26th trip – days 132-134, Aug 27-29, 2021 Ponderosa Uinta National Forest, Nebo Loop, Nephi, UT
A few days before this camping trip, I had an MRI on my brain. The neurologist is trying to figure out the cause of my intense headaches, dizziness, and vertigo. I was glad Kevin and I were able to go on this camping trip because the place just makes you rest and relax with all the beauty. This picture grabs me in a lot of ways. I see the colors of Autumn starting to pop out. The trees are reaching towards the sky, some straight and some bent from the weight of snow when it was a young sapling. I see a stream slowly meandering down the mountain yet reflecting what is seen above it. I see a road and wonder where it leads. I see a missing bridge and puzzle at what it might have been made out of.
When we pulled into the campground, the camp host said we had reserved a site but he thought we would like a different one. He said to have a look at both. Well, he was absolutely correct. The one he suggested was off the road, very large, and bordered along the water.
On one of our walks we found this bit of history.
This small section is called “Mini Bryce Canyon”.
Kevin adds: While camping, our neighbor was trying out various boondocking things. His solar panels were not charging his devices very well. I wanted to test out my new generator, so we combined forces. My generator got some run time, and he got his devices charged. I like our generator. It does a great job. The only problem is that it is LOUD. It is especially loud in an idyllic location like we were in. I might not have minded so much if were were in a very remote location, and not a campground.
Back to Charla: there is just something about old fences that makes me want to capture them in photography. This photo is from our campsite looking at the water. A very enjoyable place to be.
25th trip – days 129-131, Aug 20-22, 2021 Provo Canyon “Resort”, Wallsburg, UT
As I mentioned in the last post, I started getting headaches and very dizzy. The headaches were debilitating. Along with the dizziness, I was getting vertigo while laying down. Two days before this camping trip, I went to the doctor. He referred me to get an MRI.
I didn’t write anything in my travel blog for this trip. I just didn’t feel well enough. But I was able to snap a few pictures. I was glad to be out in the beauty and nature. I figured, headache and dizziness at home or headache and dizziness out in the beauty of nature. 🙂
Kevin cooked delicious steaks and veggies on the Black Stone.
24th trip – days 126-128, Aug 13-15, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT
We picked this campground because Kevin is on call this weekend and we know the internet is great here. When we were here before, we enjoyed the luxurious campground and the adults-only heated swimming pool and hot tub.
Friday, 08/13/21 Got a little later start this evening due to Kevin needing to do some more things for work. But that was just fine; didn’t bother us at all. We knew we were camping pretty close to home. Ah, this place is luxury personified. 🙂 Lots of green grass, picnic tables and our site backs up to beautiful trees with great shade. When we checked in, Kevin asked if there were any entertainment things going on this weekend. She said, no, because the guy who does it (setting up the movies, for example) broke his collar bone and some ribs. Ouch! Poor guy. While I was helping Kevin back in to our site, a worker driving a golf cart came up and started talking to me. I said, “I am deaf, please talk to him.” I was using our walkie talkie and so Kevin knew what was going on. The guy said they had two trailers booked for this spot and to wait. I saw the second trailer behind him. So we waited in the road for a few minutes. Then he came back and said everything is fine, He misread the paper and the other trailer goes in F3, we are in F2. No problem at all. He was very nice. We got backed in no problems. The F3 trailer is from Sandy and they are here for their boy’s 8th birthday, Grandparents were coming over to celebrate. We ate a simple meal of pasta salad that I made this morning. We also had a roll with it. We realized that we didn’t bring Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke and there was only 1 each in the fridge. After reading and playing on our laptops for awhile, we drove 5 minutes away to Walmart. As we went to check out, we saw there was 0 cashiers and no check out lanes open. Not one! The line of people was waiting for the self check out. How weird is that?! Of course we didn’t have cold drinks, so a stop at Maverick was a must. Kevin said inside there was only one person working. Made us wonder, is there not enough people working at Walmart and Maverick? Must be due to Covid. Back to HOWE, we sat in the shade under the trees at the back of the site and property. We didn’t feel like swimming but plan to tomorrow.
Saturday 08/14/21 I had been feeling dizzy at times. It seems to be getting worse. Sometimes I have to take a step to the side to balance myself. Today we just rested. Kevin was on call and ending up on the phone for quite a while to help out some people. I enjoyed the time reading.
For lunch we went to Chick’s Cafe. My dad drives 40 minutes to eat here a couple of times. He said the Chicken Fried Steak is delicious. I tried it and he is right.
We ended up not swimming. The campsite next to us had a boy who was turning 8 and he was having a party with his family and friends. One of the family friends had to leave quickly because Parley’s Canyon caught and fire and they lived near there. Later, the parents offered us food and cake and ice cream. They said they had plenty because so many had to leave to check on the fire. They were so very nice. We had just eaten. Kevin cooked sausages, peppers, onions, and zucchini on the griddle. I was too full for dessert but Kevin had some. 🙂
Sunday 08/15/21 I woke up at 5:00 AM with severe vertigo. I ended up sitting up in bed and not moving my head at all until the sun came up. I felt nauseous, too. Thankfully, I didn’t throw up. We headed home around 11:00 am.
23rd trip – days 123-125, Aug 6-8, 2021 Gladstan Golf Course, Payson, UT
Friday 08/06/21 What a find! Who knew you some golf courses have an RV campground. The golf course restaurant is where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner 32 years ago! It was brand new. It has an amazing view of the valley but we can’t see it because the wildfire smoke from CA & OR have made this area “the worse air on the entire planet” according to the news this morning. 😦 We followed the instructions on our confirmation that said to check in at the Golf Pro Shop. So we went there. The parking lot was tight for HOWE (our 26 ft travel trailer, Home On WhEels) but Kevin made it fine. He went to check in and a worker met him outside and said, “You followed the instructions on the internet, right?” Laugh. Well, he said, you don’t have to check in at the shop, just go down the road, past the church, turn down the dead end road and it is there. We call that “farmer’s directions.” We found the dead end road, went to the end that was a cul-de-sac and not a campground. Turned around (thankfully it was big enough for one turn) and found a gravel side road. Up the hill and as we crested it, we saw the campground. It looks new and only 2 other trailers here. We are in the middle of the golf course, next to the pond. Green gorgeous grass everywhere. We sat outside and watched the golfers. Kevin can even hear them talking. One of the rules here we have to be quiet during the day so as not to disturb the golfers. Well, Kevin said he hears all sorts of the worst swear words from some of the golfers! Maybe they need a rule, too. 🙂 We got set up and then drove a few miles to Mi Rancherito in Payson. It is a favorite Mexican restaurant. We got right in and got a nice corner seat by the water fountain. However, it took a long time to get our food. It did’t bother us because we had a great time visiting with each other and eating chips and salsa. We know a lot of places are short staffed due to Covid. The food was delicious, as always. Chicken enchiladas and tacos. On the way driving down through Spanish Fork, we saw that this weekend is the Utah County Fair. Kevin and I looked up the schedule to see if there is anything we are interested in. We found antique tractor pull for tomorrow. We think that will be fun. Kevin suggested we invited Mom & Dad for Dad’s birthday which is next week. I texted them and they said that sounds like a lot of fun, yes, they would go. After dinner, we came back to HOWE and relaxed outside. I watched a golfer hit a ball in front of us. I remembered that Kevin and I had talked about how hard it is to see the ball and how do cameras on TV always follow it. Anyway, as this guy hit it, I tried to follow the ball but couldn’t see it. All of a sudden, I see a huge “kur-plop” in the pond! HAHA The ball went into the water. I looked at Kevin and he looked at me and we started laughing so hard. But, of course, the guy is so close to us that he could probably hear us so we were trying not to laugh out loud…which made us laugh even harder. We were crying we were laughing so hard, trying to hold it in. 🙂 We saw more than 25 deer walk right in front of us, eating grass and leaves from the trees.
Saturday 08/07/21 After a great night sleep, and sleeping in, we sat outside. At 10:30, we left to meet Mom & Dad and brother for an early lunch. Dad said he wanted to meet for lunch before the tractor pull and since it is his birthday week, we had him decide. They wanted to know all about our Glacier trip. Off to the fairgrounds we went. It is free. We sat in the grandstand and seriously, there was us and one other couple in the entire grandstand! Nice. It was fun to watch the tractors. It ended at 2:00 and we parted ways. We decided to drive Nebo Loop, Payson Canyon to Nephi. Very pretty. We both commented that Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier had nothing on this road. This one has drop offs with no stones/boards/rails and the landscape is stunning with tall mountains, green pine trees, white aspen trees, grass, wildflowers, and bushes. And smoke. 😦 We couldn’t see the view of the valley but that is fine. It made it a unique beauty. At one point, we decided to take the road that goes down Santaquin Canyon. This road immediately turned to gravel. We saw campers tucked up in the trees along the way. The road got a bit rough like it hadn’t been maintained for a long time. From the top to Santaquin is 11 miles. After driving 1/2 hour, we came to a “road closed” sign. We couldn’t believe it. The gate was open on one side so we stopped and asked a guy who was parked near and getting ready to hike. He said the road was definitely closed just a bit farther down and had been since the big fire. A mud slide (due to vegetation being burned away) had wiped out the road completely and hadn’t been rebuilt. Hum, I think there should have been a sign at the top of this road. So we turned around, laughing all the way and enjoying the scenery from the other direction. 🙂 Back to the top and we verified there was no sign. Back on the main road, we continued our way through Nephi Canyon. We got into several traffic jams…the “traffic” being cows in the road. This is grazing country and it is fun to see them just moseying along. We decided to drive back on I-15. We picked up burgers, English chips, and shakes at Polar Queen in Payson and took it back to HOWE. We ate outside, enjoying watching the golfers.
Sunday 08/08/21 We took our time getting awake and packed up. This is a great campground and the whole time, there was only us and then two others on the far side. A very beautiful and unique spot to camp.
Last part of our vacation trip Glacier National Park.
Thursday 07/29/21 Slept in and then got all packed up. I looked at the map and we decided to go east on I-90 for a ways and then head south, following the Lewis and Clark trail. Oh, we are glad we took this route and it only added about 15 minutes or so. We aren’t in a rush so this was nice.
We found a historical site and stopped. So glad we did because this told of how this whole Beaverhead area got its name. The Indians named a rock formation Beaverhead because that is what it looked like to them. This became a marker for Indians and later other people as to where to go when they reached it.
We drove on to Dillon and to our campground. It is a former KOA with nice lots and green grass. Outside on the door was taped everyones name and site number on a campground info paper. We drove to our pull through and set up under a nice shady tree. The gravel site was a little unlevel and we had to add a block or two under the wheels on one side. Kevin and I debated how many blocks we would need. I thought it was good enough but he thought one. So we put one down and Kevin drove HOWE on it. I looked at the level on the bumper of HOWE and saw it was perfectly level. I can’t have this because he is right! So I grabbed a pebble and put it under one side of the level. Then I stood in front of that side as Kevin came back to check. The look on his face was so funny! “How can that be? Completely bubble off?” HAHA I couldn’t help it and started laughing as I moved away. He chased me and tickled me. Note: the next stop, he looked for pebbles under the level. 🙂
By this time it was 12:30 and I was hungry. We took our picnic lunch a mile down the road to Clark’s Lookout State Park. There wasn’t much there but we read a few signs and then walked a small trail to the top. You can see for miles, if there wasn’t wildfire smoke. The signs talked about how detailed Clark was with his maps and the equipment he had with him to know where he was (compass, sextant, etc.). They also had a Log Line but didn’t use it much. Sailors would use this to see how fast they were going. A log line had a piece of wood with a rope. The rope had “knots” at certain intervals. The rope was fastened to the ship and the wood and rope thrown overboard. As the line got pulled in the water, the sailer would count the number of knots that went past in 30 seconds. The time was done with a sand glass. Thus, the speed in “knots”. After this, we stopped in at the local visitor center. We got some pamphlets for later. Then it was back to HOWE to write in the travel journal and relax. Dinner was eaten outside on the picnic table – rotisserie chicken and fresh string beans. Yum.
Friday 07/30/21 We didn’t wake up until 9:15. Kevin offered to “cook” this morning. Nice. That means McDonalds. We haven’t been able to cook outside at all this entire trip due to the thick wildfire smoke. It grosses us out to think of cooking food in it. You can see the ash falling everywhere.
We went to Bannack State Park. This was near the top of our favorite sites this trip! Bannack was where the first gold was discovered in Montana on July 28, 1862. The town grew to a population of over 3,000 by 1863. The unique thing about this town is that there are 50 buildings still standing and you can actually walk through many of them. And, they haven’t been moved. We parked and walked to the visitor center to get info and pay the fee. On the door was a sign to watch for rattlesnakes because they had been seen in the town. Eeek!! I hate snakes, no matter what kind or size. We paid the fee and got the $2 information booklet. This was a big help because it gave a lot of information for each building and spot. We walked to the first building and looked inside the windows. As we turned around, there was a huge snake. I squealed and ran to the side. Kevin said he saw next to the snake a dead chipmunk; he is sure the snake killed it. Most of the buildings had walls of plaster and lath. You could see wallpaper peeled off and the boards. Some of the floors had laminate over the 3-4 inch wide floor boards.
It was a typical “old west town” with gun fights. At one point, a sheriff was a convicted felon who had walked out/escaped the front door of a jail in California. There was a jail but most people didn’t want to guard the jail because they wanted to be out getting gold. So a lot of people were hung. The gallows were in direct view of the jailhouse windows. HAHA Several people were even hung in a house. The saloon still has the old bar and it was beautifully carved. During the Civil War, the town was also divided and the northerners coming to the town stayed outside in an area called “Yankee Flats”. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk the town. We left the park and turned left to go towards Jackson, Wisdom and around Hwy 43 to I-15. We were excited to see several barn/garages with RVs parked there. It looks like home bases for full time RVers. Fun!!! We climbed to an overlook of 7000 ft. At the historical site, we read about a device that was invented in this area to lift hay up so it can be stacked. Incidentally, we saw quite a few of these in large farm fields. Do they still really use them? Do they use horses to raise and lower the fork? This was also along the Lewis & Clark trail and was the highest point in elevation they came, according to the sign. The view was of a Big Hole which has a large flat valley with mountains around it. There is a lot of cattle here and one ranch alone has 13,000 acres.
There is quite a bit of farming here. The Jefferson Valley, along the river was flat with what we think are mountains off in the distance. Smoke is too thick to see far. We saw hundreds and hundreds of cows and bales of hay. Not kidding. At one point, everywhere you looked you saw big round bales of hay. We wonder where the bales are stored. Some fields had two swathers working, two balers working, and several tractors. Another observation: places around here don’t have a lot of gas stations. Little towns, no gas stations. They must have to travel a long way to get gas. The landscape changed along the way. From large, open valleys to canyons lined with rock and trees.
At one point, we even went around a wildfire and could see the smoke from the trees. I spotted an eagle on some rocks. The rocks overlooked a large valley that is farmed. We pulled over and watched for a while. Kevin said it is a bald eagle and looked to be over 2 ft tall. Back to Dillon, we stopped at a auto parts store to get some fuses. Kevin discovered the horn didn’t work nor our truck camera. Pull out the fuse, put it back in and it worked. HAHA Well, we have extras if needed. The store listed in The Traveler’s Quilting book didn’t have fabric, just yarn. Back to HOWE. I heated up BBQ sweet pork for nachos. The mosquitos are horrible at this camp. We guess because it is by the Beaverhead River and the river moves along slowly through here.
Overnight camping at Blackfoot, Idaho. The city lets you camp in the Sports Park parking lot for just a few days. Even had water and electric hook ups.
This trip was really nice and of course we enjoyed it. We saw Glacier National Park. It was a bit disappointing but perhaps it was due to the thick wild fire smoke and all the crowds of people so we couldn’t even park and hike. We learned fabulous history and stories from locals that we would have missed out on if not asked for recommendations of places to see. Historical markers offer insights to the past that makes you get out your iPhone, look up for more information, and marvel at what you learn.
We left at 9:00 am and went to find a dump station. Kevin thought a large Maverick with RV bays would have one. Nope. We went down the road and the Love’s had one but it was so disgusting, Kevin wouldn’t even get out. (Good!) Went on down a bit farther to another place and they had a dump. $10 but that was fine. On the road by 10:00. That morning I had looked at a map and saw a road, MT Hwy 1, that went south to Philipsburg and then around to Anaconda. It is what Kevin and I “Louie L’More land”. He was a popular western writer. We can see the open range, mountains/hills behind with trees, open grass for grazing the cows and usually a canyon where we know the bad guys would come from. HAHAHA This road definitely had that. Philipsburg wasn’t much to see from the road but we drove into town and it is a happening, old-time place. The drive from here to Anaconda was breathtaking! Tall pine trees, but not dense, a lake, and a place we thought would be fun to have as a north home base. The town of Anaconda is bigger than we thought it would be. Due to narrow hills on both sides, it is long and narrow. We will come back to explore. Our campground is Fairmont RV Park. They are strict on the 5 mph rule and repeated it over and over in emails and at the office. It is all gravel, but level, with side yards of dried grass. We think there might be a mountain behind but can’t see due to the think smoke from wildfires. I fixed roast and packaged rice for supper.
Wednesday 07/28/21 Breakfast is cinnamon rolls then off to Butte. Butte originated as a placer mining camp. Gold was discovered in 1864 on Silver Bow Creek near the south end of what is now Main Street.The gold was heavily alloyed with silver. I had researched and found a famous World Museum of Mining. The museum did a great job putting this place together, in our opinion. They have a mining town set up and quite a few of the buildings were the original buildings of what it represented. All the buildings are old and some were donated and turned into a certain business the town would have. I also noticed the sponsors mostly match the building. For example, the eye doctor building in the old town was sponsored by a current real eye doctor. I think that is very cool. They also have a lot of mining equipment and we climbed a tall Head Frame. We can see where the railroad cars would go into the small building and the rocks would drop in. We read on a sign that the mucker was invented by a man living in Park City, Utah.
We saw an old truck on a railroad track that has a wooden, open box looking thing on the back. It looks like you could raise the top. We decided it must be to reach wires and lines above the trains.
One of the street names in this old town is “Enda The Road.” HAHA We asked the worker where she would recommend for lunch. She said Annie’s Cafe is her favorite and so we drove to Front St. Along the way we commented that Butte reminds us a lot of San Fransisco! Lots of steep hills and even saw garages with the house on top. We have had a problem in Montana! We have yet to have food that tastes 1/2 way decent. And we are still looking….. Annie’s Cafe was closed for vacation so we found on Google Hanging 5 Family Cafe. I had chicken fried steak and Kevin had a patty melt. Both tasted burned. Oh well. We drove around downtown Butte but didn’t get out. It looks like the buildings have been revitalized and yet has kept the old feel and architecture of old. Well done, Butte. Many of the houses have the same look and were well maintained. Not so much in the town of Walkersville that is an extension of Butte. We see lots of mining still going on. From here we head to Anaconda.
The wildfire smoke was so thick that it looked like evening and cars had their lights on. We saw and looked up the “Stack”. During smelting, each of the furnaces would have it own stack. Later, they would connected through flues to a large central stack. In May 1918, the base of the “Big Stack” was completed, being 30 foot high octagonal base. The stack raises for the base elevation of 5,754 ft 585 feet to elevation of 6,339. Years later, the company moved smelting to another town and was going to tear it down. The people of Anaconda rallied and was able to save it. We wanted to see it and I found there is Anaconda Stack State Park. We put it in GPS and drove to it but the first road went right into the tailings. The second road came upon a “do not enter” company only and construction gate. So we turned around. We could see Stack in the distance. Kevin said an amazing thing: “I love you. I love being with you. No matter where we go and even if we are lost or can’t find something, we still have a great time, together.” OH my heart!! I feel the same way about him. We drove down the road and we see a parking lot with a large mining-bucket and decided to turn in. Would you believe, that is the State Park! HAHA So tiny. Anyway, we got out and walked around the small place. The neat thing is they have bricks and a small wall outlining the size and shape of the base and then the top of Stack. That gave a really good perspective. The big bucket we saw was taller than Kevin and was used to dump ore. After this came the fabric store.
My “Traveler’s Quilt Book” listed The Upper Thread Embroidery and Fabric Room. The building was old and had a musty smell. I hope it isn’t in the fabric I bought. The ladies in the back were having their quilting time together, which they do every Wednesday. Kevin said they were chatting like long lost friends. So nice. I found 2 fabrics I like and then Kevin insisted I get one more. He is the best! As we were checking out, I saw a complete quilt kit for sale. I asked if the pattern for it is for sale. She looked and no, it isn’t. I ended up buying the entire kit and am pretty excited about it. It has farm things but the piecing is different and I like it.
(This is a picture of the quilt finished.)
Since I bought fabric, I told Kevin we should get some ice cream at the corner drug store. I kid you not, the ice cream on top of the waffle cone was almost as big as my head! I had huckleberry and Kevin had Carmel. So delicious and filling…that was our supper. 🙂 We went back to HOWE and changed into our swimming suits. Within walking distance is Fairmont Hot Springs. The springs/swimming isn’t open to the public but our campground had passes for it; we just had to pay $13. They have 4 pools, 2 inside, 2 outside and they are huge! The pool was 93 degrees with the hot pools 104. The hot pools were too hot for me that day but we sure enjoyed the pool. After an hour, a staff member told everyone to get out of the pool due to weather (lightning within 30 miles). I didn’t hear, because I am deaf, but was glad to look up and see Kevin motioning for me to get out. Back to HOWE for relaxation.
The next blog post will show Kevin thinking he is Lewis & Clark. 🙂
Thursday 07/22/21 Time to leave Glacier National Park.
We took Hwy 93 to Hwy 28, Hwy 200, Hwy 135 to Interstate 90. It was a great drive with mountains, pine trees, open grazing areas and the Clark Ford river.
Our campground is Crystal Gold Mine RV Park in Kellogg, Idaho. It has just a few campsites: electricity, water, fire pit, and a dump station. Nice big aspen type trees that makes great shade. To make a reservation, you call them. Nothing is done on the internet. In fact, Kevin called them again a few weeks before to make sure we still had the reservation. When we booked it, they said someone would call in March for a deposit. When Kevin called a few weeks ago, they said, oh, just pay the full amount when you get here. When we walked into the shop to check in, he pulled out this huge, probably 2 ft by 1 ft graph paper and had all the reservations on it. So cool and old-school. We asked what to do in Kellogg and he said we would be better off to go to Wallace. So we did.
We went to the visitor’s center (at 4:45 pm) but it was closed. Looks like it might be closed all the time. But there are signs to read outside and then we discovered what I thought was a kids park that was really all sorts of mining equipment with great descriptions on them. It was fantastic! Some history from one of the signs:“The main reason behind Wallace’s National Register designation is Interstate 90. In 1967 the federal government wanted to pave over the town to build the freeway. But the town fought back and held up the project in court for 17 years. In that time city fathers and mothers quietly put every building in the downtown on the National Register. It was a major precedent for the National Preservation Act and forced construction of the $43 million bypass you see to the north.” That has us laughing hard every time we think about it. Smart people! Another one: “Battles over those riches [fabulous riches] also fueled two violent labor conflicts – the result of which was the blowing up of mills, trains and people, mass arrest and incarcerations, declaration of martial law and the assassination of an Idaho governor – 1892-1905.” One more: “Wallace’s history is also entwined in the nature surrounded it. The most significant natural event was the Great Fire of 1910 – still the largest land fire in US history. It burnt 3 million acres, 36 houses, including a third of Wallace, and claimed 80 lives. President Teddy Roosevelt, who visited Wallace in 1903, used that sacrifice of men and material to secure and expand the US Forest Service’s’ mission to protect our nation’s forest.” Back to HOWE (our travel trailer named for Home On WhEels) for chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes.
Friday 07/23/21 Almost got cold last night but not quite. We were nice and toasty under our comforter. But when we got up to use the bathroom…burr. We like to sleep with the windows open. 🙂 We didn’t get up until 9:00 am Pacific time (10:00 our body time). Breakfast was going to be on the griddle but we weren’t that hungry so just had bagels. Then we walked to the Crystal Gold Mine for a tour. Our campsite is part of that Mine and in the same parking lot. It looks like a family running the place. A teenage-looking boy gave the two of us a 40 minute tour. Kevin signed a few things to me in American Sign Language.
This mine started in 1901 and was a total of only 5 guys. They found a vein of quartz and gold. At the end: “Decline is 60 ft deep on quartz vein. You are 550 ft into the hill. 900 ft from surface. Temperature 48 degrees F year-round.”
The guys found the high grade gold and quartz but keep digging and found a 1 1/2 ft think vein 100 ft later.
There is a picture of Pinkerton detectives guarding $3 million concentrate in bags. When the 5 guys decided they had more money than they could ever spend, the closed up and blocked the entrance. Years later, a new owner saw water seeping through the rocks and got curious. He blasted a section and found the entrance to the mine.
Then we drove to Wallace. There are 4 museums there so we went first to the Northern Pacific Railroad museum. This was a treasure of information and one of the best museums. It was interesting to read about the Mining Wars, how the owners lowered pay and the miners got mad. Each camp formed their own union. They started fighting with each other and some even set off dynamite and did a lot of destruction. Engineer LW Hutton’s train was hijacked at Burke by the men who blew up the Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mill at Wardner Junction on April 29, 1899.
A letter received 05/20/77 with $20.00 said: “Dear Sir, Conscience payment for a few tools I stool form the company in the depression days.” It was sent to American Smelting & Refining Co, Wallace, ID.
“The Last Stoplight. Lying ‘in state’ is the last stoplight to operate on interstate 90 between Boston, Massachusetts, and Seattle, Washington. When the viaduct over Wallace was completed in 1991, it allowed 4 lanes of traffic to move across the continent. The removal of the stoplight seemed to be an important event to commemorate. The ceremonial lowering of the stoplight was enhanced with the mournful music of the Royal Canadian Pipe and Drum Corp. The coffin with the stoplight was placed in a horse drawn hearse and transported to the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum lawn. Councilman Mike Alldredge gave a solemn eulogy and a proper wake was attended by many. On July 11, 1992, the stoplight was exhumed and place in the Wallace District Mining Museum.” Isn’t that the best thing you have read?! We saw the stoplight there in the museum.
Did you know that Wallace is also the center of the universe? There is a theory that if you can’t disprove something, it must be true. The city capitalized on that. They declared themselves the center of the universe. No one has disproved it yet, so it must be true! There is a compass painted in the center of an intersection indicating the center of the universe.
We drove up to Burke. On the way we saw the historical marker that said, “ In the 1880s, Silver Valley miners organized into unions. In response, mine owners formed a mine owners Association. As a result, miners face reduced wages and increased work hours. The work day jumped from nine to ten hours, with no added pay. Strike! In 1892, miners walked off the job. To quell the strike, mine owners brought in replacement workers. They also hired Pinkerton guards to protect the new workers, and to infiltrate the unions. Tensions rose. On July 11, shots rang out. A gunfight soon raged at Frisco Mine. Miners claimed the guards opened fire. The guards said, no, the miners shot first. Bullets weren’t the only weapons used. Union miners dropped powder into the four-story mill building through a flume. The structure exploded, killing one. The battle continued until the Pinkertons surrendered, but the miners’ win was short-lived. Idaho’s governor declared martial law, and on July 14 the Idaho National Guard subdued the miners. In 1899, another labor dispute burst into violence. This time, armed union miners hijacked a train and blew up the mill at Bunker Hill Mine. The revolt ended when President McKinley sent in the US Army.” Oh there is so much more than even this that we learned. What a place!!!
You never know what you will discover along the journey. Be sure to stop at lesser known places. Always ask the locals for their suggestions on places to see and eat. We have found true treasures by doing this. Wallace, ID, through all our travels up to the date of this posting (03/04/22) has by far been our favorite place to learn about, to admire, to be in awe of what can be accomplished, and to remember with great chuckles. You, reader, MUST visit this place.
Wednesday 07/21/21 We drove into the park early so we could get a parking spot at McDonald Lake. There were just two spots available.
We went on a hike called Sperry Chalet Trailhead. The sign said it was a rainforest. It all looked the same, every turn around the path all looked the same. It ended at a bridge over water.
Kevin got his feet wet and said it was glacier-cold.
We had purchased Lake McDonald boat ride tickets months ago. It was a nice ride around the lake. We had thought it went up a river but nope. One interesting thing we saw was some houses and cabins across the lake. That land was purchased by individuals before the national park. The national park can’t take away their ownership so the park actually goes out and around them. If they ever sell, the national park has first dibs to buy it.We stopped at the visitors center on the way out. In the parking lot we saw the Oscar Myer Wiener-mobile. It was getting a lot of attention and pictures taken.
For dinner that night, we decided to eat in West Glacier. We found an old building with Belton Grill & Dining Room & Tap Room. We were told we needed reservations or we could eat at the bar. The bar was fine. Kevin enjoyed visiting with the bartender who kept up a lively conversation. I had a Huckleberry Mojo and it was delicious. For dessert we had Huckleberry scones. Yum! We asked the bartender if huckleberries are usually sweet. He retrieved out of his stash and put some in a bowl for us. Nope, they are not sweet. He said sometimes they might be a little sweet but sweetener is added.
Smoky skies still prevailed. It does make beautiful sunsets.
Next time, on our blog, our favorite place to visit…and we didn’t even know about it before a campground host recommended it!
22nd trip – days 105-122 July 16-Aug 1, 2021 VACATION Glacier National Park, Montana, Idaho, and Washington
Sunday 07/18/21 We sure didn’t want to leave Jim & Mary’s RV Park. So far, it is our favorite campground. The tall pine trees made a nice canopy all around. Kevin spoke with a gardner this morning and he said they water every flower and plant every single day. We headed north on Hwy 93. We drove through several Native American Reservations. At one point, I looked up the elevation on my app. It should 3200 and I didn’t believe it. I looked at Kevin’s phone and it said the same thing. I said Apple must be messed up so Kevin asked Siri. Sure enough! This is very low. We looked up West Glacier and it is only 3300 and the highest road in Glacier NP as 6100! What?! The funny thing is, Kevin said from the time we left home that he thought we were continually climbing. Goes to show how parents say they went up hill, both ways, in the snow, going to school. HAHAHA We saw Flathead Lake and it is very big. Lots of nice areas to boat with several marinas all around. There are quite a few little towns and shopping areas and campgrounds. The whole way up this road, we can’t tell if there are mountains around us. This is due to smoke from the Oregon fire.Next we drove to our campground in West Glacier. West Glacier is a tiny “town” with a gas station, bar, gift store, and a deli. There are a few more buildings but not many.
We got to our campground where at check in we were told there is no water. But they are working to fix it. Oh boy. This campground has no tall trees, dry grass but it all nice long pull through 60 ft sites. We are on the end and have a “back yard” and a “front yard”. HAHA Kevin would later say, “meet me in the back yard” because there was shade from HOWE (our Home On WhEels), or “meet me in the front yard, at the table, for card game.”
The campground is surrounded by thick forest. We got set up, drove to West Glacier to use the bathroom (since campground didn’t have water) and then drove into the park. The road goes through very thick forest and you can’t see anything.
We stopped at Apgar Visitor Center. Sadly, there isn’t a place to learn about the park. I think it is due to covid. There were Rangers behind shields outside where you could ask them questions. We have seen this at other national parks.
From there we drove more into the park. We could get tiny glimpses of Lake McDonald. We drove through Apgar, a tiny “town” in the park. No places to park so we kept going.
We saw the amphitheater and there was a sign saying “worship service” tonight at 5:30. Other days they have Ranger talks and star information at night. After driving around but only seeing trees, we went back for the worship service.
It is ministry called ParkLife Ministry. It is a Christian Ministry in the National Parks and has been serving in the since 1951. It is an interdenominational ministry and doesn’t receive federal funds. One lady lead the music with a guitar and then later gave her testimony. Kevin enjoyed it (I am deaf). There were probably 20 people there. I liked watching the lake behind them and seeing people kayak and boat past on the water and others just walking a trail. By the time we got back to HOWE, our water still wasn’t there. We walked to the office and they said we had to turn some valve. Glad we asked! We had a little water this evening.
Tuesday 07/20/21 Today was on our own. Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. We got on our way at 8:00. We drove the Going-to-the-Sun road from west to east.
It is a little clearer and we could see some rocky areas on the mountains. A lot of the pull offs were completely full. The view is nice once you start up the side of the mountains. However, the smoke makes everything mainly just an outline of mountain tops. Got to Logan Pass and Rangers had the parking lot blocked because it was full. We learned later at St Mary’s Visitor Center that Logan Pass had filled up completely at 6:30 AM that morning. Crazy!!! Tried several other pull offs but all were full.
Going down the east side and the landscape changes somewhat. There was a fire through here so you see tall posts of former trees. The nice thing is you can see through them and to the views. Besides the smoke. Stopped at St Mary’s Visitor Center where it was extremely windy. Very desolate looking. People here call it the plains. We saw an eagle carrying a fish to a nest. That was really neat to see. Kevin got out his binoculars and saw some “poop” go flying out of the nest and arched all the way down. 🙂
Continuing on, we drove to Swiftcurrent Lake. This is on the east side of the park. The smoke was still thick but it looks like a neat place to come back to for a visit.
Of course, Kevin saw this at a shop and got a great laugh out of it. 🙂
Next time you will read about our hike, boat ride, and yummy Huckleberries.
22nd trip – days 105-122 July 16-Aug 1, 2021 VACATION Glacier National Park, Montana, Idaho, and Washington
We planned this vacation back in October. We thought it would be fun to see Glacier NP. While there, we could swing over to our great friends, Cathy and Dave, in Spokane. I had read from a blog that their favorite campground was West Glacier. Kevin and I looked at it online and booked it.
Friday 07/16/21 As usually, we left after Kevin got off work. We got into really slow traffic between Farmington and Layton, the same slow downs as last fall. Once we passed Ogden, it was smooth sailing and hardly any traffic. The sky looks yellowish due to wildfires in northern California and a big one in Oregon. But at least we can see the mountains. That would changed the farther north we go. Around Malad we got under some storm clouds. It didn’t rain on us but it cooled us down as the temperature outside had been 104. Just past Pocatello, ID, we entered the Indian Reservation named Fort Hall. Just off the freeway was Buffalo Meadow casino, hotel, and RV park. We were told to check in at the hotel main desk.
After checking in, we drove to the edge of casino and turned into the RV Park. This park only has about 17 spots. There was a beautiful green space, probably 2 acres, with a large Pavillion and picnic tables. We saw a large bathhouse but didn’t use it. We got parked easily in the pull through. The sites have dry grass and are narrow but a very good place to stop for the night. The site was so level, we didn’t even unhook the truck. Right behind us was the opening in the fence to go to the casino. I thought our friend, Cathy, would get a kick out of that!
We decided to go in for dinner as we saw a bill board advertising the sports grill. We both thought it very clean and better than other casinos we have been in. Dinner is the sports bar was fried bread with stuff on it (in Utah it is called a Navaho taco). Delicious! Oh, when we were ordering, I pointed to what I wanted and said, “I don’t know how to pronounce this, how do you pronounce it?” And the nice waiter told me. Apparently. I am deaf and still don’t know how to pronounce it. Why do I forget and ask?! Deaf moment. 🙂 We were asleep by 9:00 pm because we both woke up at 4:30, 5:15, 5:30 etc this morning because we were so very excited for this trip.
Saturday 07/17/21 We woke up at 6:30 am and had a good sleep. With it being so smoky outside, we slept with the windows closed and the A/C on. Kevin said he would hear it kick on sometimes but other than that, we slept well. I wasn’t hungry but fixed a bagel for Kevin to eat in the truck. We pulled out, got gas and a drink at a gas station right next to the park. Then we were on the road by 7:00 am. It was fun for Kevin to see a whole new-to-him state. The farther north we went, the smokier it got. We stopped at Dillon for gas and to walk around. Along the way, the actual interstate had gravel on it for miles. I remember this part I-15 being under construction clear back when I first came up with my friend to her parents, probably 6 years ago. There wasn’t a lot of vehicles on the road but a few passed us and boy did the gravel pelt the truck! The windshield even got a ding. 😦 On to I-90. The land is beautiful: dry with sage on one side and green pine trees on the other. Kevin listened to a book on tape and I just looked at the scenery. The day of travel time seemed to fly by.
Our campground for the night is Jim & Mary’s RV Park in Missoula and we pulled in at 2:00 PM. Let me tell you, so far, our most favorite one. We are bemoaning the fact that we can’t stay here longer. We have never seen so many flowers, plants, statues, and garden displays. Kevin asked at the office and they said there are 4 couples who “workamp” (camp for free or discounted in exchange for doing work) here just on the grounds. 8 people. I can see how it would take all of them. There is even a green house here. We pull into our pull through site, C-10 and start setting up. I saw what I thought was a reflection in the big window. I continued doing my duty and then came back and looked and discovered the window was broken and about 1/3 of it was gone!
We knew exactly what happened. It was the gravel on the long stretch of I-15. Well, we both know that there are a lot of worse things that could happen. We went to the office to see if they knew of a window fixer but they didn’t.
Kevin tried calling Safelite but was told to get online. Online we saw they only do windshields. By this time, we were hungry (we had snacked on peanut butter pretzels) and so we went in search of what the office recommended. First, we went to an RV parts place and got a cover for the back bumper (where you put the stinky hose) because we also noticed that the cover was gone today. HA He got the covers but they didn’t have anything to repair or tape up a window. We went to Iron Horse Bar & Grill. Kevin ordered fish & chips and I got nachos. The service was very bad, they brought my nachos out with japelpenos, I had requested none of those. I had to track down our waiter and tell him because he didn’t check on us after the kitchen brought out the food. We had to flag him down again for refills of drinks. And, the food wasn’t tasty at all. Disappointment. After we eat, we found an Ace Hardware, got gorilla tape and plastic and we both said we wanted to get back to HOWE.
Kevin taped up the window inside and out. He decided to wait on covering it up with plastic.
We are very thankful the screen held all the pieces. Nothing came through inside! We drove down the road for gas, drinks and ice cream.
Back at the campground we sat in our chairs and enjoyed the tall pine trees, grass, and shade. Later we walked around this gorgeous flowered campground. Back when we first were coming into Missoula, I asked Kevin to watch to see if there was anything he wanted to go and do, since we were here so early. Then we discovered the broken window. He said I have to chose what to do next time. HAHAHA