Much to my surprise and delight, my daughter and son-in-law were excited about joining me in a camping trip to NE Montana. Since I was continuing my trip from there, I followed their van, setting up the first night 7 miles off Rte #2 in the Flathead National Forest. Mosquitoes weren’t bad and it was a perfect night for a campfire. It was nice having company and I’ll tell you the “rest of the story” in my November column on Glacier National Park.
After a week of outstanding scenery, I was on my own again and headed south on Route #93 to visit friends Terry and Hank. They live ten miles beyond electricity on Idaho’s Salmon River near the River of No Return Wilderness. Thanks to an enormous bank of huge batteries and the sun, they live pretty much as most of us do. They have a washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave and all the other household amenities, all run by solar power with occasional generator use when necessary. It seems appropriate that this is in Lewis and Clark stomping grounds and in fact, they drove me up to Lemhi Pass where the “Corps of Discovery” passed through. I take credit for bringing this couple together at Life on Wheels many years ago and I find their history so fascinating that it will be my February, 2010 Valentine’s story.
I wandered in Montana’s mountain country and across northern Wyoming. One night as I finished putting up the tent in a NF campsite, a wind gust pinned the tent, fly, and me to the car as it attempted to whisk the whole kit and caboodle to the land of Oz. I couldn’t pound the stakes into the rocks so I used big rocks to anchor the tent corners. The storm hit just as I hauled the last necessities and myself inside. It was cozy in my sleeping bag, reading by flashlight as the rain poured.
If I hadn’t already enjoyed Yellowstone National Park many times, I would have gone regardless of the threatening weather. Instead I made a beeline across the rest of WY, SD, MN, and into WI.
God Bless until next time.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”