We made it!

We took a trip to the mountains to see some glaciers, but they are not as close as I’d like them to be. I wanted to touch one of them but they are all too far away. Rumor has it that they’ve been shrinking lately due to global warming which may or may not be true, depending on your individuals beliefs. I, personally, think they’re probably melting because it’s warmer outside than it used to be.

Once we entered the Glacier National Park the road quickly narrowed making progress difficult at times. Like when someone in a very large pickup is coming at you and he’s crowding the center line because he doesn’t want to snap his mirror off on the sheer rock wall to his right. Adding to the that, I think the pickups in Montana are bigger than in other states. And, most of them have diesel engines and the drivers like to show you how loud they can be when they stomp on the gas going by the Elks Lodge. That’s where we’re staying, the Elks Lodge in Kalispell, Montana.

Diane was driving, though, so we were safe. She’s a great driver. As we got closer to the top, the drop to our right got more exciting until she finally called it quits and turned around. Since there are no turn-arounds on the road, she just stopped and made a U-turn. It was during a rare lull when there was no traffic either direction, though, so it was safe.

We made a few stops on the way up to ooo and aaaah at the incredible views of the mountains. And, I took over 300 photos with my phone. Later in the day I blamed my sore right hand on the picture taking. Every corner we turned surprised us with another fantastic view. Here are some of them …

In front of the McDonald Lake Lodge before heading into the wilderness

Did I mention that there are lots of lakes in this part of the world? Well, there are.

McDonald Lake

Then the mountains started popping up.

At every corner the view was more magnificent

I’d add more but I think you get the idea. In that first picture you can see two of the glaciers that populate the area. Very few of them are accessible but we were perfectly content to see them from afar.

In all we spent 5-6 hours on this trip and it was worth every second of it. Mingling with all the other Looky-Looers was fun, too. We met some really nice people whose names I do not know.

Today was a day of rest for me. I got to sleep in longer than usual, then the other five folks piled into the Diane’s Equinox and motored off to visit a mansion in town. I chose to stay behind and guard everything and take a nap.

Tomorrow we planned to head down toward Missoula to visit a ghost town but discovered that this is home-coming week for the University of Montana which, unfortunately for us, is in Missoula. Seems like everyone who ever went to college there has an RV and they used up all the spaces. So, when The crew gets back from their visit to town, Diane will no doubt hunker down and search for an alternate place to park our homes.

Wish us luck.

Almost There!

Today is Sunday. We spent most of it driving from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Troy, Montana. Normally it’s about a 2 hour drive but one of us decided to not follow the leader and screwed things up a bit. As a result, the rain gods made a concerted effort to dampen our spirits most of the way but we didn’t mind. It’s been a long time since we’ve had the pleasure of rain and it was pretty refreshing. Since we enjoyed the rain too much, I suspect, they gave up as we neared our destination and the sun came out to greet us, welcoming us to the Kootenai River Campground on Highway 2, space 4. It’s a nice little park in Troy, Montana owned by a retired Senior Chief Corpsman. We had a nice conversation about past duty stations like old chiefs are prone to do. It’s required.

Before leaving Coeur D’Alene we took a trip to the lake just to see it up close. We found a merry-go-round that was actually operating so we took a ride. I pulled 13 rings from the holder, one of which was a gold one so I won a free ride. Not wanting to use it right away, I took a ticket thinking it would make a good souvenir. Instead, I gave it to a couple of Mom’s with a couple of kids who were heading in for a ride. That’s better than a souvenir.

On the outside wall of the merry-go-round were these wings that were obviously placed there to allow folks like us to show our angelic side, which we did.

The trip along State Road 200 and 56 afforded us stunning views of rivers, mountains, and valleys. Way different from the never ending wheat fields we traversed in Washington, although those were pretty stunning, too.

Looking back toward Sandpoint. Taken on Highway 200, heading east-ish.
On Highway 200.

Though there are some nice attractions here, we are only spending one night. Getting to Glacier National Park takes precedence so we must move on.

We arrived in Kalispell, Montana early afternoon on Monday. It was a beautiful drive that included more torrents of rain and bouts of sunshine. Kalispell is spread out over a considerable area of this part of Montana. We’ve found the people, and drivers, to be very considerate and kind so it seems to be a good place. We may move here.

Then again, maybe not.

No, not “maybe”, just not. We’re quite happy with our home in Oregon.

See you tomorrow with information about the glacier.

Glacier National Park, Here We Come!


Diane and I, and a few friends, are on a road trip to Glacier National Park that’s located somewhere in Montana. It’s my understanding that we must traverse through Washington and Idaho to get there. So far, two days into the trip, that info has been accurate and we are spending our second night in Kenniwick, WA. That’s one of the Tri-Cities, in case you’re wondering. The other two are Pasco and Richland. Although the cities are separate villages, and we’ve technically only been to Kenniwick, we can honestly say we visited the Tri-Cities. Not that that’s important.

The Tri-Cities is scattered along the shores of the Columbia River in the area where hydroplane races are held each year in July. Apparently they happened last July but no one told us. So, we missed it again. Looks like a COVID spreader to me, but it would have still been fun.

To start the trip we journeyed from our home to a friend’s home in Gresham last Sunday, the 12th, because they live an hour closer to our first destination. It didn’t seem fair for Diane and I to have to get up a couple hours earlier than everyone else, and drive an hour longer to begin the trip, so we went the day before scheduled departure and spend the night in our RV on the street in front of their house. They said it was OK.

Getting there the day before gave us all a chance to have a picnic in Terry and Carolann’s back yard. We had dead Kentucky Fried Chicken and Diabetic Friendly jello that Diane made. There was other stuff, too, but I can’t remember what it was.

Monday morning we all got up bright and shiny ready to depart at 10:30 am. Everything went smoothly until I pushed the button to raise the jacks on our RV. No matter how hard, or often I pushed that button, they just wouldn’t go up all the way. Consequently, we couldn’t leave. Not wanting to be a hinderance, we encouraged those who could to leave without us with promises that we’d catch up with them later. But, they all stuck around like good friends do. After a bit of head scratching, it was determined that the system that controlled the hydraulic jacks was low on fluid. As luck would have it, Terry had a brand new gallon of the correct fluid and Cliff used it to top off the tank. Not sure how much was needed, he was careful the first two attempts, then went all in on the third try which resulted in the reservoir tank to overflow a bit. Once that was done, I ran the jacks up and down a few times to make sure they worked correctly, which they did, and we were on our way. I must add, at this point, that Cliff is a dapper gentleman who wears a sport coat most of the time, no matter what he’s doing. Even when working on other people’s motorhomes. I only had to poke him a couple of times too encourage him to finish the job before getting out from under the RV.

Then we discovered that a door opened next to the hydraulic system making access easier so Cliff wouldn’t have to lay on the ground. Made him happy, it did.

First stop was at a really wide spot on I-84 along the Columbia River where we ate lunch. Some of us could have used a short nap but that wasn’t in the cards. It was OK, though, because we weren’t far from our first scheduled stop at Bill Ferris’ home in Kennewick, WA.

Bill is an old friend of the Classic Winnebago group who hasn’t been seen by any of us for a long time so he wan’t cognizant of the changes we have all made in the past 10 years. He was on his porch when we showed up, Diane and I in the lead, and he greeted us with, “What the hell is that?” which is code for “where’s the Winnebago?” We haven’t had one of those for a while. Bill has space to park a couple of rigs along side his garage which I left to the younger crowd. Bill lives on a dead end street, which we didn’t know until we arrived, so turning our 35′ bus around in the cul-de-sac proved to be difficult since these people park around the perimeter instead of in their driveways. Fortunately, his neighbor saw our plight and moved his car which was perilously close to the front of our bus as I attempted to wiggle around him. Once he was moved, I parked in front of Bills house.

He had all manner of cold cuts in his fridge waiting for our arrival so he could feed us. It was very good. We visited, caught up a bit, then closed down for the night.

The next morning, Tuesday, we were treated to a fun tour of Kennewick With Bill directing Terry from the navigators seat with the girls following behind. Kennewick is a beautiful city on the Columbia River.

I’m sure this bridge has a name but I’ll be darned if I know what it is.

We visited a very large carousel that has been totally restored. Additionally, since it’s in Washington, it has two extra animals not commonly found on carousels …

A Cougar for Washington State
A Husky for the University of Washington

One of the stops was at a monument to 9/11 which contains a warped piece from the World Trade Center in New York. No one, including Bill, knew how this bit of history wound up in Kennewick, but it certainly did and we all touched it. Driving around the city we were treated to many wonderful views too many to share here. You’ll just have to go see for yourself.

After 2 days on the street in front of Bill’s house, we pulled in our anchors and headed north and east to Moscow, Idaho where we planted ourselves for another couple of days at the Moscow Elks Lodge. To get there required that I dump a bunch of ATF in the hydraulic reservoir for the leveling jacks in order to get them fully retracted. After a short period of time the leveling system started blinking all it’s lights and beeping at me warning that at least one of the jacks was not fully retracted. We dealt with the noise for about 40 miles before Diane insisted that we stop and see about turning it off. The problem with stopping was finding a place away from the highway where we could actually turn around.

Magically, a church with large parking lot appeared and I took advantage to pull over and stop. That allowed a whole bunch of ATF to spill on the asphalt letting me know that at our next stop a project would be necessary.

That’s Cliff’s head and that black tank with the yellow sticker was the problem. It has a smaller tube on the bottom left attached to the hydraulic pump that had about a 2″ crack where it attaches to the large tank. Cliff found all that and after a few phone calls I found a welder in Troy, Idaho who was willing to take on this small project. At the shop willing to do it, a young girl weilded the torch and painted the tank so it looked like new. Impressive.

Back at the camp site, Terry reinforced the weld by applying a bit of gas tank patching material over the repaired area. Then, when no one was looking, Cliff put it all back together wearing a very nice wind breaker.

Then I strained all the ATF we had captured while dismantling the unit, and poured it back into the tank. In all the repair cost about $50 for the welding and parts, some of which weren’t used but may come in handy another day.

It all works perfect, now, and no longer drips ATF all over the place. Jerrie’s a happy camper as is Diane because the beeping stopped.

The real reason we stopped in Moscow was so we could visit with John and Sue who are also Winnebago friends. They moved from the Seattle area to a 66 acre farm in Deary, Idaho which is just a hop and a skip away from Moscow. We would have stayed in Deary but Moscow has the closest Elk campground.

This takes us through day 4 of the trip. On the 5th day we packed up and headed north to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho which lies about 4+ hours straight north on Highway 95. e

It was an eventful trip through some mighty picturesque farmland carved into the rolling hills. We’ve never seen so many wheat and hay fields in our lives. It was amazing but you’ll have to take my word for it because I was driving and couldn’t take photos. Just trust me.

At the end of Day 5 we pulled in to the Coeur D’Alene Elks Lodge RV site where we spent two days resting and looking around the city. We had lunch out, our first of this trip, at Le Peeps down by the lake. Great food and a nice view.

Instead of dragging this out any longer, I’m ending this segment and will continue tomorrow once we get settled in out next park 2-3 hours north of here. Out past Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry. I have more photos to add but doing so on this park’s Wi-fi is painfully slow. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

See you there.