I’m always excited on “move day.”
Even though Dorothy and I say our goodbyes the night before, we can’t help but talk some more this morning as we make final preparations to leave. We leave Red Mountain Campground with the same route in mind, Route 84 to Norris and then north on Route 287.
At Route 2 we turn westward.
I have to take photos along the way. Soon Dorothy is far ahead of us and out of sight.
The Jefferson River flows past the base of this rock outcrop.
A side road snakes between two rocky slopes striped by evergreens.
The dramatic shapes and contrasts heighten my anticipation. Hmm . . . What will our next camp be like?
I look back where we just drove. The morning light and shadows make a dramatic effect.
The river meanders past homes. The landscape softens.
We come around a bend to a scene that looks like a painting.
Alas, the scenic drive ends as we arrive at Interstate 90.
I pull into a Centex station and fill up with gas. I inquire about propane, but the guy who handles that is not available this Sunday morning.
An RV park behind the station boasts a dump station. I refuse to pay $15 to dump. I don’t want to encourage highway robbery. Of course, I’ll probably regret this decision.
Less than ten miles west on the interstate, I take the exit to Whitehall.
The town is immediately familiar. The crew and I were here last summer! It’s an appealing little village with many murals. Even the thrift and pawn store has one.
A dump station website says to go to Whitehall Creek RV Park.
It’s easy to find. Not so easy to find a person in the office though. I guess everyone’s in church. Bridget and Spike are awake and restless, so I walk them around the park.
We come across a parade of hollyhocks.
While Spike waters the hollyhocks, I go in for close-up photos.
Unfortunately I don’t see a faucet for potable water for the fresh water tank.
And I can’t buy any propane, because no one is around to pump it.
Oh well, I probably have three-fourths of a tank left.
I have a particular campground in mind.
The directions from the internet say I should take exit #233 at Homestake and drive into Beaverhead – Deerlodge National Forest on forest road #222.
A gravel road takes us to this sign . . .
The road is narrow but it’s in good condition with only occasional sections of washboard.
Up, up, up, we go.
I’m glad the crew is dozing because mountain driving requires close attention to the curves in the road.
As we gain in altitude I see several RVs tucked in the trees on spur roads. Gee, this is a boondocker’s paradise. Campsites everywhere!
Bridget and Spike wake up and soon are hopping mad to get out.
We’re about six miles along the ten-mile route to Delmoe Lake Campground. I drive on a short spur to a campsite and let out the crew .
I check for internet signal (yes!), and eat a snack. We’re at Leggett Hill (6,871 feet).
Bridget and Spike are happy again as they explore the immediate area.
This would make a great camp. However, I want us to camp near water, so onward and upward we go, and then the final half-mile or so is a steep, downhill grade.
There’s the lake!
Oh, this is fantastic! “Guys, you’re gonna’ love this!”
I pick this pull-through campsite at Delmoe Lake Campground . . .
We have a view of the lake, and the crew and I can walk to the water’s edge from our campsite. Tomorrow I’ll post photos taken on our first walk to the lake!
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If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
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