More encounters along the Yaak River Road!

Sunday, July 23 (continued)

A few miles past our moose sighting on the Yaak River Road, the crew and I arrive at Yaak Falls.

The falls are more notable for their distance than their height.

With a great and constant roaring and crashing, the river churns itself white as it cascades over several rock terraces.

The falls are so long that one can’t see it all while standing in one spot.

Reggie and Roger react differently to the falls, in ways that match their temperaments.

Roger seems oblivious, distracted by a critter that scurries to the safety of its home in the rocks.

Reggie couldn’t care less about chasing ground squirrels right now. Nervously he looks around, flattening his ears against the noise.

Another vehicle is in the parking lot.  

I see a fifty-ish couple down below.  The man is standing while the woman sits on a flat slab of rock.  When they return to the parking lot, the man engages me in conversation and the woman joins in.

(No, these aren’t the rocks she sat on!  Ha!)

I learn that they live not far from the falls.

“About three miles from here,” the woman explains while pointing at the steep slope behind us, west toward Idaho.  “On the other side of those mountains.  We haven’t been over to the falls in a long time.”

They are interested in my lifestyle of which I’m happy to extol.

Then the woman breaks in, apologizing.

“We’re on our way to a breakfast and need to get going.”

I imagine it’s a church breakfast and, quite possibly, the man might be the pastor . . . something about his manner.  I wish them well as they leave.  The man’s gaze is direct in my eyes as he says with sincerity and warmth, “God bless you.”

Good people . . .

A reader recently asked why the crew and I aren’t boondocking.

It’s true our Montana summer so far has been a series of national forest campgrounds with a few RV parks here and there.

One of the reasons for this is . . .

This heavy forest country is difficult to boondock when one is moving a lot, which the crew and I are doing to grab internet signal.

I could venture up a forest road and find it is a logging road with no place suitable for a camp.  The forest is dense and pretty uniform.

Northwest Montana campgrounds are in more desirable, scenic places, usually next to a lake, creek, or river.

If I were so fortunate to find a place to camp alongside water, it probably would be a site known by local people.

I’ve noticed that in forest districts that have a 16-day limit, the locals drop their travel trailers in a site to have it available for their enjoyment on three consecutive weekends. This practice makes boondocking difficult for the traveler.

Besides . . .

Why go to all that trouble when one can camp in a campground for five or six dollars a night?  You have bear-proof trash containers, a welcome amenity in these parts.  If the camp doesn’t suit you, there’s another inexpensive campground further along.

I love to boondock, but I don’t need to prove anything!

The crew and I continue on the Yaak River Road.

“Beautiful country, eh, guys?”.

We drive through Yaak Falls Campground.  It’s very small with only seven campsites.  I’m not ready to stop for the day.

My plan is to loop all the way around to where the road will take us back to Libby (and internet).  On the way we cruise through two more, small, woodsy, inexpensive campgrounds.






At the “top” of the loop, we drive into the tiny village of Yaak.

On our left the Dirty Shame Saloon.  In a remote area such as this, I imagine the Dirty Shame is a special place for residents to gather, along with visitors.  Or, more bluntly, to get drunk with friends.

Across the road, on our right . . .


To be continued . . .


NOTE IN REAL TIME:  Thank you for the many kind comments.  After two long driving days, Reg, Rog and I are out of the smoke.  I hope you are breathing well.  — Sue



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50 Responses to More encounters along the Yaak River Road!

  1. Renee from Idaho says:

    How serendipitous for me to finally see your email first!

    • Renee from Idaho says:

      You always bring a smile to my face as I read along. Just as I was thinking to myself, “is that where she was sitting? On THOSE rocks?!” You respond with a “no”. Then your comment, “more bluntly, to get drunk with friends” That’s probably why it’s called the Dirty Shame Saloon. Probably named by someone’s mother.

      I’m enjoying going along with you on your travels of this part of Montana. We drove through there last fall, but didn’t explore as your are. We’ll have to go back and make that section a destination for us.

      Take care and safe travels. Oh . . . and watch out for Bigfoot!

  2. Virginia620 (AL) says:


  3. Marilu in Northern California says:

    Close to first?

  4. Joy says:

    Love the rapids…Montana was one of my favorite places I’ve been to.

  5. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Hi Sue, Reggie and Roger just checking on the last post for the latest blogorino replies and the notification of a new RVSue rang…I do love the pics of the Boys looking out the window…Take Care

  6. Linda Rose, Muffin, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    I continue to enjoy your posts but I must say that I really miss your interaction with everyone. I for one will be happy when you get back where you have more internet access. You are certainly in beautiful country but I agree with making a choice to stay out of the worst of the bear country.
    My 3 M’s are not enjoying the heat here in Carmichael, CA. Especially Muffin who is dealing with Cushings, collapsing trachea and it’s hacking cough and her heart murmur. Very sad when our beloved fur babies are getting old. Muffin is 12 1/2 and I think the other two are around 8. They were rescues so I don’t know exact birth dates. Be well and give your 2 R’s a snuggles from me and a sniff from the 3 M’s.

    • Terri says:

      My 13-year-old Yorkie mix has Cushings, and seems to be wheezing some. he’s taking medicine for the Cushings but it doesn’t seem to help symptoms much. Is a trachea problem consistent with Cushings or is it something else? Thanks for any info.

      • Linda Rose, Muffin, Molly & Midgy Carmichael, Ca says:

        Cushing and collapsing trachea are unrelated. Has your vet checked his heart about the wheezing? My Muffin’s collapsing trachea symptom is a horrible hacking cough.

        • Terri says:

          Thanks. I actually listened to some of the coughs on YouTube, and yes, he sounds like that. But it’s fairly rare. He just is having so much trouble with the Cushings. So I’m not too worried about trachea yet. I’ll ask vet next time.

  7. Cat Lady back home in Central City, La says:

    Top 10?

  8. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Love the picture of Reggie n Roger looking out at the water. They better keep looking for the real Bigfoot. 👣

  9. Lois Joy (MN) says:

    Montana is quite the scenic state…sad about the fires. Correct me if I am wrong but did you not have a bear horn??? It may be my memory! I continue to enjoy your posts…you write so one feels like they are there with you! Picures are wonderful.
    I have followed for years…I moved back to MN (Home) from AZ!

    • Karen in Pacific NW says:

      The smell of dry dog food stored in a bag is a strong attractant. Better to have them try to get it from a bear box than from her trailer. Just imagine the cost of having to repair claw marks in the fiberglass.

  10. Diann in MT says:

    Sue. you are so amazing! Such suspense throughout this blog.

    Hope you are still in Montana, but further south to escape the smoke. God bless.

  11. Diann in MT says:

    Reggie and Roger. It’s time for you both to weigh in. Was that a real Big Foot, or was that a fake.
    Only you two can tell the difference!

  12. Libby Nester WV/PA says:

    OMG! I think I’m number 16. That’s close to the top for me!

  13. Libby Nester WV/PA says:

    Wow! Bears. The campgrounds are nice.
    Can’t wait for the next blog it looks like it will be very interesting.

  14. Nora now in Fairmont Minnesota says:

    I was wondering if you were worried about bears. I always walked my dogs close to camp because of their threat and didn’t go on any hikes alone. No need to take chances!
    Your dogs are probably like mine and would love to challenge one!

  15. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    The River falls are so pretty. I would love to sit there on the rocks and listen and just watch the tumbling water. We used to love to ride our motorcycle to the north Georgia mountains and go to Tallulah Gorge and hike down to the pool below and just look at the falls. We used to go over to Fall Creek Falls here in TN every year until my husband has so much difficulty walking. I really miss the time we had hiking and riding, just enjoying nature.
    Love the epic of Reg & Rog looking out the window.

  16. Dawn in Asheville says:

    Just gorgeous scenery…
    First “sleepover” in the RV – and with the dog and cat (which cat is not happy). Just in the yard, but checking all the systems out, seeing how it feels, what I need/forget, etc. And getting the cat used to the new space. It’s quite nice, for one night, just to turn down the lights and appreciate what has been accomplished and not think about what still has to happen 🙂 But another month and she’ll be ready to be on the road. Until then, I’ll pretend there are vistas like you captured above outside the windows!
    Safe journeys!

    • Dawn in MI says:

      That’s so exciting!

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      I love that kind of camping. We do it often in our yard too, especially when we can’t get away as often as we’d like.

    • ValGal (westernWA) says:

      WooHoo! That’s wonderful news.

      • Dawn in Asheville says:

        Thanks all for the support! Wednesday night we took her camping for her shakedown cruise and we survived 🙂 Only a few minor problems but it was exhausting fully setting up, taking down and going through the motions. It was good though to see what I thought might be important wasn’t, and what I didn’t realize would be such a big deal was! WeBoost wasn’t amazing and I should have ponied up for a new stinky slinky. Not the disaster it could have been but a facepalm. Now, back to the list and our regularly scheduled program of renovations…!

  17. Dawn in MI says:

    Love love love the scenery you’re traveling through! Just amazing!

  18. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Love the Falls! Something about the sound of rushing water….soothing.
    Glad you are out of the smoke! Rest up!

  19. MelindaK (TX) currently in Ruidoso, NM says:

    Hi Sue,

    Love the photos of the falls! Thanks for the explanation of why you are not boondocking. With those reasonable campsite fees I would stay in the parks too. I am enjoying your trip through Montana. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

    I do not always comment, but do follow along.

  20. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Yes, the photograph of Roger and Reggie looking out the window together is my favorite too! Beautiful country you are in, but I am glad you are now out of the smoke!
    Dawn in Asheville, how exciting to be so close to finding your gypsy feet!
    Life on the road can be so exciting! Certainly never boring!
    Sue, hug the boys from us and we will meet you further down the road!

  21. Terri in Tex says:

    I love the pictures of the falls and really enjoy hearing about all the campgrounds. Too bad about selfish people leaving their trailers in a site. You would think the rangers could write these people tickets or something. But I guess that isn’t practical. Love the pic at the end of the pups and Bigfoot? Honestly I thought it was King Kong. Forgot that Bigfoot was a “thing” up there. Just like the Chupacabra is in the Southwest! 🙂 Enjoy your travels RvSue! Oh and keep a lookout for a RCA Tablet my hubby ordered for my birthday.

  22. Donna says:

    I was camping in some of the same areas in MT this past month and found the same frustration of no cell signal in most of the campgrounds, as well as it being a bit too warm. I am now back in Idaho (hanging out until the eclipse) and finally found two FS campgrounds with signal. Last Chance CG on Goose Creek just 7 miles NW of McCall, and French Creek CG along Lake Cascade. Unfortunately it’s pretty smoky, as is all the northwest. I stopped into a ranger station to ask about nearby fires and he told me the smoke is all from Canada. There are ~500 wildfires in BC and the smoke is drifting down our way. Might squelch many eclipse seekers’ dreams. 😥

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      Hi Donna, Sugarloaf CG on Cascade also has signal and better with a mifi. If my husband has to work, we pick the CG’s with reception. Thanks for info on the others.

      • Donna says:

        Hi Renee, Sugarloaf is in one of the state parks, not a forest service campground, so the price would be higher, and no senior discount. Thanks for the tip, though. If I was in a pinch I might check it out.

  23. R. says:

    Enjoy Montana, all campgrounds, views, wildlife and more. Before you know you’ll be traveling south to warmer places. As always great photos.

  24. Li says:

    Wherein the ears tell the tale. Thanks for the great photos. Good you’ve cleared the smoke.

  25. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    I have been waking up with sinus headaches due to the smoke in the air. Looking from the beach here in Seattle out over Puget Sound even when its not foggy it looks like there is fog everywhere because of the smoke from Canada. Even my cat is having sinus problems from it.

  26. weather says:

    Your description of the river’s actions and sounds really made that third great photo of the falls come to life! What a lovely bit of time you spent with the man and his wife. Our words and actions may be the only bible someone reads comes to mind.

    Your choosing not to boondock recently all makes perfect sense, and you most certainly do not need to prove anything. Looking back at all of the free and amazing places you found and shared with us, I’m in awe of your skills and generosity. I hope you won’t have to deal with the smoke filled air or uncomfortably long driving days anymore.

    • Diann in MT says:

      Wonderful reply, weather. You are so thoughtful, not only toward Sue, but the rest of us Blogorinos.
      I agree, Sue really doesn’t have to explain the boondock stuff. Reality in Montana is that most of the public land is tied up in agriculture leases, hence no access. We are fortunate that the state has secured some land for fishing accesses and the federal government has secured some precious spaces for campgrounds which seem to be placed in the most wonderful places.
      To find a boondock is a good thing, and mostly limited to BLM land, but one has to know where to look. The locals and the BLM offices help in this regard.
      Sue is doing exactly what most Montanans do: camp where it’s convenient and incomparably beautiful and serene. We are spoiled here, for the most part.
      Besides, who in their right mind wants to sleep in grizzly bear territory, all by oneself? LOL


    I have been to Yakk, British Columbia and it is tiny, tiny, tiny. I learned that there is a Yakk, Montana also. Thanks Sue.


    I think I just spelled that incorrectly!!!!

  29. The falls are so pretty. I love those “not sitting on these” rocks – they’re so interesting looking!

    Your sites have been so remote and lovely that I didn’t even notice you weren’t boondocking. I’m confident that if I were traveling solo in a smaller unit I’d love those national forest campgrounds.

    I thought Big Foot was in Washington state……must be more than one :-)))

  30. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Oh No!!! Not Big Foot!!!!! To say you run into the most interesting people is an understatement.

    Those “real” people sounded nice…but I had to laugh at the comment…Not these rocks. LOL…

    The pictures of the water falls are great!!! I love that kind of scenery. And of course, the pictures of Reggie and Roger are so cute.

    Sending Lots of Love and Big Hugs

  31. jim says:

    I was there just a few weeks ago!, Be sure you check out the Red Cedar Grove forest also at the south end of Bull Lake off of route 56 at Ross creek, twelve foot Diameter old growth Red Cedars. Easy to hike loop though the forest.

  32. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue and Crew,

    I am glad that you have been able to stay ahead of the smoke. Every time I see a news report of fires out West, I think of you, and pray that you will be guided out of harm’s way.

    I have been enjoying your Yaak river camps. Very pretty! Once again, please don’t stress about a wi-fi signal….enjoy your travels. We will be here when you are able and ready to post updates. 🙂

    Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! It has been fun watching the zoom-zoom brothers meet new friends along the way. That sweet, little Gabby would have made a cute 3rd musketeer!! 🙂

  33. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Another lovely camping spot. Glad the smoke is gone. It’s not gone here (western WA), but should be soon. You’re making a lot of sweet memories this summer.

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