Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Year of the smoke

We will remember this summer for sure.  Every day the same: smoke.  As we left Columbia Falls Tues. more smoke.

Common stork's-bill

Bison Range Nature Preserve

Found a few spots that weren't smokey.

We have several days of daily travel to get to our next destination, although tonight we will spend 2 nights at Craters of the Moon National Monument.  By destination, I mean where we stay several nights.  Every night is a destination as there's always something near to see or do if we choose to.

Monday was kind of a bummer.  I had a stomach bug and had to skip the art gallery of Michael G. Booth, Artist of Glacier National Park.  Another artist I would never be able afford!  Also I was sorry I didn't get to explore Columbia Falls further.

Spent Tuseday at the Butte, Montana KOA.  Feeling much better, but it was a 240 mile day so we didn't leave the campground to explore.  Zoom night with the Bostonians which is always fun!  Cyrus had a newly constructed lego vehicle to share.  Enjoyed hearing about their labor day block party and the air show they went to in Maine. I would like to see the Blue Angel's sometime.  Pat said I would probably sleep through it (Samira fell asleep and missed that part).  Sadly, Pat is probably right! 😴

We left Butte this morning and not only is it visible, but even with the windows closed and fan off you can smell the smoke!  Your nose gets use to it so you don't realize how bad or unhealthy it is some days.

Our Lady of the Rockies is a 90' statue outside of Butte on the Continental Divide.  Tours have ceased for this year.

The smoke didn't do much for the statue which was visible from the KOA. 

KOA Butte, MT

You could buy a bag of dirt/rocks at the KOA to sluice for gems.

A strip mine across from the KOA.  Once known for it's gold, silver, and copper mining Butte was called the "Richest Hill on Earth."

Unlike many RV Park's, KOAs welcome tents, and offer a variety of camping options.  Camping Cabins can come with a variety of amenities. 

As the sun was fading we played a game of checkers.   Pat was black.

Studying his move!

Then finished me off.

I think I've said before we don't stay at KOA's often.  They are usually too pricey and we don't need all of their extras.  We will be at a few coming up because there aren't a lot of other campgrounds on our route in this remote area.  The one at Butte had a basic electric/water site for $35 which wasn't bad.  Lots of fun things if you had kids!  As with most, I think the heated pool closed after Labor Day.

Wednesday, another long day of 240 miles. Pat said our drive today, straight and flat, seems like Kansas, except for the mountain views, which are covered by smoke.☹  Coming into Idaho on I15 it looks more like hills than mountains (not sure which they are) and covered with grass.  Haven't seen that in a while.  Still the road is straight and seems flat.

In an hour the windshield, or my viewing area, was covered with bugs.

Clark County? Reservoir

A rest area near Lima, MT.

Many rest areas have dog walks and some have a fenced in off-leash area.  First one I've seen with dog runs, although they were very sunny. 

At the Lima exit.  Not sure I would be too excited about "grub."

This ranch was also at the Lima exit.  Can you imagine living with this in your backyard?

These look more like hills, but they actually have grass.

Targhee National Forest.  Lots of smoke and grass but not many trees until now.

Even came across a desert.
Just a few miles from Arco we came across a state highway paint truck stuck across the road while trying to turn around.  They had to move the truck on the left and take the fork lift off the back of the paint truck so we and another trailer could get around.

Where are the Piepers now?  Arco, ID

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