I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 2:36 AM GMT on August 21, 2014
Monday morning I was getting ready to leave Metaline. The day before I noted there was a camper parked behind me. This had not been the case since I arrived. So now I had to move the RV to get the tow dolly accessible. Not a big deal, and it was done.
Then Tori came up and I wanted to thank her for the nice experience. A great camping experience. Easy, no pressure attitude. No page of rules. They have been there for many years, and I met several campers who were always returning often with groups. Seems like a nice business.
But I finally (OK, had to pull out the BIG ROAD MAP for Tori, and that took some time) got on the road. I headed south to Newport, then turned east to Sandpoint. I was on RT 2 for a while. Then I headed southeast on RT 200. It started out bad with road construction. Stop and sit road construction. Locals making u-turns road construction. When it finally got moving the speed limit was 45 mph for many miles, due to possible road construction at any moment.
But the scenery was spectacular. Water off to my right turned from the omnipresent river turned to a huge lake or reservoir, at some point called Lake Pend Oreille with some big islands here and there. Bigger than I expected, wide expanses of water and a few boats. Finally the road opened up, with a 70 mph limit. I hung around 60 or just under.
The only other issue was a few hundred bikers riding along RT 200, which has very little off of the actual lane to ride on. So I was always having to go into the other lane to go around, only to find another pack a quarter mile down the road. And REPEAT. This was a surprisingly busy road, so as I was trying to pass there was usually some car or cars coming the other direction very fast.
But generally it was all good.
Now I am in Birdland RV in Thompson Falls, Montana. Still a smaller town, but not like the recent places I have been. It is very nice here, with nice campsites separated by 75 by 50 foot areas of natural forest. Perfect for Dutchie.
Then there are the trains. I read somewhere there were around 4 trains during the day and a couple at night. More like a dozen in 24 hours FLASH BAZBO. There are a couple at night, around midnight, then that 5:03 AM bad boy. They hit the horns at the closest possible position to my ear. Still, it is not that bad, unless I was working and needing quality ZZZs.
Yesterday I went to play my 690th golf course played. Rivers Bend. I could walk to it. Nine holes carved out of 100 foot tall pines. Nice condition. Small yet sloping greens. Buncha deer. I checked weather radar before I left, just to do it. It looked fine out the window. The radar showed nothing except a couple widely scattered small storms.
When I got there a guy I did not know asked me what I knew about those clouds coming over the mountain. I told him I checked radar recently and we are GO. He went ahead of me, and all was well for three holes. At that point I heard thunder coming from THOSE clouds, and I saw rainfall coming from the clouds still off in the distance. I called up to him (and his wife) that I saw rain coming. He said he would play one more hole and make a decision. That hole took him to the farthest point from the clubhouse.
He went on, and I followed. The squall front came through and wind was whipping. I was on the tee and decided to hit one more shot and see what happened. I striped a nice drive for the first time of the day, then the air horns were blasting. The lady in the pro shop was warning golfers of lightning. She blasted the horn again. No problem, as I was just a hundred yards away from the clubhouse, versus that guy and his wife now about 600 yards out. I even was able to ride out and grab my ball and return to the safety of the clubhouse, just as the rain came. And it came in SHEETS, along with a lot of lightning and thunder.
I waited with a lot of other folk as the rain slowly stopped. But the course was saturated, and I took the offer of the rain check. I could return and play nine. I did that today, and played pretty badly.
Right now I am outside with the iMac and Dutchie as the sun goes down. Last night the rain returned. A nice storm came in late night night and lasted most of the night. One of the local guys said the rain is unusual, but that is mainly what I have seen since I got here.
I have been watching a guy and lady set up there camp near me. It is a pickup truck that has a platform above the trucks bed and cabin, on stilts. On that platform is a typical tent. It is about 8 feet off the ground, and looks like it belongs ON the ground. Will post pictures.
Debating about driving 2 hours to Spokane and getting a TV setup, or hold off. Labor Day is approaching, need to make some plans. This place right now is perfect, except for no TV for a month…
The sandals are staying.
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