Monday, August 7
The crew and I wait until fellow campers in the RV park are up and about before going for a brisk walk this morning.
We head down to Rock Creek again.
Then we make our way around the RV park.
While crossing the playground, Reggie is alarmed by a small horse! Roger shows him it’s okay.
We pass the laundromat (or laundry mat, according to the park’s sign).
It would be nice to do some laundry before leaving. No, we’d better leave in case finding our next camp isn’t easy.
We walk the forest road at Ekstrom’s Stage Station RV Park, the part that isn’t blocked by the forest service.
The fuzzy view of the mountain shows that smoke lingers in our area.
By nine o’clock, the crew and I are in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
Driving past the RV park office, I have a plan for the next part of our journey to get away from smoke.
We board Interstate 90 east and are reunited with Clark Fork flowing alongside.
About fifty miles later, before the interstate turns south to Deer Lodge, we exit at Garrison Junction. From there, Route 12 keeps us on an easterly track toward Helena, the capitol of Montana.
To reach Helena the PTV faces the challenge of climbing to MacDonald Pass in Helena National Forest. Even though the elevation of the pass is only 6,325 feet, the grade is steep and relentless.
At the top I pull off Route 12 and park on a forest road.
I want to give the PTV a rest, to take the crew on a walk-around, and to share a lunch of sliced smoked turkey with them.
I’m not aware of any smoke up here; the air is cool and fresh.
If wildfires weren’t popping up all over and if there weren’t dry timber everywhere (the work of pine beetles?), I’d find us a camp on this forest road.
Instead we roll down the mountain to Helena where we’re caught in a traffic snarl due to road construction within the city limits.
Eventually we work our way through that, come out on the east side, and take Route 280 about fifteen miles to our destination . . .
Canyon Ferry Lake!
And darn that sign spoiling this photo!
I stop for another classic photo of the crew.
“It won’t be long now, guys. There are a bunch of campgrounds around the lake. But seeing all these people coming and going towing boats, I think we’ll find less activity on the river side of the dam.”
The first campground we look at suits us fine.
Riverside is a Bureau of Reclamation campground and, as the name proclaims, it is right on the river. I choose a site on a promontory at the end so no other camper is in our view.
View is important to me!
From this site we have a clear view of the river right next to us. A welcome breeze comes from the water.
We also have an unobstructed view of the dam.
And Verizon signal is strong enough so I can go online! The campground fee is $15 regular and $7.50 with senior discount pass.
I’m delighted to have found this camp!
More about our stay at Riverside in the next post!
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