A brief camp at North Shore on Noxon

Tuesday, July 18

Noxon Reservoir, northwest Montana

Roger, Reggie and I wake early.

After breakfast the three of us go for a walk.

We head for the day use area at North Shore.  On the way we meet a couple originally from Kansas, along with their handsome red heeler named Buster. They’re camping in a tent across the campground lane from us.

“We retired early and traveled in our fifth wheel for several years.  Now we keep it simple with the tent.”

Of course, the crew is delighted to meet Buster!







“What a beautiful coat he has,” I remark.

You can tell a lot about people from the way they respond (or don’t respond) to animals. This couple love Buster and are affectionate with Reg and Rog.

The conversation turns to life on the road.

“We like to find a good place to camp and stay there a while.  We found we don’t really get to know a place unless we stay a while.”

I agree with them, although we’re leaving tomorrow morning after only two nights at Noxon Reservoir.

There are times for staying and times for moving on.

You can’t see and do it all!  Plus our neighbor runs a cheap generator.

He turns it on and then leaves with his boat.  I guess the wife stays home to watch the soaps.  He turned the generator on a little after a eleven last night, but only for about ten minutes.

Because, gee, he’s a nice guy. 

I don’t know how the couple in the tent can stand it.   Oh, well, enough of that.   Except to say, this is why I only pay for one or two nights until I know what the camp is like.

~ ~ ~

All is quiet at the boat dock.

Early bird fisher-people are already out on the reservoir.  Others will launch later.

 I didn’t punch Rog in the eye.  The camera darkens the pigment under his eye.

I amuse myself taking photos.

I enjoy finding tranquil scenes with natural frames like this one. . . “Zen scenes.”

I also enjoy finding and photographing arrangements of different elements. 

I take this picture because I know that someday it will transport my memory to being in this moment in this place.

The crew and I return to our campsite and relax.

When not reading, I putter around the Best Little Trailer, regularly untangle the tether for the boys, and take this photo.

Roger and Reggie, my ever-alert and watchful crew!

Around sundown we walk the road away from the campground.

This takes us past country homes, grassy fields, and patches of forests of mixed hardwoods and conifers standing in a sea of ferns.

That’s morning light in the photo — We walk the road again before leaving the next day.

Wildlife is abundant around Noxon Reservoir.

The couple with Buster told me a turkey walked through our campsite at first light. While walking the country road, deer dash across in front of us.

On the return to the campground a fawn emerges from the thick vegetation.  We follow her/him up the road to the campground.

The campground host tells me that deer go through the campground frequently.  And there are ground squirrels that whistle and squeak from the trees around our camp.

Drives Roger nuts.

BTW, Roger is making wonderful progress with adapting to campground life.  He knows he’s not supposed to make a fuss at every person that walks by.  Sometimes he forgets and goes full ballistic.  The encouraging sign is the way he stops, looks at me, and stops barking when I call him over in a sweet voice.

He’s no dummy.  He’d rather be loved on than bark.  Well, most of the time.


NOTE:  This is another post written previously and scheduled for later appearance, written and compiled in the Perfect Tow Vehicle at a highway turn-out.

Great comments during my time without internet at camp.  I hope you will keep it going! — Sue


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59 Responses to A brief camp at North Shore on Noxon

  1. Stephanie Albany OR says:

    To the early riser goes the worm? In this case, being first?

  2. Joy says:


  3. Virginia620 (AL) says:


  4. Tamara says:

    I am headed to MT this weekend. These beautiful pictures have me excited! Honey-bear and I are planning to van camp there and back.

  5. Suzette in TN says:

    I’m really enjoying your Montana “homes.” It looks like my kind of place. Never been there. Maybe I need to fix that! 🙂

    It amazes me when your crew meets other dogs along the way, and everyone seems ok with it. I love dogs but haven’t owned many. I’ve never had a dog that is receptive to other dogs – to varying degrees. My granddog, Sassy, was so aggressive that I had to be vigilant about keeping her away from others when we were out walking. It always kept my nerves on edge. How nice it must be to not have that dread!

    Looking forward to more Montana adventures.

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      How is your truck Rusty!?? Did you get it all back together and happy?

      • Sorry Geri, not yet, we are still waiting for the Mr. Gasket floor shift kit #7668 to arrive up at CarQuest in Pagosa Springs, it was supposed to be there yesterday,,, and for the last 2 nights we been bugged in middle of the night by a Cinnamon Bear, so I’m praying the part gets here soon,, I’ve been studying the details on installing the shifter and linkage to the transmission and floor on line, so it , the work of putting it in and hooking it up will go quickly and we’ll be on the road soon,,, I’m getting antsy,,,,, Rusty n Piper

        • Dawn in MI says:

          Sorry to hear you’re having truck trouble Rusty! I hope the part gets to you soon! It must be hard hanging around waiting. Katie and I have been camping at a state park the last 3 days. One more day to go then we’re home again for awhile.

          Stay safe and happy Rusty and Lady Piper!!

          • Yaaa,,, Hey, all,, the Mr Gasket shifter conversion kit arrived at the parts shop just a bit ago,, my friend, Ray will pick it up tomorrow and I should be Road Ready by Sunday if it doesn’t Rain hard the next couple of days, cause I need to get under the truck to hook up the linkage, I can work on mounting the shifter in side the cab , onto the floor and be out of the Rain,,, have a pleasant great weekend to all,,,, Rusty n Piper

            • Deb from South Carolina says:

              Glad the kit arrived. Hope all goes well and you and the lady will be on your way soon!

            • Dawn in Asheville says:

              Echoing Deb from SC sentiments! Rain rain go away…

            • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

              Hope your repairs are smooth and easy! I’m glad the shifter kit finally arrived! Your new friend Ray has been a blessing for you!

            • Yes Ray did help and this afternoon we said our good bys, we wil keep in touch for sure,,, I got the shifter this morn and in between rain drops put it in and now, well as of 730pm , we are camped over night at a Conoco station with big diesel trucks in Bayfield just east of Durango and will be 5 miles NE of Delores tomorrow afternoon,,, the shifter was a little tight, but works just fine now, I guess I put it on a little tight , don’t have to strong arm it to get from park to drive no more, she’s smooth now,, , thanks for everyone’s great wishes and support,,, have a pleasant and safe weekend,,,,, Rusty n Piper

  6. Renee from Idaho says:

    7th! Yay! Definitely in the TOP TEN today! Now back to reading before I lose my spot! Ha ha.

  7. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Did I make the top 10??
    Great pictures, Susan….so peaceful and beautiful.
    Love to you and the crew.

  8. milliehubbard says:

    Sounds like Roger is adapting well.

    Such pretty country, my only time in Montana was making our way to Yellowstone, crossing the Beartooth Highway…that was some ride!! I highly recommend it but maybe not for anyone with a big rig! We crossed it towing our little MyPod that we had prior to our T@G. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to make those hairpin turns with anything much larger…even the BLT might be a big large for my comfort level!!

  9. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Hi Sue! This was a pretty campground. To bad about your neighbors generator. I remember how both of us were so surprised at how quiet our generator was when were at Quartzsite a few years ago! I’ m glad for that! We haven’t used it lately, but nice to know we have it!
    Buster is a handsome dog. Glad his humans were nice people to camp nearby!
    On the road again… When will Sue land next?

  10. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Gosh Sue, I wish our Kali could have learned to stop barking! She is 15 and deaf now… we have to muzzle her at times when she just will not stop (first couple of days of school when the big yellow things pull up–that is a winner for most bark sound on earth). Oh well…

    So glad you are enjoying another section of the great WEST!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!

    PS I made it first for the first time in YEARS last post!!! YAY ME!

  11. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Everyone! Does anyone have some funny tales about camping that they would care to share? I loved the one from the last post with the bear that had marshmellows in his poop!

    • Pat from Mich. says:

      Funny story? My cricket, a little black dog from the pound loved to go camping with us. I soon found out that she would not touch dog food while camping, even the canned. She wanted a hotdog or two. After a few trips, I gave up and just didn’t pack any dog food, but I always made sure that there were enough hotdogs for Cricket AND the kids.

    • Deb from South Carolina says:

      Many years ago, when our 5 grown children were all still at home, we camped near a man made lake in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. There was a “ghost” story that happened to go long with this lake and my husband knew the details. One night while sitting around the campfire my husband began to tell the story about the stubborn old man who refused to leave his homestead when the area was flooded to make this lake. The story goes that the man’s ghost rows around the lake to scare people away. Right at the most suspensful point of the story a fish decided to make a big splash. All said children ran screaming to their respective tents. My husband and I still laugh about that night. That fish could not have timed it’s jump any better!

  12. Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:

    Oh those generators! If anything ever causes us to stop camping, it will those infernal machines. On our last Tahoe trip (two weeks ago) it seemed a generator was always going somewhere, disturbing the beautiful peaceful ambiance. The guy next to us had about 150′ cord and stuck his way out in the forest, and while the noise didn’t bother us (or him, I guess), I wondered if it was good for the forest and wildlife especially with the fire danger. And this was so they could sit inside and watch TV in the evening. And I don’t understand people who want to “get away from it all” only to take everything they are getting away from!

    OK rant over.

    Funny camping story–well, not so funny at the time but now we reflect with laughter on the experience.

    Years ago when we did a lot of cross-county skiing and decided snow camping might be a good idea. It wasn’t. We skied three miles into a frozen lake and proceeded to set up camp, and turned out we had to go to bed by 6:00 when it got dark, AND worst of all, I couldn’t read as reading lights or Kindle Paperwhites hadn’t yet been invented. Also turned out that we didn’t allow for enough insulation underneath us so we were cold all night, plus I guess the cold acted like a diuretic and I was up every. single. hour in the 10 degree cold. There was a full moon so it was incredibly beautiful and bright, and while we were tempted to pack up and ski out in the middle of the night, we did at least wait until first light. Stopped for breakfast on the way home and I’ve never eaten and drank so much hot coffee in my life. Never went snow camping again.

    • Terri says:

      It’s a good story though! Sometimes the worst camping trips make for good memories.

    • Renee from Idaho says:

      Hi Robin – that’s a great story of your winter camping! You were certainly brave to do it, but at least it’s off your bucket list. We have a bucket list of tent camping spots, places we can’t take our fifth wheel because of the remoteness. As for the generator, the better ones are quiet and your neighbor at the time was considerate. We often will watch a movie out camping in our fifth wheel, but that’s because when we are home we are so busy that we seldom take the time to relax. Also, we too have a generator, a Honda, which is quiet, but we also have solar panels so we can put up our satellite dish and watch TV using only our solar power and it’s nice and quiet.

      • Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:

        I have little problem with quiet generators but some are so dang noisy they can be heard 200′ away. And I like the idea of solar panels; wish more would use them. We would invest if we were going to do more remote camping but out little 16′ doesn’t have AC nor a TV (or dishwasher!) so no need for extra power.

  13. Terri in Tejas says:

    Wonderful post, as always! I have a story, although it isn’t too funny, just kind of nostalgic for me. My Dad retired at 62 and the first thing he did was go out and buy an Apache hard sided pop up-a wonderful little camper. Then, the remaining 5 of us in the family took a 3 month vacation. I was just 18 at the time, my sister was out of pharmacy school at 23 and my little brother was 13. Anyway, we were camped at Devils Tower and there was this hippi type guy camped next to us. That night, about 50 of his friends came in on motorcycles and had a great party complete with very fragrant marijuana. The wind was blowing it into our camper and we were getting very lightheaded! My Dad had enough and decided to walk to find a ranger-Har Har Har! anyway, I went with him and I remember seeing the full moon, the beautiful, mysterious Devils Tower rising above us all, and most importantly, the silent companionship of my father walking along and enjoying the moonlit night in our fruitless quest to find a Ranger. Anyway, the party died down finally, and we did get some sleep. But, that is one memory I don’t think I will ever forget.
    Also, I believe Virginia in the last post asked about travel in AZ and Utah. We traveled there a couple of years ago in early September. We camped at City of Rocks, NM-one of the neatest places, and it was a bit warm but very uncrowded. Then, on to the North Rim of Grand Canyon for a week, with a side trip to Zion, and then a week in Mather campground at the South Rim of Grand Canyon. All dry camping, no AC. and the weather was very nice. We do like traveling when kids are back in school and the crowds are thinning. We spent 3 weeks in Sept. once in Yellowstone and the Tetons. No crowds at all in Yellowstone- we were at Uncle Toms stairway one morning by ourselves! Did the whole climb and took pics completely alone! Quite wonderful.
    Anyway, enjoying people’s stories of camping!

    • Dawn in MI says:

      Traveling in Sept/Oct is wonderful. We try to do that too…but still we’ve never had any sights to ourselves…less people, but always SOME people! Still, worth going later in the year for sure.

      • Renee from Idaho says:

        Great memory Terri. Thanks for sharing. I expected you to finish that with a “rousing night of never ending s’mores”! Anyway, we too plan our two week trip in September or October due to school being back in session and fewer crowds, plus the weather is often beautiful.

    • Marsha / MI says:

      We always hit Yellowstone in September. Less crowds and the fly fishing is great.

  14. Terri inside the house in Texas in the AC! says:

    I went back and looked at the photo of Buster. That is one gorgeous dog! And, of course, the photos of R & R are incredibly cute, too! 🙂

    Cheers everyone!

  15. Dawn in MI says:

    Buster sure is a pretty dog. My uncle had a dog named Buster when I was a kid. His last name was Braun…pronounced “Brown” ….so it was Buster Brown. I don’t suppose young readers would even recognize that name. Anyway, glad you’re having a good time, looking forward to seeing where you end up next!

    • Emma Catherine says:

      Buster Brown and his lottle dog Tige !
      “ding” turn the page.
      great memories.
      love the photos here.
      my daughter left Glacier Nat Park for backcountry out of Billings.
      The “Boys” just get cuter and cuter.

    • Marsha / MI says:

      We had a brown dog named Buster when I was growing up. Yes, I’m that old. 😉

  16. Linda (Wisconsin) says:

    I have found that people who have heelers are extremely devoted to the breed. (We used to have a blue heeler). Beautiful dogs, very devoted, smart.

  17. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Ah, Blue Heelers, the best of the best in my opinion…such smart and loyal dogs they are! This red one is very well marked! You are in beautiful country!! Too bad it gets so awful cold in winter isn’t it? Happy trails, Sue!

  18. weather says:

    This post strikes me as a good demonstration of how what we hear and feel can affect us and our furry little ones. That nice campground, pretty vegetation, beautiful scenery in the distance beyond the water of the reservoir, a chance to follow a fawn up a road… how attractive! Yet, being near someone that seems inconsiderate and runs a loud generator can ruin an otherwise lovely experience. It’s good to know that Roger is making wonderful progress. How nice for him to be shown he’s loved and spoken to with a sweet voice as he’s adapting. It’s no wonder that he’s doing so well.

  19. Terri the Texan says:

    I think the key to finding no people or at least very few at popular sites is to get up extremely early and eat your breakfast on the way! Nina at Wheelingit.us just wrote an extremely informative post on visiting Niagra Falls-a place I would like to visit someday! Her advice-get up early! This, however, is my favorite blog 🙂

  20. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I think that is the first red heeler I’ve seen. He sure is a beautiful dog. This was such a lovely campground, too bad one can’t say that for the noisy generator neighbors.
    Safe travels.

  21. Judy Johnson in upstate S.C. says:

    So many funny camping stories since our family with grown kids and grandkids have always camped. There’s the time we all were at the beach camping and went to Murrell’s Inlet for a good seafood dinner. We went in 3 different cars. Halfway through the meal, I kept wondering why our daughter hadn’t returned from the bathroom; even went in and called for her. Turns out, we had left her at the campground!! Thankful for a good sense of humor. Judy

  22. Deb from South Carolina says:

    I posted this earlier as a reply but thought perhaps I should post at the end or it may not be seen. Sorry for the repetition! This is our funny camping story: Many years ago, when our 5 grown children were all still at home, we camped near a man made lake in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. There was a “ghost” story that happened to go long with this lake and my husband knew the details. One night while sitting around the campfire my husband began to tell the story about the stubborn old man who refused to leave his homestead when the area was flooded to make this lake. The story goes that the man’s ghost rows around the lake to scare people away. Right at the most suspensful point of the story a fish decided to make a big splash. All said children ran screaming to their respective tents. My husband and I still laugh about that night. That fish could not have timed it’s jump any better!

  23. Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:

    Hey RVSue, I’m reading a new book coming out in September titled NOMADLAND: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, and stumbled upon your name with a few paragraphs about your lifestyle and travels! It’s a fascinating book and one us early readers are sure will be a big hit. I’ll bet your blogorinos would love pre-order it from Amazon. 🙂


    • Dawn in Asheville says:

      Thanks for the recommendation – I’m doing my thesis on solo women nomads and this will be a perfect addition to my research list 🙂

      • Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:

        Dawn, the book doesn’t come out until late September. Please email me at novelrambles at gmail .

        And what a fascinating topic for a thesis! One of my favorite books is TALES OF A FEMALE NOMAD. I read anything I can find by solo women travelers.

  24. Virginia620 (AL) says:

    I was just able to catch up with you. So glad for your wonderful distraction 😊.
    I needed to take some time to dream. I know tthis may sound weird to some. This summer was supposed to be our trip to Utah. While I hadn’t made any definite plans, it was both our dream. I’m now going to start making plans for that trip, hopefully next spring. Do you have any firm suggestions on time of year to go to UT/AZ? It doesn’t have to be in the spring. I just want to avoid monsoon season, if there is one, and haboob season. And of course the heat ad I do want to do some hiking.

    • Robin B (Oregon & Arizona) says:

      We went to Southern Utah in late Sept/early October and it was wonderful. It was busy but not crazy like high season and the weather was perfect with sunny skies and highs in the low 60s. The one day in Monument Valley was windy and cool but still sunny.

      • Virginia620 (AL) says:

        Thank you, Robin for your late fall suggestion. Oct does sound wonderful. So maybe my Spring trip needs to be to east coast-Savanah and up to DC for cherry blossoms.

  25. Terri in Texas says:

    Hi Virginia
    I remember my parents wanted to go up to Yellowstone and work. Well my Dad passed away before they could do that. However my Mom decided to do it the next summer. This was in 1991 before internet was widespread and no cell phone either. Well despite our worries she did it anyway-drove up there by herself and worked all summer. She had a great time and made alot of friends. I know she was glad she did it. So you should definitely pursue your dreams! It will be good for you!

    • Virginia620 (AL) says:

      Good for your mom. I’ve always been adventurous. Moved over 600 miles away from all family for career in 1972. This phase of my life is just another adventre. It’s what he would have wanted.

  26. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Buster seems to be a red Queensland healer? Such smart dogs.
    Good to hear Rog is adapting nicely.
    Beautiful area!
    Have a wonderful day and weekend!

  27. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Hey everybody! Loved the funny camping stories and Terri’s story about walking at night with her dad and trying to find a ranger. I may have shared this story before on another of Sue’s post – if so, sorry for the repeat. We were tent camping once in the High Sierras with my son and future DIL and after a long, hot sweaty hike we got back to our campsite. We had hung one of those sun shower contraptions full of water in a tree before we went on the hike, so my son decided to take a shower. He hung a couple of beach towels up to shield himself from those of us in the camp and proceeded to soap up (completely naked). As he was rinsing the soap off, a group of about 6 or 8 horseback riders came clip-clopping along through the forest, on the side of his outdoor shower that he had failed to shield. Needless to say, everybody but my son got a good laugh!!

  28. Terri in Texas says:


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