defending a client charged with murder…incredible twists and turns.

John Sanford’s “Dark of the Moon” – simply a fun book following the assignment of a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agent and his “unorthodox” yet methodical investigative work into multiple small town murders bred/initiated by a 60’s culture of drugs, sex and rock-n-roll having come to fruition…could hardly put it down at times.

Breakfast is served…bye for now.

Mom expressed an interest in going to Utah as opposed to Medicine Bow in Colorado so I drove to Hwy 191 in Rock Springs, WY and turned SB…along the way, we entered the beautiful area of Flaming Gorge National Rec Area… the gorge is incredible with its rock structures, mountains, so we entered the forest area on Flaming Gorge Rd (WB) not really interested in the REC area as we figured it had too many people, boats/watercraft, crowded campground…so we found a lonely dirt road, Little Fire Hole Canyon Road, and headed down into the canyon area (Little Fire Hole Canyon)…for miles…but no acceptable place to boon-dock…Mom’s BLM phone app showed an unimproved road off to the left leading to some water/river at the base of the gorge…we took it with a little apprehension and after some scratches on the RV’s side by a narrow dirt road lined with sagebrush…we made it to the beach-river and found a relatively flat spot on the fine pea-gravel/sandy beach…we were totally alone…no one insight…no one on the mountains around us…no one at the beach. We set-up camp and walked the dogs along the beach area…beautiful in the canyon but later in the afternoon, the winds out of the northwest were INCREDIBLY STRONG…by my Lord’s grace, I had parked the RV facing the mouth of the gorge and the wind used the sides of the gorge like an airfoil…and at one point a gust caught the plastic tray that lines the bottom of the dog’s metal cage, lifted the plastic tray and used it with a subsequent gust to blow the entire cage (empty) into me and knocked me flat of my back. By God’s grace, the thick sand cushioned my fall…Mom thought it was hilarious…she has no idea how easily things could have turned south…but the wind did not apologize and continued for another hour or so and finally slowed in velocity just before sunset. 

The night turned comfortably cool in the canyon and sleep was good…a beautiful clear night with an abundance of stars. 

Friday, August 6, 2021 (Flaming Gorge – Little Fire Hole Canyon to Fire Hole Campground)

This morning, we climbed out of bed around 6:10AM and Mom serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee. The weather was pleasant, cool and clear, very little wind. Later, Mom prepared breakfast; afterward, Mom went for a walk to photo wildlife, I read my new-used book by James Paterson, “Pop Goes the Weasel”…another cop-murderer mystery. As I was reading and worried that I did not see Mom on the beach area, the winds began increasing again…I did NOT want another evening of damaging winds down in that canyon…the cabin windows would have to remain shut…the heat was a little too much without running the generator and air…when Mom returned, I suggested we leave the area for higher ground, she agreed. The trip out of the canyon gorge was just as challenging as the trip into the canyon…this poor RV is truly earning her keep.

Once we entered back onto Flaming Gorge Rd (hardtop road) we turned to the right as we wanted to observe the Recreation Area/Campgrounds…upon arrival to the “Fire Hole Campground” we met with the camp host, very polite…a Navy guy…and my Veteran’s National Park pass was accepted so the camping fees were cut in half. The host recommended that we check-out site #20…said we would like it…most of the sites were reserved or occupied but #20 was empty…available; unfortunately, #20 was linked to #21 on the same platform…I returned to the camp host and thanked him but advised we had rescue dogs in the RV and though they’re well behaved, I did not want to bother anyone…the camp host stated that he would not put anyone beside us and leave #21 unoccupied…how nice…so we paid for three-days and backed the RV into position, leveled it and set-up camp. The host was correct…site #20 is choice…we have a hiking trail behind our site…plenty of room for the dogs…two very nice covered picnic tables with concrete walls to protect against wind with a pergola style roof. We have hot showers very near our position and a water spigot with a screw nozzle…perhaps we’ll also be able to fill our fresh water tank as well…a passerby said the water quality is good. 

If the Lord wills, we will remain here over the weekend, August 6-9…leaving on Monday the 9th unless Mom is willing to stay longer. We have a beautiful view of some very unique mountains and the reservoir…My God is good. BTW…no service here for linking to the Internet. 

Later in the afternoon, Mom and I took the boys for a walk down the canyon trail behind our RV leading to Green River …we crossed over some rough terrain and made it to the boat ramp and dock…well constructed out of stainless steel…beautiful work…beautiful river. We then walked the boys the long way back to the campgrounds, serviced the girls who were waiting for us and then ate supper. Later, we took all the fur-babies for a walk to the recreation area…an incredibly beautiful flat area down by the river…used for fishing, swimming, camping…a great place to boon-dock had we not already paid for three nights in the campgrounds. Upon returning, I read my book while Mom played her computer game and took photo’s of the area…I call the mountain behind our RV “Phallic Mountain”…the photo’s will define why though the structure(s) are called “Chimney Rocks.” 

Saturday, August 7, 2021 (Fire Hole Campground – Flaming Gorge, Wyoming)

Sleep was good as the park was very quiet, the air was cool and humidity very low. We climbed out of bed around 7AM…Mom serviced the babies, I prepared coffee…we heated the water on the stove-top to avoid using the noisy generator to early in the morning. I read along with my coffee, Mom went outside to photograph the abundance of fish in the river; afterward, I took the boys for a good jog down to the recreation area adjacent to the river. When we returned, Mom prepared a breakfast of eggs, toast, cheese, fruit…delicious, appreciative. Subsequent to breakfast, I showered…we’ll probably refill the RV’s fresh water in a few minutes…waiting for those punishing WINDS to arrive…the wind here is terrible…approaching CAT-1 hurricane speeds. Presently, it’s almost 11AM, the temps are in the high 60’s or low 70’s…very low humidity…we’ll see what the day brings. Love and miss my family!! It’s 11:06AM…the winds have arrived (: 

Surprisingly, the strong winds never manifested this evening…mild winds, mild temp’s…nice. I did a bit of reading during the afternoon, Mom took some photos and we relaxed…the camp host, Chuck, came by…we talked for a good while. Chuck is a Navy Vet…told us he has cancer…divorced a number of times…said the VA did not advise him of his rectal exam results and it was positive; ultimately, he ended up up with colon cancer, stage-4 but he was not a candidate for surgery because his heart was too weak, clogged arteries, to survive the procedure; so then, he first underwent triple-bypass heart surgery, recovered, then underwent extensive removal of his colon…he now wears a colostomy bag on the front of his abdomen and his anus is sewn shut. He’s not sure how much life remains but he wants to live it to the fullest…tired of the daily grind…opted to purchase an old “one-owner” class-A RV, found him a wonderful dog…they’re traveling the roads and seeing God’s creation. 

Later, Mom and I took the dogs for a good hike…got them tired and ready for bed as we returned to the RV at dusk. The night cooled – actually, COLD…sleep was good. 

Sunday, August, 8, 2021 (Firehole Campgrounds)

We got out of bed around 7AM…coffee made…breakfast consumed and Mom and I, PePe and Duke, took off on very long hike up a near-by mountain…once we reached the top, Duke and I opted to hike over to Phallic-Peyronie Mountain (that’s what I named it) …and what a hike it was…Mom was supposed to photograph us on top standing under the unique rock structure..when I arrived at the base, I waived and waived but she could never find us…too far away for her camera…even with zoom… and my camera’s micro-disk is full…wish I could have captured the view from the top of this structure…absolutely incredible. Mom and I truly enjoyed the morning hike though I think Duke, PePe and Mom are DONE for the day…we returned to the RV and watered the dogs…I prepared some coffee and we turned on the air conditioner to cool things down. We’ll probably have some lunch soon…the dogs are passed out around me…Duke and PePe are in “recovery mode.” It’s beautiful here in Fire Hole/Flaming Gorge Canyon…so glad we decided to visit God’s handwork in southwest Wyoming. 

The evening was spent relaxing and reading – on my part while Mom took photographs of wildlife…it finally cooled off after dark and sleep was good.

Monday, August 9, 2021, (Flaming Gorge, WY to Utah, Flaming Gorge)

We got up a little before 7AM and I serviced the dogs, prepared us some coffee. Mom opted to head-out early to her wildlife viewing area down at the Gorge Beach. When Mom returned, I took the boys for a good run down to the beach area and encountered a young coyote who wanted some attention. He entered the gravel road behind us and began barking and howling…I barked and howled back at him as did PePe…Duke was cautiously anxious. The coyote and I talked back-and-forth for maybe 5 or 10-minutes…he wanted attention and affection…finally, I opted to continue our run back to the campgrounds and the coyote followed us…he ran along with us but to our right rear and remained close to the sagebrush. As we prepared to take the gravel trail up to the RV…the coyote smelled something on the ground and left us…I really enjoyed our meeting. 

Upon returning to the RV, I kidded Mom about my happen-chance meeting with the coyote…she did not want to hear it…I told her she MISSED IT! Mom is so diligent in capturing photos of wildlife…I do wish she could have videoed this young coyote…he was a hoot. We ate some cereal for breakfast and I showered. We filled the fresh water tank from a spigot across from our campsite #20. The camp host stopped by and asked if we would be willing to jump-start a dead battery in a vehicle on an adjacent campsite…we agreed and moved over to jump start the vehicle; afterward, we proceeded to the campground dump site and off-loaded our sewage then headed toward Highway 191 (SB) to Utah. The ride down Hwy 191 is beyond description…the canyon, the gorge…it’s a must see. We entered Utah around 11:15AM and drove through Ashley National Forest…beautiful. We’re now in Vernal, Utah at Walmart…Mom’s doing some shopping; I’ve serviced the fur-babies, started the generator and activated the air conditioner….Utah is rather warm. When Mom returns, we will probably get something to eat then do laundry…we’re planning on heading to Salt Lake City. 







The Holtsclaw RV adventure began in early 2021 when Sylvia, out of the blue and much to my surprise, began re-homing her ponies, alpacas, goats, mules, rabbit; then, my Wife placed  our log-cabin, located in Northwest Arkansas, on Zillow “for sale by owner.” Motivated by my Wife, we began a search for an affordable RV as our “home;” that is, if the cabin sold.

On March 24th, 2021, we located a 2014 Thor Motor Coach, Class C – 24 foot, on a Chevrolet chassis; the RV was parked on a consignment lot in south Fort Smith a few miles southeast of I-540 on Highway 71. The owner of the consignment lot was experiencing some hard times physiologically and psychologically due to an accident and informed us that he was unable to contact the owner of the RV. I noted the vehicle’s registration and Sylvia and I pursued the owner through State public records.

Subsequent to obtaining the RV’s registration, Sylvia and I drove to the Waldron, Arkansas Police Department where a very kind lady at the front desk assisted us with contacting the registered owner. Subsequent to some negotiations, we completed the purchase of the RV on March 24, 2021. The 2014 Chevrolet Thor 23u Motor Coach had under 9400.0 miles on the OD, approximately 13-hours on the generator, at the time of purchase and appeared to be in very good condition other than the owner’s failure to cover/protect the vehicle from weather. The fashionable stickers on the left side of the RV are cracked due to Sun exposure.

Subsequent to familiarizing ourselves with the RV, its particulars, and performing some routine maintenance, Sylvia and I took our first trip in the RV to Houston/College Station in the last week of March. The objective of this initiation trip was to say goodbye to our son, Charlie, my daughter-in-law, Goli, and my handsome grandson, Luke. They were en route to Scotland for Charles’ new job assignment. En route to Houston, we stopped by our daughter’s home in College Station. Rebekah accompanied us in the RV to Charlie’s home as she would take custody of the Toyota Prerunner that Charlie was giving her.

Subsequent to a sad “goodbye” to Charlie, Golie and Luke, we drove the RV back to College Station where Austin, my son-in-law, grilled some delicious steaks for my birthday. Our virgin trip in the RV was truly a learning experience and I remain amazed at the learning-curve relevant to RV life; one does not simply purchase an RV and function in it; there is much to be learned along the way. It is certainly advantageous if the RV owner possesses at least some knowledge relevant to engine mechanics; metal-fiberglass-rubber restoration/repair; plumbing; electrical.

In a matter of weeks, our home did sell (my wife should work in real estate) and we closed on May 12, 2021 at which time Sylvia and I were “homeless” per se but the RV stood ready to fill that void. Two of our eight rescue dogs, Buddy and Lady, were adopted by the new home owners at which time we saddled-up Duke, Finn, PePe, Layla, Zoe, MiMi, into the RV and headed to College Station to deliver a piano to Rebekah along with a plethora of her childhood memorabilia.

Finn enjoying the ride to College Station
Buster guarding the RV for us

On the trip down to College Station, we spent the night in a “Loves” fueling station parking lot in Hearne, Texas. The next morning, we arrived at Austin’s and Rebekah’s home and remained there until Monday, May 17, 2021; the RV was our curbside home during our stay; this to keep our fur-babies happy and under control; also, we were even graced by College Station with an ordinance violation for having parked the RV on the street for 72-hours…warning only…no fine involved. 

My beautiful Daughter and excellent Mexican food, College Station, TX

The Journey Begins (Arkansas to Texas)

Today, May 17, 2021, Sylvia and I left College Station, Texas and headed to Eagle Pass via back roads to visit friends of the family. I noticed early on that life in the RV with six-dogs would be a trial in patience for both of us (and the dogs) but subsequent to lunch in Bastrop, TX and a large cup of coffee (Sylvia ate a WhatABurger and fries-diet & regular Coke mix/I ate a fruit salad with coffee) our patience grew stronger and we arrived in Eagle Pass around 5PM. A storm, high winds, plagued the rather small town and we located a Luby’s Cafeteria that appears to be closed for business due to the COVID nonsense.

Headed to Eagle Pass, TX

The Luby’s parking lot is adjacent to Lowe’s and Walmart and finding a relatively level spot on the side of the building, we’ve parked for the night with generator running, air conditioner on, dogs falling asleep and a delicious sandwich to be consumed; the sandwich having been prepared by chef Sylvia; comfortably full, we fell asleep…the RV swaying in the high winds mimicking a cruise ship on rough seas. 

May 18, 2021 (Tuesday) (Texas – Eagle Pass)

The evening storms on Monday gave-way to a relatively nice morning, mild temps with a light breeze, partly cloudy. We’re still making adjustments to living with six-dogs in such a confined environment as are the dogs…they’re traumatized by the noise in the cabin, the swaying, the braking, our impatience but…we’re working on it. We were forced to run the generator and air conditioning during the night as the humidity demanded same but even with the intermittent sleep, Sylvia and I awoke relatively rested and took the dogs for a walk around the Luby’s parking lot. Sylvia then watered and attempted to feed the dogs but their nerves would not permit much food consumption although they were very thirsty. Sylvia prepared us some coffee and I continued to walk the dogs while Sylvia cleaned and organized the RV…she is an “excellent” wife. 

There is a Chick-fil-A across the street from Luby’s and after retracting the awning and securing the dogs, we drove there for breakfast; unfortunately, the dining room was closed (most likely due to the COVID nonsense)…the drive thru would not permit the height of the RV so we proceeded to Walmart, ate a light breakfast with coffee at What-a-burger then picked-up supplies from Walmart. Instead of spending two-to-four-hundred-dollars on a GPS, I’ve elected to use my old cell phone and purchased a vent mount to hold it; we will see how this inexpensive option works out.

Leaving Walmart, we proceeded to Ellie’s and met with Tom and Ellie at their home. The doggies were secured in the backyard and after a brief greeting with Tom and Ellie, I drove to Discount Tire as they had called and said my tires had been delivered and they were ready for install. I selected the Durvais R500 HD ($171.00 each x 6) subsequent to reading reviews on a number of tires that would fit the RV…the Discount Tire representative in Bryan agreed adamantly that the Durvais’ were excellent tires for use on the RV. 

Tom and Ellie, we’re departing for Del Rio

Subsequent to tire installation, I took the suggestion of a Discount Tire representative and searched out a “good mechanic” that would perform an alignment on the RV; unfortunately, this guy works out of his home and the address landed me in an area of Eagle Pass that looked like an LA Barrio; so then, I made my way out of the area and proceeded to Precision Auto…another dead-end as they were closed for lunch. I felt guilty for spending so much time with the tire installation and searching for an alignment because Tom had used a sick-day from work to visit with us; therefore, I headed straight to their home while Ellie had gone to pick up some Mexican food for lunch.

We had a wonderful lunch-dinner with Tom, Ellie and Matt and during our after lunch conversation and coffee, Mom called a potential RV park toward Del Rio. Besides being rather rude to Mom, the representative for the RV park advised that our dogs were not acceptable in her park and that a storm was moving into our area…and…she was correct concerning the storm according to the radar. The radar showed a storm approximately 30-minutes west of Eagle Pass and the weather depiction reflected red, green, pink…not my cup-of-tea; therefore, mom and I opted to put the dogs into the RV and head north away from the path of the storm hoping to only drive through the “green” area of moderate rain. With a quick and heartfelt goodbye to Ellie and Tom, we headed north toward Del Rio with no wheel alignment performed. 

May 19, 2021 (Wednesday) (Texas – Del Rio – Amistad National Park)

The road surface to Del Rio was rather bumpy – rough but the scenery was nice. While en route, mom found a camping site in the Amistad National Park; after some driving and searching, we opted to turn into the campground on the east-side of Hwy. 90 (Ranger Station – boat ramp for Walk Lake)…low and behold, one of the first things we observed was a FREE dump station with trash receptacle and potable water…just what we had been searching for…there were NO dump stations or areas to service our black and gray water in Eagle Pass or vicinity. I almost paid $40.00 to stay at a RV park outside of Del Rio just to dump our black/gray water but the Federal Government’s Park Service at the Amistad Reservoir (north of Del Rio on Hwy 90) came through for us; in fact, just down the road from the free dump station were campsites oriented toward RV’s; so then, we chose camp site #14, paid $20.00 for two-nights…placed the money in an envelope and deposited it into the fee-box down the road. This area had been recommended to us by two-Park Rangers at another entrance to the park approximately .5-miles south…these guys looked like Navy Seals with their beards, military style uniforms…very professional…very impressive. 

As I was walking to the deposit-box, I met a couple, husband and wife, from San Diego, CA who were on a cross-country trip in their RV. The gentleman was very upset with Governor Newsom and his liberal, tyrannical, idiocy…they were looking to possibly sell their home in CA and move east…somewhere. We talked for approximately one-hour; as darkness settled in, mom walked-up with all six-dogs on leashes…she entered into a conversation with the wife but later I learned mom was UPSET with me for leaving her with the dogs and talking so long with these strangers; all ended well and I was forgiven with grace. It was around 10:30PM when we made it back to the RV and mom watered/fed the dogs and we went to bed…the weather was cool enough to open the windows and at one point I actually had to use the covers…desert weather coolness at night. We all slept rather well even though our campsite is approximately 100-yards from Highway 90 and a parallel train track that crosses the lake. The Amistad Lake or “Walk Lake” is beautiful water and the white-ish rocks that encase it are clean against the blue water. 

Shores of Walk Lake – Amistad National Park (Me and my babies)
Walk Lake – Amistad National Park (Hwy 90/RR Bridge over lake)

This morning I prepared coffee for mom and myself and we drank it with the doggies under a canopy/park bench adjacent to our RV…beautiful view. Mom made us breakfast consisting of tortillas, eggs, cheese…delicious; later, I went for a jog, first with PePe, then Finn, then Duke…mom opted for a walk; so then, I ended the jog and we all “walked” to the lake for exercise. We’re now back at the RV, the dogs have collapsed…some are sound asleep. My God is good and I’m thankful for a beautiful day with my family.  

Later in the day, mom wanted to take a hike toward the Ranger Station which would require a cross-country adventure; unfortunately, a quick moving storm from the east to the west drove us inside the RV seeking shelter. Subsequent to the rain and wind, we saddled up, leashed-up the dogs and headed out for an adventure. We found ourselves walking through cactus and prickly bushes…the last time I heard so much bellyaching (from Sylvia) was Marine Corps infantry; my wife had cactus stickers in her legs as did some of the dogs; of course, it was all my fault. We struggled to make our way up to the highway and found the road back to our RV site. Upon arriving at the RV, our neighbors were waiting for us, a very kind couple from San Diego we had met the night before. We invited them to join us under the canopy and enjoyed a great conversation. For supper, I ate four-shredded wheat biscuits and mom prepared some oatmeal for herself…then…my first real shower since leaving Rebekah’s house days earlier…I was overdue. The night air was almost “cold” and we slept like babies, two and four legged. 

May 20, 2021 (Thursday) (Texas – Amistad to El Paso)

Mom and I got up this morning and immediately serviced the dogs; I made coffee for us and walked around the campsite enjoying my cup of brew; afterwards, we prepared the RV for the road and I checked the essentials concerning oil, tires, compartment security…mom organized things inside. Upon leaving the campsite, we headed south to the Park’s dump station and emptied our gray and black water then filled-up with potable water seeing that we would probably be boon-docking for a day or two or three. I then drove to the Ranger Station and met with a couple of Park Rangers hoping to acquire an “America the Beautiful” National Park pass which offers discounts on park fees…as suggested by our neighbor’s from San Diego. The Park Rangers directed me to their “Visitor’s Center” approximately one-mile south on Hwy 90 toward Delrio.  Upon arrival at the “Visitor’s Center,” I met with a Park administrator who asked if I was a veteran. Upon verification of my service with the Marine Corps via my Marine Corps ID card, the administrator issued me a “free” veterans pass; I was very appreciative for this military pass seeing that the “America the Beautiful” pass cost $80.00.

After leaving the visitor’s center, we drove north on Hwy 90 and visited the Seminole State Park but found it rather unwelcoming, no campsites (closed) and all access to the property mandated a group tour guide costing $4.00 per person; so then, we left. Our travel along Hwy 90 north from Del Rio was incredible…absolutely beautiful desert landscapes…breathtaking. We stopped in a small town and parked for about an hour; while there, I took the dogs for a walk while mom prepared sandwiches and chips. The dogs were watered and fed. I prepared us some coffee and we then proceeded north once again. Mom was captivated by the desert views and especially the dust tornadoes (? dust devils) that sprung up all around us. I did not consider these dust tornadoes anything to worry about until I drove into the vicinity of one…it almost caused me to lose control of the RV…mom was frightened…but God is faithful and I am thankful for His intercession.

Hwy 90/Texas/Seminole area
Dust Devils/Marfa, TX (Hwy 90)
Marfa, TX

Dust Devils video: https://www.facebook.com/1451363214/videos/a.10223874453916531/10223884933978526

Alpine, TX
Alpine, TX – Cave in the mountains

Finally, we approached Van Horn, TX at I-10 and headed west toward El Paso; we opted to boon-dock in a Walmart on the east side of El Paso. When I parked in the Walmart parking lot the OAT was 98-degrees…looks like we will sleep with the generator and air conditioning tonight. Maybe a last little walk and pee-pee for the dogs before bedtime…we gained an hour on the clock just west of Van Horn. 

May 21, 2021 (Friday) (Texas to New Mexico)

Last night in El Paso was LOUD…the area sounded like an unrestricted raceway. Temperatures were in the 90’s and slowly cooled but we opted to run the generator and air conditioning for most of the night. I’ve begun a YouTube video channel under my name and “RV Rookies” to discuss with my fellow RV’ers our experiences with boon-docking and life on the road with six-dogs in a small Class-C motorcoach. 

PePe enjoying the view

Today, we will probably search-out a Harbor Freight or Northern Tools as I need to purchase a 20-ton bottle-jack for the RV in the event we experience a flat tire. Other than that, we might pick up a quick breakfast and head toward the White Sands National Park in New Mexico. We left the Walmart in east El Paso after taking care of some banking needs and finally located a Tractor Supply that stocked a 20-ton bottle jack. After securing the bottle jack, Sylvia and I headed to McDonald’s for breakfast and then crossed over into New Mexico.

New Mexico and a warning

We arrived at White Sands around noon, the drive was tense due to the serious cross winds that pushed the RV around like a toy…the Park was beautiful…it appeared to be cleaned/purified ocean sand for miles in the middle of a desert. Syliva and I, along with the dogs, went for a walk in the sand dunes. Later, we headed to Roswell, NM to speak with some space aliens…none have been located thus far. Looks as though we may have to go to Area 51 in Nevada to fulfill mom’s desire to converse with an authentic alien. In Roswell, mom did some sweet talking and found us a boon-docking gig at the Tractor Supply on Roswell’s Main Street. We were permitted to park in the back of the store where a huge vacant field is located adjacent to the store’s rear parking lot…perfect for the dogs and hopefully a quiet night’s sleep…but…not so quick, unfortunately. 

White Sands National Park, NM
White Sands National Park, NM
White Sands National Park, NM
White Sands National Park, NM
Mom and Finn, White Sands National Park
White Sands National Park – our home

Main street in Roswell was inundated with loud biker narcissistic asses that raced their illegally loud motorcycles up and down the street repeatedly…they seemed to have picked the Tractor Supply to make their U-turn and accelerate back toward the business district in the Downtown center. It seems impossible to escape the arrogance, rudeness, narcissism, of scum bikers and modified trucks and auto’s….a shameful generation of hedonistic asses while our police are impotent, uncaring, too participatory to protect the citizenry from these loud thugs. We will see how the night progresses. Mom prepared us a supper of hot dogs, corn chips, and watermelon. I’m comfortably full…even the puppies had a taste. After some computer time…I’m headed to bed. Goodnight. 

Sunset – Roswell, NM

5-22-2021 (Saturday) (New Mexico – Roswell – Datil Well National Camp Grounds – BLM)

We got up around 6AM and fed/watered the dogs then prepared to move-out of the Tractor Supply parking lot. The noise abated to a tolerable degree and the illegally LOUD biker thugs must have finally found a place for the night in preparation for another day of narcissistic thuggery and abuse of the citizenry. I drove to a near-by McDonald’s and purchased Mom and I a large coffee. We studied the road map Mom had purchased the evening earlier and decided we would drive to the infamous “round house” in Datil, NM. Mom and I have been considering this unique home as a possible purchase…Mom has watched this home on Zillow for months…now, it’s under contract…but we still want to see the area. It was approximately a four-hour drive from Roswell to Datil and en route I stopped and purchased an AC Delco oil filter for the RV with the intent of changing oil at a local Walmart super-center…there was no super-center to be found so we proceeded onto Datil, New Mexico.

Corona, NM (Hwy 60)

Upon arrival, we searched for the “round house” on a mountain located off of Hwy 12; unfortunately, the “round house” was in a “community,” too many people and too much trash in the area for our liking. We never actually found the home…it might be gated-off but we drove for miles on a winding – WINDY – gravel mountain road and the RV performed well but the road was hard on her. Between White Sands and the Datil home search, the RV will probably need an oil change, perhaps an air-filter change as well. Our GPS simply would not pinpoint the location; backing and maneuvering the RV in this environment was NOT ideal. 

After accepting the disappointment relevant to the “round house,” we returned to the very small town of Datil, New Mexico and headed toward Arizona on Hwy. 60…but…we noticed a “camping grounds” sign west of Hwy 12 on SH-60 and opted to check-it-out and much to my surprise, after some gravel road driving, we located the National Park/Bureau of Land Management “Datil Well Camping Grounds.” I met with the Camp’s “host” at the office and discussed the individual campsites that had electrical service. Sylvia and I noticed these on our first ride around the camp grounds to inspect the facility. The host said the electrical campsites could be used if available…I found site #19 and #21 unoccupied so we parked at site #19 and hooked-up the electricity; unfortunately, there was no water hook-up or sewage dump available. The good news was that my veteran’s card “America the Beautiful” permitted free entrance and free electricity…yes!  The camp host said it was all free with a veteran’s pass…much appreciated!

I filled out the necessary paperwork for park entry and Sylvia prepared us a lunch consisting of quesadillas and chips and watermelon…very good, especially seeing that we had not eaten breakfast. After lunch, I prepared coffee for the two of us then we took a long hike into the New Mexico woods (the Park provided trails). The dogs were worn out after the hike…except for PePe…my Navy Seal dog…he was so gung-ho that he pulled me for most of the hike, choking himself with the harness yet remaining overzealous to hunt: PePe was hunting and wanted to attack something, anything, everything…PePe is TYPE-A. After returning from the hike, Mom opted to water and feed the dogs and they’re now passed-out around me on the cushions, chair, floor, while Mom organizes the loft area of the RV and I type this. We’re headed to bed soon and we will probably remain in Datil for another night; unfortunately, the Park has no Wifi service…but hey, it’s okay. The Park seems to be quiet, it has restrictions concerning noise (10P – 6A), pets…maybe we can get some rest?

May 23, 2021 (Sunday) (Datil, New Mexico) – Reality sets in…

The night’s ambient temperature DROPPED significantly under a three-quarter Moon and clear skies; as a result, I slept COLD, uncomfortable, all night with intermittent sleep due to our dogs response to the coyotes singing at the moon. I was not aware that my Wife had a weighted, warm, blanket, caressing her body all night (LOL). Finn licked his “lips” and sucked and swallowed (probably thirsty) a good part of the night and I focused on that irritating noise as well. I love Duke, I really like Finn, but these big dogs are a hindrance in the RV. The dogs, in general, really wear on Mom and her tolerance for them bounces from one extreme to the other. One moment she feels sorry for them and finds it impossible to entertain the possibility of surrendering Duke, PePe and Finn to a sanctuary or re-homing facility. We both agree that the little dogs must remain with us as they’re old and physiologically, they’re wearing down. At other times, Mom is livid, angry with the dogs…her temper flares and she’s ready to re-home them. Personally, I believe re-homing is the best option if the RV is to be a way-of-life for us for an extended period of time. Poor Duke is a good dog, faithful, but his sheer size, shedding, is too much for 140-square feet. For now, we’re dealing with it…I will sorely miss Duke if he is adopted…the thought of him leaving breaks my heart.

Immediately after climbing out of bed, we took the dogs out to take care of business then I prepared some coffee for Sylvia and myself; actually, our conversation was lengthy this morning so two-cups were in order. After coffee, I leashed PePe and we went for a jog on the gravel road that borders two-sides of the campgrounds. This morning was absolutely beautiful during our run…the high winds that plague New Mexico during May and June had completely subsided overnight…the area is clean and the air crisp and fresh. We jogged into town on Hwy 12 then took Hwy 60 west to the road leading back to the campground. Upon arrival at the RV, Mom had breakfast waiting…delicious. After breakfast, Mom took the dogs to do their business while I typed this. My conscience bothered me concerning the free pass to the Park so I retrieved another registration envelope and paid for two-nights (half-price) seeing that the area is very well maintained, convenient, and we have the privilege of a new, efficient, electrical hook-up. 

Also, seeing that I’m still in the learning curve concerning the operation of this RV, Mom insisted that the RV had heat, I disagreed, even though the thermostat indicated a heat setting. Throughout my research on RV’s, nowhere did I find a discussion concerning heaters and I ass-u-me-d that these little RV’s were absent such luxury. Mom flipped the thermostat to heat and YES…the cabin heated-up, warm air bellowed out from portals beneath the dining table bench.. and I thought to myself…I slept miserably cold and heat was available…live and learn.

Mom just now took an “Indian Shower” in the sink and cleaned her pits with a wash cloth (no water hook-up here due to water conservation and the underground well). I’ve not showered in a few days but hey…it’s all good. We will probably take the big-dogs for a walk later…the little dogs are worn-out from yesterday’s off-grid hike through the woods. 

Mom and Finn, Duke and I, walked the perimeter road of the Park, the same route I took on my morning run. We all returned a little tired at which time the dogs were watered. I prepared some coffee and later Mom prepared us bowls of soup for lunch. We have no Internet at this location so there is nothing much to do but discuss properties we would like to view in Arizona and Nevada. As we looked at the maps of Arizona and Nevada, Florida…reality has begun to set-in and we’re both a little depressed by our current circumstances. Mom’s bored, I’m tired…the dog’s are miserable and they’re making us miserable. The RV is dusty/dirty; our equipment is dusty/gritty; the dog’s are filthy with New Mexico desert dirt and dust…we’re un-bathed, unshaven; Dish Network failed to provide us service so there is no TV or news or weather other than the dash radio’s weather band. Undisciplined but loving dogs i.e. Finn and PePe…are making Mom’s life tough and filled with frustration in 140-square feet…Mom hates things to be dirty and disorganized. 

I’m not really interested in properties for sale in States that impose a State income tax…I believe this is abusive and tyranny and it angers me. The properties in Texas all suffer from excessive real estate tax though the State does not impose an income tax. New Mexico has some beautiful property for “cheap” but imposes tax on my retirement income; so then, New Mexico is most likely a no-go for me. Nevada’s properties, those on the market, are mostly positioned in the northern sector of the State…cold and possibly snowy…being a Texan at heart, I’m NOT excited by that. Mom learned through contacts with the Nevada electric providers that bringing electricity to a private property, our cost would be $150.000 a mile…I don’t think so!!!

Though the properties are relatively cheap, I’m concerned about the weather, adjacent farms with cattle, access, and the like…the winds and the cattle dung smell don’t sound feasible nor acceptable. Mom did locate one property in Hawthorne, NV south of Reno, near the California State-Line and my old Marine training grounds for mountain warfare, Bridgeport. There is property in Arizona located near the city of “Kingman” that Mom has expressed some interest in; but again, Arizona is an income tax State and puts a damper on purchasing property there as far as I’m concerned. There is a second property in Nevada’s Reno district that is also a possibility…perhaps we’ll check-it-out subsequent to the property in Hawthorne.

As you proceed north on Interstate 80 out of Reno, there is a plethora of properties/acreage for sale at very reasonable prices. If none of these pan-out for us, Mom really wants to go to Alaska; my problem with Alaska is having to traverse LIBERAL Canada and their zero-tolerance for self-defense weapons. The ferry out of Washington to Alaska is cost prohibitive and the only other viable option is to leave my weapons with family in Portland and take Interstate 5 into Canada…I’ve done this in the past when Sylvia and I rode a motorcycle to Alaska via the Al-Can HIghway…the fascist’ – socialists’ at the Canadian border even confiscated my mace. At that time, I was an actively employed law enforcement officer and the liberal Canadians left me without any means of protecting my Wife as we traversed remote areas in Canada and Alaska inundated with dangerous two and four legged creatures…I was angry. I don’t like fascists and I don’t like Canada…though the Yukon is beautiful.

US-60, Moriarty, NM Windmill farm
Socorro, NM
Cibola National Forest

Anyway, not sure if we’ll head north to Oregon, Washington, Canada, Alaska, or east toward Cimarron, NM where my Grandfather, whom I’ve never met, is supposedly buried…I would like to find any history on him that might be in the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Cimarron. My Dad talked often of going to New Mexico to hunt but he never pursued that dream as my Mom would have blown a temper gasket at the very thought of Dad traveling to New Mexico. It was only after the death of my Dad that I learn his father had divorced his mom, my grandmother; subsequent to the divorce, the children all went with my grandmother except for Dad who worked the coal mines with His father…I believe they worked mines in Kansas, Oklahoma and/or Colorado. Later, my Grandfather moved from Kansas to Cimaron, New Mexico and allegedly married an Indian woman. Granddad was reportedly a very talented horticulturalist and enjoyed grafting plants/flowers to form a new “species.” Not sure if my Grandfather was using the name Holtsclaw or Daniels subsequent to the divorce and having remarried. I think a visit to Cimarron would be interesting and possibly informative. 

So presently, Mom and I are sitting in the RV in Datil, NM…a little tired; a little concerned; a little depressed; a little unsure; tired of the big dogs and they’re apparently tired of us and the discipline; the New Mexico winds have subsided as the Sun is setting in the west…I need a shower, feeling old…not looking forward to the possibility of having to “build” a home if we are successful in locating some acreage that is acceptable. Truly, I just want to be at peace…I’m easily satisfied and content; in fact, if we re-homed these big dogs and PePe, I could probably live in an RV for years and travel the United States without care and concern other than for my Wife and the RV’s maintenance. My Lord’s will be done.

Though I don’t miss Arkansas all that much, I would enjoy sitting down on the couch and watching Tucker with frozen grapes before bedtime…Arkansas was good to me and though I never felt it was really “home,” I was satisfied and appreciative to my Lord for ten-years of country life. All-in-all, reality is setting-in and I am wholly dependent upon my Lord for guidance, peace, assurance, wisdom, hope, provision and protection…I know my Lord Jesus is faithful; the Father is loving and immutable and the Spirit is my peace and knowledge and patience; therefore, I’m good and I know He will work all things out for the good of my Wife and myself in due time; of this, I have no doubt.

I did not attend Church this Sunday morning…it is possible that the Church in Datil is closed due to Covid. I truly did enjoy Church in Van Buren on Sunday morning with my Wife and the Mexican food lunch that followed and a quiet, intimate, Sunday evening with my Wife…a true joy in my life. I miss being present in my Lord’s house…I do miss that honor as Church is likened to a spiritual shower preparing me for the week ahead. May my Lord also protect, provide for, seal and save my beautiful children and grandson. Goodnight. 

Datil Well National Park
Datil Well National Park
Datil Well National Park
Datil Well National Park

May 24, 2021 (Monday) (Datil, New Mexico)

The night in Datil’s Well Park gave-way to freezing temperatures at 9450-feet elevation, we know this as there was ice on the dog’s water bowl outside the RV’s door. Mom and I woke-up around 4AM to the sound of Finn’s mouth sucking. I asked if she wanted me to make coffee but the suggestion was somewhat ignored and we finally fell back asleep. We woke again around 6AM and Mom got up quickly, turned on the cabin heat, dressed and began taking the dogs to potty, one and two at a time. I laid in bed under the covers for a few minutes as Layla, MiMi and Zoe made their way into bed with me assisted by Mom. The little girls were ecstatic as sleeping with Dad had been the routine for many years in the Arkansas cabin. 

Feeling somewhat guilty that Mom was outside in the cold taking care of the dogs, I climbed out of bed, dressed, and prepared coffee for the two of us. The morning in Datil, NM is absolutely beautiful…the night was clear, I think the Moon phase was “full” and the Sun this early hour with the pines and desert basin is simply gorgeous; that is, until those pesky WINDS begin to blow relentlessly…a phenomenon that manifests in New Mexico during the Spring, May and June…this is what we’ve been told…the winds during the day are incredible but the night is absolutely peaceful…odd. 

Personally, I remain troubled by what to do with Duke, PePe, Finn. I feel horrible for the situation we’ve put them in…they simply don’t fit in this 140-square foot RV cabin…Finn’s hair is shedding, Duke is depressed and frightened of the heater…PePe is just PePe…a type-A personality with a lovable face…WHAT TO DO? Mom’s outside attempting to take a photo of a HUGE Raven that is pilfering the desert ground near the outside bathroom…Duke’s sleeping on the blanket near the stove…the little girls are sleeping on the cushions that surround the table. 

We’re probably going to secure a few things around the RV’s cabin, I’ll disconnect the electricity, do a walk-around and check the RV for the road…I’m concerned about the fuel…we have less than a half-tank and I don’t see any towns or cities that might have fuel on the map…that is, no service for many miles. I might have to go by the little convenience store in Datil and get fuel-raped for $3.45 a gallon – regular…I’ll put maybe $20.00 in the tank to get me on down the road as I search for $2.60-2.80 a gallon fuel. These back-roads, for the most part, have high fuel prices…though the scenery is beautiful away from the congestion of the Interstates…the major thoroughfares do offer many more conveniences and generally much lower fuel prices. 

Well, I’ve elected to skip breakfast this morning, Mom’s in the bathroom taking care of her business…guess I’ll finish my coffee and prepare for the road…fuel and an oil change are on my mind; also, I’ll probably go ahead and change the air-filter with only four-thousand miles on it. This air filter has been working overtime since we left College Station, TX…through the deserts of South and West Texas, to the White Sands of New Mexico…DUST is everywhere. Mom just exited the bathroom having completed an expedited wash…she looks beautiful…anyway, no time for what’s on my mind…which is probably not on her mind; so then, I’ll deal with it…we’re headed out. 

May 25, 2021 (Tuesday) (Arizona)

The morning drive from Datil, NM to Arizona was BEAUTIFUL…I have forgotten just how magnificent America the Beautiful truly is; yes, Europe and South America certainly have their preserved history and architecture but God has truly blessed America…Manifest Destiny was not pretty as it clawed west…but there is no doubt, God’s hand has created and sustained this beautiful Nation and I am blessed to have been born here and experienced it. Appreciative of the clean campsite and facilities offered at Datil Well National Forest Camp Grounds, I stopped-by the “Host” house located at the exit. I thanked him and his wife for their hard work at maintaining the grounds with such due diligence and proceeded to exit the campsite and head toward Hwy 60. 

Feeling as though the RV was too low on fuel to head west from Datil while simultaneously debating whether or not I wanted to be raped by $3.45 a gallon fuel prices on the remote sections of Hwy. 60…inspired me to seek the wisdom of Chevrolet’s on-board computer which showed I had over two-hundred miles of fuel range remaining. Looking at the fuel gauge and the fuel mileage suggested by the computer did not match-up logically but I opted to trust the computer since I was paying cash and waiting for pension payday. We proceeded west to Pie Town, Omega, Quemado, and found some fuel for $3.15 in Red Hill…Mom paid $40.00 cash to the attendant and I put in enough fuel to safely get us on down the road. 

Our intent was to proceed west on Hwy. 60 to “Show Low,” Arizona, then turn north on Arizona’s 77 to Interstate 40, west to “Kingman” and “Yucca” to look at some acreage…but…noticing Phoenix to our southwest and our love for Rodica and Cornel (family) we opted to take Hwy 260 toward Peoria. Our little RV with the 6.0 Vortec engine was suffering on the steep mountain passes and even though I was running Mobile One’s full synthetic “Extended Performance” oil in the engine and the oil was only at “half-life” (as per the on-board computer), I opted to stop at a Walmart Super Center in Payson, AZ and change the oil. Along with an oil change, I found some fuel for $2.85 (actually Sylvia found it with her fuel app) and filled the RV with go-juice and finally got something to eat for the day, a McDonald’s “Big Mac” and fries for Mom; a smaller burger for me (Quarter Pounder w/cheese…and…two-large coffee’s)…God is good.   

The bay doors at the Walmart auto center in Show Low were too low for our RV’s height and wanting to change my own oil, I parked adjacent to the auto center and raised the front-end using the stack-able leveling blocks. I had a couple of quart bottles of Mobile One in the RV storage area and purchased a drain bucket and five-quarts (Mobile-One Extended Performance 5W30) from Walmart…Sylvia helped me retrieve the tools and we changed both the engine and generator oil. Sylvia entered Walmart to do some shopping subsequent to securing the dogs to a fence positioned at the perimeter of Walmart’s auto center.

Payson AZ on Hwy 87

Subsequent to changing the oil and filter, we drove into Peoria, AZ and met with Rodica and Cornel…such loving and kind people…even with our six-dogs…they made us feel loved and so very welcome. Rodica’s home in Peoria, AZ is beautiful and I parked the RV in the cul-de-sac near her driveway. After some good conversation, some delicious Romanian food (cabbage rolls), I actually had the opportunity to take a long HOT shower and shave…felt like a new man. Later, Cornel and I discussed God, politics, while watching Fox News…Shannon Bream and Tucker Carlson…tired, relaxed, a full belly, I opted to get some rest. Cornell assisted me in hooking-up the RV’s electrical system to their home’s outdoor outlet. Sylvia and Rodica were setting on the back patio catching-up on family…Sylvia opted to sleep in the comfy bed offered her in Rodica’s home…I opted to take our six-dogs to the RV and sleep there. I simply could NOT, in good conscience, allow our dogs into Rodica’s BEAUTIFUL home…spotless…the floors were new wood…spotless…so the seven-dogs (me included) slept well in the RV with a floor fan and intermittent air conditioning in the RV. 

Rocica’s home and our “home” in Peoria, NM

I woke-up at 5AM as we’re now two-hours behind my Arkansas/Texas timezone…the Sun was already shining in Peoria…a beautiful morning; so then, I took the dogs out to take care of their business, one-at-a-time, they were quiet, cooperative, disciplined…I was thankful for that…the neighborhood was quiet. Layla had to poop on a neighbor’s driveway so after everyone did their business, I secured a plastic bag, a rubber glove, and performed my duties as a pooper-scooper; I policed Layla’s mess…then entered Rodica’s backyard and policed the poop left by our “hairy children” the evening before. Having placed the dung into the trash, I entered the RV, washed-up and made myself some coffee; apparently, Sylvia and family are still sleeping. 

Not sure how long we will remain in Peoria. I truly enjoy it here with Rodica and Cornell…they’re both so kind and inviting…but presently, the objective (personally) is to proceed west into Nevada and look at some property in “Hawthorne” near the California State-line. I don’t know why but I feel drawn to Hawthorne; perhaps, due to Hawthorne’s proximity to Bridgeport, CA where I was trained in mountain warfare by the Marine Corp Infantry some forty-four years ago…I’m drawn to Hawthorne and need to see what the area offers for the money. I’m also concerned by how quickly property is being bought-up by people fleeing the liberal idiocy of California, New York and other Democrat strongholds that are exercising tyranny over their citizenry. So then, I’ll wait for my beautiful Wife to wake-up…she’s supposed to come wake me up 🙂 but all of us eagerly await her pretty presence. By-the-way…did I mentioned how beautiful the mountains in Arizona are? My advice, don’t pass into the next world without experiencing the incredible beauty of God’s handiwork that is, America!

We had a wonderful day with Rodica and Cornel, great company…wonderful food (cabbage rolls – some the best I’ve ever tasted); later, we visited Danial and Lavina, their children…wonderful people, wonderful family…impressive. Subsequent to our visit, I headed to the bed with the dogs…Mom and Rodica talked into the night.

5-26-2021 (Wednesday) (Peoria, Arizona)

Another beautiful morning in Arizona. Mom slept in Rodica’s home…I slept with the dogs in our RV. I got up around 5AM and took the dogs out to do their business and sat with them in the backyard until the family was ready for a new day. We’re beginning the day with a good cup of coffee, a discussion around the table…our favorite vacation areas.

We had the pleasure of visiting with Romeo and his wife, Jennifer, their beautiful children. Great conversation supplemented with fabulous Romanian cabbage rolls, soup, homemade bread. Very proud of this family and their commitment to our Lord.

Later, a sweet lady visited and took PePe as a possible adoption…PePe is presently at her home with another small dog about his size and the adoption process is underway; that is, if PePe, his cute four-legged partner, the owner, find peace together.

Another very nice couple, husband and wife, are interested in adopting Finn. They also visited today and expressed intentions to provide Finn a loving home. We will see.

The day ended with great conversation between Rodica, Sylvia, myself…I headed to bed in the RV with our dogs; Mom headed to bed in the house…a beautiful night in Arizona, the Moon is full, the air is cooling down, humidity is almost completely absent. Goodnight.

May 27, 2021 (Thursday) (Arizona)

I was awakened this morning around 5:15AM by “Rocket Mortgage” who was following-up on an inquiry I had made online last night on behalf of a family member. Subsequent to that phone call, I opted to take the dogs out to do their business, took out the trash for Rodica and made me a cup of coffee in the RV. Soon, Sylvia greeted me and we walked the dogs to Rodica’s backyard, I performed the pooper-scooper duties, made coffee, computer time…Rodica just got up…we’ll begin another beautiful day in the great State of Arizona.

May 28, 2021 (Friday) (Arizona)

I took Finn and Duke for a jog this morning around 8AM before the Arizona Sun began to heat the Earth close to 100-degrees. Today, we drove to Prescott, AZ and enjoyed the afternoon with family at the lake and ended that get-away with dinner in a cafe, hamburgers, in Prescott, Downtown, the former Capital of Arizona. All-in-all, a beautiful day with a beautiful family.

May 29, 2021 (Saturday) (Arizona)

I got up around 6:15 this morning, freed the dogs from the RV and secured them in Rodica’s backyard. Subsequent to picking-up the poop duty, Sylvia unlocked the side door and I prepared coffee for the two of us. The lady that adopted PePe on a trial basis is supposed to return PePe today at 10AM stating that PePe is dominating her puppy; therefore, the adoption will not work out. I hope to take Sylvia and Rodica to breakfast this Saturday morning after PePe is returned.

Later, Rodica, Sylvia and I went to Cracker Barrel and consumed a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, bacon, hash browns, coffee. Subsequent to returning from breakfast, Sylvia and I drove to an area RV service center in Peoria and emptied our black and gray water then headed to Walmart from some supplies and onto Sam’s for $2:85 a gallon fuel…not cheap but the best in the area this Memorial Day weekend…thanks Joe Biden, you mindless communist.

This evening, family visited Rodica’s for pulled pork, BBQ, salad. A wonderful visit and finally, time for bed. Goodnight.

May 30, 2021 (Sunday) (Peoria, NM)

I woke up around 6AM, dressed, texted Sylvia who opened the side door for me to enter Rodica’s home. When I opened the door to allow the fur-babies to exit the RV, PePe ran directly over to a neighbor’s home who only had the screen securing the front door. A very large dog just inside the screen door was waiting for PePe and a huge bark echoed throughout the neighborhood…I spanked PePe and escorted him and the others to their rightful place in Rodica’s backyard. A young couple is supposed to arrive at the house today “after church” to take custody of Finn…we will see. For now, Sylvia and I are drinking our coffee and catching-up on social media…Rodica is sleeping but Finn continues to bark at people and noises around the perimeter of the home…Rodica’s home is next to a busy parkway and traffic is beginning to flow this early Sunday morning.

I am ashamed to say that I won’t be attending a Church this morning, no excuses. I may take Duke and Finn for a jog before the temp’s rise to levels that make running unlikely.

This afternoon, family drove to Scottsdale, AZ and enjoyed the upper-scale stores and restaurants in this beautiful area. Sylvia and I enjoyed a delicious hamburger at the “Shake-Shack”…the children played in the water park as mist emitters cooled the crowds of people. We returned home at approximately 8PM and in an hour or two, I’ll probably retire to the RV for the night. BTW: Finn was adopted today by a very sweet couple with their daughter. May Finn and this family enjoy many years of happiness together.

Scottsdale, AZ

May 31, 20201 (Monday – Memorial Day) (Peoria, AZ)

I woke up around 6AM and texted my beautiful wife to open the side door to Rodica’s home. I escorted the fur-babies into the backyard, Layla would NOT follow me to the gate so she had to be carried…Layla preferred the RV. Anyway, the dogs have been watered, the poop cleaned, coffee made and another beautiful morning in Arizona. Cornel slept on Rodica’s couch last night and we had a good conversation this morning about eschatology, medications he is presently taking subsequent to his surgery. Hopefully, breakfast will be forthcoming. Also, this morning I received a text from the lady who adopted Finn stating that she had completed her first run with Finn on a leash…he looked happy.

We accompanied Rodica and Cornell to “Sam’s” today and assisted Rodica in purchasing a laptop computer. Mom purchased some clothing for our RV adventure and food/coffee to help-out Rodica who has been providing for us over the previous week. Later, Rodica drove us to Danny and Lavi’s home to celebrate the Memorial Day Holiday…incredible food – mici, chicken, fajitas, beans/rice, pound cake, brewed coffee. A beautiful family. Goodnight.

June 1, 2021 (Monday) (Peoria, AZ)

Well, a change…I actually slept in a house on a concrete foundation last night as opposed to tires. Rodica made it clear that since Finn had been re-homed and the barking was reduced significantly, I should sleep in the bed with my wife; actually, that sounded wonderful; so then, I did…a quiet night with my bride…yes! Today, Syliva and I got up around 6:30AM, I prepared coffee for us while Rodica remains fast asleep. I hear the traffic outside on the busy roadway adjacent to the kitchen window, it’s the beginning of a new work week for many subsequent to a long holiday weekend; as for me, I’ll do my best at bumming around on the computer and maybe go for a jog after coffee and servicing my fur-babies. Sylvia and I are interested in possibly using our RV as an advertising vessel…a “wrap” application that allows a business to advertise their product. Just a thought. Sylvia told me last night that she plans to contact a couple of local businesses in Arizona that do the wrapping on motor vehicles to see if they’re aware of any business, corporation, seeking such advertisement.

Unfortunately, the “wrap” companies Mom called today advised that RV advertisement was a thing of the past; so then, no advertisements for us. The day was beautiful at Rodica’s…I turned-in early at about 9:30PM, Mom joined me later.

June 2, 2021 (Wednesday) (Peoria to Kingman, AZ)

Sylvia and got up this morning around 6:45AM. I prepared coffee while Sylvia began preparing for the road…we’re leaving this morning subsequent to having a wonderful week at Rodica’s home. It’s not good to impose upon family members for too long as even the Scriptures warn against this. I love Rodica and her family…I felt at home and loved and cared for; actually, Sylvia and I had to slow them down as they were insistent on taking us to tour popular spots in Arizona even after having toured Prescott and Scottsdale…this family eats together, travels together, whenever possible. 

Subsequent to preparing the RV for departure and policing after the dogs, breakfast and coffee…we headed out toward Kingman, AZ on Grand to Hwy 60 to 93 to I-40. Arizona’s Hwy 93 is a rather mountainous route and worked the RV pretty hard. There are some beautiful mountains and valleys along the route to I-40. We arrived in Kingman around 1:30PM; I was surprised at the size of the municipality and the amount of traffic. WE found a Golden Corral in Kingman and subsequent to letting the dogs out to pee, I turned on the generator/cabin air conditioner and Sylvia and I took time to eat a good meal consisting of fried fish, beans, vegetables, mac and cheese. 

As we left the restaurant and turned west on I-40, I spotted another sign pointing to Route 66…we opted to take it and I’m VERY glad we did. Route 66 (Oatman Hwy) is probably the prettiest scenery I’ve seen since leaving Arkansas. Incredible views of mountains and valleys and washes and a twisty-tight road…the wild donkey’s in the area hung around the roadway, probably to get fed and get fed they did by MaMa Sylvia. Approximately 30-miles east of the Nevada/California State Line, we pulled off the road into a gravel area offering a beautiful view of the mountains and valley below…this is where we will boon-dock tonight; hopefully, without interruptions; unfortunately, it’s approximately 104-105-degrees right now, the dogs are suffering but I positioned the RV for shade from the setting-Sun…hopefully this desert cools somewhat in the late evening. 

FB Video: Mohave Valley west of Oatman, Boon-docking site for the night, https://www.facebook.com/sholtsclaw1/videos/10223966984869747

June 3, 2021 (Thursday) Mohave Valley (Oatman, Arizona)

Sylvia is simply NOT a rough-it-out boon-docking lady…she enjoys her air that is conditioned to 65 – 70 degrees; so then, I activated the generator and air conditioner for the first-half of the night. At 0-dark-thirty I got up and turned off the generator and opened the bed and table top windows…the mild night wind blew through the cabin with ease, the desert was very quiet and sleep continued until about 5:30AM…Mom and I got up, the Sun attempting to climb above the mountains in the East…Mom allowed the dogs to go pee and I prepared coffee. I put the chairs out for morning coffee while the dogs lounged around on and off the blanket spread out on the desert floor. Mom filmed a brief video for WhatsAP and subsequent to a walk with the dogs, we prepared the RV for the road.

Proceeding west on Route 66, we entered the small town of Topoc near the Colorado River. The desert area on Route 66 between Oatman and Topoc is an off-road paradise for four-wheelers, motorcycles, trials-bikes. This area is simply beautiful and almost completely unoccupied, at least it was during our boon-docking experience. Charles, you and Luke would love riding four-wheelers/dirt bikes here; Rebekah, bird-watching…animal viewing is par-excellence.

I was fully expecting to see an “Entering Nevada” sign at the Colorado River but instead I passed a “California” State-line sign…I immediately pulled over into a parking lot adjacent to I-40 to take a look at the map and get oriented. I noticed that I would have to proceed on I-40 to Needles, CA and access Hwy 95 North to Las Vegas to enter Nevada. In Needles, we pulled into the commercial vehicle parking lot adjacent to a Roadway and Quality Inn along with a McDonald’s; Mom entered McDonald’s and purchased us a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage and potato’s…and of course, a large coffee. I turned-on the generator and air conditioner as the desert heat was rising and Mom was not happy with the cabin temperature. Mom is currently letting the dogs pee and we will be on our way to Nevada shortly. Governor Gavin New-scum’s gas is $4.99 in California at Needles…I still have over 300-miles of fuel remaining according to the vehicle’s computer…we will continue well into Nevada and hope the fuel prices lower significantly.

The drive NB on Hwy 95 was enjoyable, especially as we exited California and entered Nevada; the roadway smoothed-out significantly, the desert terrain began to change as did the mountain ranges. The area felt more desolate, the mountains in the distance were almost barren, but beautiful. About an hour before entering the Las Vegas area on 95, we observed an incredibly large solar panel farm on the west side of the Highway. This solar farm, called the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, stretched for miles and miles with high-tension/high-voltage wires leading north and south. Apparently, our government is serious about “green” energy, see: https://www.fastcompany.com/3057288/this-huge-new-solar-farm-near-las-vegas-provides-power-even-at-night

Solar

We entered Las Vegas around noon and operating the RV through that traffic reminded me of my days on I-10 in Houston. Though the computer showed another couple-of-hundred-miles on the fuel range, I asked Sylvia to check fuel prices at Sam’s Club seeing that fuel was running in the mid-three-dollar range at the local gas stations. Sure enough, Sam’s was advertising gas for $2.98…not good but better than the average around town so we headed to the nearest Sam’s…but…having negotiated a lot of traffic, as I approached the fueling area I was trapped by a semi-truck that had backed-up into the Sam’s tire installation area and was off-loading tires. Traffic began to back up behind me but there was simply no room between the truck-tractor and the curb to pass and to make matters worse, this particular Sam’s was almost as high on their fuel as the gas stations I had passed in number; so then, I exited the RV and asked how much longer the truck would be blocking the driveway…I was told by an employee, “A long time.” I advised him that I needed someone to stop the traffic behind me and allow me to back-up and exit the area, he cooperated.

Sylvia then located another Sam’s that was, in fact, selling fuel for $2.98 so we headed there…subsequent to fighting more traffic, when we arrived at this Sam’s, the fueling area was WAY across a busy parking lot…we endured…we navigated…we arrived to fine lines of vehicles waiting for fuel. I opted to get into the line with all of the auto’s….and we waited and we waited; finally, working the RV up to the pumps, I opted to use Mom’s Sam’s card and our credit card since the debit tends to cut me off at a certain point before the RV is filled. I was able to put $100.00 worth of fuel into the tank when the card cut me off. Then, exiting the fueling station, the exit to the right was blocked by construction which required that I turn left…there was insufficient room to turn the RV to the left without at least a two-point maneuver. As I entered the turn and maximized my radius, I backed slightly and was ready to proceed forward when an idiot squeezed in to my left and passed me…had I accelerated, there would have possibly been problems. Anyway, we fueled and opted to enter Sam’s to check on their phones and investigate some options relevant to a “hot spot” application with sufficient gigs for our purposes while boon-docking.

Mom was sure that there was a Verizon rep in Sam’s; unfortunately, AT&T had replaced Verizon and we received the hard-sale from the female representative that assured us she could provide the best deal. Mom was not convinced; therefore, we proceeded to Walmart which was positioned next-door to the Sam’s. There was only ONE phone representative in the Walmart; therefore, we waited and we waited and we waited and we waited until finally she offered to multi-task us into the line. We explained our problems with Verizon and our desire for a phone-plan that included sufficient gigs to make a “hot spot” viable. We talked, she talked, we talked, she talked…then we opted to go with AT&T and a new phone for me. Unlimited text, data, 60-gigs of hot spot. The Walmart rep initiated a financial contract with AT&T and had me type-in my social security number while the computer masked the actual numbers. After some 20-30-minutes, AT&T said the social security provided belonged to a dead person and from that point forward, AT&T would not talk to me; AT&T via Walmart, did not check to confirm the social number entered was correct. This process at Walmart probably took 1.5-2.0-hours in with no success…I became politely irritated….Mom became angry…the dog’s were locked in the RV in the parking lot of Sam’s, generator and cabin air conditioner running burning expensive petrol; the temperatures in Las Vegas ranged from 102 to 115 degrees; so then, hungry…no afternoon coffee…we angrily exited the Walmart and drove to the nearest AT&T store; it was my intent to correct the error relevant to my SS-number. Upon arrival, we met with a female sales representative that was relatively new at the job but we conjured up patience as this rep had direct access with AT&T Corporate as opposed to the impotent Walmart rep who was 3rd-party at best.

We spent approximately 1.5-hours in AT&T. First of all, AT&T would not accept my paper temporary license from Texas; so then, I had to return to the RV and locate my Passport. Once the correct name and social security were submitted to AT&T Corporate, all was approved and we opted to go with the “elite” (I think) plan which provides unlimited text/talk/data and 30-gigs of hot spot per phone. With my military discount, we will pay around $113.00 dollars-a-month after the first-month’s rip-off for activation fees, unwanted insurance and other such nonsense. Being cheap, I opted to keep my old phone as my mobile WiFi hot spot and Sylvia also kept her phone.

Having spent most of the afternoon chasing after a new phone service provider and hot spot options, Mom wanted to drive down the Vegas Strip so we followed the GPS to Harrah’s Casino…fighting traffic…we worked our way through the narrow streets, the crowds, the noise, the heat, and opted to head toward Reno on Hwy 95. Working our way out of Las Vegas, finding Hwy 95 toward Reno, we drove for hours and there were very few options for services, parking, boon-docking. Interesting though, Area 51 was strung along the eastern side of “Alien Highway” (Hwy 95); I was pleased that Mom finally had the opportunity to experience this controversial area as Roswell, NM had been a disappointment; finally, we entered into a small municipality called “Indian Springs.” The Town was most consumed by an “Air Force Base” that was highly secured at which time I noticed that a drone was being tested for departure and approach while military helicopters operated dangerously close to the approach end of the runway. I believe the name of the AFB was “Creech”…the spelling requires verification.

Sylvia opted to shop at a Dollar Store in Indian Springs and purchased some milk and tuna, bread, to get-us-by while boon-docking. An employee in the Dollar Store advised Sylvia that a Kip’s Big Boy Restaurant was next door inside the casino…we headed over and entered but discovered the Restaurant had closed at 7PM…it was now about 8PM…MOM WAS UPSET. I almost opted to stay the night in Indian Springs but decided to continue north on Hwy 95…and…there was NOTHING and nowhere acceptable to park for boon-docking on the highway…it was getting dark, I was tired from a lack of sleep the previous night…we drove and drove and drove in the darkness. A semi-truck and trailer attempted to pass us on the Highway but could not pass me in sufficient time as another vehicle approached from the north…I observed the truck’s rear tandem lock up, smoke from the tires…the driver was able to pull right before a head-on collision in the middle of nowhere. This is the second instance of a near head-on collision, the other one took place in Arizona where the idiot pushed cars to the shoulder as he passed. I don’t like most people…this is my weakness!

Not wanting to drive much more for the evening, we took the exit to an area called “Mercury” and the street sign had attached in large lettering the notation “NO SERVICES.” I was NOT concerned about “services”…I simply wanted some rest…we took the exit and found ourselves almost entering a “restricted area”….the warning looked ominous and not wanting to mess with Area 51 and military police, we immediately made a three-point turn around and headed north on Hwy 95. Finally, in the dark, we opted to pull into a short gravel driveway with a gated fence and some sort of faded notice…who cared at that point (?)…I needed to rest. We serviced the dogs and Mom made us some tuna sandwiches, chips and I drank a mix (juice and water). Subsequent to brushing our teeth, we headed to bed, generator on-air on…we pursued much needed rest.

June 4, 2021 (Friday) (Hwy 90 N of Las Vegas)

I woke-up at zero-dark-thirty and turned-off the generator; by that time, the OAT had moderated somewhat and the morning’s rest was pleasant. We got up somewhere around 6AM, watered and serviced the dogs in the sandy soil outside. I checked the oil-level on the generator, started the generator and prepared coffee while mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of quesadillas, egg/cheese.

We closed up camp and after a check of the RV, we headed north on Hwy 95 and believe it or not, approximately one-mile north was a nice little town (no name) with an RV Park, ample parking for boon-docking, a brothel for “resting.” Mom and I entered into the Alien Store and Mom purchased some memorabilia. I had an interesting discussion with a couple of seasoned motorcyclist’s from Boston who where in the midst of an 8000-mile journey riding Honda ST-1300’s. One of the motorcyclist’s said he found his 1300 in a crate for 9k as the motorcycles were allotted to be police bikes but they were never purchased; therefore, they sat in crates for years…he purchased two.

Finally, Mom and I opted to head north on 95 and drove through the municipality of Beatty (nice but expensive property), Scotty’s Junction (not much there), Goldfield, and presently we’re in Tonopah. We stopped in Tonopah because a casino there had a Kip’s Big Boy statue out front and Mom was wanting an ice cream shake; unfortunately, there was no Kip’s Big Boy…just a casino restaurant and bar…so we returned to the RV, I prepared coffee, typed the day’s narrative into WordPress while mom searched for property in the area along Hwy 95.

In Tonopah, Sylvia and I opted to try some Mexican food at El Marques. The food was pretty good; I ate cheese enchiladas and Syliva ate some chicken enchiladas, both with rice and beans…plenty of thick chips and hot sauce. Unfortunately, I had to pay $3.79 for fuel…thank you Joe Biden, you stinking communist environmental puppet…at a Valero station near the restaurant, I put $60.00 cash in fuel to get us on down the road. Fuel prices are beginning to concern me. 

We proceeded northwest on Hwy 95, the roadway was incredibly WINDY in the desert…it was a challenge maintaining control of the RV…I was a little concerned. Rain threatened in a few areas but the cross winds and dust storms were my primary concern traversing the Monte Cristo Mountain Range. Well before dark, we approached the town of Hawthorne which is home to the Hawthorne Army Depot…a HUGE ammo dump facility stretching for MILES…bunkers galore. Passing through Hawthorne, we approached Walker Lake and found the area to be beautiful, quaint, as it is nestled in a mountain range, sheer jagged cliffs protecting a beautiful blue-water lake. 

Driving around the Walker Lake area to investigate the possibility of boon-docking there, we located a construction area that is being developed for real estate, individual lots available near the lake. I was apprehensive to park there and boon-dock not knowing what security existed and whether or not an RV would be allowed in the development. Moving north through the area on Hwy 95, we located a park where some RV’s were positioned facing the lake…searching the area and talking with an RV owner there, we discovered the park was free and welcomed RV’s…so we took advantage of the opportunity and backed into a gravel parking area for the night. Sylvia walked the dogs to the lake and allowed them play for a while…I met her there…we returned to the RV at dusk and fed, watered, the fur-babies, lawn chairs put outside and a beautiful sunset viewed. The overnight hours were comfortable though initially HOT in the RV; we elected to not run the generator but opened the windows and went to bed; overnight, the temps dropped significantly and the cool breeze blowing inland from the lake was VERY comfortable. 

June 5, 2021 (Saturday) (Walker Lake, Nevada)

We woke up around 5:30AM…sunrise was fast approaching, the dogs were up and wanting to pee…so then, a new day…coffee…a wonderful conversation with Charlie in Scotland…some computer time…the awning is now extended…Mom is feeding the fur-babies outside…our neighbor is driving around slowly in their Razor and I understand the beech will host a large school graduation party today…should be interesting. If all goes well, we will remain here for the weekend. I had to place Mom’s phone on the roof of the RV in order to attain a hot-spot connection…I’m afraid the phone is probably just about out of juice…I’ll end this for now. 

This morning, subsequent to coffee and Mom’s shower, we opted to go and investigate the property for sale adjacent to the location of our RV…no response from the the real estate agent. We then walked with Duke to the only “store” in the vicinity of Walker Lake; I sat outside with Duke while Mom went inside to purchase some groceries. I listened-in on a conversation between some folks (man and wife) from California and locals from Nevada …they are angry about Biden; the Keystone Pipe Line and Warren Buffet; gas prices; communists in our schools; the deception of our children in socialism…on and on…I just smiled in agreement. Mom exited the store stating they had no groceries of any use to us so we returned to the RV, Mom prepared some hot-dogs with chili and we ate till bloated.

I had originally positioned the RV backed-in on a gravel parking site and attempted to level the RV using leveling blocks…but…this morning I turned the RV around and used the blocks on the rear-wheels…we’re now about level…much better.

Mom is currently under the awning watching for critters and people…the dog’s followed me into the RV…they left the outside to come back inside while I type this narrative. The temperature is rising, the dogs are panting, we’re getting low on water, Mom is now reaching for a tub of ice cream. BTW, besides the chipmunks and lizards running around, about an hour ago, we saw a long, 4-to-5 foot snake, tan in color, slither across the sand near the awning…he paid us no attention though he had my full attention; fortunately, the dogs did not see him. Anyway, signal/hot spot/Internet connection is sporadic here…I’ll see if I can update now…multiple fails this morning.

It’s almost 5PM on the beach of Walker Lake; Sylvia, Duke, PePe and I just returned from a swim in the cool-salt water. Both Duke and PePe are quite the swimmers. I had to be concerned about a sunburn seeing that skin-cancer is an ever present danger for me…but what the heck, I sprayed before we left but the swim and trip home may have left me a little “red.”

I’ve not bathed for four-days so the water felt especially good, even if salty…subsequent to our swim and walk on the rocky beach, we returned to the RV and I actually took a very quick show and shave to wash-off what the salt water had failed to remove…how nice it is to be “clean.” Sylvia said we’re down to three-forth’s on our fresh water storage…that’s OK for now. So the dogs are passed-out, Mom’s downloading some photo’s to her computer; I almost forgot to mention that we actually had the mountain goats walk by our RV earlier today, en mass…they are BIG goats…kind of reminded of Arkansas’ deer population…there were babies in the group…Mom was thrilled. Presently, we’re sitting around in the air conditioning on our computers…I’m also staring out the window at that beautiful lake…nice.

June 6, 2021 (Sunday) (Walker Lake, NV)

We woke up this morning around 6AM…the dogs were ready to go outside as the Nevada Sun was up and shining through the open windows of the RV. We initiated our sleep last night with the generator on-air on as the Nevada heat defied the cool breeze blowing west from Walker Lake; in fact, some of the wind currents were incredibly STRONG and blew chairs over, trash across the ground, at alarming speed. Sylvia gave-up on the evening outing and entered the RV in fear of the high winds, I soon followed and readied for bed.

This morning, I prepared coffee for Mom and myself…I then went for a jog with PePe and Duke…a nice run uphill to the main road then along the water frontage/beach. When I returned, Mom and I opted to hike up the hillside lining Hwy 95; we entered a cave that is neatly positioned in the mountain that lines the roadway to the west. The mountain goats were atop the mountains and ready to descend for food and water. Returning to the RV and the barking dogs anticipating our return, I opted to do some theology defense on FB and update our diary…the weather here is beautiful.

We’re running low on water, propane, creamers, wipes, food and so on. Mom was obviously getting hungry without a good breakfast so we opted to secure the dogs in the RV…except Duke…and walk toward a “store” positioned on Hwy 95 near the entrance to Walker Lake Park. With Duke on a leash, we initially surveyed the vacant lots, some of the property prepared for RV’s with hook-ups; immediately south of the Park…we observed a lady working in her garage in one of the few homes in the area and we approached her to inquire about the property and life, in general, at Walker Lake. She was probably in her 70’s and very fit, proper, educated, polite, conservative, kind…she and her husband have lived in this present location for some 31-years…she said she loves it, the winters are fairly mild, they’re currently experiencing a drought…so the lake water level is low…groceries can be purchased in Hawthorne…their governor is a loser and wants to close private area clinics…medical is available in Hawthorne but there are no physicians there, just PA’s…who are good and will refer you to a specialist if they’re unable to diagnose and treat a specific medical condition…medicare/medicaid is accepted. Sylvia provided the lady with our phone number and the lady said she would contact us if any information concerning the properties was forthcoming.

Subsequent to our conversation with the area homeowner, we walked up the hill to the restaurant/partial convenience store where Mom ordered a hamburger and fries, I ate a chicken sandwich, both were very good and filling. Duke laid at my feet while we ate. We then walked back to the RV and spent the afternoon relaxing, typing, walking the dogs, chasing the shade around the RV…the group of party-goers who had flocked to the beech area Saturday were leaving the Park and by Sunday afternoon, we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Night time rolled around accompanied by a very beautiful Sun setting over the mountain range immediately to our northwest…Mom prepared us some chicken salad…delicious, with crackers…we ate and serviced the dogs again…relaxed outside until Mom was ready to enter the RV for the night. The wind here, especially in the evenings, is terrible…the gusts are almost hurricane strength…one gust right at dusk was so strong that Mom yelled from the bathroom in fear…the RV felt as if it would overturn…then, the winds dissipated…Mom fell asleep and I accompanied her…the temperatures lowered from 95 degrees to the 50’s-lower 60’s overnight…very comfortable, windows open…a good nights rest.

June 7, 2021 (Monday) (Walker Lake Park)

We woke up around 5:50AM, Mom immediately began feeding and watering the dogs outside the RV…I got up to assist her and prepare coffee. Though we’re running low on supplies, I would like to eke-out another day here at Walker Lake…we have the entire Park to ourselves…the weather is beautiful…but Mom seems to want to move-on down the road…she has walked to shoreline to take some photo’s…it’s currently 7:01AM…we will see how the day goes…

Well, Sylvia felt it necessary to move-on down the road as opposed to garnering some supplies and remaining at Walker Lake until Friday. I’m angry about the decision as I understand the necessity of sitting in one place for a week or two when conditions are acceptable; Walker Lake is a virtual paradise and we’re alone here for the most part…the wise move would be to head back to Hawthorne, refuel, purchase necessities, return to Walker Lake’s various camping facilities and park by the Lake for a week…relax…allow the dogs to get out of the RV…chill…but my Wife has not internalized the concept of living in a RV full time…we simply cannot stay on the road and make this work…fuel, maintenance, safety on the road…pushing the limits…this is NOT financially wise for the long haul. Yes, Sylvia wants to view some properties; personally, I’m not concerned, the properties will be there or they’ll be gone…I don’t care. Mom is having some difficulties “doing nothing”…she’s not wired that way. I hope this inability to relax does not ruin our RV Adventure; as for me, I could sit outside the RV on the shores of Walker Lake for another month…drink coffee…blog…defend the Gospel on FB…jog…walk with the dogs…relax…that is how RV-life is meant to be…not on the road continually, IMHO.

Currently, we’ve entered into a small municipality, possibly “Yerington,” NV and Mom has entered a Raley’s Grocery to purchase needed supplies. The lowest gas price in the area is $3.30 to $3.39…we’ll try to locate that fueling station once we leave the grocery store…maybe McDonald’s en route to the station would be nice…I see a McDonald’s down the street. For now, me and the fur-babies are sitting in the RV waiting on Mom…my frustration over leaving Walker Lake will surely subside…more later if my Lord wills….

6-7-2021 (Tuesday) (Humboldt Toyabe National Forest – Northern Nevada/Hwy 95)

I don’t have any cell service in this massive National Park – incredibly beautiful rolling hills adjacent to Hwy 95, a small gate leading into a vast wilderness that gives-way to a beautiful mountain canyon dirt road in the Santa Rosa Mountain Range…a mountain range that stretches N-S on the east side of Hwy 95 in Nevada as one approaches the State-line of Oregon. 

I will end the 7th day of June (Monday) in this segment as I’m unable to access the Internet/Wordpress that houses our RV Diary. Yesterday, having regrettably left Walker Lake, we proceed NB on Hwy 95 to Schurz and we were halted by road construction on Hwy 95 proper; therefore, we opted to take Hwy 95 ALT toward Yerington…a nice/quaint town where we located a Riley’s Grocery. Mom entered the store and purchased much needed supplies for the road; we then drove across the parking lot to McDonald’s and Mom purchased me a “double Quarter Pounder w/cheese” and a Big Mac – fries for herself. I drank a large McDonald’s coffee with my meal while Mom opted for a Coke-Icee. I took the puppies out to pee and we then proceeded to a Dollar Store adjacent to the Riley’s Grocery where Mom found wipes and a few other things for the road. 

Needing fuel, Mom searched the fuel app for the lowest prices in the area…fuel has become a major expense due to the communist in the Oval Office and his idiotic policy of ending the Key Stone and selling his perverted soul to Warren Buffet. Mom located a filling-station/store in the country side north of Yerington on Hwy 95. At $3:39 for fuel, I used the Mastercard to purchase $100.00 worth (max allowed by MC) then the debit card to purchase an additional $29.95 which filled the tank…OUCH!!! We then proceeded NB on Hwy 95 toward Fenley/I-80…the winds increased once again and driving was hazardous in the flat-sided RV…the sides of the RV resemble an airfoil that interacts with wind in a precarious manner as they slide perpendicular across the airflow…driving the RV in these incredible cross-winds is a challenge.

Eastbound on I-80 (actually NE bound) toward Winnemucca, Nevada, the Interstate was pleasantly smooth, well maintained, 80MPH speed limit…I generally drive between 55-63-MPH…old and slow and careful for the old man…we’re in no hurry. The scenery on I-80, beautiful views of a white sandy desert floor with interspersed greenery growing on the huge mountains…this made for a very pleasant drive. We stopped in Lovelock to view some property; Mom discussed the particulars with the owner on the phone; unfortunately, once again, the property could only be accessed by a four-wheel drive vehicle…so once again, property viewing was a no-go. 

Arriving in Winnemucca, we found the Municipality to be beautiful, clean…Mom called a real estate agent concerning a number of properties in the area surrounded by BLM land. Once again, the land was relatively cheap because there was no easy access, BLM authorization was required, four-wheel vehicle was mandated…so another no-go for us and the RV. While in Winnemucca, Mom located a dump-site for our gray/black water at a local “Maverick” convenience store/filling station but their potable water was declared “unsafe”…we dumped but no water for our fresh tank. I topped-off the fuel at Maverick, $56.00 till full. Our fresh water tank was in need…so Mom found a Pilot Truck Stop nearby on I-80; we proceeded there and met with a manager who was extremely helpful and informative. Pilot offered fuel, potable water, a dump station, propane. Our propane on-board was low so we filled-up the tank and filled the fresh water tank with potable water sufficiently safe-clean for rinsing, washing. 

With no properities to view, we opted to proceed NB on Hwy 95 from I-80 through “The Dunes”…a large area inundated with mountains that looked as if they were made of pure beach sand…the wind was really blowing strong, crosswind gusts from west to east/variable…the RV was being pushed around like a toy…two-handed steering for sure…the steering wheel was canted so far left in order to maintain lane orientation that it looked like I should be negotiating a shallow left turn.

As we proceeded NB on Hwy 95, we entered the Santa Rosa Mountain Range…INCREDIBLY beautiful mountains, especially on the east side of Hwy 95.  We were in need of a boon-docking location; preferably, one that could be enjoyed for an extended period of time…transportation costs mandated us sitting when possible. Mom located the Humboldt Toyabe National Forest on her phone…somewhere near the small town of Orovada, NV.

The Sun was giving-way to the mountains and darkness was creeping upon us…we drove and drove and drove…I was intently looking for a place to pull-over for the night…yet we continue to drive in the desolate mountain terrain in hopes of locating the entrance to the National Park. Mom said that we should look for a road labeled either Canyon or Buckskin…I thought surely we would see a National Forest sign on the Highway…finally, a sign noting “Wildlife Viewing Area”…National Forest appeared near a small gate allowing access to untold thousands of acres of rolling hills, mountains, inundated with sage brush…the road was LONG, gravel, well-maintained…desolate…we were completely alone and cell-service finally disappeared in the encroaching darkness…we crossed a small stream and finally entered the canyon area subsequent to maybe 45-minutes of navigating the gravel one-lane road through cattle herds and fencing. 

Cautiously, I entered the canyon, mountains surrounding us…we drove down, we drove up…the road was often times precariously bordered by steep sides that if we had missed the line of tire trails ahead…we would be in serious trouble. We drove approximately two-to-three miles into the canyon that continued to who knows where…there were some huge cricket type creatures slithering across the canyon road en mass…I later learned from a local that these are called “Mormon Crickets” but they look like a hybrid between a Texas cockroach and a cricket…Mom freaked-out…coupled with the intermittent steep drop-off on her side and the creepy crawling creatures inundating the roadway…she was hilariously frantic.

Concerned about the RV, the narrow canyon road…minimal places to turn around…the skies looking like a chance of rain…I opted to maneuver the RV back and forth to turn around and head back to the canyon entrance, at least for the night…when I exited the canyon, we noticed a gravel pad that apparently had been used by miners in the distant past as their rusted mining equipment lay in the area. I parked on the pad…the on-board levels showed we were acceptably level…so we parked and prepared for a nights rest…the temperatures were cool in the dark desert and ultimately, this morning, the OAT was 51-degrees…a welcome break from the 95-115-degrees behind us in Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Mom and I woke-up around 5:30AM this morning; actually, the dogs licking…shaking…scratching…woke us up…we tried to sleep but no luck…we got up, Mom serviced the dogs, I prepared coffee…presently, Mom has just prepared a breakfast of tortillas, eggs, ham…looks good…let’s eat. It is a beautiful day, clear skies, cattle have come to check us out…cute…my God is good. 

After breakfast, a truck and animal trailer parked near our RV…Mom went out to meet with the “Cowboy” who was off-loading a beautiful horse accompanied by a Blue-Healer working dog. I went out and joined-in on the conversation as the Cowboy saddled his horse and headed-off to join his family who were also pushing cattle into the canyon area. Later, these Cowboys arrived at the horse trailer and Mom and I spoke with them for approximately 30-minutes. The Dad, 59 YOA, looked like he was 35…the Dad was 6’3 tall, the son was 6’7, the daughter 6’3, the son-in-law was around 6’5..I asked if there was something in Nevada’s water causing their height…these Cowboy’s and Cowgirl…they were some tall and big people…I could envision them back in the day riding into town with respect…

The Cowgirl spoke at length with Mom and told her that the Canyon road was acceptable for RV’s; so then, when the Cowboys and Cowgirl left to continue their daily chores, Mom and I opted to drive the mountain Canyon to the summit and then locate the camping area positioned about 30-miles away in back-country…THIS was a HUGE MISTAKE. Though the first half of the trip up the mountain was pleasant and very scenic…the last 30-miles were torture on the RV and myself…I hated the stress the gravel road put on the RV that was loaded with water, fuel…but…we survived as did the RV and presently we’re back where we started on BLM Land east of Hwy 95 (the campgrounds were not to our liking – over-grown-not maintained…this time we monitored our distance into the Government Land to make sure we had a phone signal for our computers and the ability to talk with family; unfortunately, that signal comes with the cost of a faint noise from HWY 95 about .5-miles away…Elevation at Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest was between 5000 ft to 9700 ft, beautiful. If I get my way, we will probably stay in this HUGE field bordered by beautiful mountains until Friday or Saturday; then, we will probably head into Oregon to visit with family.

This evening, Mom and I ate some chicken strips she purchased at a Sinclair Fuel Station I stopped at subsequent to exiting the National Forest. I opted to top-off the fuel and we purchased a case of water for boon-docking the remainder of this week unless plans change. Subsequent to chicken strips and a tossed salad and of course, evening coffee, we took the dogs for a long walk down the gravel road leading into the canyon. The Sun was chasing the mountain tops in the west and temperatures were dropping steadily. We’re now back at the RV, typing on our computers, the dogs are passed-out around us, it’s 9:17PM and I’m comfortably tired…hope to be headed to bed around 10PM…a beautiful day with my beautiful Wife…for which I thank my Lord. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest)

The night air was very cool, sleep was good, we got up around 6:30AM, dressed…I took the dogs out to pee and was unaware of the sticker-burrs inundating the ground in this vast wilderness floor of sage and grass. MiMi seems to suffer the most…her paws are especially susceptible to the stickers…so we walked on the gravel road then returned to the RV where Mom was shaking the dust from blankets and making an effort to keep our home as clean as possible. I am concerned that repairs I have made recently to the mud-guards at the rear duly tires might be allowing dust to enter the cabin.

While in Arkansas, I repaired a loose mud-flap (Left side) that had rubbed against the tires and become compromised (the L-bracket corroded and broke)…it required fashioning a new bracket and repositioning same in the fender well…two-new holes in the metal fender that was suffering from what was possibly road-salt corrosion. While at Walker Lake, AZ…Sylvia noticed the right-side mud-guard was a little loose and pulling away from the attach point in the fender (no corrosion here). I made repairs to that area as well but both sides, the open holes, were never covered or filled. Is it possible that the small screw holes are compromising the integrity of the bulkhead and permitting dust to enter the cabin?

Yesterday’s “adventure,” consisting of 40-miles of gravel-dirt-DUST galore, left dust residue in the cabinet drawers under the cabin sink…I mean a lot of dust…this area is near the dully tires and fender…perhaps I’ll have to fill those screw holes with expanding foam or chalk…maybe a strong bonding tape…we will see if the holes are permitting the dust to enter or some other area is not fitting properly.

Anyway, Mom and I are charging our computers with the generator…I’m defending the Scriptures on Facebook…perhaps I’ll take the little ones for a walk and relax…I hope Mom can do the same as her nature is to be “productive.” We will see. It is a beautiful, clear, cool, morning…I am thankful!

The day progressed peacefully and I took the pup’s on several walks…run…walk (intervals) when we felt up to it. Rather ominous looking clouds moved in this afternoon and it looked like rain to our south…the forecast calls for steady rain over night into the morning hours tomorrow…Mom is concerned that we’ll become stuck in this wilderness plateau…I’m not concerned seeing that I hope to remain here until Friday or Saturday…even if the desert floor was to turn to muck…the forecast has fair weather for Thursday afternoon through most of the week, we’re good…things will drain and dry.

I spent hours today trying to convince FB that my account had not been compromised…I was locked-out of Facebook. They had an old Gmail account on file for me and I could not receive the text for my pass-code to verify my identity. I was finally successful in recovering my old account and there it was, FB’s code(s)…so I’m back on FB and hope all goes well. The winds are picking-up and the ominous looking storm clouds are draping down toward the mountains…Mom is worried/frightened. Forty-mile-an-hour winds are possible…Mom is afraid they will overturn the RV in this flat prairie absent trees or any wind block…I can’t fault her for being concerned. Anyway, we’ve eaten supper; we’ve done our walking; the dogs are getting comfortable for the evening…I’ve started the generator to charge our laptops, again…sleep may not be far away. Mom’s looking at homes for sale…it’s a rap for today. Goodnight…may my Lord keep us safe tonight should the sky become angry…the weather is concerning…

Thursday, June 10, 2021 (Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest)

RAIN-RAIN-RAIN-wind-wind-wind-snow on the mountain tops to our east …over night, but sleep was pretty good as temperatures dropped somewhere in the upper thirties here in the lower elevation – plateau. We were awakened by the dogs this morning…they needed to pee so Mom and I climbed out from beneath the covers, dressed, and began taking the fur-babies outside to the gravel road…the ground is soaked. Duke didn’t care, he just did his bathroom duty and trampled the RV with his dirty paws…Mom was not happy. Anyway, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my exceptionally BEAUTIFUL bride of 36-years…the one who makes me complete. God Bless my Wife!

I started the generator to prepare coffee this morning and Mom turned on the cabin heat to break the cold in our bones. Presently, we’re enjoying coffee at the table, Mom’s looking at homes on her computer, I’m defending the Gospel on Facebook and appreciating the beautiful view through the large side window. I miss you guys and I’m filled with pride and happiness every time I think of my children and my beautiful grandson…my beautiful daughter-in-law and handsome son-in-law…you guys are awesome! Love you all. Miss you more than you know.

The day passed too quickly. I took PePe and Duke for a run down the gravel road while Mom prepared breakfast…eggs on a hamburger bun…cheese, sauce…a yogurt…it was all delicious. After breakfast, we both played on the computers for hours; after lunch, we walked all of the fur-babies…I took four for a long walk, Mom stayed with MiMi in the vicinity of the RV while taking pictures of bird life in the area. Those ominous cloud finally passed to the northeast and gave-way to a beautiful-cool day. As I walked the dogs toward the snow-capped mountains, I had to thank my Lord for blessing me and my Wife with such beautiful scenery. I hope to remain on BLM property for another day or two before making our way to Portland, Oregon. I did not see one person on the property today…such solitude. Mom’s located some interesting properties in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington…I’m in no hurry to purchase as I’m concerned about homes being overpriced in this inflated seller’s market.

Currently, it’s 9:42PM here in Nevada, I’m just about ready for bed…the fur-babies are passed out…don’t think I’ll be far behind them. Mom looks fairly engrossed in her computer so I’ll leave her to that…I’m sleepy. Goodnight.

Friday, June 11, 2021 (Humboldt National Forest)

We woke-up at approximately 5:30AM to the sounds of dogs scratching, shaking, wanting to go pee…Mom was up first, I followed…carried MiMi to the road to avoid the grass-burrs. Entered the RV…prepared some coffee, charging the computers, defending the Gospel…Mom’s house hunting…it’s cool and partly cloudy outside; we’ve turned on the heater to break the cold in the cabin…my Lord is very good…may the day be used for His honor. I need a shower 🙂

The weather was beautiful during the day. I took the crew (minus MiMi and Mom) for a long walk toward the mountains and canyon…when I returned, Mom prepared us some tomato soup and tortillas…very good…I prepared us some coffee and we typed for a good part of the day. Mom’s still searching for properties, I’m defending the Gospel on FB…all is good.

Subsequent to supper (ramen noodles and crackers), we all went for a short walk down the road to let the fur-babies take care of their business before dark. Upon returning to the RV…the Sun setting behind the mountains, I opted to get into bed…we’re planning on leaving early in the morning and head north into Oregon toward Portland. Mom followed me to bed a little later.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 (Humboldt National Forest to Oregon)

We got up this morning at approximately 5:30AM to the sound of scratching and shaking dogs wanting to go pee; I took the dogs outside to the road while Mom prepared the cabin and stored trash for the road trip. We decided to skip breakfast and coffee and find some on the road…I did a careful walk-around the RV to check things out…checked the generator oil level…started the RV, moved off the leveling blocks under the L/front wheel, cleaned the windshield…we hit the road, exited the National Park/BLM onto Hwy 95N toward McDermitt, NV/OR.

The drive NB on Hwy 95 was beautiful this morning…as we entered Oregon, the roadway was not as well maintained but still nice. Passing some Antelope on the highway, Mom was in camera mode…pictures taken. We turned NW onto Hwy 78 in Burns Junction and I videoed the roadway in portions due to the beauty. I’ll have to download Movie-Maker or another program to edit and upload the videos to YouTube.

We’re currently in the City of Burns, OR where Mom located a McDonald’s…we’re parked in the parking lot along with very brave seagulls flocking to the McDonald’s hoping to get treats from passerby’s. Mom entered the McDonald’s and purchased us the breakfast platter plus some blueberry muffins, large coffees. We just finished our breakfast so I thought I would take time to catch-up on this diary. Mom has located an RV-dump site in Hines (just down the road on Hwy 20)…we hope to dump our tanks, get rid of bags of trash from the days of boon-docking on BLM land. It’s a beautiful day…almost time to hit the road.

Fueling, dumping, potable water, all a success in Hines, OR at the Chevron station…Oregon; strangely enough, still mandates that a service attendant operate the fuel pump for you…the guy who waited on us was incredibly kind, happy, jolly…the dump station and potable water were free with a full-up…THANK YOU Chevron!!!

From Burns/Hines, NW on 20 to Bend, OR, the drive was absolutely beautiful, high desert to canyons, farms, mountain pines. We stopped in Bend…obviously a college town…young people…restaurants, coffee shops, quaint downtown settings, crowds…beautiful. We located a McDonald’s, a large coffee for me…an ice coffee/fries for Mom. We opted to take Hwy 20 out of Bend and what a great option it was…the drive to “Sisters, OR” was incredible…I videoed some of the trip, we took Hwy 22 off of 20 and drove next to a white water river that paralleled the 40mph parkway road…beautiful trees, campsites, National Forest.

Hwy 22 led us to Salem, OR and our first impression was the homeless tents, trash that lined the I-5 Interstate in the Capital City. Northbound on I-5 toward Portland rapidly became absent facilities, stores. Approximately 20-30-miles south of Portland, we located a Walmart…Mom entered and purchased some toys for the children in Portland then we proceeded across the street to Denny’s for a meal. After a dinner of 55+ (discount) chicken-fried steak, potatoes, veggies, Syliva and I opted to take a shower in the RV (Denny’s parking lot) before taking our stinky-self to Peter and Estera’s home in Portland. As we approached Portland, the rain began…we arrived at approximately 9:30PM…Estera prepared us a beautiful dinner of Salmon, vegetables…Estera is the only one who can make baked salmon that I actually enjoy.

Subsequent to great conversation, calming the dogs, Sylvia and I opted to sleep with the dogs in the RV…Estera and Peter prepared us a beautiful bedroom and bathroom but the dogs demanded we forego that luxury and make use of our new home…the RV. The sleep was wonderful.

Sunday, June 13, 2021 (Portland, Oregon)

Estera prepared an excellent breakfast of eggs, bacon…coffee with wonderful conversation. Later, Danny and Bianca, their children, Theo and Oliver visited…truly enjoyed their company; later, Danny drove Syliva and me into Downtown Portland and showed us the homeless, the BLM and LGBTQ movements in full-swing…Karl Marx and Lenin would be proud…it was difficult to find a pedestrian without a face diaper…the progressive communists have thoroughly captured Portland and its people…they exist in fear and submission to progressivism though these same people are personable, kind, polite…their heart is good, their understanding of the damage done via their corrupted ideology has not been internalized. Compassion and love void wisdom. This makes me sad…worried for my Nation’s future and the future of my beautiful Grandson.

Later in the day, Carmen, her husband, Jason, their children, Caden – Elijah – Marius – Tyler visited. Beautiful families…a great evening of conversation, fun and food…pizza…chicken…delicious. Later, midnight approached far too quickly and we all opted for bed.

Monday, June 14, 2021 (Portland, OR)

I went to bed worrying about the discharging cabin batteries seeing that I had failed to hook the RV to electricity upon arrival; I woke-up at 5:30AM worrying about the cabin batteries, I laid awake worrying about the cabin batteries, fell asleep and we woke-up at 8:30AM, prepared the dogs to exit the RV. I started the generator and escorted the dogs to the backyard of Peter’s home…I asked Peter if it would be possible to hook-up the electrical to the outlet…Peter was wondering why I had not done so already….the batteries are charging…all is well. I’ll need to check the water level in the cabin batteries soon.

Ester prepared us a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, fruit, coffee…later, I went for a run with PePe and Duke…we ran through the neighborhood streets in a light rain…great run, very nice people on the roadway; subsequent to a good hot shower, we had a lunch of bean soup, fresh garden onions…more coffee…it’s good to be showered. After lunch, we visited Estera’s sister (across the street) where we were served some delicious meech (sp?), potato’s, cremish…excellent…with good conversation.

Later, Peter located his “buzz-box” welder, rods, helmet, gloves, and I made a valid attempt to weld (build up) the square iron section of the RV spare tire mount that fits too loosely within the receiving hitch. Currently, the mount/tire swing back-in-forth and sound terrible within the cabin when parked with a strong crosswind. I welded, and smoothed, welded and smoothed until the fitment was much better, approximately on-half the amount of “rocking” within the mount but I was unsuccessful in securing the mount void complete movement; perhaps this is the better scenario seeing that removing the mount won’t be as difficult in the event I need the spare tire and tools (access to the rear cargo door).

Estera prepared us some meat-balls, sauce, rice…for supper…delicious. Great conversation with Daniel and Bianca this evening as they visited to pick-up the boys. Mom and I talked with Estera and Peter into the night…we discussed wild pigs, memories of hunting in California (Peter and Cornel), our DNA, politics the truth about being old in today’s society…we solved most of the World’s problems last night. The rain has moved off and the night air was approaching “cold”…at least for an old Texas boy. Peter and I gathered-up the fur-babies and put them into the RV; Mom and I settled-in for a night’s rest…sleep was excellent in the coolness.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 (Portland, OR)

We woke-up this morning at 7:25AM…I took the fur-babies to the backward, donned a rubber glove and picked-up what dog-poop I could find in the yard before the boys began play-time. Estera prepared coffee, croissants filled with bacon, eggs (all lightly toasted)…incredible-loved it…it would be very easy to gain 10-pounds here in a week…I may go for another jog today; if for nothing else, the conscience. Presently, I’m sipping on a delicious cup of coffee, typing…I may go over and defend the Gospel for few minutes while Peter entertains the boys and the dogs; this, while Mom and Estera do the “girl talk” thing AKA gossip.

Later, Peter and I opted to work on the RV’s microwave compartment seeing that I’ve removed the microwave due to noise…a poor design by THOR in my IMHO. We fitted a 3/4″ piece of furniture grade plywood into the open chasm and Peter cut, fitted, two sides to the plywood to protect the exposed circuit board and wiring. Until such time Sylvia decides on a new microwave where I can fit a thick piece of rubber matting to dampen the noise…we will use the current format to store our cereals, coffee machine and “miscellaneous.” Peter’s help, time and expertise is MUCH appreciated.

The day progressed beautifully; intermittent rain in the afternoon but clearing with a cool, comfortable, breeze. Daniel and Bianca came by to pick-up the boys and their visit was nice…I do truly enjoy conversing with Daniel and Bianca. Sylvia and I talked with Estera and Peter…good times, good conversation…childhood memories…we finally went to bed around 11:30-midnight.

Around 1-2AM, Sylvia and I were awakened by an aluminum can being kicked around the street in front of Peter’s home…Sylvia got up and observed a male in a long overcoat pilfering the trash cans awaiting morning pick-up by the City. The male was obviously angry as he pulled trash from the neighbor’s trash cans…loud and obnoxious; finally, he moved down the road looking for additional recyclables. We finally fell back asleep.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Portland, OR to Montesano, WA)

We got out of bed around 7:30AM. I escorted the dogs to the backyard…Mom made the bed and prepared to enter the house. Daniel arrived with boxes of samples, donuts/coffee, from the Portland coffee scene (Pip’s Donuts). Daniel wanted us to try the coffee-donut culture that is so very popular in Portland. My favorites were the mocha coffee and the honey donuts…needless to say, subsequent to consuming these, I took PePe and Duke for a run through the neighborhood. Thank you Danny…you’re very thoughtful and kind…we love you and Bianca.

Upon returning from the run, I ate some “brunch” of egg and taco fixings…delicious. A good shower was in order; later, Peter and I topped-off the fresh water tank in the RV. Sylvia is washing the last of our dirty clothing…the drier has just stopped…we will be leaving soon…headed toward Washington…our stay has been incredible…we have been loved.

Sylvia and Oliver

Subsequent to some photo’s and video…sad goodbyes…we left Peter and Estera’s home at approximately 5:30PM…we caught the 205 to the I-5NB into Washington. Washington is a beautiful State and the I-5 corridor is no exception even though it’s a typical Interstate. We took the #82 exit where Mom located fuel for $3.39 at a Safeway store. Subsequent to fueling, I dropped Mom off at the Safeway store to purchase some dog food, water, sliced meats, in preparation for boon-docking…we then continued NB on Interstate 5 to Washington 12, turned westbound toward the coast seeking Hwy 109NB to the Olympic National Park.

We observed a sign for “Sylvia’s Lake” (State Park) and simply could not pass-up the opportunity to visit Sylvia’s personal Park area :); so then, we exited Hwy 12 at Montesano…a beautiful, quaint, clean, well-maintained municipality nestled in the Washington coastal woods. Following the signs through town, we entered Sylvia’s Lake State Park at about dusk…the office was closed, things were quiet though we detected the odor of a campfire in the area. Sylvia and I read through some of the literature on the Park’s main station-house and opted to pay the $12.00 fee for a night’s stay in camping site #H1. We drove the campgrounds which were pretty much full with tents, campers, RV’s…but we were unable to locate site H1; so then, we returned to the headquarters area and I made a search for a map of the Park…finally, locating site H1…we proceeded there and parked the RV for the night. I completed the necessary documentation for a reservation and Duke accompanied me back to the administration building to deposit the money.

When we returned to the RV, Mom had taken the babies out to pee and was prepared some potato soup for our evening meal…delicious… with farm style bread. I sure do miss Estera and Peter, Daniel and Bianca and their children…it was very nice to see Carmen and Jason, their boys, as well…miss them all and I am VERY thankful for their hospitality and their love. Currently, it’s 10:20PM here in Montesano, WA…just about time to brush the teeth, floss…rinse and possibly “snore.” God Bless and I thank my Lord for a beautiful, safe, day.

Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Sylvia’s Lake State Park to Olympia National Forest)

We woke-up around 6:30AM…Mom serviced the fur-babies, I got dressed and prepared to move-on down the road. We proceeded west on Hwy 12 from Montesano to Aberdeen where there was a McDonald’s (according to the GPS); unfortunately, the dine-in portion of the restaurant was closed; so then, Mom reentered the RV and we continued west to Hoquiam…another McDonald’s with the dining room closed…so we proceeded NB on the 101 hoping to find some quick food and COFFEE…no luck; funny thing, I’ve always accused my Wife of becoming the DIVA when she’s hungry but as of late, I’m an angry old man without my morning coffee…I’ll deal with it. Should have pulled-over and made some coffee in the RV…but we wanted to find a boon-docking location within the Olympic National Park up the road.

Subsequent to entering the National Forest, we located a camping ground adjacent to the beach…far tooooooo many people for my liking so we moved on. I drove into a rather spooky place on the east side of 101 that I thought was National Forest…the gravel road went on and on and on…I attempted to convince Mom to camp there away from the crowds…she did not feel comfortable nor did we have reliable phone service…it is possible that the property belongs to the people who are harvesting the trees…they’ve raped the country-side in areas…UGLY areas of tree stumps and plowed ground…shameful to destroy such a beautiful forest.

We exited the suspicious area and proceeded NB on 101…finally opting to take a roadway to the west that looked as if might offer solace. A couple of miles down the intermittent paved/gravel road, we’ve located a campsite deep into the woods but adjacent to the road where campers are seeking positions by the Hoh River. Not really interested in the River but in quiet and peace…hope the travelers behave and their mufflers are legal/quiet…a tree just snapped and fall in the forest near the RV…hope our RV will okay for a few days. Presently, we’ve serviced the dogs (water and food)….they’ve done their business in the forest, I’ve prepared some coffee and Mom put together a brunch of strawberries, yogurt, Estera’s wonderful banana bread, cheese…I feel much better having had some coffee and food and the DIVA in me has been suppressed, for now…it’s 11:15AM…time for Facebook while Mom house hunts on her computer…the dogs are sleeping next to us at the table and Duke is sulking on the floor at my feet…it’s a beautiful day outside as the Sun works its beauty through the dense forest of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, trees showering moss…Sitka…Spruce…Western Hemlock…beautiful. I purchased a Washington Parks “Discover Pass” on-line for $35.00 to make our stay “legal”…if the Lord wills, we will remain here three-or-four nights…perhaps a house viewing appointment in northeast Washington bordering Idaho on Monday as well. May my Lord’s will be done!

Olympic National Forest, WA
Olympic National Forest – MiMi striking a pose

Olympic National Forest, OR
Our “Home” in the Olympic National Forest, WA

Mom prepared us a lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips, salsa…I prepared some coffee and we enjoyed same at the table with our fur-babies in the RV. Later, we leashed everyone up and went for an adventure down the road to observe the unique life running about in the rain forest. When we returned, Mom removed the chairs from storage, set-up camp and even initiated a campfire in the provided pit. Seasoned cedar logs are stacked adjacent to the campsite in a forest-clearing…I made use of another’s labor…much appreciated.

We all gathered around the fire, the fur-babies continuing to investigate the rain forest’ damp floor cushioned by moss and grass…Duke loves running in this area as his big paws are well cushioned and I don’t see any burrs mixed in the damp, soft, forest floor. As we waited for the twilight that is almost absent at this latitude in the summer months, Duke became increasingly concerned about the wildlife in the dense forest that surrounded us…he considers himself quite the watch-dog, an incredible nose, though we all know he’s just a big baby and would probably pee himself should a real threat manifest in the dark. Considering the wildlife that prowls these woods, the Glock 19 is an appropriate companion for outdoor activities.

A little after 10PM…fire still blazing in the damp, cool, night air, we opted to head-into the RV for a night’s rest. The fur-babies were tired, I was tired from a short-night at Sylvia Lake and the morning drive to Olympic Forest…Mom wants to check her phone for messages before bed…goodnight! Love you guys!

Cottonwood Campgrounds – Olympic National Forest, WA

Friday, June 18, 2021 (Cottonwood Camp Grounds – Olympic National Forest, WA)

A fantastic night’s sleep…cool…comfortable…we got out of bed around 7:30AM…the dog’s needed to pee so I leashed PePe and we all went to the forest to take care of business. Mom provided our babies with water and food…I prepared coffee…Mom prepared a breakfast of blueberry bread (thank you Estera, love you), incredibly rich smoked sausage, cheese…and I remembered to take my vitamin as well. Presently, the generator is running, computers charging, dog’s snuggled with us on the table cushions…a comfortable, kinda damp, morning in the rain forest…Duke is stretching in anticipation of maybe a jog…the military sounds is if their training in the skies above…let’s see what the Lord has in store for us today.

The afternoon highlights included a wonderful lunch of soup, crackers, sausage (in the soup) and another cup of coffee. We’ve both been on our computers most of the day, Mom is house hunting and calling agents, I’m debating the Gospel. Later, I took Duke and PePe for a run through the forest…a beautiful, cool, day…perfect for any outdoor activities. The campgrounds appear to be filling-up or are full…Father’s Day weekend…I blocked campsite #1 with logs…our site appears sufficiently large for two-vehicles…it’s a first-come, first-serve protocol here…I don’t desire neighbors, especially with the dogs needing to do their bathroom business in the area. One couple pulled into our site and stared at the table and fire pit…I guess they came to the correct conclusion that the site was a single. The Sun is chasing the ocean to the west, I think we’ll head outdoors to the chairs and maybe start-up a fire for the evening. Hope any noise from the neighbors is distant and our solitude here void trespass.

I’m content with living the rest of my years in an RV…I’m not really interested in a stick and brick home or property…but RV life may be more attuned to a single man or woman…maybe. Living with a partner under these conditions requires more than mere human effort…love makes the difference…I am very appreciative of the opportunities provided by RV life allowing the United States to be enjoyed tangibly and intimately; for this, I thank my God.

Rain forest – Olympic National Forest (Cottenwood Campgrounds)
Rain forest, Olympic National Forest, WA

We sat around the campfire for a couple of hours last night. Visitors to the campground down the road appear to be increasing as the weekend crowd searches for a place to park, sleep, entertain, celebrate Father’s Day weekend. I think Sylvia wants to leave tomorrow (Sunday) and get around the water way that separates us from I-5 and Hwy 90? that will take us to a real estate appointment on Monday afternoon in eastern Washington on the state-line with Idaho.

Rain forest, Olympic National Forest, WA

Saturday, June 19, 2021 (Cottonwood Campgrounds, WA)

Sleep was intermittent last night…my nose would not cooperate…the sinuses were blocked…I opened the side window for fresh air…that helped…sinuses have not been a problem up to this point…most of our travels have ventured through arid, desert, type climates…a bloody, dry, nose was the prevailing problem relevant to the sinuses…but the damp and cool rain-forest offers new challenges to the nose…things are much better today, we will adapt. Mom had a few issues with breathing as well last night…a little snoring was evidence. We woke-up around 7AM and exited the bed at 7:30…I took the dogs out to do their business, fed and watered them as well. I then started the generator, positioned the computers for charging and prepared coffee. Mom has prepared us a wonderful breakfast of oatmeal, bagels w/cream cheese… I am thankful.

I really enjoyed breakfast…will sip this coffee for all it’s worth while typing this and defending the Scriptures on available debate forums. The weather is mild, maybe a bit cloudy…the rain-forest feels damp…a little dark as a very light breeze flexes the ferns adjacent to the RV. We’ll see what this day brings…happy June-teenth Galveston, Texas…history declares the truth.

This afternoon I took Duke and PePe for a long walk down the gravel road and located a broken-down Harley “Electra-glide” with sidecar abandoned…illegal pipes and all. Mom joined us as we were returning…we then walked to a point in the forest where the river and the ocean were visible…beautiful.

The popular entrance to the Hoh River is positioned at the end of the gravel road adjacent to our campsite; unfortunately, the road is not maintained, it’s inundated with holes that almost span the entire width of the roadway…these are filled with river water. I opted to not traverse the road to the river seeing that the dogs would get filthy and cleaning them would be a chore. We’re rationing potable stored water in the RV’s water tank. Returning to the RV, I prepared coffee for us and Mom prepared a lunch of soup and crackers. Mom did a little exploring in the area while I sat with the dogs near the fire-pit…a beautiful day here in the forest…relaxing and peaceful. I’m back on the computer while Mom searches the RV for a disc reader attachment given us by Rebekah…I hope to upload some videos from my sports camera.

This evening has been somewhat stressful as campers are entering the campgrounds and no spots are available. We’re in site #1…the roomiest and most attractive site in the entire area…our driveway is huge and passerby’s slow to look and decide if they want to impose on a camping area designated for one family or single use…and…it’s first come, first serve…there is no registration and a Discovery Pass is required.

When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, subsequent to positioning the RV, I took PePe and Duke for a walk toward the river entrance which requires that one walk through the main road of the campgrounds and campsites that are accessed from said road. Parked in the very last spot near the trail that leads to the river was a Hispanic fellow (?), a young girl (his daughter?) and I think a Pit Bull dog. This gentleman asked if I was parked in the first campsite to which I responded “yes.” He asked how long I would be there or was I leaving and I stated we had just arrived…he responded with something to the effect, “Enjoy, it’s a good spot.”

I did not think much about that until this guy, along with the young girl in the right-front seat, pulled into the driveway of our campsite yesterday evening (Friday)…he stopped and stared at the picnic table, fire-pit adjacent to and slightly behind the RV. Mom and I were inside the RV at the time and we waited to see what he was going to do…finally, he backed out and drove toward the other campsites down the road where I had spoken with him the evening earlier.

Yesterday evening, I elected to place a log and long limb across the driveway with the intent of stopping anyone from attempting to impose upon our single-use campsite and also to provide the dogs a physical barrier where they know their limits and hopefully prevent them from walking into the roadway. Again this evening, the same guy and the young girl stopped on the roadway outside our RV, turned on the vehicle’s sound system…blasting…then erratically pulled into our driveway and ran over the large logs positioned there. Sylvia and I were preparing to eat supper when we observed this odd and rude behavior…I immediately exited the RV and approached the idiot’s SUV and told him that our campsite was a single…he responded arrogantly and defensibly that he was just turning around…the logs were somewhat stuck behind his front tires which meant that he would have to back over the large logs to exit…I told him I would remove the logs…so he arrogantly waited…then asked why the logs were there? I explained that I had placed them there to prevent people from entering the driveway and thereby cause our dogs to bark frantically…he responded that perhaps I should find a larger campsite…finally, he backed up and returned to the campsites down the road. This guy is either burned-out on drugs, a mental case…a trouble making narcissist or a combination thereof…it is so difficult to love my fellowman and eschew the hatred in my heart for people, generally.

Sylvia prepared a small fire this evening as we walked around our campsite and listened to the noise from loud off-road vehicles near the river and our “neighbors” down the road, generator…a barking dog…I won’t be looking for camping sites like this one in the future…the more distance between me and humanity, the better…I pray that I don’t end up in prison during this RV Adventure from a confrontation with these numb-skulls.

It’s almost 9PM here in Washington, the Sun is chasing a western heading, the rain-forest is darkening…the wind is calm…the temperatures are dropping slightly…I hope sleep will be good and there are no interruptions during the night with intoxicated, high, irresponsible, confrontational, campers out on a Saturday night party…may my Lord’s peace surround and fill our RV? Goodnight.

Sunday, June 20, 2021 (Cottonwood Campsite #1 – Olympic National Forest, WA)

We got up around 7AM, sleep was on the poor side due to concerns about the idiot down the road, my bride’s snoring, Duke’s snoring…Mom said I was snoring and woke her as well…she said between Duke and me…her sleep was interrupted…oh well…Mom got up and serviced the dogs while I started the generator and prepared coffee. Mom is presently preparing a small breakfast for the road, Eggo’s…we both require something in our belly and coffee if the road trip is going to be pleasant as we’re prepared to visit some landmark Mom wants to see; then, we will work ourselves around the water obstruction to our east and head toward the real estate appointment scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (1PM?)…reportedly, the location is approximately 8-hours to our northeast on the state-line of Idaho. I might go for a jog with the boys and take a spot-shower seeing that I’ve not washed since Portland, OR…Mom would probably be appreciative as she took a spot-shower yesterday…we have two-thirds fresh water remaining in the tank. Anyway, I’ll down these Eggo’s and coffee – a vitamin, maybe defend the Gospel for a few minutes and get the day started with a jog or check the RV and drive away…for now…bye…oh…Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Son…I love you and God bless you and that beautiful family…very proud of you! TTYL Charlie just called to wish me a Happy Father’s Day..thank you!

My beautiful Daughter called, wished me a happy Father’s Day; she and Austin are in Missouri City at his brother’s house. While conversing, I prepared for a run with Duke and PePe…later, our run was nice…the day was beautiful. When I returned to the RV, I took a shower, Mom prepared lunch/breakfast of eggs, sausage…delicious. Subsequent to an inspection of the RV, we exited Cottonwood Camping Grounds and turned NB on Hwy 101 toward Forks then Sappho where we intersected the 113 NB to Clallam Bay then west to Neah Bay…Neah Bay is controlled by the Makah Indian Tribe. Mom has been longing to see this area of the coast as it promised whales and other sea life in addition to an opportunity to walk the shore line for a mile+ (photos-video)…but…there was a road closure immediately prior to entering the Makah Reservation. We were met at the road block/check-point by a flaming, embarrassing, transsexual “male” to female Indian who stated that “due to COVID, we’re closed.” Mom was so angry…I won’t express that here. We squeezed through the turn-around and followed 113 back toward the 101 without even seeing the beach.

By this time, I was past due for a large cup of coffee…Mom was angry…the dogs unable to rest…we stopped by three McDonald’s and all dining rooms were closed – “due to COVID?” The West Coast is inundated with liberal idiots who are so naive and gullible and afraid and compliant to this present communist government and its tyrannical policies and pursuits. People masked-up, DRIVING their CAR…what an embarrassment the American people, the liberal left looney-toons have become. Heaven forbid our Nation be drawn into another World war…these misfits could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag; in addition, Washington is inundated with young to middle-aged (Gen-Z/Millenial) narcissists who drive like demons in their arrogance, treat motorist with much disrespect, while the thug LOUD biker community plagues the beautiful municipalities with illegal aftermarket exhausts overwhelmingly affixed to Harley products…I mean LOUD…dressed in their thug apparel with Nazi helmets…some with masks of skulls and the such…the law enforcement here, local and state are absent and impotent…it would be embarrassingly laughable if not so arrogantly narcissistic. Personally, I can’t get out of Washington State soon enough…the State’s geography is beautifully breath-taking but its population is far too inundated with narcissistic, liberal, entitled, idiots. America is dying before my eyes.

On our journey to get around the Puget Sound and onto our real estate appointment in east Washington, we took the coastal road 112 to Port Angeles…a treat…a beautiful municipality nestled between snow-capped mountains and the ocean. We attempted to get a McDonald’s coffee in Port Angeles but this McDonald’s was also fearful of COVID, the dining room closed…the drive through overhead too close for comfort with the RV’s height…so, no coffee. We proceeded south on the 101 to 104 to 16-S over the toll-bridge ($6.00) toward Tacoma…then the I-5 to 18 then onto I-90. We located a Walmart at Poulsbo, WA(?) (Washinton 112)…peopled masked like liberal sheep…Mom entered (unmasked) and purchased essentials while I drove to the rear of the store, a HUGE concreted area behind the facility with partial shade…I parked and took the fur-babies to pee and then began uploading on YouTube some of the videos taken on the trip…the upload speed with Walmart’s WIFI was incredible. Mom purchased us some Subway sandwiches which we enjoyed with water…then we proceeded EB to the I-90…Mom located another Walmart with fuel for $3.24…I exited, fueled the RV with over $130.00 in overpriced gasoline…then…we proceeded to another McDonald’s that was closed for dining…I parked and walked to the drive-through window hoping to get some coffee. Plexiglas shielded the cashier from my possible COVID spittle and he was masked as was his female assistant…I asked if I could get a cup of coffee…he asked if I had the McDonald’s app and a cellphone…he told me to wait a minute…I walked away and reentered the RV…we headed west on the I-90 and void my afternoon coffee and considering it was already 7:30PM…I suggested we find a forest or a park and boon-dock for the night…the goal was to reach a Love’s fueling station at exit 221, approximately 150-miles away, to dump our black water, retrieve some potable water…I was feeling a little weary and did not want to search for a suitable boon-docking site in the dark.

Mom located a State or National forest off of a street called Kachess Lake Road…we exited and followed that roadway into a beautiful forest and ultimately to Kachess Lake and the camping grounds… a monitored and fee required campgrounds…$21.00 per night for a camping spot that had no facilities for RV hook-up…just a cleared spot of dirt…the sites I observed were already reserved…not wanting to duplicate my error at Cottonwood i.e. camping grounds are for the birds…too many people…I exited the Park and followed the roadway out…I then opted to turn on an unnamed gravel road to the right that apparently went up a mountain…along this path, I located a clearing large enough for the RV…I backed in and we set-up for the night. Mom was a little spooked by the thick forest surroundings, the sound of a waterfall adjacent to the RV; at the rear of the RV there is a cleared trail sufficient for traversing with an ATV or mountain bicycles. After the dogs took care of their business, we ate some cereal with fruit and soon after, I headed to bed…soon after that, Mom headed to bed as well.

Monday, June 21, 2021 (Boon-docking on Kachess Lake Road/I-90/Kachess Lake, WA)

Sleep was somewhat intermittent as my mind pondered the next oil change, tire rotation..the generator’s maintenance and…I was concerned about our safety in this very isolated area…later, a vehicle drove-by on the road…it ascended the mountain and a few minutes later, descended…but did not stop…that’s a good thing…I sleep with my Glock, the revolver is upfront in the loft as well…the Benelli is secured next to my driver’s seat.

Currently, I’ve re-positioned the RV to a more level position before starting the generator – I had to break-off a few evergreen branches in the process but we’re almost level side-to-side. The dogs have taken care of their business….we attempted to enjoy some more sleep after I took the dogs out to pee but Zoe would not allow it…they were thirsty so we got up and Mom provided them with water, I prepared coffee…we’re now on our computers enjoying the quietness of the beautiful woods around us. Mom prepared a breakfast of bagels, sausage, cheese…wonderful and appreciated.

Madeline and her husband, Andy, contacted Sylvia last night and invited us to dinner at their home. They live in central Washington and noticed our travels on Mom’s Facebook page. They’re approximately 90-miles northwest of our present location so we will proceed there later in the day…much appreciated! BTW—our real estate appointment has been canceled as the agent is apparently playing a form of bait-and-switch on Mom…Mom’s not having it…the agent called and said that two-offers on the property were just received…Mom said she was not going to play that game…so we’re free to travel around. The housing market is crazy right now…agents are making money and many don’t care about losing clients…they’re being greedy and house prices and building costs/lumber is off-the-chart…not interested in playing the game in an inflated market….this will NOT last, the market will burst…Lord, give us patience and wisdom, please?

The drive to Monroe took us WB on I-90 to 203 NB through Carnation, Duvall…a beautiful drive through the Washington countryside, farms, picturesque small towns nestled within the surround hills with snow-capped mountains in the distance.

For the most part, the roadway was well paved, one lane each way and the width of the RV mandating that I pay attention to the business of driving. Arriving at Madeline and Andy’s beautiful home at approximately 5PM, we first met with Madeline…such a sweetheart…and their two-beautiful daughters, Alysia and Adalynn (all three are too beautiful for words) . Soon, Andy returned from work and along with great conversation and much love, Andy and Madeline placed a virtual FEAST of appetizers (special crackers-salami-two cheeses-cherries (fresh picked)-tomatoes-grapes-strawberries-jam; then, grilled steaks (incredibly tender) by Andy, corn on the cob, mash potatoes, a side-salad with love-handle producing tres leches cake…to top things off, Madeline prepared us a “to-go” package of food and desert for the road subsequent to convincing them that we would have to leave that evening though we were invited to stay…our visit was so nice, Madeline and Andy are incredible people, they made us feel so loved (FAMILY)…I miss them already.

Andy and Madeline provided us an overview of things to see on our way east toward Idaho. It was suggested that we take US-2 to Everett then proceed NB on the I-5 to Hwy 20 in Burlington. We left Andy and Madeline’s home at dusk and worked our way to the I-5, turned NB looking-out for a dump station for our black-water and hopefully some potable water for our fresh water storage. Unknowingly, at the time, we passed a large “rest stop” on I-5 that we later discovered provided a dump-site and we could have possibly boon-docked there overnight as well though the Interstate would have been very noisy. It was approaching 10PM and I was a little concerned where we would find a boon-docking site that offered at least a modicum of safety for my girls and boys. I asked Mom to locate an area Walmart and the next one was located in Mount Vernon approximately 25-miles north. I then observed a Pilot fueling station and opted to proceed there hoping to find a dump-station and potable water. Fuel was $3.38, not good…but not bad for liberal Washington. While fueling, Mom entered the Pilot store and inquired concerning a dump-station and possibly boon-docking in their parking lot for the night…behind the commercial vehicles parked to the rear of the store. The employee said there were no RV services available and we would have to sleep at a roadway rest-stop that was located down the road…that rest-stop was too far south to make it worthwhile…even with a dump-site; therefore, we elected to proceed NB toward the Walmart in Mount Vernon.

Arriving at the Walmart a few minutes before the store closed for the evening, I observed a HUGE RV cabin attached to a commercial style truck-tractor parked on the far south side of the large parking lot…I also noticed the parking lot was shared among various vendors, not just Walmart…a little tired and finding the parking behind the large RV allowed access to sufficient grass for the fur-babies, I positioned the RV behind the large truck/rv-cabin. Just as I shut down the engine, a female security guard, orange lights blaring, pulled her little SUV along side and informed me that the store was closing and overnight parking was not permitted. She said that Mount Vernon’s ordinances prohibited overnight parking/sleeping in the municipality…we would have to proceed out of town to boon-dock.

So then, we drove through some back-streets and eventually worked our way back to I-5, turned NB and soon we turned EB on Hwy 20…maneuvering our way through Burlington…navigating through the rather dark city streets (kind of reminded me of night-time in Tijuana – LOL), we worked our way out town and in the darkness of Hwy 20…we drove and drove and drove…NOTHING looked safe or inviting for boon-docking; finally, in a community noted as “Hamilton” on the GPS, we located a new construction truck fueling station with lights-on…no services…no people; a new parking lot and fueling pumps for specified large truck/tractor rigs. It was a new, clean, huge parking lot; so then, with no other options in-insight, I elected to pull to the far south-side and park the RV for the night. It was midnight…

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (Hwy 20, Hamilton, WA)

I took the fur-babies out to pee, Mom prepared a water bowl for the babies and the cabin for sleep…the night was beginning to cool from the rather HOT day; unfortunately, there was a flaming idiot operating a straight-piped Harley tormenting the homes lining Hwy 20…he did this intermittently for hours…until around 2AM…incredibly LOUD…up and down the roadway revving the twin-cylinder piece of refuse. I’m amazed no one has terminated this narcissistic thug if this a nightly occurrence. All-in-all, we managed to get some sleep and got up around 6:30AM – rather rested – I took the fur-babies out to do their business, Mom prepared a feast using Madeline’s gift of food, I prepared coffee…we enjoyed an excellent breakfast of sweet-bread, fruit, cheese, sausage and a “vitamin.” Thank you Madeline, God Bless you, Andy, those beautiful girls!

It’s approaching time for us move on down the road…we’re low (monitor shows empty) in fresh water, almost full of black water…God is good and He will provide. TTYL.

Leaving Hamilton, we proceeded EB on Hwy 20 toward Concrete, crossing the Skagit river (beautiful) we entered Rockport (I videoed along the route) then Marblemount; near Marblemount, we located the Alpine RV Park (Park Rangers had advised Mom about this option to dump and refill)…entering the rather poorly maintained RV Park, we noticed a sign on the unoccupied office area wall advising that overnight occupancy was $50.00; Veterans/old people $35.00; Showers $4.00; Dump and Water was $5.00, so needing to dump our gray and black water/fill our fresh water we pulled into site #25 and hooked up our dump hose, Mom filled the fresh water tank…she took a good shower with the LPG on for hot water; once Mom was finished, I took my shower/shaved…we dropped-off $14.00 for the service and proceeded eastbound Hwy 20 to Newhalem; here, we took video and photo’s of the mountains (Visitor Center), the river basin and gorges below…incredible scenery reflecting God’s handiwork (a beautiful dam); finally, we entered the Diablo Lake area…locating the Colonial Campground positioned on the south and north sides of Hwy 20, we immediately noticed that the campground to our south was labeled “FULL;” so then, a bit frustrated, we entered the campground to the south…”reserved” “reserved” reserved”…finally, just as we were preparing to take the turn south to exit the Park, we found a parallel parking roadside site that was labeled “available 22&23” (June)..we took it as my Lord had provided.

Once parked, the RV was positioned nose-down so Syliva and I retrieved the leveling blocks and stacked them for maximum height under the front wheels: laterally, we were level, longitudinally, we remained nose down…we decided to live with it as turning the RV around would positioned us against the one-way street and position the side-door toward the street…not good for the fur-babies exiting. I placed our table cover on the available picnic table…Mom prepared a chicken salad for lunch…delicious…we fed the fur-babies and watered them…I had the pleasure of stepping in dog-poop and spent some time cleaning my crocks (slip-on shoes)…fun…then Mom wanted to go for a walk-about…so, we did just that. 

Leaving the Lake’s beach, we headed to the flood zone which blocked-off the north-side of the campgrounds due to rushing streams of water from melting snow on adjacent mountains. Mom and PePe, me and Duke/Layla walked through the rushing water and up onto a narrow bridge with a handrail on one-side (video)…carefully we exited the bridge into more rushing water and rocks…clearing the rushing water, we entered a trail-head (Thunder Knob Trail) and ascended a mountain navigating a well manicured gravel pathway. About three-quarters of the way up the mountain path, I encountered two-liberal women (politically) descending…one of them chastised me (politely and with tact) concerning the dogs stating that it was a $300.00 fine if caught by Park Rangers…the concern having to do with bears feeling threatened. I advised Mom of the warning and with better judgment in mind, I convinced Mom to return to the campgrounds just in case the woman’s warning was legit. 

Earlier, while traveling EB on Hwy 20, we pulled into an area park which housed a Park Ranger Station…Mom went into the station-house and talked with the handsome Rangers…she returned a little giddy, commenting on one of the Ranger’s height…Mom said that there was an RV Park down the road where we could dump and retrieve potable water; also, our dogs were required to be on a leash at all times (no other restrictions relevant to our dogs were given); Mom said that Diablo Lake was the place to be for the sights and trail walking; so then, we “ass-u-me-d” that walking the dogs on the provided trails was permissible though I had observed a sign on a billboard positioned at the park entrance (here at Diablo) does restrict dogs on certain trail-heads…rather ambiguous to say the least…what-which “trail-heads?” 

As evening rolled around, Mom prepared us some delicious sandwiches…chips and being rather fatigued from a lack of sleep the night before, we opted to hit-the-bed a little after 9PM…Mom was not all that tired but agreed to try and sleep seeing that me and the other dogs were well on our way to Cloud-nine. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (Diablo Lake, Campground, Site #43)

Around 2 – 4AM, a most incredible engine noise could be heard from either the sky or nearby Hwy 20…the loudest engine nose I’ve heard without hearing protection (Mom supposes it’s from the nearby Dam)…it woke-up Mom as well and we listened in silence as the noise increased and increased…I’m still not sure the source but believe large truck/tractor rigs were moving very heavy loads or equipment up the mountain east of Diablo Lake with the engine noise reverberating off of the mountain walls lining the roadway.

This morning, we woke-up around 7AM, attepted to get the dogs to lie back down…they needed to pee…we finally got out of bed around 7:30AM and Mom took the little dogs outside…I took PePe and Duke to pee then prepared coffee. Before breakfast, I opted to take PePe and Duke for a good run; I initially wanted to jog the mountain path we had ascended the prior evening but not wanting to soak my excellent running shoes given me by my Son…I opted to stay on the roadway where the dogs were permitted while on a leash; the run was excellent, weather perfect, and upon our return, Mom prepared a wonderful breakfast of butter-soaked bread and cheese inundated eggs…an excellent Wife, who can find? I did. 

Subsequent to breakfast, a National Forest employee, in her green uniform and smokey-hat, walked by our screen door and said “Hello” in passing…she stopped by the campsite sign that designated the site as reserved or available…we greeted her through the screen and she asked if we would like to stay another night to which we respond “yes.”…She was very polite and professional…asked for our name in order to write it on the registration sign clipped to the post…I then asked her about the process of becoming a “camp host.” The camp host site has full hook-ups, the site seems to be leveled…strategically positioned at the entrance to the campsite parking. She retrieved Mom’s e-mail and said she would contact us.

The camp-host positions are generally five-month commitments (according to this employee); here, in this part of Washington, five-months is the maximum as Hwy 20 and the parks along its path are shut-down for the Winter…all are closed for approximately seven-months out of the year due to high snow.  She said that she needed a camp-host right now and was searching for someone to fill that vacancy…the duties would include administrative duties like completing the “reserved signs” with names…other duties will probably be discussed on the E-mail and she said that if we were interested, she would chat with us via phone. 

My only concern about the camp host duty is obligating myself to one-spot for five-months; a special concern is hosting a campsite where no communication service, phone connection, is available. It would be nice to be able to camp-host at different sites in the north during summer, move south in the winter. Mom asked the Park employee about taking our dogs on the trails around the Park…the Park employee said that dogs were allowed on the trails…no problem…how to reconcile this with the sign at the Park entry…I’m not sure but we took our dogs with us on a subsequent hike.

Later, I read a little in my Bible at the picknic table; then, I took PePe and Duke for a short walk around the Park’s roadway and upon arrival to the RV, I met an Asian woman with a map in hand walking about as if lost. She was seeking the “camp host” as that site is positioned adjacent to our RV; for this reason, the lady thought we were the camp host though it’s obvious the pad for the host is unoccupied. I asked if I could assist her as she was a little concerned that the campgounds offered no assistance or information or instructions…no one around to help; obviously, a self-service area. The lady pointed to a place on the map that, in her opinion, indicated that Hwy 20 was “closed.” Searching the map carefully and noting there were ZERO alternatives to Hwy 20 in that area, I advised that the map was most likely referring to a small bridge extending north of Hwy 20 that provided access to either a trail or lake. I explained that an abundance of traffic was traversing Hwy 20 and if it was closed at that point, there would be an incredible back-up…I assured her that Hwy 20 was accessible. 

The lady then expressed her concern about climate change, her son, who is employed in the Washington area, had advised her that the Southern United States was becoming very hot and dry…droughts would possibly devastate Texas, California, Arizona…the wildfires manifesting early; then, out of nowhere, she asked if I was vaccinated (for COVID)? To which, I responded “no”…she was amazed and began to keep her distance…then slowly she retrieved her mask…she advised she and her 80-YOA husband were fully vaccinated…she went-on to say that she worked for Pfizer as a statistician and fully trusted the company and its vaccine. She said her husband is a lawyer/bio-chemist…he is knowledgeable relevant to COVID and the vaccines. I told her that I don’t trust this government (Biden’s communism) any further than I could throw the 80-pound dog at my feet (Duke). I told her I fully trust my immune system and that I am more fearful of the vaccine than the disease (it supposedly inoculates and protects). I explained that I believe COVID is a manufactured crisis, it has irreparably harmed America and its people, that I believe COVID is a government strategy…a “back up” plan to counter the success of Donald Trump and unseat one of our finest Presidents…she responded that they had tried to do the same to Obama but Obama was too clean and free of dirt/suspicion…with that statement, the battle-line was obvious. Finally, with mask in hand and keeping her distance from this filthy conservative supporter of Donald Trump, she said, “we should stop” as she prepared to walk-off…I reiterated the point that Hwy 20 would be clear and she was free to proceed east as far as Maine…she thanked me and returned to her RV evidently parked in the south campgrounds across Hwy 20. Angered and frustrated with liberals, communism and the manufactured crisis, COVID idiocy, and liberal pomposity, arrogance, I entered the RV and told Mom of my discussion with Biden’s fool and Lenin’s useful idiot. 

Currently, Mom is trying to download (offline) some of her photo’s to free-up space on her phone. The dogs are sleeping on the cushions around us…Duke is stretched-out on the RV floor under the stove…we might go for a walk-about soon…I’ve prepared coffee for us both…we’ll sip these down for now. Love you!

BTW…yesterday, I noticed a gash/cut in the sidewall of the right-rear dully tire…I am concerned but glad I purchased commercial-rated tires with steel belting in the sidewalls…I will attempt to drive on the tire until I find a “Discount Tires”…possibly call ahead of time and have the correct tire ordered and waiting…I think it will certainly require replacement; if Discount Tire disagrees, I will probably bite-the-bullet and pay for another tire…I do not want damage in the sidewall of my RV tires. 

Later in the afternoon, Mom wanted to take all the dogs (including me) for a walk around the campgrounds…I asked if she wanted to cross water areas and she indicated that we would stay on the dry areas; if not, I would wear my damp boots as opposed to my loafers. So we hooked-up all the fur-babies and set-out for a short walk that turned into a full-blown hike…I videoed the area and will save typing everything here…we hiked approximately five-miles (round trip) and it was worth every inch…incredible beauty. Frustratingly, again, my camera defaulted to “mute” the microphone on some of the trail-hike footage is like a silent movie. The cause for this muting of the mike could be the result of the 85-90 short videos I have stored on the micro-disk and the camera is attempting to make room by reducing the complexity of the video by muting the mike…don’t know…that’s an uneducated guess.

Finally making our way back to the RV, the dogs were watered, fed, and they collapsed. Mom prepared us a delicious supper of pulled-pork sandwiches and chips…we sat around and talked for a while…both of us were ready for bed…early…so we laid in bed and talked for a bit and fell off to sleep…a fairly good night’s sleep it was, especially with the temperatures dropping down to the higher 50’s/lower 60’s.

Thursday, June 24, 2021 (Colonial Campgrounds to Hwy 20-eastbound)

We began our morning at 6AM with the sounds of restless dogs wanting to pee…so Mom got up, began taking the dogs outside…I got up to assist. I then opted to take a shower even though the LGP has just recently been turned-on to activate the hot-water heater. Mom wanted to wait for hot-water…I did not care that much…I wanted to shower and coffee…as we were preparing to leave as soon as possible. Subsequent to my shower, Mom took hers as well while I prepared coffee…once Mom exited the shower and dressed, we backed the RV off of the leveling blocks, stored them and then backed into the camp-host position to top-off our fresh water tank. I asked the Park representatives about using the water (it was OK and the water tested) but forgot to ask them if I could use the available sewer hook-up to dump our waste water…so we filled with water only and took the waste water with us.

We exited the campgrounds around 7:30AM and headed east on Hwy 20…just down the road was a turn-out which we entered and observed some birds and deer in the area…beautiful views of Diablo Lake. Parking the RV in a shaded area, we took the dogs to pee, Mom took photo’s while I videoed the beautiful area. Mom prepared us a breakfast of cheesy eggs and buttered toast, salami, and yogurt…wonderful. Mom and I then cleaned the windshield of the RV…Mom took a special interest in the back window…we then hit the road. Eastbound on Hwy 20 was simply too beautiful for words…perhaps the attached photo’s and video will do God’s handiwork some justice.

Exiting the North Cascades National Park/Diablo Lake, watching the lush mountains and snow areas pass-by us with frequent stops for photos and video, we finally reached the small and beautiful town of Winthrop and presently, we’re parked on the side of a Walmart Supercenter in Omak, Washington. Thus far, In Omak, we’ve found the people rude, the temperatures hot…but WiFi is available so we’re doing good.

Laughing…Upon arrival, subsequent to locating the Walmart store, we parked the RV toward the back and side of the store where green grass was available in a retention pond…allowing the dogs a place to pee. Subsequent to the dogs taking care of business, I drove slowly down the side-parking lot between the auto center and garden center; here, I observed a young woman placing her groceries in the rear of her vehicle…she looked up…shook her head in anger, flipped me off…why? I don’t know. Mom said the general public inside the Walmart was rude but the employees were somewhat kind and professional. It’s truly a shame…my most difficult struggle is loving my neighbor as myself…I’m afraid I fail more than succeed.

Mom’s back from her shopping and searching for a good Mexican food restaurant…I will probably upload some videos to YouTube and go eat. Love you…

While the RV was positioned in the Walmart parking lot, I was in the process of uploading video from my camera to YouTube, Mom stated that she had located some Mexican food restaurants in the area…one or two with excellent reviews. It was then that I noticed the “DIVA aura” beginning to glow in my Wife’s face…subsequent to 36-years of marriage, I’ve become knowledgeable by trial and error that when my Bride becomes hungry, all things are to be put on-hold until she is fed; so then, I secured my computer and we headed to a family Mexican restaurant on Omak’s main street…the restaurant’s decor was very well organized…felt as if we were at the southern border. Prices were a little high (in our opinion) compared to Mexican food in Texas and Arkansas but hey, we were there, the ratings were excellent, beautiful horse saddles were positioned next to our booth…so Mom ordered the nachos with beef and I ordered a cheese and beef enchiladas with beans and rice. The chips were thick, kinda heavy on the lard, the salsa was good – mildly hot and served with pickled vegetables. The food eventually arrived and MAN…it was gooood….not simply because we had not had our Mexican food fix in weeks…it was truly delicious…worth the extra couple of dollars a plate…even the iced tea was good; funny thing, they had no sugar substitute…I had to retrieve my own from the RV…disturb the dogs who were sitting inside, parked on Main Street…generator on-air conditioner on…spoiled dogs…but the OAT was something like 93-degrees…much hotter than we were used to experiencing in western Washington near the water and in the mountains.

Having committed the sin of gluttony and reaping and sowing same in my gut…Mom wanted to go to Home Depot, next to Walmart, hoping to locate a metal plate protector for our screen door. Mom is concerned that when we use the screen door apart from the heavy main door, one of the dogs is going to see something of interest outside and plow through the screen and make the door useless as it would be compromised and allow insects to enter the RV.

I drove Mom to Home Depot but her search was unsuccessful as the door protectors in-stock were for larger doors, not the narrow RV door; so then, we opted to type-in Newport, WA and allow the GPS to take us back to Hwy 20…hoping to find a boon-docking location before late evening. I asked Mom to do a fuel price check for the area to find the cheapest fuel…fuel prices under Communist Biden, the stinking communist environmental nut of the Green New Deal, are robbing our checking account. Mom located a fueling station with $3.49 fuel…lowest in the area…so I proceeded to that station. Arriving, confirming the sign verified the reported $3.49 fuel, positioning the RV for fuel, I entered the station and gave the attendant a $100.00 bill to fill the RV to “full”…seeing that we intended to boon-dock for several days or longer. When I went to fuel, I checked the fuel price on the digital readout which showed $3.53 a gallon…I know, not much difference…BUT…if you advertise, on your sign out-front of your business, that fuel is $3.49 and you charge more…you’re a scammer or a liar or both.

I went into talk with the clerk and correct the error…the attendant said he had changed the prices for fuel…but his sign was not changed…so I received my $100.00 bill back and we proceeded to a Travel Plaza up the street where Mom had seen a sign indicating an RV Dump was available. Fuel at the Travel Plaza was $3.54 a gallon but the RV dump was free with ten-gallons or more or the RV dump would cost $10.00 without fueling…I put around $100.00 worth of fuel in the tank at which time we proceeded to the dump station, emptied our RV’s gray and black water…washed our hose…proceeded to Hwy 97/Hwy 20…shortly thereafter, I remembered we did not have our afternoon coffee…a fatal error on my part; so then, I pulled into the nearest parking lot, started the generator…prepared us some coffee…then…we continued on our journey. 

Subsequent to waiting in a long traffic jam for road construction NB on Hwy 97 out of Omak, we intersected Hwy 20 off of sixth street in Tonasket, WA. The drive, the scenery, EB on Hwy 20 was beautiful…the rolling hills…those hills forming sharp mini-caverns between them…odd shaped…sparse evergreens dotted these desert looking hills…some of the hills appeared to be nothing but massive mounds of gravel…very different terrain than what we had observed in southern and western Washington.

As we approached Wauconda, WA, we noticed a National Forest indicator and a “recreation area” sign pointing to the NB exit into the mountains…toward Canada…so what the heck…we took that exit that led to a couple of campgrounds…we entered one-campground at Bonaparte Lake that was not “FULL” and eased our way to the on-site restaurant/bar…the area was fairly run-down…dirty, dusty…crowded…a Harley rider had apparently rented a cabin next to the restaurant…just not my cup of tea.  A couple of women were standing near the restaurant, one pointing at the roof of our RV; concerned, I politely stated that I hoped she was not pointing at one of our dogs stuck up there…they laughed…said the dogs (some of the little ones were in the window) were cute. I advised they were rescues and one of the ladies expressed an interest in PePe…Mom took PePe to her and I explained that PePe was a pure Type-A+…the ladies dog had recently died and she wanted a companion…when she expressed a sincere interest in PePe…my heart broke…the thought of leaving PePe grieved me as it did Mom…Mom gripes about the dogs as they’re a handful in this RV but when the rubber meets the road, Mom loves these dogs…well…maybe not Duke (because Duke loves me and I love Duke)…but Mom cares for her dogs…she was not going to give PePe away. So then, we exited that RV park area and proceeded down the lonely, asphalt road headed NB toward Beaver Lake and Lost Lake…we drove and drove and drove and finally came to a bend on the desolate road with a gravel road to the left crossing a cattle guard or the paved road leading to Beaver Lake. 

I took note of the cattle guard construction with the gravel road and recognized it as possibly BLM property…I had seen these in Nevada at Humboldt and in Datil, NM…I felt relatively sure the “Winter mountain” property belonged to BLM and if it did…boon-docking was an option. There was a standard near the gate with an old map of snowmobile trails in the area…there were no posted signs, no private property or no trespassing signs anywhere near this intersection; so then, we opted to climb the gravel mountain road…and we drove and drove up hill toward the top of the mountain…some of the evergreen limbs slid against the side of the RV as the road was somewhat overgrown…the trees extending over its path in places; finally, a little path to the left that allowed the RV sufficient room to be positioned nose-in; actually, this was a cleared area leading to what might be snowmobile trails for Winter use. The area is very remote, no cellphone service, no connection available for our computers…so I parked the RV, placed almost a full stack of level blocks under the right-rear tires…we’re laterally level (almost) but longitudinally, rear-low…I checked the generator oil…it was perfect with this configuration…so we’re good. 

Subsequent to positioning the RV, the dogs went to take care of their bathroom needs…Mom and I, along with PePe, Duke, Zoe and Layla…went for a walk up the gravel road toward the top of the mountain to see if any better parking spots were available; unfortunately, the trees in the road and the evergreen trees overhanging the road would have made RV passage very difficult if not impossible without a chainsaw…so we opted to remain in our present position. 

Still too full from the Mexican dinner in Omak, I brushed my teeth in preparation for bed as darkness was approaching; Mom ate a chocolate chip cookie with milk…we took the dogs out once again to finish their business…Mom and I stayed up and talked awhile as the Sun chased the western mountains; Around 10PM we headed to bed…the dogs were exhausted. 

Friday, June 25, 2021 (South of Buckhorn Mountain, near Beaver Lake, south of Canadian Border, possibly BLM land)

I woke-up this morning around 4AM to noises taping on the RV’s roof and windows: I was unable to verify if the noise emanated from falling debris from the trees squeezing in on our RV or maybe flying insects…I was somewhat concerned for my Wife’s welfare in this very remote part of the Country…forest fire was on my mind and I wondered what our evacuation route might be should such a disaster strike in the vicinity? If the road was not passable, I would probably choose to take the family down the mountain toward Beaver Lake; also, not knowing what kind of wildlife was in the area or the type of human “wildlife” prowling these woods, these thoughts concerned me…so I’ve opted to put on the Glock and keep the Benelli ready…better to have it and not need it…

This morning, we climbed out of bed around 6AM…the dogs were demanding bathroom time…I took the dogs out and walked them…I had to leash PePe but the other dogs enjoyed the freedom of not being leashed as that was necessitated in the campgrounds regulated by State and National authorities. Entering the RV, I prepared us some coffee and Mom prepared some bagels with cream-cheese.  Currently, Mom is bird-watching/photographing, I’m sitting in the RV, catching-up on this diary…the Sun is out, temp’s are in the upper 60’s…the night was cool…I hope we’re able to remain here through Sunday or Monday, at a minimum. My God is good. 

I opted to take Duke and PePe for a jog up the mountain this morning…the run was nice, the weather beautiful; when we returned to the RV, Mom made us a wonderful brunch of scrambled eggs with cheese, tortillas, salami…ham. Mom and I put the lawn-chairs in the shade near the road which required us to chase the shade as the Sun chased the western mountains. Later, we went for a walk/adventure with the dogs but not wanting to leave our RV unattended in the woods for too long, we shortened the adventure significantly.

Later, determined to find out what was at the top of the mountain, Duke and I readied ourselves for a long hike, I donned my boots…and we hiked to the mountain top and reconed the area for a space sufficient to fit the RV’s bulk.

I finally located an open area near the mountain top. I returned to the RV and advised Mom that there were some nice camping opportunities at the top of the mountain but the road and the hanging trees would not permit the RV to pass. While sitting at the table in conversation with Mom, she heard voices outside and much to my surprise, I observed two-women walking up the mountain road in conversation. Mom asked, “Should I go meet them?”…then she headed out and introduced herself…I prepared coffee for Mom and the incredibly nice and very interesting ladies who have been friends for some 25-years (since their children were in 4th-grade)…The most interesting life experiences of these two-beautiful ladies were shared in conversation…we talked for at least a couple of hours…we prayed together…we talked some more. They invited us to dinner at the Bonaparte RV Park; unfortunately, the dogs prevented us from accompanying them down the mountain. The ladies were pulling a RV trailer and parked it at the foot of the mountain and drove their truck part of the way up…it was a true blessing to have met these beautiful ladies…their wisdom, their faith, their friendship, their history and their family stories…a true blessing…they drank “black coffee” so I knew they were tough hombres.  

As evening approached, I opted to remove the cheaply made E-Tool from the storage bin…I walked up the mountain road and began chopping at the trees blocking passage. Duke and I were successful in clearing a number of the trees out of the way but the E-Tool was too cheaply designed to withstand much abuse…I returned to the RV and advised Mom to pack-up…we would seek better accommodations atop the mountain. Mom was a huge help as I maneuvered the RV up the mountain path…she pulled trees to the side, broke off potential damaging limbs…finally, we arrived but struggled with positioning the RV to the point of level; ultimately, having to settle with a slightly front-down attitude but level laterally. Getting everything set-up for camp, Mom prepared us sandwiches and delicious Washington cherries provided us by Madeline…thank you Madeline and Andy!!!

Subsequent to dinner, Mom wanted to take the fur-babies for a walk before dark so we leashed PePe and allowed the others the freedom to walk with us unhindered; unfortunately, that proved unwise. As darkness began to engulf the mountain top, a chipmunk, groundhog or marmot (?) exited its hole in the sandy soil and Zoe was mesmerized…Zoe took-off in hot pursuit, totally focused on the small creature…unaware of our yelling for her to stop and return…Zoe ran-off into the darkness, down the mountain and into the higher grass and woods. Mom and I took-off in pursuit of Zoe…Mom was frantic…angry…accusatory…upset that I was not running sufficiently fast to catch Zoe…I was in my rubber-clogs…don’t let Mom tell you she’s going to re-home these dogs…those are empty words…these dogs are like her children!!!

It eventually became too dark for safety…I was concerned about finding our way back to the RV in the woods. Mom wanted to return and put on her shoes and go back out with a good flashlight and find Zoe…NOT A GOOD IDEA (in my opinion)! As we returned to the RV using a different route than the one we had initiated our hike…I observed a white object walking down the mountain road headed toward the RV…it was Zoe who found her way back home using our earlier scent. MOM WAS FURIOUS, Zoe recognized this and walked over to me…I could not be upset at her…but I was impressed that the tiny dog used good commonsense and did not panic but followed the our scent to find her way back.

Mom required little time to compose herself as we all entered the RV and prepared for bed…sleep was fleeting as our adrenaline, from the nights search for Zoe, would not allow us to relax. I thank my Lord for answered prayer as He guided Zoe safely home and provided peace for my Wife and I…Zoe would have certainly fallen prey to the coyotes that were yelping this early morning in the woods east of our RV…not far from the area Zoe had entered in pursuit of the fleeing critter.  

Saturday, June 26, 2021 (Beaver Lake – Mountain/BLM or Forest Department land)

The dogs woke us up around 5AM…Mom took them out to pee…She returned to bed but sleep escaped us and finally, we got out of bed around 6:30AM. We took the dogs outside, leashed PePe to the RV, Zoe and Layla to a lawn chair…I prepared coffee and Mom and I sat outside with the dogs and drank our coffee…but then MiMi observed a small squirrel jump from a tree in the forest adjacent to our RV and the mountain road…she flew out of my lap and chased the squirrel into the forest…not again? Mom was in hot pursuit and caught MiMi; angrily, MiMi was confined to the RV…these small animals atop the mountain are running the dogs crazy. 

Having settled her nerves, Mom decided to go bird-watching by herself…I tended to the dogs and sipped the remaining coffee in my cup. Upon her return, Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal w/prunes and pecans…buttered toast…salami and smoked ham, yogurt…Mom drank a hot tea, I had water…God Bless my beautiful Wife! The Sun is now attacking the RV as its heat has risen above the tall mountain pines; we may have to use the awning to enjoy the early afternoon until the Sun chases the mountains to the west…offering cooler weather, comfortable lounging. Mom is currently cleaning-out the garage-storage area in the RV…I may attempt a repair of the cheap E-Tool and clear the mountain passage for our descent on Sunday or Monday. Mom has extended the awning…she is currently disciplining PePe for his hyperactivity and has placed the Type-A personality into the RV…it’s a beautiful day…let’s see what happens in the Washington woods? 

Later, we all went for a hike over the top of the mountain and investigated some interesting trails leading down the other side. The heat was taking its toll on Mom and the dogs; we returned to RV and opted to sit outside under the awning to cool down…but…the heat approached 96-degrees…the flies and mosquitoes were relentlessly tormenting Mom, me, the dogs…it was borderline miserable for them; so then, we entered the RV, started the generator and turned-on the air conditioner. It was at that point we decided that perhaps we would leave the mountain top the following morning, Sunday, as the days here were miserable with the flies and the heat..the evenings and the nights were WONDERFUL and cool…but it was time go go.

As evening approached, Mom and I, along with the fur-babies, sat outside under the awning and watched the little subterranean creatures feed and raise their family…a mound of dirt very near our RV was home to one-family while the actual mountain top was inundated with them. The holes these creatures dig into the roadway and mountain top area are very destructive…if they’re not controlled, this entire area will be structurally compromised.

Later, Mom prepared us a wonderful dinner of tuna sandwiches, corn chips, salsa. After some good conversation with my Wife, I took Duke and PePe for a short walk down the mountain road…it’s good to get alone with my Lord and talk.

Upon returning to the RV, I brushed my teeth in preparation for bed…Mom wanted to set in the doorway behind the screen and observe the lush forest for animal movement…I did the same but from the bed…the forest area is incredibly lush, green…I wanted to dress and go out into the forest with Mom and just sit until dark…it was so quiet outside, the wind was still…I could actually hear the sound of my blood rushing though by arteries/ears; eventually, sleep won and the cool night allowed for some excellent sleep.

Sunday, June 27, 2021 (Leaving Okanogan National Forest headed EB on Hwy. 20)

We woke-up around 5AM and convinced the dogs to go back to sleep. We woke again at 6:30AM and Mom took the dogs out to pee…I then leashed PePe and Duke and we jogged down the mountain road for some exercise. Mom took her shower while we jogged; I prepared coffee upon returning from my jog…then Mom and I had some cereal for breakfast…I showered and we prepared the RV for the road. Collecting the stack-able leveling blocks and storing them into their carrying cases…we slowly descended the mountain making every attempt to avoid the evergreens, the limbs that would scratch the RV or damage the roof….Mom performed Forest Duties by clearing trees from our path.

Heading back toward Hwy 20, we stopped by the Bonaparte RV Park and Mom inquired concerning the fee for dumping our waste-water and filling with potable water….$25.00…so we proceeded down the road…not getting gouged by these overpriced RV parks.

We proceeded EB on Hwy 20 and we’re currently in the small Washington town of Republic. Mom is washing clothes at the laundromat…I’m going to dump our waste-water at a dump just southeast of the laundromat (suggested donation fee of $4.00)…maybe find some potable water in the area as well.

Well, no potable water to be had in Republic…even City Hall has a lock on their spigot…so, we’ll search elsewhere. It’s 11:33AM, Mom is still washing clothes…the fur-babies and I are parked on the side of the road, Hwy 20, in Republic waiting for the phone call to pick her up.

Subsequent to picking up Mom and the laundry in Republic, we headed east on SH-20 toward Kettle Falls…needing to dump our trash and fill with LPG, we stopped at a station offering $3.54 fuel…while filling, I entered the store and advised the female clerk that I needed some propane if there anyone to assist me…I then asked if I could place our two-trash bags into their dumpster…she said I could not…so then, I filled the RV and drove away…if a facility wants my money…work with me; so then, onto Coville; here, I stopped at an O’Reilly Auto Parts and purchased an AC Delco oil filter; Wix air filter; fuses, for the RV as our “Appliances” 15A fuse blew sometime early this morning while on the mountain at Beaver Lake…that shut-down our refrigerator; so then, I opted to confiscate the 15A fuse from the speakers/audio/radio fuse position to get the refrigerator back into service (no spare fuses); leaving O’Reilly’s, we ate some delicious Mexican food at Rancho Chico Family Restaurant – and much to our surprise, it was an affiliate of the Mexican restaurant in Omak, WA where we ate prior to boon-docking at Beaver Lake. I ordered the same dish, a cheese and beef enchilada with rice and beans; Mom ordered the mixed-combination fajitas.

With our bellies full, we headed to Walmart where Mom purchased some necessities for our RV; I opted to purchase 5-quarts of Mobile 1 Extended Performance (5W30) and with the 1-qt of Mobile 1(ES) in the RV, I drove behind Walmart and changed the engine oil, filter, air filter and the generator oil. The mechanics at Walmart allowed me to dump the used oil into the recycle barrel…and they took my used AC Delco oil filter and associated garbage as well. We finally got rid of the garbage from our boon-docking on the mountain by stopping at a filling station on the outskirts of Coville/SH 20 and filling the LPG tank…almost full…but the attendant was worried about the incredible temperatures in the area (100-108) and for safety measures, he left the tank just shy of full.

The ONAN-Cummings 4000 generator built into the RV can be problematic if the oil level is filled to full or even half-full on the dip-stick. The oil level must not be greater than 1/8th to 1/4th” above the fill-line; otherwise, the generator will not start and if it does happen to start, it won’t remain running much over 20-minutes…this problem raised its ugly head today…in 105 to 108-degree heat…subsequent to changing oil in the parking lot (I found a shaded area in the rear of the store)…now, the generator was acting-up and did not want to start…so it was the old remove a little oil at a time and finally…we had generator power for the air conditioning…but, not until I ruined my shorts with splashing oil from the generator subsequent to having touched the remote start lever by accident with the oil dip-stick removed…my new shorts were stained as were my relatively new shoes…so goes RV-life. Mom was irritated by the incredible heat in what was supposed to be an area of mild temperatures in June-July…but we were advised that a serious heat-wave was ravaging mid-America…Washington was directly in its path.

With this in mind…Mom began searching for an RV-Park, full-hook-ups, so that we would not have to run the generator all-night while boon-docking in these extreme temperatures. 100-108 would work the generator extremely hard; so then, Mom located the “Cedar RV Park & Car Wash” in Ione, WA, 4404 Hwy 31. Mom spoke with “Dan” by phone; Dan is the owner/operator of the RV Park and he assured us that we would have a place at his location. Upon arrival, Dan and his wife met with us in the parking lot…Dan introduced himself and explained the particulars of his RV Park and walked Mom toward site-15…where he supervised our parking and preparations for set-up. Soon, Dan and I walked to their office-store and completed the necessary paperwork for a two-o- three night stay. With the 4th-of-July approaching, Dan was not sure how long we could remain at the Park but stated that he would see if any spots would be available during the busy week of the 4th (If we desired to stay) as some travelers were concerned about the heat wave and the dangers of traveling/camping in same.

Subsequent to paying for two-nights and for a water-pressure reducing valve to protect our RV’s piping from high-pressure water…I returned to the RV to assist Mom with the hook-ups. Later, we took the fur-babies for a walk along a trail at the rear of the Park…I policed their refuse…we returned to the RV, air conditioner ready…we will see how RV life in an RV Park works out…this is our first RV Park experience. Currently, it’s 10:53PM…Mom is taking the dogs out to pee one last time before bed…and has decided to take a good shower with unlimited water…God Bless!

Monday, June 28, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

We finally got into bed around midnight and sleep was intermittent due to neighbors conversing at 2-3AM and disturbing PePe…chastising PePe for his low warning gruff barks was useless…the boy is a true mental issue; so then, I got up and plugged-in the floor fan and dialed it to “low”…for ambient noise to drown-out the outside noise…we climbed out of bed at approximately 6AM.

RV parks are nice as far as hook-up convenience and security are concerned; that is, if one tows a road worthy vehicle, they can park their RV…feel relatively comfortable that their personal property will be secure…go and enjoy themselves in the surrounding area. If you’re without a vehicle, you’ll have to unhook your RV for transportation…this can be done, but it’s not anywhere near convenient.

Presently, it’s 7:13AM and Mom has taken the dogs out to pee…I’ve prepared coffee…MiMi has observed a calico cat wandering the RV Park…she’s now obsessed with finding the cat…PePe is eating; Duke’s eaten and sleeping on the floor under the stove; Zoe and Layla are sleeping beside me…Mom is seeking information on the Internet; the little town of Ione is waking-up…I hear sporadic traffic passing in SH-31…let’s see what the day brings.

It’s currently 3:30PM in Ione, WA…the OAT indicator on the RV reflected 113-degrees outside…we’re inside the RV…air conditioner blaring…somewhat comfortable. Mom is in the process of washing the chair covers and bed-sheets…those things she was not able to wash yesterday in Republic. If I didn’t know better, I swear I was in Phoenix or Tucson, AZ. We will have to deal with it…the heat wave is supposed to subside here in Washington toward the end of the week. Mom and I are debating whether or not we should remain in the RV Park Wednesday night as well.

Later in the evening, Mom prepared us some sandwiches and chips for supper; then, we opted to take the fur-babies for a walk down some abandoned railroad tracks adjacent to the Cedar RV Park in Ione. Approximately two-tenths of mile north on Hwy 31, the old City of Cement, it’s remains…a ghost town…peeks out from the thick forest. An interesting history: https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

NB on the abandoned RR-tracks, Hwy 31 at the ghost town of “Cement, WA” See: https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

Upon returning from our walk, we played around on the computers…Mom looked at homes, I defended the Gospel…as midnight approached, we prepared for bed. Goodnight.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

The incredibly HOT temperatures are forecasted to inundate Washington’s east side once again…I’ve been told that even Canada is suffering record breaking heat…we will probably seek another night here in Ione…electricity, apart from the generator, to run our air conditioner is wonderful. We were awakened this morning at 6:50AM by the dogs who needed their bathroom break…Mom was the first to exit the bed…I followed and we leashed the fur-babies for their morning bathroom needs. Upon returning to the RV, I watered and fed the dogs while Mom made the bed and organized the RV…I prepared us some coffee and we’ll mingle on the computers for the time being…I might take Duke and PePe for a jog before the heat begins its assault on nature.

Later, before the asphalt and concrete became unbearably hot for the dog’s paws…I took PePe and Duke for a jog SB on Hwy 31, through a riverside community. Upon our return, Mom prepared a delicious breakfast of sliced sauteed peppers, eggs, cheese, on tortillas. After breakfast, seeing that the temperatures are too hot to function comfortably outside, we opted to remain in the RV and allow our electrical hook-up to power the air conditioner which is working overtime. I’ve prepared us some afternoon coffee and discovered my computer crashed and deleted some of my videos from WordPress which would not update prior to crashing…controlling my anger…I’m working on uploading the videos once again. Mom is looking at homes and property…I’m needing to go pay for another night…it’s too hot to subject my Wife and fur-babies to this heat on the road and not knowing where we will boon-dock and what the conditions might be.

Dan came by the RV yesterday evening to square-away our plans as site #15 that we’re presently occupying has been rented out previously by appointment. Mom expressed an interest in remaining for two-additional nights…we’re hoping this heat wave will subside. Dan provided me with some options to which we agreed to reposition our RV to site #6 (a forty-foot concrete pad) tomorrow and spend our last night there, departing on 1 July 21.

I rode over to the office with Dan in his Polaris side-by-side and completed the necessary paperwork; when I returned to the RV, I finished the delicious supper Chef Sylvia had prepared for us. After supper, Mom and I took the fur-babies for a long walk, first to the river front community I had jogged earlier then into the small municipality of Ione, Washington…a cute but struggling community of approximately 400-people. I LOVE these little towns, their history…the old homes…the architecture…the old train station (now remodeled…a Lion’s Club). Walking these streets is like stepping back in time…the America I remember as a child visiting Hearne, Calvert. I thoroughly enjoyed our walk.

Ione, WA…a lonely town full of memories I’ll never know…
Ione, WA…approaching the old High School (for sale)
Ione High School – abandoned/for sale/lonely with memories – wish I could purchase-remodel
Pend Oreille River in Ione, WA
Ione, WA, Hwy 31 NB to RV Park
Hwy 31 in Ione, WA across from RV Park – you can read about this cave here: (Cement, WA) https://issuu.com/thenewportminer/docs/ghost_towns_spot_the_landscape

Returning to our RV before dark, Mom searched for property on her computer; I worked on our RV diary and defended the Gospel; ultimately, we both showered and went to bed around midnight…a wonderful night’s sleep as the temperatures moderated, the air conditioner took a break, the floor fan mitigated any noise…a wonderful night for us all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 (Cedar RV Park, Ione, WA)

We awoke (6:40AM) to the sound of our fur-babies restlessness and their need to take care of business outside…so Mom got up, I followed…Mom harnessed the ones she had given a haircut the night before and leashed them, I escorted our babies one and two at a time to the trail at the rear of the RV Park…business completed, I returned to the RV and prepared us some coffee. I’ll give my neighbors time to wake-up and get their day started before repositioning the RV to site #6 and hooking-up to the facilities. It’s a beautiful morning here in Ione, WA…upper 60’s with clear skies. There is a black cat outside…curious about our dogs…let’s see how the morning progresses :). My God is good!

Mom and I re-positioned the RV to site #6 at 9:30AM. We’re slightly nose-down as we were in site #15…this caused the air conditioner compressor water to flow into the air filter area and leak slightly into the cabin when I re-positioned the RV…now that we’re hooked-up, I’m not going to level the front-end for one-night, we will deal with it unless a problem manifests. Mom cleaned the air filter and reinstalled it…the OAT is rising exponentially and the air conditioner is working to keep us comfortable; fortunately, site #6 is shaded. I think we’ll eat breakfast/brunch soon…Mom is feeding the fur-babies…they’re still adjusting to RV life.

During the afternoon, the temperatures rose to approximately 108-degrees…incredible heat. Mom, the dogs and I remained inside the RV for the day, air conditioner working hard…computers buzzing away at our fingertips…the dogs sleeping. I might take Duke (maybe PePe) for a walk into town when the Sun is defeated by the small mountain and evergreens to our west.

Around 6:30PM, the Sun and the heat were sufficiently blocked by the small mountain and tall evergreens to our west allowing the pavement to cool to tolerable conditions for dog paws; so then, Duke, PePe and I went for a walk into town; following, are some videos taken during that walk,

Thursday, July 1, 2021 (Cedar RV Park in Ione, WA – departure)

Our day began with the sounds of restless dogs wanting to go outside for a bathroom break, 6:10AM, so I climbed out bed, Mom followed and we took the fur-babies out for a cool morning pee on the lawn. I entered the RV and prepared coffee…defended the Gospel and published an article concerning God’s will for our life while Mom contemplated the day and possibly washing clothes one more time before we pack-up and hit the road. I do hope the temperatures will moderate as the days progress and that heat wave finds another part of the World to torture. Mom prepared us a quick breakfast of Eggo’s and yogurt…I’ll probably go for a jog, shower, stow our sewage pipe, electrical, water…maybe wash the RV on the way out. Let’s see how the morning progresses…check-out is at noon. It’s a nice morning here in Ione, WA…but I can already see that the heat will be a factor today as well.

I went for a jog into town and around the baseball field and back to the RV Park while Mom washed a few remaining dirty clothes. After a good shower, I packed the hook-up hoses and electrical plug. We left site #6 around 11:20AM after a heartfelt thank you to Dan who was leveling a gravel site using his Kubota Tractor.

Before leaving, Mom and I rinsed-off our RV seeing that it had not been bathed since Arkansas…even White Sands remained on parts the hard working machine. We then proceeded SB on Hwy 31, slightly east and south on Hwy 20 where we paralleled the beautiful Pend Oreille River…beautiful water, beautiful landscapes (video).

Finally, we arrived in Newport, WA and ate some pretty good Mexican food at MI PUEBLO, 311 N. Washington, Newport, Washington. After lunch, we picked-up Hwy 2 SB into Spokane where I found a Discount Tire store and had the damage in our tire sidewall inspected. The front desk employee accompanied with me to the RV and inspected the tire; his summation was that the cut was cosmetic only and was of no concern…we were good to go; so then, somewhat relieved, I prepared coffee for Mom and myself and we headed to Walmart for boon-docking supplies…I’m currently parked in the Walmart parking lot…it’s VERY busy and Mom is probably doing her best to expedite her exit.

Our plan is to head to the Coeur d’Alene Lake area approximately 30-miles east of Spokane in western Idaho and find a place to boon-dock for the night. The generator is acting-up and won’t start as we’re sweating in this 100+degree heat in the Walmart parking lot…I think the temperatures are creating an air/fuel-problem for the generator with its current altitude setting. If this continues…a fix will be forthcoming.

This area of Spokane is apparently inundated with narcissistic White punk boys and their loud sports cars and radios…in the mix is the Spokane homeless seeking shelter in the parks and grassy areas; apparently, air conditioned stores like Walmart is also a homeless destination.

Washington is BEAUTIFUL relevant to geography, I’m not impressed by its gullible and naive populous of liberals. I do believe that Washington’s socialist-liberal-communist-BLM-ANTIFA problems are primarily confined to the larger municipalities…this is a narcissistic-mentally ill, communist-socialist deception, problem that is destroying the entire West Coast…happy to be proceeding east though I doubt it’s much better there. On the flip-side, I did find a plethora of conservative Patriotic Trump supporters in the smaller towns and municipalities, especially on the east side of the State. Mom’s back, putting up the groceries…we’ll be heading-out shortly.

Traveling EB on I-90 into Idaho, Mom began searching for the lowest fuel prices in the area and located a Walmart on Hwy 95 advertising $3.17 a gallon gas…so we headed that way. Subsequent to refueling, we opted to continue NB on Hwy 95 toward Hayden, to Sandpoint, then the search for a boon-docking site began.

We had hoped to find a National Park in the area to boon-dock a few days but nothing obvious was forthcoming; finally, before dark, I pulled off onto a road paralleling McArthur Lake (95-2 Hwy) (McArthur road); first, we attempted the boat ramp area but overnight parking was not permitted; second, I continued down a paved road, McArthur road, into a heavily wooded area and came to a fork in the road with a gravel road to the left (White Mountain Road) (Dead End)…so why not? We traveled that road and located a “Wildlife Management Area” driveway which offered a nice flat spot adjacent to the locked gate, behind some trees…so why not? We descended the hilly drive and hid the RV behind the trees. The dogs took care of their business, Mom prepared some delicious sandwiches; soon, we prepared for bed. Sleep was initially fleeting as that third cup of coffee had me wired and the days heat was lingering; Mom was scratching and rubbing her bug bites and slapping at a mosquito that had made its way into the cabin during the dogs exit and entrance…Mosquitoes were BAD! Finally, the temperatures moderated and cooled…sleep was good.

Friday, July 2, 2021 (McArthur Lake to Bonners Ferry)

I woke up around 5:20AM needing to go to the bathroom…but waited; soon, the dogs became restless in the bright morning sunshine and we got out of bed at 5:30AM…I took the dogs out to pee and Mom prepared the cabin for the road, made the bed. We headed out and intersected Hwy 95-2 NB toward Bonners Ferry; presently, it’s 7:15AM, we’re parked behind an AutoZone and Grocery Outlet in Bonners Ferry, positioned in the shade. I turned on the generator and prepared us some coffee…Mom said there is a McDonald’s 28-miles away but we’re not sure if it’s on 95N or 2EB…we will be leaving in a few minutes with breakfast on our mind. Mom has just consumed a huge blueberry-lemon muffin…I could not bring myself to go down that road…maybe some fresh cherries that Mom has just washed will hold me over…bye for now.

Proceeding NB on 95-2 in Bonners Ferry, we found the town to be exceptionally pretty with some Canadian influence and ambience. Crossing the bridge over the Pend Oreille Lake, we intercepted Hwy 2 EB and within a few miles I noticed a sign for Dawson Lake and Meadow Creek Campgrounds…I asked Mom if she wanted to head that way…the campgrounds were 10-miles to the north toward Canada and it was July the 4th weekend…not sure if we could find an acceptable spot in the campground but perhaps we could boon-dock on one the neighboring mountains owned by BLM or Forest Management. Not sure, Mom and I continued EB on Hwy 2 until finally Mom located a blog entry by a gentlemen who found the Meadow Creek Campgrounds using Google Maps back in 2018…he noted that the Campgrounds were isolated…difficult to locate…his 28-foot trailer was about maximum for maneuverability within the area; so then, Mom and I opted to turn-around and intersect the paved road headed north toward Canada. 

As we proceeded NB, we found Dawson Lake…but no campgrounds…we drove and we drove and we drove…beautiful forest, mountains, BLM or Forest Management numeric small signs with their specific codes for location acquirement…but no campgrounds; finally, a sign designating Meadow Creek Campgrounds…a gravel road leading into the forest and over a wooden bridge spanning a deep gorge. At the fork in the road, another sign for the Campgrounds but no directional arrow…I stayed “right” which is my “natural orientation :)” and within half-a-mile we observed a highly intoxicated/HIGH white male sitting in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle with a left front flat tire. Then, out of the woods, appears his buddy…Bubba…not a good scenario…I asked directions to the campgrounds and was advised that the other road, leading to the left, was the proper route…we proceeded back and on the reverse side of the sign was an arrow pointing to the camp grounds. 

Upon arrival, we found the Meadow Creek Campgrounds were a FEE area, no longer free as reported on the Internet but I did like the fact that those with an America the Beautiful Pass pay half-price…so Mom and I took the road leading to the right and found site #5…in my personal opinion, it’s the best campsite in the entire Campground. The Moyie River flows loudly immediately down the hill from our RV position…we have a trail that leads down to the River…the site is spacious, a burn ring, nice picnic table…beautiful trees inundate the area providing an abundance of shade. I backed the RV into the parking position and we noted a rear-low, starboard-low, position so Mom retrieved the leveling blocks and we did our best to square-away the RV seeing that we planned to remain here three or four+ days. 

After leveling, Mom began preparing the RV and the dogs for our stay. I walked to the Campground entrance and retrieved a pay-envelope. I returned to the RV, completed the necessary documentation, paid $30.00 by personal check and took the payment back to the pay-box…then placed the receipt on the attach-point located on a 4X4 near the campsite. Soon, a National Forest representative drove by and checked on us…all is well. We spent part of the afternoon lounging with the dogs under the awning and shade trees…the hot temperatures we had experienced in northeast Washington were moderated here and mitigated by the fast flowing white-water river near our site plus the abundance of shade trees and light breeze navigating itself through the trees…pleasant! 

Later, Mom wanted to go to the river so we leashed the dogs and followed the trail from our site to a private section of the River…Mom and I entered into the water and Mom’s “Rachi” obsession with rocks took hold…the Moyie River is replete with beautiful river rock…from the size of a dog’s tooth to large granite ROCKS that stood against the rapidly flowing water…simply beautiful. If Rebekah, Peter and Dan were here…we would never get them to leave the area…beautiful, colorful, rocks abound. 

The water temperature was “cool” and then “warm” depending on where you stood…there was even water flowing from under the mountain…perhaps a spring…it was numbing COLD as it flowed into the River.  The dogs took a plunge as well and they needed it. After a wonderful afternoon in the water, we returned to camp, changed clothes…chilled in the lounge chairs and allowed the dogs to sit with us unleashed, except for PePe…then…the Camp Host, Joe, walked up…the dogs off their leases…barking at him…but he was cool…did not overreact…and introduced himself…we talked for the better part of an hour. Joe looked like he was in his late 60’s, early 70’s, long white beard, long hair up under a hat…great conversation but he did mention the necessity of leasing the dogs…if for no other reason, for the danger of bears that frequented the area. I got the message. Joe is supposed to bring me a book about two guys who hiked the Appalachian Trail…a movie was made from the book starring Gary Bussy and Robert Redford. 

Mom and I were very surprised that our section of the campgrounds was almost empty of people except for one elderly couple, 1960 hippies?, backed into a spot northwest of ours; they’ve pitched a large tent…they seem like very interesting people but we’ve not met them as of yet. There are some families in the campground area to our north…but we’re the last site in this section and next to the beautiful Moyie River…secluded…God’s blessing. We will see if any other campers move into the campgrounds tomorrow, Saturday, July 3rd. 

Later in the evening, Mom and I took the dogs for a walk along the river on a trail that proceeded NB from the campground entrance; returning, we sat outside with the dogs until it was almost dark. I was getting sleepy…the dogs were done for the day…Mom opted to please us and get ready for bed…we climbed into the covers around 10PM…the night air cooled then got rather chilly…I closed the bedroom window next to the bed as one blanket was insufficient. A good night’s sleep was had by all.

Saturday, July 3, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We woke up at 6:15AM and escorted the dogs outside to take care of their business. Mom made the bed and policed the cabin, I started the generator and prepared us some coffee a little after 7AM. Mom put together a light breakfast of blueberry-lemon muffins, cheese, Washington cherries, grapes. I opted to catch-up on this diary even though we have insufficient service in this area to access the Internet…I’ll make notes on Google Documents. Mom walked to the River with camera in hand…she has returned and wants to take the dogs for a hike down the Moyie River. I told her I wanted to jog first…she asked why jog when we can just hike? I noted that I needed to get my heart-rate up and hiking did not accomplish that…Mom’s in a hurry…let’s get this day started.

Joe, our Camp Host, just stopped by to check the reservation stub on the standard next to our campsite. He gave me the book he promised, “A Walk in the Woods” by Gill Bryson. Inside the cover, the first page has a stamp “RECEIVED NOV 01 2000 Piner High School SIP”…interesting. 

Later, we saddled-up and walked the trail that parallels the Moyie River NB. The trail led us to a gravel road and we opted to walk that gravel road to the south…I believe this road is rough stone and gravel continuing to Moyie Springs, east of Bonners Ferry. All total, the hike was approximately 3-miles long…the dogs were tired and thirsty. When we returned to camp, Duke and I went for a jog down the road leading to the Campground entrance, across a beautiful wooden bridge and to the paved road that leads to Bonners Ferry SB and 95 NB into Canada. 

Returning to the RV, I began reading my book, “A Walk in the Woods” while Mom photographed and later prepared us a brunch of sausage and egg over mashed potato with mushrooms; for supper we had beef-tips over pasta…EXCELLENT!!!. For the afternoon, we spent some time at the river…Mom collected some beautiful rocks for Rebekah and Peter; I sat in the cool water enjoying God’s creation. The evening was spent back at camp, reading and entertaining the dogs…a beautiful day and a wonderful night…cool and restful…peaceful. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We got out of bed around 7:15AM. The dogs were serviced and I walked to the water fountain in the center of our Campground to fill the dogs water bowl. Mom has prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal and bagels with cream cheese…time to eat. The morning is beautiful…the Sun’s out, temperatures are probably in the lower to mid-50’s…the Camp is quiet…not too many people here this 4th of July…that’s a good thing! 

I spent part of the morning reading while Mom made every attempt to find an animal, any animal, to photograph; unfortunately, without much success. Later, we leashed the fur-babies and went for a good hike. Out on the access road to the campgrounds, we located a powerline right-of-way leading north from the intersection of Meadow Lake Road. We decided to walk it toward the Moyie River and discovered the area was under lease for mining…we found a narrow trail and walked back into the Idaho forest…I was anticipating the presence of any number of animals in this beautiful, remote, wooded area…NOTHING to be seen here but what I refer to as a ground squirrel…like those that were destroying the terrain on the mountain top we boon-docked on near Beaver Lake in Washington. NOTHING!!! Mom is disappointed.

The evening was spent primarily with me reading and baby-sitting the fur-babies while Mom ventured to the river access near our campsite and waited for wildlife to appear for their evening watering…nothing but a Robin and an Eagle or Hawk that would not cooperate. Later, after a wonderful supper of sliced beef, mac and cheese, Mom initiated a fire in the pit and we all enjoyed the late evening into darkness with the glow and warmth of a beautiful fire in the quiet and beautiful forest that surrounded us in conjunction with the relaxing sound of the Moyie River’s peaceful white-water flow. Sleep was wonderful with the exception of the train horn that echoed from the surrounding mountains several times last night. At midnight, I made an attempt to record the strange horn these trains make as they travel from Canada south with what I believe is crude oil as it’s placarded with a combustible/flammable placard…I’ve not been able to retrieve the placard number as of yet but the tanker cars are black and very large…priority cargo…the one train I did observe had no freight cars intermingled with the tankers. If I was a betting man, I’d bet these railroad tankers are Biden’s tactic of importing crude from Canada to circumvent the Key-Stone while lining the pockets of Special Interest scoundrels like Buffet and Big Oil. I despise Communists and Biden/Harris/Schumer/Pelosi and the DNC are at the top of my list. Just saying.

Monday, July 5, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

This morning began at 7:00AM with climbing out of bed in the cool, still, mountain air…leashing the fur-babies and taking them for bathroom necessities. Mom fed the babies while I walked to the camp’s water access and filled their large blue bowl with water. I then started the generator and prepared us coffee…Mom is currently preparing a breakfast of bagels and eggs…we will have to decide if we’re going to spend a few more days here at Meadow Creek or move-on to another location, either north or EB toward Montana.

An extremely nice fellow, walking his dog, stopped by our campsite yesterday and conversed with us for probably 20-minutes. Originally from Nebraska and now having lived in Idaho for 6-years, he suggested we go south on 95 to St. Maries/St. Joe area and head EB…incredibly beautiful…some of the most exquisite terrain he’s ever seen…lots of parks, National Forest…absolutely beautiful. Mom wants to head NB on 95 to Copper Falls and check-out the campground there…me…I’m OK here…I would like to pay for this site for a few more days, drive into Bonners Ferry, eat some Mexican food, dump our sewage, shop for necessities, return, fill with water from the access spigots in the campground…relax with a beautiful river in my backyard until Thursday or Friday or….whenever. Time to eat, TTYL.

Moyie River w/PePe

Later, I took Duke and PePe for a nice run; afterwards, I drove the RV to an adjacent campsite within the same campground area…there is a spigot there with a threaded-end allowing a hose hook-up to fill our RV’s fresh water tank. The remaining spigots throughout the campground are of a smooth variant and will not allow the attachment of a hose but next to each water pipe there is another protected by a green fiberglass/plastic box and locked with a key-lock. Joe, our camp host, said he had the key and that those water pipes would allow me to fill our RV should we need it. I returned and re-positioned the RV to level…I spent the afternoon completing Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” while Mom walked around the area and ultimately spent time at the river in hopes of seeing anything worthy of a photograph.  

Duke and Pepe at Meadow Creek Campgrounds
Looking up at the night sky from our campsite (Meadow Creek Campgrounds – Idaho)

 

Hard at work – Meadow Creek Campgrounds – Idaho

In the evening, we took the dogs for a hike to the railroad tracks and just missed the passing train by a few-minutes. Returning, we relaxed under the awning and shade trees until dusk…Mom returned to the River for photographs, I took a much needed shower. Later, Mom took her shower and we all retired for the evening.

A note about Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods”…

Bill Bryson is a very good writer with a style and applicable intelligence that keeps the reader interested; actually, I had difficulty putting the book down. “A Walk in the Woods” is replete with historical, geographical, ecological, statistical, information that has apparently been well researched and is presented in a way that makes history, ecology, geography, a flowing and interdependent singular subject; unfortunately, Bryson is a proponent of Darwinism and goes out of his way to insult the Creationist and the faithful in Jesus Christ. This put a damper on my read but I continued the journey with some anger. “A Walk in the Woods” is a non-fictional account of two-men in the midst of a mid-life crisis seeking adventure beyond their physiological and psychological capabilities yet they endure sufficiently to satisfy their personal desires for achievement and ultimately garner a sense of self-worth. It is the Appalachian Trail that provided Bryson and Katz a worthy challenge. I enjoyed the book immensely even though I consider Darwinism to be demonically rooted and destructive to the soul of our posterity and America’s Constitutional Republic. The book is definitely worth a read!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 (Leaving Meadow Creek Campgrounds?)

We climbed out of bed around 7AM this morning and allowed the dogs to take part in their morning ritual. I prepared us coffee while Mom made us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, cheese, bagel, sliced ham. 

Sylvia is adamant that she wants to move-on down the road while I, once again, attempted to convince her that in order for RV-life to succeed, we must stay-put for a period of time. We simply cannot continue on the road with communist-Biden’s fuel prices at the pump. Currently, we’re positioned in a virtual paradise. We’re in the most beautiful, secluded, campsite in the area…the Moyie River is in our backyard and we’re tucked up under a canopy of wonderful shade trees. We paid $7.50 a night for four-nights totaling $30.00…we have access to fresh water; we could easily pay for another four-nights and relax, go to Bonners Ferry, eat some Mexican food…purchase supplies and return here without worry – RELAX…but Mom is bored of this place and wants to move-on; unfortunately, I’m not sure what she hopes to find, contentment is not part of her personal repertoire; so then, I’ll finish this section of our diary and prepare to move-out…to where? Who knows? Mom just returned from the river…she and PePe had an encounter with a beautiful red-squirrel…PePe wants more…Mom is showing me the pictures on her camera…time to brush the teeth, fill the RV with water and say goodbye to Meadow Creek – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time here. 

Mom, sensing my displeasure with leaving Meadow Creek for an unknown location, asked if perhaps we should pay for another night and take the RV to recon the Copper Falls Campground, Robinson Lake and Brush Lake Campgrounds as well. So then, Sylvia retrieved a camping permit envelope and I completed same, placing the receipt on site #5’s standard. We retracted the awning, secured all that could be secured, loaded the fur-babies and proceeded to Moyie Road then Hwy 95 NB to the Canadian Border. Sylvia was nervous when she observed the border crossing area and we immediately made a U-turn and headed SB to Copper Falls. The campgrounds at Copper Falls were unsatisfactory for our needs…though paved, they were too close in proximity to other campers…NO WAY! Robinson Lake’s campgrounds, the entrance, was blocked by a logging truck…so we turned around and proceeded SB on Hwy 95…a beautiful drive to Brush Lake. We navigated a mountain road, washboard rough in areas, to find the campgrounds….they were rather nice, quiet, only one-spot was occupied. We might consider them tomorrow or later in the week…they’re free (no fees) but no potable water is available. Mom is concerned about navigating that mountain road again and the fact that we’re in the middle of “Grizzly Country.” She wants to see a bear…but the Grizzly scares her.

Copper Falls, Idaho
Hwy 95 in the Brush Lake Campground (overview area), Idaho

Leaving Brush Lake, we proceeded SB on Hwy 95 into Bonners Ferry. Immediately, we drove to what is reported to be a good Mexican food restaurant but unfortunately for us, it was closed for the 4th-6th; in place of the Mexican food, we opted for fish and chips at Mugsy’s Diner…not bad at all though I consumed the greasy french fries and now suffer guilt. After lunch, Mom and I walked to a nearby Bookstore and I purchased a couple of Sidney Sheldon novels from the $1.00 rack outside the store; meanwhile, Mom was searching for a hair salon…it was booked…we walked until we found another hair salon…they upset Mom with their attitude…so then, we proceeded to fuel the RV, shop for groceries as Big One Groceries…Mom was upset with the prices and lack of inventory; so then, we’re now in the parking lot of Safeway in Bonners Ferry waiting on Mom to finish her grocery shopping. Unless I pass by some cheap LPG, we will probably head back to Meadow Creek Campgrounds and chill for the evening…it’s cooler up there, much more so than in town…whoever said the Northern United States had a “moderate” climate in the summer was either lying or ignorant…maybe it’s just this heatwave? It’s HOT up here in these municipalities…the river and shade trees are the place to be…not bad near the Canadian border along the rivers…mild and relatively quiet. 

Subsequent to leaving the Safeway store in Bonners Ferry, I stopped by a 76-Truck Stop and topped off the already full-tank of fuel and the attendant filled our propane tank to full as well. I did this as we still had one bag of garbage remaining in the storage compartment…previously, we had BAGS of garbage collected over the July 4th weekend at Meadow Creek Park. 

An issue with the National Park Service, 

I am MOST appreciative of the military discount afforded me by the National Forest-Parks Service; I am most appreciative of the abundance of campsites in some of the most beautiful locations in America. What I must gripe about to some degree is the policy in far too many campgounds of “Pack it in – Pack it out” and the absence of RV dumb facilities and in far too many cases, the absence of potable water with a tap allowing hose-fitment to fill the fresh water tank on RV’s. With just two-people occupying a campsite for one-week, the amount of trash that is collected can be overwhelming. Wild animals in the area love trash; so then, trash must be stored in luggage compartments (if not full) or inside the tent or RV. Why not provide at least ONE bear-proof trash bin/dumpster at the entrance/exit of all campground? The absence of trash disposal sites encourages bad behavior e.g. burning trash in campfires and illegal dumping.

Also, there is an untold number of RV’s traversing parks, Interstates, back roads, daily. Two or three people occupying an RV in a campground for one-weekend will fill the gray and black water holding tanks…what are they to do with this refuse if they want to remain in the park for a week? Do they pack everything, drive into the nearest town, possibly many miles away, find a dump station and then return? Most “camp host” sites are replete with RV hook-ups i.e. power-sewage-water and there are usually a number of toilets scattered throughout the better campgrounds; so then, why not position a sewage dump station for the RV’s and potable water for their fresh tanks at either the entrance/exit or near/at the toilet locations…the sewage storage is already there for goodness sake? 

Failing to provide garbage and sewage disposal inspires bad behavior on the part of those wishing to enjoy these parks managed by the US Forest and Park Service. 

Anyway, subsequent to finding a dumpster for our last bag of trash and having filled our propane, we proceeded NB on Hwy 95-2 to Hwy 2 EB and worked our way NB to the Meadow Creek Campgrounds where site #5 was waiting for us. Upon arrival, we consumed the delicious Asian food and fried chicken Mom had purchased from Safeway. The dogs were serviced, fed, watered, bathroom needs taken care of. Mom and I, Duke and PePe, lounged in the dark for an hour or so…listening to the Moyie River’s white-water…then off-to-bed around 10:30PM. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds)

This morning we got out of bed around 7:10AM, serviced the dogs. I serviced the generator’s oil (added) and prepared us some coffee. Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, a muffin, and cherries. Today, my plan is to reserve a couple of more days here at Meadow Creek and maybe leave Friday en route to Brush Lake for the weekend…then…EB on Hwy 2 to Montana? We will see. Later, I hope to begin a new book I purchased at a bookstore in Bonners Ferry; Sidney Sheldon’s “Memories of Midnight.” Mom is rather bored seeing that the animal population is not cooperating with her camera…not sure what she’s going to do…sitting unproductively is just not Mom…I hope she adapts. Anyway, PePe and Duke need to run…I need to run…so a jog is also in order. Unusual, but the skies here in northern Idaho are cloudy today…it feels like rain…we will see? TTYL. 

Later, Mom walked to the River for photos and I watched the fur-babies while reading my book…when Mom returned, I saddled-up the boys and we went for a good jog in the countryside. Returning, I opted to shower seeing that water access is within the campgrounds. The day was pretty much spent reading and watching Mom make every attempt to find something to do with her time…relaxing and just “being” is not working for her. In the evening, we walked the dogs down to the entrance leading into the facility…returned and prepared for bed.

Thursday, July 8, 2021 (Meadow Creek Campgrounds, Moyie River, Idaho)

We climbed out of bed around 8:15AM and immediately serviced the dogs. I started the generator and prepared us some coffee. Not sure what Mom has planned…hope she can endure doing “nothing” for another day while I read, drink coffee, enjoy this paradise…doing “nothing” for me is a blessing. Tomorrow, we’ll most likely leave camp, proceed SB on Meadow Creek Road, intercept Hwy 2 and either head east into Montana or west into Bonners Ferry for Mexican food and then east…who knows? We’re paid-up here for one-more night… 

Later in the morning Mom and I opted to take a very long hike; but first, we decided to leave Layla and MiMi in the RV…they’re not doing well on the longer hikes…MiMi’s suffering some hip dysplasia and Layla’s paws are on the sensitive side…the gravel takes a toll on her pads. We walked and investigated a side-road leading to a private-gate; suspiciously, how does one purchase land or post it as “private” in the National Forest? After approximately 1.5-hours, we returned to the RV, I prepared some coffee; later, Mom made us tacos with some of the most delicious ground beef I’ve ever tasted. After lunch, Mom went to the River with PePe while I finished my book, “Memories of Midnight.” 

A word about Sidney Sheldon’s “Memories of Midnight.” 

In its totality, Sheldon masterfully exposes the utter futility of man’s pursuit of wealth – sensuality – power – influence through wickedness and an alliance with the sinful-nature. (Potiphar v. Potter) I was struck by the parallel used by Sheldon, whether knowingly or unknowingly, relevant to the Biblical character of Joseph and the temptation he faced from Potiphar’s wife as she, the wife of a an Egyptian officer who directly served the Pharaoh, made every attempt to seduce Joseph into the act of adultery but Joseph ran away and rejected the sensual temptation (Genesis 39); the main character of Sheldon’s book, as a young man, faced the exact temptation by a wife of a very powerful and influential oil magnet (named Potter)…but the main character opted to engage in adultery and used same to enrich his personal life beyond one’s imagination. Both of these men, Joseph and the main character of the book, reaped what they sowed…one to life, one to death. The theme of the entire novel is Solomon’s sermon, “Vanity of vanities” – “All is futility and chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes). I enjoyed this murder mystery…it’s worth a read IMHO. 

Later in the evening, we took the dogs for a walk to let them take care of business and get a little tired in preparation for bed. Mom and I lounged around and watched the evening fade into night and prepared for bed.

Friday, July 9, 2021 (Leaving Meadow Creek Campground – Idaho toward Montana)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY REBEKAH – LOVE YOU!!!

We woke-up around 7:40AM, temperatures in the 50’s/clear, and serviced the dogs. I initiated the generator and prepared us coffee…Mom is preparing breakfast. I plan to go for a quick jog this morning with the boys and prepare the RV for travel. The campground is filling with people for some reason…I expected the week of July 4th to be busy but it was not so…NOW…the camp is bustling…I’m NOT a fan, neither is Mom. If all goes well, we will pick everything up this morning, prepare the dogs for the road, fill the RV with fresh water and make our way south to Hwy 2 then EB toward Montana. 

Later…We exited the Meadow Creek Campgrounds around 10:40AM, turned SB on Meadow Creek Road, intercepted Hwy 2 EB and began our journey toward Montana. Eastern Idaho and western Montana’s beauty defies words…the beautiful mountains, the Kootenai National Forest…the Yaak River…the white water…it’s a must see with one’s own eyes. We’re currently in Libby, Montana…Mom is in the Rosauers Food and Rx shopping for supplies. I took the dogs out to pee next to the busy parking lot and I think we’ll continue EB on Hwy 2 to Kalispell, Montana. Feeling a bit tense today…nothing apparent…just a feeling of caution, don’t know why.

Arriving in Kalispell, Montana, Mom located a great Mexican food restaurant, Casa Mexico, a little too expensive for me but the food was delicious. Leaving the restaurant, Mom wanted to wash clothes so we located a nice laundry…too expensive for Mom’s taste…so we topped-off the RV with fuel ($3:17 gallon) and headed toward Kintla Lake near the Canadian Border. Proceeding NB on Hwy 2 then onto an unknown NB road toward Lake McDonald, the pavement ended and a very dusty, washboard, gravel road was before us…20+miles to Kintla, Lake…so we slowly proceeded NB and observed a gravel road to our west that appeared to be National Forest…out of curiosity, we took it…and we ascended a mountain for many miles…passing bear scat…and continued to climb until the road came to a dead end…at the top of the mountain was adequate parking for the RV; so then, Mom and I positioned the RV and leveled her fairly well. The dogs were fed and watered…Mom set-out the carpet and chairs…but…the mosquitoes and flies and bees are pretty bad, even though the temperatures up here are cool and will possibly get COLD overnight. The dogs are sitting next to me asleep on the cushions, Duke is passed out on the floor. It’s 9:25PM…a beautiful sunset on the adjacent mountain…all is quiet and peaceful except for the song birds in the forest. Mom is very fearful of bears; supposedly, we’re in Grizzly Country…the scat on the mountain road up here testifies to their presence as the scat appeared FRESH. I’ll remain armed while here…I hope Mom will ease her fear and enjoy herself. Mom entered the RV and said she heard a growl in the woods…Getting late…we will probably head to bed shortly…maybe? 

Saturday, July 10, 2021 (Mountain Top – south of Kintla Lake, Montana)

The night was COOOOL…the “Big Sky” was filled with stars and beauty as I watched out the screen bedroom window. Mom and I both had difficulty falling asleep. Mom was concerned about the mosquitoes, I was preparing a strategy for defending us should a young man we met on the way up the mountain opt to bring his friends and try to take advantage of us on this dead-end mountain peak. Yesterday, as we ascended the mountain and neared the top, a young W/M, longer black hair, 18-YOA, with his girlfriend (W/F – long black hair) in the right seat, operating a blue, smaller truck…was descending the mountain…he was kind…courteous…I moved as far right as possible…much to Mom’s anger and fear of the steep drop-off on her side. The young man said he has lived in this area all his life…he discussed the huckleberries at the top of the mountain…said no one ever goes all the way to the top…said he wanted to do what we’re doing and own an motor home…kind…polite…but…I’m suspicious…

At Mom’s request, I readied the Benelli last night by removing it from its stand next to the driver’s seat and securing the flash-light to the rail. Concerning the local population and the bear scat observed during our ascent yesterday, I’ll stay armed. 

We got up around 6AM, serviced the dogs. I made coffee for us both while Mom has cooked us some “Idaho Potatoes” with Amish butter…she peeled a fresh Idaho potato so we could experience this popular mainstay of Idaho. We’re very much secluded up here on this beautiful mountain with incredible views of mountain peaks as far as the eye can see…Mom said some of the mountains have snow on them…beautiful. I am thankful to my Lord for His grace, mercy, patience, love and provisions. 

Currently, Mom is outside chasing wildlife with her camera, I’m defending the Gospel…9:30AM.

Later, I took PePe and Duke for a good hike around a portion of the mountain we’re on top of…we are north of Columbia Falls, possibly on Whitefish Mountain. Roads circling this mountain have been blocked by the building of waves of dirt at their entrance making them accessible only by ATV or off-road motorcycles…the Forest Service prefers these roads are hiked on foot; the view from the roads is beyond description. Mountains extend as far as the eye can see, some are snow-capped…some are incredibly high…looking north toward Canada…beautiful. Unfortunately, there are small forest fires far to our distant south, the smoke from these has filtered into the mountains and valleys surrounding us and a haze has formed that obscures the clarity necessary to truly appreciate the beauty…I hope tomorrow will be clear once again.

Mom prepared us a supper of meaty burgers and the fur-babies partook to some extent as well. We all took another hike down the mountain road for a little ways as the Sun was setting…Mom is intrigued by the beautiful and interesting rocks that are embedded into the steep roadside. Returning to the RV, I read a little…Mom searched for RV parks in Colorado in preparation for her “Sisters” reunion in the last part of August. I went to bed around 10PM, Mom tried to upload photos from her camera…it was a wonderful night of sleep…absolute quietness, peacefulness, on the mountain top.

Sunday, July 11, 2021 (Mountain Top – Whitefish Mountain? north of Columbia Falls, Montana)

We woke around 6:40AM and serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee while Mom policed the RV and made the bed. We’re currently online as Mom’s phone has made connection with our AT&T Hotspot…nice. The OAT is in the 50’s, clear sky…perhaps the smoke in the valleys has cleared? I will probably take the boys for a run in a bit…miss being in my Lord’s house today.

Later in the morning after breakfast, the boys and I jogged the road leading down the mountain. The afternoon was spent primarily defending the Gospel on social media while Mom searched real estate, property taxes and such. Later, after a delicious supper of sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, we took the fur-babies for a walk down the mountain road and enjoyed the beauty of God’s handiwork in front of us; then, upon returning to the RV, we secured the little dogs inside and took the boys for a good hike partially around the mountain trail to our northwest looking toward Canada…incredible views, gorgeous sunset. We returned to the RV around 9:30PM and readied for bed…the night was beautiful, cool, clear, fresh air on top of the mountain with solace and peace. I am very thankful.

Monday, July 12, 2021 (Whitefish Mountain top – Montana)

We woke up around 5:45AM to incredible weather…cool…clear. The dogs were needing their bathroom break, as were we; subsequently, I prepared coffee while Mom policed the RV and made the bed. Currently, we’re both on our computers taking advantage of the cellular hotspot while it’s operating with some speed. Mom hinted that she wants to leave today…need to do laundry…it’s piling up. Me, on the other hand, I would like to stay here another day…I genuinely enjoy this mountain, the views, the fresh air. We’ll see how the day goes.

Later, Mom made us a wonderful smorgasbord breakfast and we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon on our computers. The boys are getting restless, we’ll probably go for a hike in a bit. Later, Mom, me, the fur-babies, went for a long hike down the mountain road and onto a trail-head leading into the wilderness…we hiked until the girls and my girl were done…then hiked back to the RV. After some rest, reading, social media, I took Duke for a long walk around the mountains…absolutely beautiful…upon returning to the RV, Mom had supper ready…we then talked for bit, I read some…we prepared for bed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 (Whitefish Mountain, Montana headed toward Coby, Wyoming)

Overnight, the mountain top received some HUGE droplets of rain; initially, I thought it was hail but later learned rain had moved into the mountains. We got up around 7AM, serviced the dogs, I made coffee and we prepared some cereal for breakfast. I then took PePe and Duke for a jog while Mom showered; upon returning to the RV, I also showered and we prepared the RV for the road. Exiting Whitefish Mountain at 9AM, we turned SB and drove most of the day; currently, we’re in Butte, Montana at a Walmart…Mom is shopping; later, we hope to find some potable water for our fresh water tank. We’re full of fuel…hoping to find a boon-docking location en route to Coby, WY where Mom has some property she wants to see. TTYL

Before it got too late in the evening, Mom and I attempted to camp at Harrison Lake off of Montana 287 but we did not read the State Park instructions carefully and come to find out they wanted “non-Montanans” to pay $18.00 a night to camp at the Lake, no water, no electrical, no sewer…this after setting-up the RV for a few nights at the site; so then, we drove the RV off the leveling blocks, put them away and headed out. Heading SB on Hwy 287, eventually we noticed a “National Forest Access” sign pointing to the right…we turned right and traveled for MILES on gravel road until coming to a dark and non-maintained Forest entrance…there were a couple of campers in the area, it was dark, getting late, so we opted to take the forest road and proceed up the mountain; once on this road, it was not possible to turn the RV around so we continued in the dark on this rough, poorly maintained mountain road for miles until we crossed a cattle guard or two and finally came to a side road leading up to another section of the mountain…visibility was poor in the dark…steep drop-offs and culverts made maneuvering the RV dangerous in those conditions so we opted to pull onto the side road, service the dogs, and get some sleep. This RV is not designed for such rough and harsh conditions but she’s dealing with it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (North Willow TRHD – Natl. Forest to Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Camp Grounds – Maddison River)

I slept fairly well, Mom not so much. We got up around 6AM, serviced the dogs…I walked and reconed the area for a flat-spot to camp. Up the hill on the side road we had parked on for the night, there was adequate flat space to position the RV but the road was high center, trees that could possibly scrape the RV…we opted to not proceed up that road…I reconed the main mountain road…it looked pretty good ahead so we proceeded up that road toward the west (Forest road #161) searching for a flat-spot to position the RV for boon-docking. Eventually, we came upon more cattle guards and finally a closed gate. A sign next to the gate notified us that we were entering private land on a public road, to please close the gate behind us for the safety of the horses; also, access to property on each side of the road was prohibited for the next 2.4-miles. So then, Mom opened the gate that was chained to a standard…we proceeded on Forest Road #161 for 2+ miles passing by a HUGE home to our distant right on top of wooded mountain top (numerous horses in the area)…finally, we reached the second gate…Mom opened that gate and we proceeded through and down the mountain…there were no signs or indicators that suggested the road we were on was anything other than Forest Road #161 once we exited the second gate; we drove and drove until the road reached a rearward fork…the intersection showed a Montana County Road (47 or 48?) leading back toward the east…we continued on Road #161 wanting to remain on what we thought was National Forest. We passed an encampment on our left where people had pitched tents near a creek…a wooden bridge led into that property…we passed that and continued down the road with the intent of either camping or at least discovering our location as we had no phone service in order to use the GPS. 

Finally, we came to a gravel road intersection. The road to the right was marked “Private Road” and the road to the left seemed to head southwest through some absolutely beautiful landscapes. We opted to back the RV onto a grassy flat area next to a soothing babbling brook of water…perhaps 30-yards from the roadway. I figured this was county or state property…we would stay here unless told to move. I prepared us some coffee, Mom made some breakfast; the dogs were serviced. I reconed the road to the southwest hoping to see a street sign and find our location on the road map…no luck. Soon, two middle-aged white-males rapidly approached our RV in their enclosed side-by-side. I exited the RV to meet with them. The driver, named Butch, exited with bravado and a confrontational tone, revolver on his right hip. I greeted the man and he said you’re trespassing. I politely asked how it was that I was trespassing on a county road right-of-way? Butch said that all the property except for the roadway was private as he pointed to the sign making the roadway leading from the intersection as private. The sign was clearly prohibiting trespassing on that road, NOTHING else. Butch said that in Montana, land must be considered private unless you can prove otherwise. He said that if his boss, Terry, found out about our presence, the county sheriff’s department would be here quickly. 

Keeping my temper under control for the sake of peace and my Wife, I explained our situation, how we had come to be where we were and asked how we could find our way out of the area…Butch pointed to the roadway that headed in a southwest direction. He stated that in about four-miles we would see Virginia City/Nevada City…his partner stated from inside the side-by-side that there was a lot of history there…or we could proceed back to the fork in the road at the bottom of the mountain and take the county highway, a short distance down that road there was level ground adequate for camping and we would be good there. Subsequent to finding out that I was retired law enforcement and meant no harm, Butch’s conversation and tone lightened up…we had a nice chat about Texas and politics…he then provided me with his phone number and said that if we needed help locating a place to camp we could call him and he would fix us up. Butch and his coworker left the area, Mom and I prepared the RV for the road and opted to head into town.

Finally, we found a hardtop roadway and took that into Virginia City…we toured that unique and historic area and proceeded to Ennis, Montana; while in Ennis, I filled with fuel for $3.08-a-gallon and we proceeded through the downtown area…beautiful and historic…then back onto Hwy 387 SB. Driving SB on Montana 387, we observed a National Forest Access sign for Indian Creek (4.0 miles EB toward a large mountain range). With the incident involving Butch fresh on my mind…a little angry, we reluctantly proceeded toward Indian Creek hoping to find a boon-docking location. The rough, washboard, gravel road leading to the Indian Creek was VERY ROUGH…we proceeded at about 5-10MPH to prevent beating the RV to pieces…the county access road was bordered by private lands, fenced…finally, we arrived at the National Forest entrance only to find that the bridge leading to the Forest was closed and a parking area available to park and hike the trails prohibited overnight camping and threatened prosecution of anyone caught remaining on the property overnight…I was angry…Mom was even angrier.

We serviced the dogs in the rather small day-parking area and began our slow exit toward Hwy 287. Arriving at the highway, we turned SB toward Yellowstone Park and south of Cameron we noticed a sign indicating a recreation area “Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River, so we thought, what the heck…let’s go see. Arriving at the campgrounds, we found the facility managed/owned by the Department of Interior/BLM and the $12.00 camping fee was half-price with my America the Beautiful-Veteran’s pass…the facility had potable water for our RV but no sewer or electricity…I booked us for six-nights and backed-up very near the Madison River…a beautiful white-water river with easy access and a lot of fly fishing opportunities. 

We found campground site #1 available…at the end of the campground, kind-of by itself…we parked the RV…the parking area was level…we spent most of the afternoon hiking to the boat ramp, sitting and watching wildlife, talking about the people and the RV’s entering the area, we lusted over the camp host’s site (#11) that was empty…it was equipped with electricity, sewer, water, on-site. I did some reading in my Sidney Sheldon mystery while Mom pursued some wildlife with her camera…the evening was a blessing, the weather comfortable…mosquitoes were a bit of a problem for Mom but we enjoyed ourselves; unfortunately, insufficient cell service here to access the Internet. Funny and frustrating, we can land on Mars but I’m unable to access cell phone service adjacent to a community off of a major highway. 

Madison River, Montana
Hiking along the Madison River – Palisades, Montana, Hwy 287
Ennis, Montana
Our backyard – Palisades – Madison River, Montana, Hwy 287

Thursday, July 15, 2021 (Montana – Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River)

Overnight, the winds picked up…temperatures dropped significantly…we had left the awning extended and it was being abused by the wind; eventually, I got out of bed and retracted it. Sleep was intermittent due to the wind but both of us got sufficient rest. We got out of bed around 7AM and immediately serviced the dogs. Zoe was not feeling well and puked on the floor…Mom took care of that…I prepared us coffee and Mom prepared a breakfast of cheesy eggs and toast…with some cherries. Mom’s currently out chasing the birds for a photo-shoot, I’ll probably brush my teeth and take the boys out for a jog. I’ve not worked my upper-body since leaving Arkansas…I’m feeling soft and flabby around the waist…perhaps I’ll purchase some rubberized dumbbells from Walmart and a flat bench…I’ve got to work my upper body…I feel like a slob. Anyway, I think I’ll take advantage of the cool weather and go for a jog. The Madison River out our rear window is beautiful…thankful. 

The boys and I went for a good jog; afterwards, I got some reading done. Mom swears that she saw a young bear in the rock caverns behind our RV across the river…so she’s busy on bird and bear watch and keeps demanding that she get a new camera…I agree, it’s time. Later, Mom and I secured the dogs in the RV and we went for a long hike to view the homes in the immediate area. Upon returning to the RV, I’ve prepared some coffee for us and Mom is planning supper…perhaps some spaghetti and meat-sauce…sound good to me. 

The spaghetti dinner was WONDERFUL…with garlic toast….what a blessing. Mom and I bummed around the area, sitting outside enjoying the beautiful views and the weather but the campground was getting busy…fishermen and families gathered to “party” in the evening. Not good news. 

Later that night, as we were attempting to get some sleep, two-campsites over…the families of fishermen, their wives especially, appeared to be drunk…laughing into the night even though camp rules are no noise after 10PM. We attempted to close the windows to silence the asses but it was too hot so we reopened the windows and dealt with the noise…finally falling asleep. Around midnight, a horrible wind storm, lightning, rain, moved into the area…I was genuinely concerned for our safety. I opened the side door of the RV to inspect the furniture and cage we had left outside…the wind literally tore the door out of my hand and slammed it up against the RV’s bulkhead…by God’s grace neither the bulkhead, the bulkhead window or door glass were damaged. Mom and I opted to collapse the the dog cage and place it inside to prevent it damaging the RV’s bulkhead, I collected bowls and towels and anything that could fly into the RV or the river…finally, we located the rug we use under the awning…it had blown behind the RV…we secured door and attempted to listen to the weather band…the signal was too weak but we could understand a partial forecast telling people to take shelter…really? Subsequent to much lightning and high winds and rain…we finally fell asleep and exited the bed close to 7:30AM…beautiful weather followed the night’s storm. The RV survived and the roof was washed by the rain.

Friday, July 16, 2021  (Montana – Palisades Recreation Area – Boat Launch – Campgrounds – Madison River)

Climbing out of bed around 7:30AM and servicing the dogs, I prepared us coffee while Mom prepared breakfast. We discovered last night that when I activate the hot-water tank on cabin battery power only, the appliance’s dedicated 15A fuse blows and the refrigerator power shuts-off as well, both electrical and propane. I had one more 15A fuse as a spare…I replaced the blown fuse, started the generator, there was no problem with the fuse but now, the hot water tank is not heating….I’ll have to try and troubleshoot this as cold showers are NOT our forte. 

Subsequent to breakfast, we opted to secure everything but left the carpet, our chairs and the cage outside…then headed into Ennis, Montana (approximately 20-miles north) to dump our gray and black water, get some propane and do laundry. In Ennis, we located a large RV Park on Hwy 287 northwest of downtown…we dumped our sewage for $10.00 and met a very interesting couple from Montana. They were traveling with a Dodge 3500 diesel PU with a large camper attached in the bed…truly enjoyed their company. Subsequent to dumping our sewage, I drove Mom to the Madison Cleaners outside of town…currently, I’m in the RV with the dogs waiting for Mom to finish; then, we’ll seek to top-off the fuel and LPG at an area station…perhaps shop for food supplies, maybe a fishing rod and fly-bait…maybe even Mexican food if available…and head back to the Palisades, site #1, and hopefully not have to confront anyone that may have barged-in our paid site. Unfortunately, we have no usable cell service at our campsite. Void any problems and if my Lord is willing, we will remain at the Palisades until July 20th.

Leaving the laundromat, I drove to the Exxon in downtown Ennis and topped-off the fuel but there was no LPG available there. A major supplier of LPG for the area was closed so Mom did a search and located a supplier out on 287 headed north. The lady who ran the LGP service was a spitting image of Sara Palin…it was funny…she talked like her, looked like her…sounded like her…acted like her…when I brought it to her attention…we laughed…nice lady. Subsequent to filling with LPG I plugged-in the only Mexican food restaurant in in Ennis, MT…”Nachos MaMa”…111 W. Main….we drove the area until successfully locating a parking lot of sufficient size to park the RV…the temperatures were in the upper 80’s or lower 90’s mandating the generator and air conditioner for the fur-babies. Mom and I walked the town and found Nachos MaMa closed for business so we walked down the street to a cafe and ate hamburgers. I was interested in some cheap fishing supplies to fish the Madison River to the rear of our RV. The sporting goods stores in Ennis are overpriced…but that’s to be expected.

En route back to the Palisades, we drove into a terrible storm…incredible winds…heavy rain with some pounding hail. Finally, arriving at our campsite, we filled with potable water and backed into position. The dogs were serviced, fed and watered…I prepared us some coffee and we relaxed…Mom hunted birds with her camera and I read some more in Sheldon’s book…an interesting murder mystery. Later, we walked over to visit with a gentleman (Dennis Laughter) who is operating a beautiful “Freightliner” Class C “Super-plus”…that thing is incredible…but expensive…$230-250K. The Freightliner front-end was awesome and powered by a Cummins diesel motor…MSRP is a little to “rich” for my blood.

Returning to the RV in heavy winds and very light rain, Mom warmed spaghetti leftovers for me and she ate some cereal. I read my book…Mom caught some interesting birds in the area on her camera, one had a wildlife management tag on its leg…Mom believes it’s an adult Osprey. When we approached our RV, subsequent to our conversation, there was a beautiful Bald Eagle flying above the River over our campsite…Mom could not retrieve her camera in time to get the photo. Mom and I sat around and talked as the wind blew with strength from the North, most like from the storm we had driven through earlier…I weighted down the carpet with stones from the area. As the daylight surrendered to darkness, we prepared for bed…it was a wonderful night of sleep in the cold air. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds – Hwy 287 south of Cameron, MT)

We got out of bed around 7AM…the temperature was in the high 40’s to low 50’s…beautiful clear skies but rather hazy in the distant mountains. Mom serviced the dogs quickly, I’ve prepared coffee and will probably take the boys for a jog in a bit…it is a virtual paradise here along the Madison River with the beautiful rock cliffs on the opposite side of the River very near our RV…it reminds me of an old western movie…I can see the Indians atop their horses positioned on the rock ledge above looking down on the settlers panning for gold and opting to circle the wagons in preparation for a bloody confrontation over land rights/territory…it truly does seem as if we’re on a movie set. Fly fishing is the THING here…this is a fly fisherman’s paradise. 

I finished Sidney Sheldon’s, Tilly Bagshawe’s, novel “After the Darkness.” Some thoughts. Grace is an interesting main character…there are more twists and turns in this murder mystery than the Madison River to the rear of our RV. Anyone seeking to enjoy this book should take the time to make a brief note concerning the names and personal information of each character as they’re introduced to lessen confusion as the plot thickens and investigations become entangled in intrigue and “who done it?” I enjoyed the book and the harrowing ride that displayed the futility of wealth spent on narcissism.  

Later in the morning, I took PePe and Duke for a jog…the loud fishing neighbors down the road had not leashed their dogs as required and their Golden Lab (mix) ran into the road and attacked Duke…Duke held his own until the people called their dog off…they were very apologetic…I don’t like camping around some people but for the most part…people in these campgrounds are kind, conservative, helpful.

Subsequent to our jog, I cooled down and Mom prepared us a fruit dish of sliced apples, grapes, cherries and cheese. I prepared us some coffee and finished my book while Mom took a dip in the river. Currently, four of the dogs are outside on the shady side of the RV in their large cage…Duke came back inside with me…I think I’ll shower and Mom will prepare us something to eat…Temperatures are probably approaching the 90’s…it’s fairly hot but a mild breeze and low humidity mitigates the heat somewhat…the shade is very comfortable.

The hot-water heater actuator won’t activate the pilot…I may have blown a 2-AMP fuse protecting the circuit board on the heater…I don’t have a replacement “mini” fuse so we’ll have to take cold showers until I find an auto parts store to purchase this rather unique looking fuse. I can’t tell if the fuse is actually blown…if our problem is not the fuse…I’ll have to research the problem on YouTube and hopefully make the needed repairs.  

The evening was spent lounging in the shade of the RV and in conversation with our neighbor who owns the Class C-Super-C RV. He’s a Vietnam Veteran, alone/divorced…traveling without any companionship…we talked for probably two-to-three hours. Our neighbor walked back to his RV about 8:30PM…I showered and we serviced the dogs and began preparing for bed; unfortunately, our noisy neighbors two-spots over arrived with their fishing boats and partied until maybe 11:30 or midnight…laughing, yelling, burning a fire that the south wind was blowing the smoke into our cabin…Mom was irritated…we could not fall asleep, the dogs were barking in the cabin in response to the noise.

Two-trucks operated by these morons, Montana 664182C and Montana BHX397…these are the same people who own the dog that attacked Duke yesterday. Campground noise is to end at 10PM until 7-8AM…Dogs are to be leashed and kept under control…according to Federal Park rules. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds, Hwy 287, Madison River, south of Cameron, MT.)

Another absence from my Lord’s House today…not happy about that. The dogs woke us up around 7:10AM and Mom began taking them outside. I checked the generator’s oil level and prepared coffee for us. I’m currently deciding if talking to my neighbors concerning their rude behavior is worth the potential confrontation or not. Mom’s preparing some oatmeal…I do NOT think highly of my fellowman at times like these; thankfully, these unruly neighbors left the campground around 10AM.

Later, we walked over to our neighbor, Dennis Laughter, who owns the Super Class-C RV…Sylvia wanted to lust over the spaciousness of the behemoth and its sliders…I too was interested in this beautiful machine constructed on a Freightliner chassis. The RV was incredible…but for $250k…I’ll have to pass. We visited for about an hour; Dennis gave me some books to read as I had given him my collection the evening before. Subsequent to our tour of the RV and good conversation, we returned to the RV quickly as we could hear Zoe barking from inside the cabin where the dogs had been secured, window open. I apologized to my immediate next-door neighbors for Zoe’s barking…they were incredibly nice…we visited with them for hours…they have quite a history, both in their late 70’s…he’s an old Montana cowboy, rancher, rodeo roper; she’s a business woman…sold goose-neck trailers for years here in Montana. She was widowed and remarried with a Montana cowboy (Keith)…they’re full-time RV’ers now. 

Later in the evening, our second visit with our neighbors continued till about dark at which time I walked back to the RV to service the dogs…they were sitting in the darkness…alone…not happy. When Mom returned, we prepared for bed and sleep was good as the weather turned very cool outside overnight. 

Monday, July 19, 2021, (Palisades Campgrounds, Hwy 287, Madison River, south of Cameron, MT.)

We got out of bed around 7AM…Mom serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee but the coffee machine decided to give up the ghost on my cup of brew…water leaked out of the seals and made a watery mess…guess she’s shorted-out and is ready for a dumpster…I finished my coffee prep with instant and boiling water. We’ll have to search for another coffee maker.

This will probably be our last day at the Palisades, Mom’s ready to move-on. I couple of young ladies drove-by our campsite yesterday evening asking if they could stay close to us…said the National Forest campsites they tried to access toward Yellowstone were closed due to a forest fire…I never thought of allowing them to stay in our driveway near our RV…there is plenty of room; instead, they stayed the night in the “Day Parking” site next to our location….I felt bad about not suggesting they stay with us in our lot as guest…these ladies out alone like this worry me…

Not sure what this day holds for us…I’m reading a book titled “Rattlesnake Lawyer” by Jonathan Miller; Mom’s got her jacket on…temps are cool…camera in-hand…preparing to capture whatever she can. I’ll take Duke and PePe for a jog in a bit…maybe take advantage of the cool, dry, air. It’s beautiful here…I’ve enjoyed my stay thus far. 

Later, I leashed PePe and Duke and we went for a nice jog up toward the highway and down a long gravel road…the dog’s were DONE, tired, as the heat began to filter in carried by the south wind. Returning from our jog, I visited with our neighbors briefly advising them we were headed into town for supplies and asked if they needed anything. Mom prepared the RV for travel and I took a cold shower…much needed.

Mom and I discussed the fire situation manifesting toward Yellowstone Park and noting the absence of places to stay in that area, we opted to extend our stay at the Palisades until the 28th of July. Mom has a “Sisters Reunion” in Colorado late next month, no since in straying past Montana and Wyoming when Colorado is immediately south of us.

Currently, we’re in Ennis, MT and Mom just finished her shopping in the Family Dollar on Hwy 287 and now she’s in the Madison Foods next door. We will probably search for a restaurant and grab a bite to eat. I need to find some mine fuses for the hot water heater’s control panel…I do hope that’s the problem. I may go ahead and purchase a inexpensive Zebco 404 rod and reel with some spinner bait and fish the Madison…it’s too beautiful and popular to not experience it.

I do apologize to my family for the absence of cellphone and Internet connection…I love you and I miss you.

Later, we stopped by a brewery in Downtown, Ennis and consumed a 16″ thin crust pizza…Mom had a “real” Coke…I had water as there was on iced tea but they’re very proud of their home brews; apparently, the beer is potent…intoxication was present and open container laws or carrying alcohol out of the bar is OK here. Also, I did purchase a Zebco 404 with some spinner bait for fun…we will see? Currently, we’re back at the RV sitting in the Ennis – Lyons Park (parking lot) sponsored by the Lyon’s Club…we’re near the Madison River as you enter Downtown, Ennis on 287 NB. We’ll catch up on some social media then head back “home” to the Palisades. Love and miss my family.

During our SB trip on 287 toward our RV site at the Palisades, we spotted a herd of Pronghorn deer in a field near Cameron, MT…we U-turned and Mom was able to capture some good photos…then we observed an Eagle or Osprey nesting atop an electric pole just north of the Palisades…we stopped on the shoulder and Mom captured some good photos of mother bird protecting her babies from an approaching rain storm. 

Upon our return to the Palisades, we refilled our fresh water tank and backed into position. I did some reading, Mom hunted with her camera…nightfall came too quickly and we prepared for bed. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 (Palisades Campground – Hwy 287 – Montana north of Yellowstone Park)

This morning we were forced out of bed by the fur-babies, somewhere around 6:40AM. We took the dogs out to do their bathroom business and I then attempted to make coffee; unfortunately, the generator is acting up again so I retrieved the necessary tools from storage and a new spark-plug for the generator I had purchased in Butte…I replaced the spark plug and manipulated the altitude sensor adjustment until the engine ran smooth. Yesterday, thankful to YouTube, I took the Multimeter and followed the instructions relevant to troubleshooting a hot water heater that is malfunctioning during ignition. Come to find out, the thermo-coupler on our water heater had gone bad; unfortunately, there are no RV suppliers in the area, maybe in Bozeman, MT. but that’s too far and out of the way to search for a replacement coupler; so then, by way YouTube, I learned that the coupler can be bypassed until one is located. At least Mom can enjoy a hot shower…even in warm weather, cold showers take effort. 

Later in the morning, Dennis, accompanied by “Al” from Colorado, came by the RV to see the Rock Chuck that is living in the rock canyon wall behind our RV. Al stayed for approximately 30-minutes but went back to his travel trailer in preparation for a drive to Utah. Dennis hung around and talked for about an hour or so and returned to his RV…Mom then prepared us a delicious brunch consisting of mixed-meat sandwiches, salad, chips, cherries and grapes. We’ve brought the fur-babies back into the RV…the weather is looking and sounding like an approaching storm…we’ve retracted the awning and may have to secure some outside lawn chairs and dog kennel. I am thankful for my Lord’s kindness, provisions, protection, love. It’s beautiful here!!! (1:20PM)

Subsequent to storm passage, Mom and I went back outside to relax with the fur-babies. Our next-door neighbors came by and we talked until dusk at which time Mom and I serviced the doggies and prepared for bed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (Day-trip from the Palisades to Quake Lake to West Yellowstone to Yellowstone Park)

We climbed out of bed around 6:15AM as the puppies wanted to go pee. It was too early to start the generator so Mom heated water on the stove top and I prepared coffee. We enjoyed our coffee at the table in the RV and I then took the boys for a good jog up the road…Duke is getting older and I’m afraid he’s having trouble completing these runs. Upon returning to the RV, Mom prepared us a delicious breakfast of cheesy eggs, toast, bacon, tomatoes. I then showered and prepared to head to Yellowstone Park.

Subsequent to checking the RV for road-worthiness, we left for Yellowstone around 9:30AM traveling SB on Hwy 287…not too far down the road, we observed a visitors center for Quake Lake…a horrifying earthquake in 1959 devastated the area and formed this beautiful lake…28-people lost their lives during the tragedy. I will share my videos of the area when and if I can find a WiFi with sufficient speed to upload the videos. Currently, we’re in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in West Yellowstone…drinking coffee and I’m eating a Quarter Pounder and Mom’s digesting a Big Mac…we’ll head into Yellowstone Park a little later.

Sylvia at Quake Lake, Montana
Quake Lake – Montana
Dedicated to those who lost their life in the earthquake
Quake Lake, Montana
Landslide area – Quake Lake
Quake Lake, Montana
Quake Lake, Montana

Leaving McDonald’s turning NB then EB onto Yellowstone (Hwy 20), we entered the Park…our America the Beautiful pass was accepted by the gracious female Park Ranger, we were given maps and information and entry was free. It was a beautiful day, mild temperatures, clear skies. Yellowstone is a BEAUTIFUL PARK but restrictive to RV’s and trailers on many of its turn-outs offering closer observation of certain features. Suffice to say, no one should pass through this life and not visit the following, 

  • Lower, MIdway, Upper, Geyser Basin – these areas reflect the incredible power and energy of our Earth’s core.
  • Old Faithful – patience is required but she does deliver. 
  • Mud Volcano – words don’t do it justice…a must see.
  • Hayden Vallen – replete with Bison…incredible views…a step back in history – birds galore.
  • Sulphur Caldron  
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – MY FAVORITE…one of the most beautiful geograhical phemona I’ve ever seen.
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River
  • Roaring Mountain

I hope to download videos/photos reflecting the beauty of Yellowstone Park. We have reserved our spot here in the Palisades until the 28th of July; when we enter Ennis later in the week for supplies, Mom hopes to schedule a campsite in Yellowstone Park for a couple of days before proceeding on to Cody, WY to view property. 

Old Faithful – Yellowstone National Park
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

We exited Yellowstone around 9:30-10:00PM…it was dark as we drove through West Yellowstone and proceeded NB on Hwy 191/287 to Hwy 287 toward Ennis, MT…in the dark, we passed the Palisades and had to U-turn…finally arriving “home” at 11:57PM…I drove as quiet as possible and turned off the headlights hoping to not disturb anyone. We managed to fill our fresh water tank and quietly backinto position. The dogs were quickly serviced, I gobbled down two hot dog in two-pieces of bread with cheese…we went to bed. It was a wonderful day at Quake Lake and Yellowstone! 

Our neighbors at the Palisades in Montana, Hwy 287

Thursday, July 22, 2021 (Palisades Campground – Madison River – Hwy 287 south of Cameron, MT)

We got out of bed around 7:40AM and I serviced the dogs while Mom dressed and babied a twisted right ankle from yesterday’s trip to Yellowstone. Mom twisted her ankle while exited the RV with MiMi on a leash…the surface was uneven as it transitioned from asphalt to gravel…she fell pretty hard…probably bruising her hip and injuring her right wrist as well…she appears to be doing “OK” this morning. 

I prepared us coffee while Mom prepared a wonderful breakfast of oatmeal and toast. There was some rain last night and WIND…this morning is cool, clear with a little smoke in the atmosphere, possibly from forest fires around Oregon or Idaho…that’s what I’ve been told. 

We’ll see what the day brings…my plans are to read, relax…not sure what Mom has planned, if anything. I want to fish some but I’m too cheap to pay for an out of state fishing license. 

I completed my book “Rattlesnake Lawyer” by Jonathan Miller…a “fun” book that is definitely worth a read. Rattlesnake Lawyer brought on pangs of regret for my failure to pursue a law degree.

Much of the evening was spent indoors as rain and cool, high winds, inundated the area. It’s days like this one where we miss the Internet and TV connection.

Our front yard at the Palisades near Cameron, Montana

Friday, July 23, 2021 (Palisades to Ennis, MT)

This morning we exited the bed at 7:10AM…I serviced the dogs and then prepared coffee. Mom prepared us a breakfast of eggs, bacon, bagels, delicious. I then took the boys for a nice jog in the cool, crisp, air while Mom showered and prepared the RV for a trip into town, Ennis, Montana.

Traffic Jam leaving the Palisades heading to Ennis, MT

Subsequent to my shower, we headed to Ennis and we both got a haircut by the lonely and only female barber (pregnant) in Ennis. We then purchased fuel and dumped our trash at the area Exxon; went by the Dollar Store to purchase some laundry detergent; we proceeded to the RV Park and dumped our waste-water; proceeded to the Propane Dealer and filled our tank; we then went to the local grocery and presently…we’re at the local laundromat washing clothes; afterward, we hope to locate some lunch-supper and maybe head back to the Palisades….we’ll see.

Once Mom was finished with the laundry, we opted, by recommendation from the barber in Ennis, to search-out the Ennis Bowling Lanes and Bistro…rumor was, they had very good food. I was under the impression that the Bistro was on Hwy 287 north of the laundromat so we proceeded NB…nothing but highway…so Mom found the Bistro on Google and guess what…it was in the same parking lot as the laundromat…so much for paying attention. We proceeded there, backed-in the RV and got on social media until 4PM when the restaurant re-opened after closing from 2PM-4PM after lunch. I turned on the generator to charge Mom’s computer that was almost dead and ultimately air condition the cabin for the dogs as we entered the Bistro for supper. The prices were outrageous but the pizza was at least affordable…so we ate whatever Mom selected along with two-teas….with tip, somewhere around $40 or $50-dollars…at least there were left-overs. 

After supper, Mom wanted to go see Ennis Lake…so we proceeded out 287 toward Bozeman for about 6-miles and took Ennis Lake Road…a pretty…clean…lake with an abundance of private and some commercial property on the east side. After a couple of miles of gravel road, I wanted to leave…Mom was a little frustrated with me but the area did not seem welcoming to RV’s and strangers…so we headed “home” to the Palisades. Arriving home, we refilled the RV with fresh water and positioned the RV for the evening. Our neighbors came over for a visit and admired our haircuts received in Ennis…the lady barber really did a great job on Mom’s hair…I got a military cut, #1 on the sides, 2” on top and this lady knew how to cut men’s hair…a military cut was not problem for her…quick and accurate. 

The neighbors stayed until dusk at which time we serviced the dogs and prepared for bed…the night temp’s got COLD and extra covers were needed…there was a beautiful blood full Moon in the southeastern sky…Mom took some excellent photos of it.

Saturday, July 24, 2021 (Palisades Campgrounds, Montana, Hwy 287 at the Madison River)

We climbed out of bed around 8AM this morning and quickly serviced the dogs who need “to go NOW!!!” The temperature was so COLD that I started the generator and Mom activated the cabin heater to break the chill…MiMi was shaking. I prepared us coffee while Mom made us some delicious pancakes…I had been wanting pancakes for some time…Mom came through. After breakfast, our neighbor visited with questions concerning Texas, Hwy 90, Amistad National Park as he and his wife will probably summer in Texas. Later, I extended the awning as the beautiful Sun was warming the day quickly…we put the dogs in the kennel and Duke is sleeping in the shade behind the RV…I did some reading in my new-used book “The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly…wished I had gone to law school…an interesting (so far) account of a defense lawyer’s personal and professional life in Los Angeles, CA and a murder case that affects him personally and professionally. 

At the moment, Mom is preparing left-over pizza and a salad for lunch…perhaps coffee afterwards…then…maybe more reading and relaxing. Apparently, the National Guard is running maneuvers this morning…three Blackhawks flew over earlier, low and fast through the Palisades over the river…got my blood to flowing…they were absolutely beautiful and the sound of those rotors flooded my memory of piloting. Looks like the pizza is done…bon appetit!

The evening was spent reading, on the Internet (I actually got connection sufficient to transmit) and visiting with our neighbors who came by seeking Mom’s assistance in locating the Rock Chuck…actually there are at least two in the rock ledge behind our RV. Before dark, we took the fur-babies for a walk and watched a woman enter the campgrounds in a pick-up truck pulling a fishing boat with a small outboard motor attached. We noticed that she drove through the area and was unable to locate an open campsite; this obviously angered her and she sped away and eventually approached Mom and I walking along the roadway. I stopped her as I noticed a young girl in the right-front seat and advised the woman that she was welcome to stay the night in the “day parking” section next to our RV. She had been driving Idaho and was very tired; I also noticed that the woman was either highly intoxicated on alcohol or meth…she was very vulgar, angry, tatted-up…but polite toward us and thanked us for the offer…she was angry that Montana was so full of tourists and rejected our offer stating that she would proceed down to Ruby Campgrounds north of our location and maybe find a place to park there. 

Returning to the RV, we prepared for bed…the night turned cool but sleep was intermittent.

Sunday, July 25, 2021, (Palisades Campground – Hwy 287 – Madison River, Montana)

We got up a little after 7AM and Mom took the dogs outside while I prepared coffee. I successfully got-in a little reading while drinking my coffee; Mom went to the river and searched for birds frequenting the area about 150-yards north of our RV. Later, I took the boys for a good jog and upon returning, Mom had prepared an excellent breakfast of eggs, potatoes, and fruit. It’s now 9:53AM and the weather is absolutely beautiful, clear-mild-sunny. Mom’s outside talking with a neighbor…I’m going to try and connect to the Internet and debate the Bible…it’s “uncomfortable” not being in my Lord’s house on this Sunday morning.  

The afternoon was spent reading and relaxing while Mom visited with the neighbors and searched for wildlife photo opportunities. The day passed much too quickly in the beautiful weather with the sound of the Madison River to calm the soul…Later, Mom prepared us late supper of oatmeal…the night was cool and sleep was good.

Monday, July 26, 2021, (Palisades Campground, Cameron, Montana)

We slept in this morning and got out of bed close to 8AM…Mom serviced the dogs, I prepared coffee. I spent much of my morning reading while Mom showered and later took some photo’s of wildlife. I found it necessary to give Duke a good shower…He stunk-dirty boy…and Duke’s presently in the cage outside drying in the warm temperatures. Mom’s cleaning the kitchen, the fur-babies are asleep around me…I’m thankful for my Lord’s kindness.

I spent most of the day reading an excellent crime novel and talking with Mom about our travels and hopeful destinations. Mom gave the fur-babies a haircut and we discussed our plans for hitting the road on Wednesday morning. Mom prepared hot dogs for lunch and they were so delicious that we opted to finish them off for supper as well. What a blessing! Currently, the babies are outside in the cage and Duke is on the floor of the RV near me, asleep. I think Mom’s out hunting for wildlife pictures while I watch dusk creep in around the RV…we’ve had a wonderful time at the Palisades in Montana, I will miss this place. Love my family, goodnight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 (Palisades, MT to Yellowstone Park, WY to Newton Creek Campgrounds, WY, Hwy 20, 14, 16 in Wyoming)

Tuesday morning after coffee, I took the boys for a jog and upon returning, Mom was ready to hit the road…even though we were paid-up through tonight. I opted to prepare the RV for travel by checking the tire pressure and performing a general inspection of the vehicle. We topped off our fresh water and backed back into our campsite, we showered, Mom washed dishes and prepared us some breakfast. Subsequent to saying goodbye to our neighbors, Lupe and Keith, we topped the fresh water tank off and exited the Palisades SB on Hwy 287 to 191 toward West Yellowstone. In West Yellowstone, Mom purchased us two large coffees from McDonald’s and we then entered Yellowstone Park via the West Entrance then taking the southern road passing Old Faithful and ultimately exiting the Park through the east exit toward Cody, WY…a beautiful drive thorough Sylvan Pass entering the Shoshone National Forest…this area is a must see!

Lupe and Keith Osborn

Continuing EB on Hwy 20/16/14, with evening rapidly approaching, I wanted to find a place to camp before nightfall. Highway 20 is inundated with camping opportunities so we opted to make use of the Newton Creek Campgrounds. Subsequent to leveling the RV, the dogs were serviced, fed, watered…and Mom took some photo’s of the creek and mountains behind our campsite. Mom then prepared us some sandwiches for supper; afterwards, we prepared for bed; unfortunately, it was too HOT to sleep…the Park had restrictions relevant to noise, generator noise, after 10PM but it was only 8:30PM at that time…I started the generator, activated the air conditioning…we cooled-off for a while. Subsequent to turning off the air, we had a difficult time getting to sleep due to the still, hot, air temperature. Sometime after midnight the temperature cooled slightly, I got a little sleep, Mom’s sleep was intermittent; also, Hwy 20 was only 100-yards +- to our north so traffic noise added to the sleeplessness…illegally loud, illegally equipped motorcycles, especially Harley products, run rampant here… we woke up tired…at least I did.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 (Newton Campgrounds, WY to Cody, WY)

We got out of bed this morning at 6:15AM, the dogs were serviced, Mom boiled water on the stove (to not activate the generator) and I prepared coffee. A whitetail deer and her fawn entered the park near our campsite and Mom pursued photos…I enjoyed my coffee with MiMi in my lap. Subsequent to coffee, we prepared the RV for travel…Mom stowed the leveling blocks, I took trash to the area dumpster and we hit the road at 8:15AM, EB on Hwy 20. This area of Wyoming is inundated with the most unusual mountain formations…they must be observed to be understood and appreciated…unique and beautiful.

Continuing EB on Hwy 20, we passed through the small town of Wapiti then Buffalo Bill State Park, the Reservoir, the Dam, the tunnels…absolutely beautiful. Soon after exiting Buffalo Bill State Park, we entered Cody, WY and pulled into the area Walmart. Mom is currently in the store shopping for supplies…I’m baby-sitting the dogs…we hope to see some property Mom’s interested in around the Cody area…we will see.

From Walmart, we crossed Yellowstone Street (Hwy 20 through Cody) and Mom purchased Duke a bed from Tractor Supply. From there, we drove to “Our Place Cafe” for breakfast…the cost of prepared food in these communities adjacent to parks, lakes, rivers, is ridiculous…I miss the price of food in Arkansas. Currently, we’re sitting in the “Our Place Cafe” parking lot while Mom checks for property in Wyoming…possibly another dead-end in this bloated real estate market.

Leaving Cody, WY, we opted to head northeast on ALT 14 to Deaver, WY and look at 130-acres for sale near the Montana State Line. Using directions from the real estate agent, we found NOTHING and what we did find was inundated with trash/salvage cars, active oil wells, rough gravel roads and the odor of sulfur. We opted to take a back road to the Deaver Reservoir where we found a camping site on/near the shoreline…nothing to write home about…just a small lake but the wind is blowing out of the south with sufficient velocity to keep the flying insects on the run and maybe sufficient to cool the temps tonight for some restful sleep. There are mountains to the south but the terrain reminds me more of far west Texas or New Mexico…not that pretty. There are presently three or four campers in the area but we’re spread a good distance apart…much better than your average campground…we’ll see how things go.

We’ve positioned the RV, leveled it, very close to a covered picnic table, the dogs have been watered, fed, and Mom is preparing us some supper…there appears to be a variety of birds in the area…maybe Mom will keep busy with the camera. Wanted my family to know our current location…we may be here a night, two-or-three…right now we have access to AT&T’s hotspot…not sure if I can transmit. Love you guys. Time to eat.

Before dark, I too the boys for a walk down the gravel road that apparently intersects a hardtop road to our north as I can hear the sound of traffic in the distance. Mom took the girls to sandy beach of the reservoir and captured some wildlife in their evening routine. At 9:30PM, I was ready for bed seeing that the previous night’s sleep was destroyed by the hot temperatures. Sleep was pretty good, the air cooled somewhat but wildlife around the water and our RV did make the night interesting…growling-eating-arguing.

Thursday, July 29, 2021 (Deaver Reservoir, Wyoming)

We got out bed around 7AM…dogs were serviced and coffee prepared. Our RV is not really prepared for boon-docking seeing that we’re down to a half-tank of fuel, our black water shows full, grey is two-thirds, potable is two-thirds…maybe a day or two and we’ll have to hit the road. There is some property in Lovell, south of us, that Mom wants to see. Mom prepared us a breakfast of eggs, onions, toast, a fresh peach…with our coffee. The light breeze off of the lake is pleasant and once this food settles a bit, I’ll take the boys for a jog. Things are very quiet…peaceful…I’m thankful to my Lord for His kindness.

Later in the morning I took the boys for jog around the lake. Mom and I spend a good part of the day online…Mom searched for properties, I defended my Lord’s Gospel in debate forums. The Deaver area received some steady rain for the afternoon; in fact, Mom got caught out that rain while photographing bird life on the lake. Just before dark, we took the babies for a walk in the comfortable post-rain air. Sleep was good for me, Mom had some difficulty with the intermittent pungent sulfur odor in the air.

Friday, July 30, 2021 (Deaver Reservoir to the open road)

We woke up about 7:30 to shuffling of dogs wanting to pee. Mom serviced the babies, I prepared coffee. Mom’s preparing a breakfast of oatmeal, toast..we will see what the day brings. We’re going to make another attempt at locating the property for sale positioned on Lane 5 1/2 between Deaver and Frannie on Hwy 310. From there, another property of interest is in Lovell. We need to service the RV with fresh water, dump our waste and find some propane.

Just prior to entering Lovell, we stopped for fuel…Mom located a city park within Lovell that offers free RV dump/potable water fill…we went directly there and serviced the RV; afterwards, I drove to Lovell’s City Hall and spoke with representatives in the administration office thanking them for the RV service facilities. After leaving Lovell City Hall, we drove to view a property a few miles south of the City near Lovell Lake; unfortunately, the access road was in terrible condition and not worth risking damage to the RV to view. Heading SB on Hwy 310, we entered the City of Greybull…a tourist town for those headed to Yellowstone Park on Hwy 14/20. In Greybull’s Downtown District, Mom and I ate some mediocre Mexican food, Mom purchased some honey from a local honey bee collector, we then continued SB on Hwy 16/20 through Basin; in Manderson the GPS took us to Rd. 433 SB to Worland then 16/20 into Thermopolis (Hot Springs – video) then SB on Hwy 20 through a beautiful canyon (video) to Shoshoni then EB on Hwy 20 where we ran into some rain and wind storms…at “Hell’s Half-Acre” (Video) (on Hwy 20 between Waltmon and Powder River) I initially passed it but was able to U-turn on the Highway…returning to Hell’s Half-Acre (video) we opted to position the RV in a safe place, checking the area for any camping restrictions and finding none…we parked with the intent of boon-docking and waiting out the bad weather. If we’re not told to leave by County or State authorities…we’ll remain here tonight…hopefully the weather will improve before morning.

Saturday, July 31, 2021 (Hell’s Half-Acre to Alcova, WY)

The night turned comfortably cool…we went to bed a little before 9PM as darkness is approaching earlier and earlier now…the tourists began thinning out and as the night progressed, Hwy 20 became almost silent…sleep was good. We got out of bed around 6AM and immediately serviced the dogs…I prepared coffee and currently, Mom’s preparing some breakfast. Soon, we will head EB on Hwy 20 toward Casper, WY and turn SB on 220 toward Alcova. I hope the weather cooperates; currently, the skies are overcast, temps are in the upper 60’s…not a fan of driving into storms in these plains states…unpredictable.

Subsequent to breakfast, we prepared the RV for travel and exited Hell’s Half-Acre around 8AM heading EB on 20 toward Casper. The weather was cool, in the 50’s, traffic was light and as we entered Casper I observed a Conoco station advertising fuel prices at $3.19 a gallon…I foolishly passed it by thinking there would be an abundance of fueling stations en route to Alcova where our target real estate was located; unfortunately, as we drove around on the bypass of Casper and turned SB on Hwy 220, the fuel prices began to steadily rise. We ran into rain on Hwy 220 but the traffic did not slow…I was driving in the wind and rain maintaining between 55-60MPH but the traffic recklessly passed at 70-90MPH…we were almost rear-ended by a truck/tractor-tanker as we prepared to turn onto the street in Alcova where our search for the real estate target would be initiated. 

Following the directions of the investment company located in Houston, we searched for the 40-acres for sale in some of the most beautiful terrain we’ve seen on our trip thus far…the Alcova rock formations and multiple reservoirs, their beauty, is beyond description; unfortunately, we could not locate the exact property we were searching for and after a slow trek for miles through the mountains, we opted to take an alternate route back NB and get fuel at a Sinclair station on Hwy 220 and begin our search again; this time, prepared to boon-dock in the thousands of acres of BLM land in the area…but…Biden’s fuel prices continued to rise and the Sinclair station wanted to rip me off on fuel seeing that they were the only option for many miles around; so then, we opted to turn SB on 220, intersect Hwy 789/287 and head toward Rawlins, WY for fuel and supplies. Entering Rawlins, WY…the lowest fuel price was $3.47 at Walmart…still too high…so I opted to head WB on I-80 toward Rock Springs then turn SB on 191 into Utah…but…the fuel prices escalated…Pilot was $3.88 a gallon…I was ANGRY…Mom did a fuel check and there was a steady decline in fuel prices heading east…so, I U-turned and headed back to Rawlin’s and paid for fuel at Walmart. Mom shopped for supplies while I serviced the dogs. We then drove to McDonald’s and Mom purchased us some lunch which we consumed in the RV while deciding where we go from there. In the parking lot adjacent to McDonald’s, there is a Tractor Supply. I went by the TC and filled with propane and potable water from their hose. Mom and I then opted to head toward Medicine Bow National Forest south of I-80 and east of Saratoga, Wyoming. 

We headed EB on I-80 and turned SB on Hwy 130 eventually veering EB on 130 and entering the National Forest. We drove through two campgrounds on Forest Road 100 but neither were acceptable…too many people…camping sites too close together…so we opted to drive up the mountain toward the Turpin Resivoir…about 17-miles north then east up the mountain. At around 9200+ feet elevation and miles of rough gravel road, we found the Reservoir…it was cold, windy…there were some fishermen there…we opted to leave the Reservior and head WB until finding a nice place to set-up camp/boon-dock at just a little over 9200-9300 feet elevation…beautiful trees and a babbling brook next to our RV. The dogs were serviced, I walked the area to check things out…we were alone! Yes!

Temperatures at this elevation were in the 50’s, overnight I guess they dropped to the lower 40’s; maybe, the upper 30’s…sleep was pretty good.

Sunday, August 1, 2021 (Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming)

We got out of bed around 7AM to a clear, COLD, sunny morning. Mom let the dogs out to pee while I dressed. Approximately 40-yards to the left-rear of our RV near the babbling brook of water, a handsome bull-Moose was feeding in the grass on the hillside. Mom was very excited…photo’s taken. I attempted to video the Moose but my camera’s battery was dead…my fault. I prepared us some coffee and Mom prepared breakfast. The dogs are relaxing around us….shaking from the cold…Mom’s prepared herself for a day of photo-taking…I will take the boys for a jog in a bit…after coffee. 

August 2 – 3, 2021 (Medicine Bow National Forest to Rawlin’s, WY)

I’ll combine the 2nd and 3rd of August as we had no connection at our boon-docking site on the mountain and my Goggle Doc program was malfunctioning which I use to make notes when we’re unable to connect via our hotspot. Our time on the Mountain in Medicine Bow was wonderful. Mom and I took a number of extended hikes in the lush, beautiful, forest. Mom was successful in capturing some excellent video and photo’s of wildlife…especially the awesome moose in the area. Today, 8/3, it rained overnight and for most of the morning but that did not stop Mom…she went into the forest adjacent to the RV and located some excellent photo’s of two-bull-moose. Later, we opted to give the property in Alcova another shot now that Mom has downloaded a Long/Lat app on her phone.

American Dipper
Ground Squirrel
Print in Rock (Medicine Bow)