Serendipity of the vagabond life

Saturday, July 22

Warning:  The following post contains an excess of canine photos.

Yaak River seen from Yaak River Campground, northwest of Troy, Montana

You might have noticed in the previous post . . .

The crew and I didn’t end up in the pull-through campsite where the deer greeted us upon our arrival.  I decided to take the back-in site across the campground lane because it has more shade.

Good thing I did.

Why?  Because a Class A moves into the pull-through and we get to meet Dan and his eight-month old sweetheart named Gabby!

Dan is a guy in his fifties who is a full-timer and lover of dogs.  

After many years loving and caring for his rat terrier, Charlie, including a period of time when Dan administered IV fluids, his beloved companion passed away.

When Dan was ready for another dog, he searched until he found Gabby in an animal shelter.

She is a doll!  

Reggie and Roger immediately go crazy over her and she feels the same way about them.

The blurriness in photos is evidence of the fast-moving action of the three canine critters!

While the pups play, Dan and I stand in his site chatting.  At one point Dan goes inside his motor home to retrieve something.

Reggie, Roger, and Gabby miss Dan right away and want him to come outside again.

“Hey, what about me?” I protest.  “Over here . . . Remember ME?”

Later Dan and Gabby visit our campsite.

I’m so engaged in our conversation that I don’t have many photos of the dogs playing. Plus they’re zooming around the campsite at lightning speed.  Such a happy trio of friends!

Finally when they pause for a drink, I grab a few pics.

Can’t have too many butt shots!

Dan says, “How ’bout I hold them in my lap so you can get a good picture of them together?”

“Okay, everybody!  Look at the camera!  Reggie, we don’t see you . . . .”

Dan and I laugh at the squirming mess he’s trying to contain.

Seeing how happy Gabby is playing with the crew, Dan is convinced that he will adopt another dog.

Sunday, July 23

Even though I told Dan we would be leaving this morning, I thought we’d probably say good-bye before driving out of the campground.

No one is stirring outside his and Gabby’s motor home so I write a note, stick it in an envelope, and leave it tucked under the windshield wiper of his Jeep.

Reg, Rog and I roll northward on Route 2 for a few miles.

Then we turn northward on Route 508, otherwise known as the Yaak River Road.  It’s a fresh, clear morning, not long after dawn.  I like driving through forest at this time of day. One has a good chance of seeing wildlife.

The two-lane, paved road follows the course of the Yaak through a break in the Purcell Mountains. The river meanders on our right.  On our left is the deep green of Kootenai National Forest, mostly conifers growing thickly together and meshed with lush undergrowth.

I hold our speed down around 40 mph.  

The sun’s rays are just beginning to clear the crests of the hills on our right.  The flicker of light through the trees and on the surface of the river adds to the magic.


I hit the brakes.


The ungainly creature appears in an instant from the riverbank on our right, gallops across the road in front of us, and disappears into the forest on our left.  I probably don’t see him for more than three seconds but the side silhouette of a moose is like no other, the enormous head and antlers unmistakable.

What a sight!


Whenever I think of our days by the Yaak River or when asked why I live as a traveler, I’ll recall the serendipity of crossing paths with that moose as he galloped up from the river in the sun’s first rays reaching down from the hills.


NOTE:  You may wonder why the crew and I are moving from camp to camp after such short stays.  We keep moving because we don’t have internet and I don’t want the blog to slip too far into the past.  As I write this two weeks after the time of this post, we have another reason to move quickly — the smoke from forest fires!

I’m sorry I’m not able to reply to comments. Thank you for writing. — Sue


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36 Responses to Serendipity of the vagabond life

  1. Judy in East Texas says:

    Oh Sue and Crew, it looks as though you are having so much fun hanging out in Montana this summer…..i’m hoping this will be me next summer!
    Saty safe my friend, judy

  2. Joy says:

    What an adventure.

  3. Sherri D says:

    Those were some cute butt shots! lol

  4. Dawn in MI says:

    Wow! What cute pictures of a bundle of cutie-pies! AND a moose???? You are living the good life!

  5. milliehubbard says:

    That Gabby is little cutie! Looks like the Crew had a lot of fun with their new little friend. Beautiful shots, as always!

  6. Cat Lady back home in Baton Rouge says:

    I hope the fires are out soon. I worry about the wildlife not having food and shelter for the remaining summer but especially the winter. Pups are so cute.

  7. Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

    I know the smoke in the Boise valley is thick right now. My brother in Spokane says it’s bad up there too. So much in Oregon and Washington is burning and the smoke drifts east. I hope you can find some clear skies.

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      Yes, Kristi, the smoke here is awful. I am hoarse from it and have to be more diligent in using my asthma meds. We seem to have this every summer, the smoke.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Over here in Western WA the smoke has been super bad too…comes and goes by the day it seems. At times looking like heavy fog…and smelling bad…not a good time for asthmatics…hopefully the fires will be out soon…we need some rain!!

  8. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Whew!!! Glad you were able to miss the MOOSE!

    That little girl is too cute for words!
    Hugs from Hoquiam,

  9. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Dan had his hands full of cute!

  10. Anna from NC says:

    Always love the posts about the pups! Triplets and triple the fun! What an awesome life!

  11. Susan in Dallas says:

    Never too many canine photos. What a bunch of fun!

  12. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    How serendipitous indeed! First, to leave the pull through site for another only to find a fellow rat terrier owner and dog lover pull in there. Then to move for internet signal, but also to find that you need to more to avoid the fires. Not to mention the moose. Stay safe, Sue and crew.

  13. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    See? The moose isn’t mythical after all!
    So glad you finally saw one and managed not to blink as it crossed in front of you!
    Dan really did have his hands full trying to manage 3 happy, wiggling dogs! They were all so cute together. Perfect size too, they looked like a matched set!
    Looking forward to where we end up next! Hug you crew from us and know you are loved!

  14. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    WOW!!! A moose!!! That must have been quite the sight. They sure are big and amazing creatures. Jerold and I often comment when watching news about the fires out west that you are safe and not near them.

    Always love the pictures!! You can have too many of the crew having fun with other pups they meet along the way.

    Take care, Dear Sister. Love to you and the crew

  15. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    The three amigos! Love Gabby’s markings!

    A moose….someone did mention you were traveling in moose country. What no photos? Even a blurry one? I’m just kidding…

    Have a great day!

  16. Nora now in Fairmont Minnesota says:

    You are so lucky to see a moose! I spent a week at Glacier and saw nary a one. Nor in the rest of Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Minnesota or Wisconsin.
    Those pups are a matched set! Wish my dogs would greet other dogs that way instead of going into attack mode. They’re going to get some real training when I get back to Texas,

  17. Diann in MT says:

    Well, Sue, as you can read that the smoke only gets worse if you go west. I feel for those folks in the Northwest. When the other side of the state was burning up because of the horrible drought conditions, it was very smokey around here, but not as bad as the air quality that is going on where you have been. You might get out of it all by driving south and perhaps into Wyoming, but that is a hike.
    So glad you saw the moose! They are huge, huh. My dog (darn her!) scared up a momma moose and her calf one summer on a trail. Face to face with the magnificent animal who chose, Thank God, to meander down to the river after eyeing me and figuring I wasn’t worth the hassle.
    The serendipity of your life is remarkable. The threesome is cute! Drive carefully through that smoke.

  18. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Absolutely adorable doggie action shots! I hope you are safely out of the way of the smoke now.

  19. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    So glad that moose hightailed it across the road without coming into contact with you! Whew! Moose can do terrible damage to a vehicle and everyone if you hit one.

    Ah, the dogs. Speed double dating? Lol. They are having a blast this summer. And you’ve saved a future dog, by sowing the seed in Dan’s mind and heart.

    Yes, the smoke, and the heat, have been brutal here in western WA. I hope it’s better where you are.

  20. suzicruzi from Van, WA. says:

    Hey there Sue, Reggie, and Roger! I’m still here reading your posts, getting caught up on past posts, and trekking along day by day. Mostly I lurk, (been in a funk lately), but today I wanted to say “hey”, and wish you all a great day! I love reading about your adventures, and I love this post with all the doggy photos! Sweet!
    Suzicruzi with hugs

    • Chey (WA coast) says:

      Hey there Suzi in Vancouver, WA,
      What are my chances for a good view of the eclipse from Salem? Is it usually clear at 10am, no haze? How’s the heat been? Any speculation is welcome. 🌑🌝

      • Diann in MT says:

        Someone asked all us blogorinos where we plan to be during the SOLAR ECLPISE. I plan to be on the banks of the East Rosebud River up canyon unless someone reading this blog beats me to the best boondock in the area. Hah Hah. (I’ll see you there!)

  21. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Now that’s a peck of perfect pups. Too cute.

    • JazzLoverWMa says:

      Hey BadgerRick In Wis, been missing you! What’s cute is “a peck of perfect pups”. Try saying that 4 times fast when you’re tired, oh boy! Hope all is well with you.

  22. weather says:

    So instead of being caged in an animal shelter (or worse…) a dog will have new paths to walk on that are filled with discoveries,have Gabby to play with and the gift of a real home to live in, while being loved and taken care of by Dan…

    Everyone has days when while accomplishing things a short break is taken, to eat or relax for a bit. One might then think “Time to get going ,there’s more to be done.” Sometime when you find yourself in that position, Sue, I hope rather than tackle the next thing on your to-do list you kick back for even longer, to just daydream and take a nap.Picture Dan, Gabby and another happy dog, imagining future scenes in their story. You helped a man become convinced that he would make that story come true. You’ve already done more than you’ll ever know, lady, sweet dreams.

  23. Elizabeth in WA says:

    All, dogs are so entertaining…looked like everyone was having lots of fun!! Drive safe, Sue…it is hard sometimes with so much wildlife about…here we have gobs of deer to watch out for!!

  24. Cat Lady in Tacoma says:

    Hello Sue and blogerinos!
    I was just wondering what plans you have, or where you plan on viewing the Eclipse from on Aug 21st. The smoke from the Canadian wildfires has me wondering how much we’ll be able to see in WA. Thanks everyone!

  25. Terri in Texas says:

    All 3 canines were definitely way up there on the cute scale. Hope ya’ll can stay out of the smoke. Yesterday all 10 fire depts. In our county were at a grass fire headed toward the closest town to where we live. My hubby was stationed in the town in case it got there but fortunately it was extinguished. We are in a horrible drought this summer. Again.
    Be safe everyone!

  26. Dawn in NC says:

    Hi Sue! I always love more dog stories and pictures. I am happy to see the dogs getting along. I recently adopted a cat from the pound. She and my resident cat have decided that they don’t like each other! ACK! I love both of them, so I am just going to have to work harder. Neither one of them is going anywhere! I LOVED the canine corner the other post. Thanks for bringing that back. OK Blogorinos, anyone else have wildlife sighting stories?

  27. Li says:

    How nice you’ve inspired someone to adopt another dog. Miss G sure is cute. It’s a terrible summer for wildfires. I pity the wildlife. Praying for rain.

  28. Bonnie and the "dovemobile" in Maine says:

    prayers to all who are dealing with wildfires…I’m spending this summer in Maine and
    trying to outrun the mosquitoes but that’s a losing proposition due to all the rain and humidity we’re getting here…not used to this weather (coming from Texas) so it’s taken it’s toll on me…hope to be back on the road mid-September…I will probably be on my own then as travel partner is ready to settle down again, but I’m not…will see what happens.

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