On the far side of the lake sits a pretty fancy dude ranch.
It costs $600 a day per person to stay there. From our campsite I can see people on horseback going for a morning trail ride. Around 4:30 most every afternoon the horses are let out of their corral so they can graze in the lush meadow between the lake and the rocky mountains known as “The Pinnacles.” There are about thirty or more horses. It’s a treat in the afternoon to look across the lake as the horses gallop wildly to stop and graze on the the stretch of green below the mountains.
The crew and I hop into the Perfect Tow Vehicle and motor on over to the dude ranch side of the lake.
I want to see the running horses up close. Soon they go thundering by, manes and tails flying. What a glorious sight! They’re so happy to be free!
Today I drive into Dubois to do some domestic tasks.
On the way we pass Lava Mountain Lodge. For $4 you can take a nice, hot, ten-minute shower. The shower rooms are large, modern, and very clean. After I showered there the other day, the guy in the lodge store gave me the password for their Wi-Fi. I posted a blog entry while sitting in their parking lot.
Once in Dubois I gas up the PTV and drive over to the laundromat. Hey, they have Wi-Fi! While the clothes are washing and drying, I post an entry written previously at the campsite and try to catch up on comments. Bridget and Spike lie patiently at my feet. I’m so engrossed in my laptop that I don’t notice the cloudburst. Oh no, the windows are down in the PTV!
I pick up a few items at the grocery and return to camp.
As the PTV carries us up the mountain on its twisty, gravel road, we approach a parked car and people obviously looking at something down below the road. Probably another grizzly. I park and jump out.
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” I ask.
“A moose and her baby!” a boy of about ten calls out.
“Oh, I’ve never seen a moose before!”
I hurry over and look down at the clearing.
There she is with her big snout, and beside her, barely visible in the bushes, her baby. All of us watch for several minutes as the moose, aware of us, remains unperturbed. Finally she lies down and disappears in the bushes. Wow! My first grizzly sighting and now my first moose!
Larry’s girlfriend, Carol, has driven up the mountain to join him at camp.
They have Margaret, another lady camper, and me over to their campsite for baby back ribs and potatoes with onions, cooked over their campfire. Larry also makes sure that Bridget, Spike, and his dog Lena enjoy a cook-out, too. Once our meal is off the coals, he puts on some ground pork patties for the canines.
The next day the campground is hit with hail!
At first the hail is tiny. Oh no, I need to keep an eye on this. When the hail becomes as large as marbles, I run out to the PTV and grab the old quilt off the crew’s bench seat. I perch inside the open side door of the PTV, hanging on with one hand like a crazy woman, while trying to throw the quilt up over the solar panel with the other hand. The hail pings me in the face, as well as my glasses, as I look up to see what I’m doing. I’ll never get this dang thing up there!
I throw the quilt back in the PTV.
What can I do? I grab the sun shade from the dash. It’s light and easy to toss upward. It covers about three-fourths of the panel. What else do I have? The hail starts to sting. I can’t take much more of this! I grab an empty laundry basket and wing it up on the panel. I dash into the BLT, soaking wet, and get my camera for a quick pic out the door. Back inside, I peer out the window. Please, hail, don’t get any larger! More quickly than it arrived, it stops without doing any damage, much to my relief.
Later, a few hours after the brief storm, Carol, Larry, the canines, and I sit at my campsite enjoying the sunshine and the view.
Larry says, “Look! There’s a bald eagle!”
The eagle circles the lake a few times before settling at the top of a pine tree.
“Gee, this has been some camp,” I remark. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen my first grizzly, my first moose, and now my first bald eagle. It’s sure going to be hard to leave in the morning.”
Larry looks over at me and smiles warmly. “Well, Sue, after you see Yellowstone and the Tetons, you can always come back.”[slideshow]
This is the first internet and cell phone service I’ve had in many days. I’m sorry this has caused some of my dear readers to worry. I’ve missed you! The crew and I have been camped near the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. In order to make this post, I drove several miles through a mountain pass. I was sure to camp last night within driving distance of Wi-Fi. It must seem strange to anyone not familiar with the West’s great expanses, but there are immense areas of no connectivity. I hope to reply to some comments. If I don’t get to yours, please don’t take it personally! Thanks for coming back to rvsue and her canine crew . . . We’re having the time of our lives!