Another sheep surprise on the way to Libby, Montana!

Thursday, July 20

Why do the crew and I leave Bull River Campground after only one night?

I haven’t had internet connection for several days and I know there will be many more days coming up when I won’t be able to connect with my blog.  I have a destination in mind where surely I can go online. This is one of the reasons we hopscotch from camp to camp.

I’m also curious to see more of Montana!

After the early morning river walk seen in the previous post, Reggie, Roger and I board the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  We cross the river on Route 200 and immediately turn northward onto Route 56.

The two-lane road follows the curves of Bull River as it winds through Kootenai National Forest.  To the east are the Cabinet Mountains.

It is not unusual in this part of the state to come upon road signs instructing drivers to look for bighorn sheep.  We pass such a sign.  I often glance at the rocky faces of cliffs hoping to spot them.

I should keep my eyes on the road because . . . 

There they are!  In the road!  Ooh, camera!  Action!

The stealthy PTV creeps closer, straddling the white line on the side of the road.

I put on the flashers.  

A red car behind us — maybe the driver lives around here and has seen plenty of sheep — scoots around us and continues on its way.

The sheep seem more interested in something on the pavement than the approach of a white Chevy Express van with an arm sticking out the window holding a camera.

So far the crew doesn’t have a clue what is going on!

Roger stands up to peer out the passenger window.  

I prepare for the classic, looking-out-the-window pose while Roger barks furiously.  Reggie joins him and I grab the photo!

Well, that was fun!

At Bull Lake we turn at the sign for another national forest campground.

The campground is heavily treed and dark.

Shade is a good thing during the heat of summer, of course, but I find the atmosphere at Bad Medicine this morning to be gloomy.

Maybe I’m influenced by the name.

Anyway . . . 

We return to Route 56 and continue rolling northward along Bull Lake.

When we reach Route 2, the PTV takes us east toward Libby.

On the way we come to Kootenai Falls.  This is something I’m looking forward to seeing!

I park the PTV and BLT and look around.

Hoo-boy.

People swarm the parking lot, picnic area, and trail to the falls.  The sun is bright and it is hot.

Well, if I try to walk the crew through all these people, it won’t be the kind of experience I want.  Roger will go nuts barking.

Roger is making good progress.

I distract him from barking whenever we approach people and dogs.  “Roger, be a good dog” with a pat is helping him learn.

This situation is too chaotic for that to work.

Plus it’s too hot and the trail too long for me to leave Reggie and Roger in the PTV.

That’s okay.  We’ll go to Libby, restock supplies, find a place to spend the night, and try again in the morning.

rvsue

NOTE:  This is another post scheduled previously.  Again I thank you for participating in my blog while I’m not able to do so.  Blogorinos are the greatest!

In case you’re wondering about “another sheep surprise” in the title, it refers to the sheep that visited our camp at Pagari Bridge in southern Idaho.  See “7,00o surprises while boondocking.“– Sue

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52 Responses to Another sheep surprise on the way to Libby, Montana!

  1. Vicki says:

    I have never seen big horn sheep in person…. do they look thin to anyone else?
    worries me when I see thin animals.

    Thanks for the update… reading your blog from the beginning. it is about 4 months in and you are at elephant butte in NM just getting ready to get your heater installed.

  2. Jolene/Iowa says:

    This is such pretty country. Thank you for taking us along for the ride!

  3. Dy says:

    I envy your travels. Thru you I travel. Thank you so much. I know several people who follow your blog and are not able, or have never been able to travel. You enlighten their lives and make them so happy. I read your blog to a blind neighbor. It makes her so happy. Thank you..

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      What a great comment Dy! Thank you for caring enough about your neighbor to brighten their day reading it to them! You are part of bringing them happiness!

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Wow, that is awesome! My husband doesn’t read blogs, but every couple of days he asks, me “Where is Sue?”

    • Rover Ronda says:

      What a nice sentiment. Thanks for sharing, with your neighbor and with us.

  4. mrdsee in Riverside says:

    The Bighorns are after the salt in the roads.

    • Ed says:

      Yes, you beat me to the answer.

      There is a mineral lick on the banks of the Athabasca River about 5 miles south of Athabasca Falls near Jasper, Alberta that almost always offers photo opportunities of mountain goats. They also go for the salt on the road just a little north of Banff.

      • mrdsee in Riverside says:

        That sure is beautiful country with 5 Canadian National Parks right there. I got some great pictures of the Bighorns on the roads and some shots of Mountain Goats high up on the cliffs. Along with Caribou, Black Bear, and Grizzly’s.

    • Rover Ronda says:

      Interesting!

    • Deb from South Carolina says:

      I was wondering if the road served as a salt lick. Thanks for affirming my thought.

  5. Diann in MT says:

    Yay! The bighorns appeared for you! Glad you are in the Libby area, too. It is a whole lot more industrialized than where you have been. An old lumber town with a bit if sad background in groundwater contamination problems.
    As a camper who loves dark campgrounds, I have the Bad Medicine on my list. Thanks so much for scouting for us all, Sue.

  6. Kevin in CO says:

    I was on a ranger guided tour in nearby Rocky Mtn National Park last week. There are a lot of bighorn sheep in this area, and often we see them down licking the paved roads and the dirt. The ranger told the group that the sheep get trace amounts of Selenium along with the salts. The Selenium aids in bone development, especially in the young sheep. This was new, as I always assumed it was the salt in winter road treatment that they were after.

    Not sure if I understood this right, but that is what I remember.

  7. Renee from Idaho says:

    This brings back memories of our trip last Fall. We drove through this area and found that there were so many people at Kootenai Falls with no place to safely park our fifth wheel, so we had to drive on by. A fellow artist friend is from Libby and she travels there to visit her family. She said Kootenai Falls was filmed in the movie, The Revenant.

  8. Pat from Mich. says:

    I didn’t know the Bighorn sheep would be so large.

  9. Sherry Waldrop says:

    Only one word….WOW….beautiful pictures and how neat to see the sheep so close. We used to raise sheep but that’s nothing like seeing them in the wild!

    Beautiful!

  10. We are always looking on the mountain sides for Bighorn Sheep and have only been lucky enough to see them once. And yours show up and hang out with you on the road!! great shot of the boys checking out the strange critters.

    • Deb from South Carolina says:

      Jodee,
      Thank you for linking to your very fun webpage! I enjoyed reading it and seeing all the photos. Our oldest son and his family live in the Chehalis area. We haven’t made it out there yet, but it is on our bucket list as soon as I retire and we get this RV plan moving :)))

  11. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    This is a real pretty area. My sister lived in Great Fall when she was younger as her husband was stationed in Great Falls. The only thing she ever complained about was the very cold winters.

  12. Fred Trout says:

    More likely they could be eating bugs hit by cars and /or cigarette butts (supposed to kill internal parasites), or even drips from auto engines, exhaust, etc. Road salt should have washed away long ago in the spring rains if they even use salt there (they don’t use ANY in this part of Montana just a few hours away).

  13. Li says:

    OOf! roger has the little furry ridge line down his back when he was busy with his sheep offensive. Very fearsome. Those two crack me up. Safe travels.

  14. Eileen Dykeman says:

    Really gr8 pics of those sheep (and the two little guys who finally saw them)!

  15. mayble says:

    Another great entry.
    I’m curious, and maybe I missed the explanation somewhere along the way, but it seems Sue & the crew don’t boondock much anymore – just wondering why the preference for developed campgrounds these days.

    • AlanOutandAbout - in Grand Junction. says:

      I think it depends upon where she is. Down south there is lots of areas where she can get lost in with no one camped near her. Up north more people, like hunters and such, go out in the boon docks and it is harder to get away from them. But she is always looking for a boon dock camp. Spike is buried by one in, I think, Wyoming.

  16. Terri in Texas says:

    I love the new header, RVSue!

  17. weather says:

    Gosh, those bighorn sheep are beautiful creatures. Being that close to them must have been delightful. Seeing how enormous many of the trees are around there, I can picture a campground with too many of them being so dark that it would feel gloomy. I’m glad you decided to look for better options, and hope you got a chance to see the waterfalls, or something equally lovely.

  18. Suzette (TN) says:

    What a great encounter! I feel a little guilty that you’re chasing the internet on our behalf, but what the heck! I gives us more viewpoints. Loved seeing the crew’s reaction to the sheep. Reggie really got his back up! Wonder what he’d do with one of those sheep if he got close enough. LOL….

  19. Suzette (TN) says:

    Not Reggie…ROGER! Do you get them tangled up in your mind? I do all the time.

  20. AZ Jim (Limping along) says:

    All this moving around is wearing this old codger out Missy. That’s the difference between a 80 + and a young thing like you Missy.

  21. Wow, Bighorn sheep on the road! That would be something to see. I know how you feel about the crowds. We are in Rapid City taking care of some business, and the crowds are amazing at the monuments and Custer State park. Can’t wait for school to start up again so the places are less crowded.

  22. I always look forward to the start of school because crowds drop to reasonable levels. Noise is less also. I just looked up a couple of Montana districts and school starts anywhere from August 24 to 31st! Yea! Much easier to get campsites after school starts, although weekends can still be really busy. Most families are home the weekend before the start date so as to get ready for school, luckily, but they will return for the Labor Day holiday.

    National Parks, however, are getting so crowded, especially with international tourists and us seniors, that they stay busy from early May to October!

  23. Joyce Sutton says:

    I was at those I was that those falls in May but decided that the hike was too much I was too short of breath that was an old man there carving on bark very talented but said that the hike back up the mountain took him over a half an hour so I thought it was too much for me I didn’t see any signs prohibiting dogs on the trail though.

  24. Joyce Sutton says:

    I really wanted to see the swinging bridge.

  25. Chip Cavender says:

    Did you make it back to Kootenai Falls and swinging bridge? I was there last fall. Choose to hike to the swinging bridge first. Oh my goosh the hike was very long, rough and exhausted me. Although I do not like heights, I did make it out to the middle of the bridge. I was too exhausted to make the separate hike to the falls. You can see the falls from the bridge. Just not close.

  26. Annie says:

    Hi Sue!

    I recently found your blog and would love to get feedback if you have the time. I may not have come across it yet, but I was wondering why you chose a pull trailer instead of a Class A or C?

    I have a larger ‘crew’ so an A or C seemed to be my only option (or so I thought). Would love to be enlightened/get some education on best set ups when your pet family is the priority. Any other feedback would be welcome as well!

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