Friday, July 21 (continued)
Our campsite at Yaak River Campground, Route 2, northwest of Troy, Montana
I tether the crew at our new campsite so I can set up our picnic without concern for them.
There go the Camp Inspectors, on the job!
Quickly I retrieve the red-checked oilcloth from the Perfect Tow Vehicle and spread it out on our picnic table. I go inside and wash my hands and then bring out the rotisserie chicken.
Ooh-boy, it smells good!
“Hey there, Roger! Are you as hungry as I am?”
He’s about to have his second rotisserie chicken. I think he likes this part of his new life as a member of the canine crew!
I bring out the table setting, my drink, and things to prepare our fee payment envelope.
“Reggie honey, it’s good to know you’re keeping an eye on our lunch!”
I cut up tender morsels for the crew and dive in.
“Here ya’ go. One for the Reggie Man and one for Roger Dodger.”
After lunch, we take the fee envelope to the pay station.
After that we walk the long way around the campground loop. We pass a cute trailer with attached room.
Is this a T@B trailer?
As we pass each campsite I speak to Roger.
I’ve found that a higher pitch of my voice brings the best results. You know, that exaggerated sing-song tone, “Be a good boy, Roger. Be a good boy now.”
He turns his head so I know he’s listening.
Roger has progressed to the point where he usually can stay quiet if he’s given advance warning. When he’s startled, he responds with barks. Can’t blame him for that!
A forty-ish couple come around their trailer to greet us.
With them is a black dog.
Roger reacts with a couple barks and, when they come close, immediately stops barking. I scratch him behind his ears.
The canines get to know each other with their noses.
The man asks the breed of the crew and tells me their dog is part rat terrier and the other part I forget, darn it!
The man is remarkably interested in Roger and Reggie.
He sits cross-legged on the pavement, reaching to stroke them.
Wow, this man loves dogs!
Drawn to his gentle, open manner, Roger and Reggie climb all over his legs, happily soaking up the love.
The man asks their ages. Roger lets him pull back his gums to inspect his teeth.
“He’s not very old. Teeth are in great shape. Oh, and I see he has an under bite.”
He fusses over the dogs for several minutes while we talk.
His wife stands to the side, joining in the conversation. I explain how Roger was a stray, afraid of people, until he met Reggie a short while ago and then Reggie brought him to me.
“Now he LOVES people! So much that he gets super-excited and barks. He’s learning not to do that but he needs time and socializing to overcome the habit.”
We talk a little more and they tell me where there’s a path going to the river. Before continuing on our way, I thank them both for the attention they gave Roger and Reggie.
“You helped Roger a lot with his training.”
Back at camp I work on the groceries I bought in Libby.
The crew and I aren’t getting as much exercise as we used to. Mostly because of the heat, our walks are short. All things being related, I have to give up things like huckleberry ice cream and berry pie. Time for an eating adjustment!
Using my small colander, a big bowl, and a jug of water, I wash the blueberries and cherries and pack them in zip-loc bags.
After that I trim, wash and pack the vegetables, putting an assortment in each bag. Baby carrots, tiny cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, and snow peas. These make a nice lunch or snack with dip (yes, I know… fat and salt… I go easy with it.) and having them prepared like this is handy. I have lean turkey slices from the deli, too.
When the sun is low, I take the crew down to the river.
As usual, Roger leads the way.
This section of the Yaak River is wider than the photos make it appear. It’s hard to get a good pic when almost at the same level as the river.
Boulders line the bank on our side.
I sit on one of them with my feet in the water while watching Reggie and Roger climb and jump.
The crew isn’t interested in going in the water.
I can understand that. The sound of the big rapids a short distance downstream is enough warning that this is no placid pool where we sit.
That might be a good place to wade where these folks are positioned.
I’m content just to take it all in and imprint it on my memory.
The sun sets behind the hill on the opposite side of the river. The train, ubiquitous to northwest Montana, passes by with a rumble and a roar, bringing our first day beside the Yaak River to a close.
Did you know . . . ?
According to British Columbia’s Geographical Names Information System, “Yahk” is a Kootenay word meaning either “arrow” or “bow” and referring either to the Yaak River or the Kootenay River. The southward curve of the Kootenay River (from Canada into the United States and back into Canada) is said to be a “bow”, with the Yaak River possibly being the “arrow”. . . . — Wikipedia
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