Swimming, eating watermelon, chasing crayfish. . . Summertime!

Tuesday, July 25 – Saturday, August 5

We camp at Lake McGregor, west of Kalispell, Montana, for twelve days.   It doesn’t take long for the crew to know the rhythm and routine of our days.

Our leisurely time at this lakeside camp passes quickly.

Except for the personable woman who is the camp host, I don’t engage in conversations with fellow campers.  Most are younger couples with children and we are in two different worlds.  Others are like me, keeping to themselves, taking delight in having a lake next to their camp.

The camp host tells me the couple in the Class B next to us come here every year.  They stay the sixteen day limit.  She adds with a trace of relief? gratitude? in her voice, “They’re quiet like you.”

I digress.  I was about to outline our daily routine . . .

Reggie is the first one to wake. 

He’s full of energy, scrabbling in the covers, burrowing into my neck, bracing his back feet on the wall and pushing me with the top of his head.  Reggie is always excited about another day!

Roger is the last one to wake.  

With eyes half closed he allows me to suit him up so I can take him and his energetic brother outside to greet the morning and to take care of business.  Once outside, Roger wakes up fully and decides, yeah, this is great!  A new day!

Breakfast, then coffee outside, followed by playtime on the mat.

Then we board the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

I drive us ten miles toward Kalispell, and park where there’s internet signal.   The crew naps while I work on the blog.

I choose a different place to park each morning because, when I’m done with the internet, we go for a walk in that different place.  Sometimes it’s no more than a gravel road through forest.  Reggie and Roger love this!

One morning we ride up to Little Bitterroot Lake.

Unlike McGregor Lake, Little Bitterroot is rimmed with houses and private property. Previously, the day we stopped at the Moose Crossing gas station, the woman who pumped propane remarked that McGregor is her favorite lake in the area, above Little Bitterroot and Ashley Lake.

I’m not surprised.  McGregor Lake is mighty fine.

When we return home, Reg and Rog visit their kibble bowls (Roger tries to visit Reggie’s bowl, too!).  I have a light lunch, maybe the crew and I take another walk (or wait until sunset), this time around the campground, over to the day use area, and through the shady tent section (below).

By the time we return to our campsite the temperature is going into the 90s.  If Reg and Rog still have energy, they play in the shade of our awning while I read or putter.

I’m done buying toys for these two rascally boys.  

They rip them to shreds, beyond repair, in no time at all.  Instead I raid my sock drawer for socks on their last leg (pun!) and, by tying the ends, create a facsimile of a toy, good enough for tug-of-war or I-have-it-and-you-can’t-get-it games.

When temperatures reach their zenith for the day, the crew and I are inside the Best Little Trailer taking a nap, the Fantastic Fan doing its best to keep the air moving over us.

After nap time . . . 

“Let’s go swimming!”

Reggie and Roger trot ahead of me on the path to the water.

“Here we are!  How nice is this, eh?”

Between managing their leashes, watching not to trip on a rock, and manipulating the camera, I can only snap a few pictures while at the same time encouraging Reg and Rog to get into the water.

They both appreciate the cooling effect.

Further than leg-deep, neither wishes to go.  Roger prefers exploring the water’s edge and watching the crayfish scoot and scurry from under rocks.  Reggie discovers that Roger’s preoccupation allows him some quality time with me.

Scrutinizing the underwater rocks, Reggie gingerly steps from one rock to another to come out to where I’m sitting.  Making one last leap across water deeper than he’d like to experience, he perches in my lap, water almost up to this belly.  I hold him close, the two of us dreamily looking over the surface of the lake.  It’s a special time for us.

“I think that’s a loon way out there, Reg.”

Satisfied with his alone time with me, Reggie leap-frogs back to shore.  I secure him and Rog to the branch of a tree stump and return to the water.

The rocks on the lake bottom extend from eight to twenty feet approximately from the shore.  This is where the crawfish (or crawdads) live.

Lots of them.

I see one about six inches in length.

People collect them for a crawfish boil.  A recipe for such — you know, with potatoes and poured out on newspapers spread across the picnic table — is tacked on the bulletin board at the pay station, along with this diagram.

Once past the rocks, the lake bottom is sandy.  

The water being perfectly clear I can look down and see my feet, clad in beach shoes.  No plants or crawfish or lake mucky-muck.

I like to go out to the sand bar where the water is the warmest.  I guess the warmth comes from sunlight passing through water and reflecting off the light-colored sand.

My attempts at actually swimming are pathetic.  

Nice to have a private cove!  

I’m stunned at how much upper-body strength I’ve lost.  No more smooth, overhand strokes.  I try to swim like a grown-up but my technique soon devolves into doggie-paddle.

Mostly I like walking and turning in the water up to my shoulders, simply relaxing in the coolness.

While I “swim,” the crew stare at me with long faces from shore.

Ha!  This is a side of me they don’t know, Aquatic RVSue!

We return to the Best Little Trailer refreshed.

I stay in my wet clothes until the hottest part of the day is over.  Reggie and Roger gobble up more kibble and resume their play.

Sometimes I make myself a turkey cheeseburger (no bun), followed up with watermelon. The great thing about eating watermelon while wearing wet clothes from a dip in the lake is you can let it drip down your face and onto your shirt.  I think it tastes better that way.

Ah, summer . . . 

In the next post:

Smoke from forest fires means a change of plan!





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55 Responses to Swimming, eating watermelon, chasing crayfish. . . Summertime!

  1. chas anderson says:

    maybe top 10

  2. chas anderson says:

    Never even in Top 40.Hooray.

  3. Kathy N in Michigan says:

    Sounds like a wonderful routine. Just happened to be looking to see if you posted lately– must be good timing for me.

  4. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Such a nice blog…so relaxing and the Crew are showing us how to enjoy the lake and their time with their Mom…peaceful and I like your photos…glad you got to enjoy the area before the smoke came.

  5. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    I’ve seen some cat toys made with old t-shirts. Cut into strips, and either knot a few strips in the middle, leaving the ends to be tugged on, or braid 3 strips to make a rope; tie both ends. 50 cents at a Goodwill or garage sale and can make more than one!

  6. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Woo hoo! Top Ten again! Ha ha, close, almost.

  7. Jeannie from WA says:

    Sounds like heaven to me. Hope to feel better soon so I can get out and explore too. Have a great day!

  8. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Oh my….you made me laugh! The best toys are the ingenious toys one “makes” from whathaveyou…AO has numerous toys ( house looks like a daycare center) but her most favorite is a Terry cloth face towel.

    Hanging with the crew you have developed their behavior i.e. Doggie paddle.

    Special time with Reg in the water…how sweet was that for both.

    Life is grand…..you, the crew and the road ahead!

  9. Suzicruzi from The 'Couve says:

    Hi Sue,
    You and the boys seem to be having a sweet Summer! Hugs all around.
    Suzicruzi 😎

  10. Kat and Cookie Dog in NYState says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time, swimming. Cookie Dog wouldn’t even get his toenails wet, so I admire Reggie and Roger’s willness to get their legs wet!

  11. Pam from Wisconsin says:

    Thanks for sharing your dreamy peaceful summer routine. I especially love the description of your little man coming for some 1:1 lap time.

  12. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    I like your lake routine. You all get time to explore and zone out while cooling off. 🙂

    Stay safe, keeping ahead of the smoke and fires.

    Sending love and hugs to you, Reggie, and Roger from me and Gracie pup! Take good care! 🙂

  13. Dawn in MI says:

    Glad you’re getting in some swim time. When we’re at the lake our favorite thing is to just float, sitting on a life jacket or some other water toy, and talk. Glad you like just hanging out in the water too. So relaxing. I bet the boys are trying to figure out what in the world you’re doing out there!

  14. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Happy Happy Birthday to Barbara in Nashville today!! 🎂 🎉

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      🎉Happy Birthday Barbara! 🎂

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thank you Denise and Rover Rhonda. Unfortunately, I had to work today, but that’s ok. Had a bunch of calls today wishing me a Happy Birthday, so my work got a little behind. I really love hearing from my friends & family, since they all live up north so I don’t get to see them too often.

  15. Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

    We had a little rain here in the Boise area last night. Sure knocked a lot of the smoke out of the air and freshened things up. And our high is supposed to “only” be around 80 today! Hoping some of the rain got your way to help out with smoke and fires.

  16. Sandy from Lancaster, PA says:

    “Aquatic RVSue; that is hilarious! My 2 dachshunds find me a great source of entertainment as well. Dogs are the best!

  17. Jean in Southaven says:

    This sounds like so much fun to me. I love swimming. I could swim 5 miles in college and eternity ago. I can’t even swim the length of a pool these days. but I can now float since I gained weight so I guess there is a good side to it. Still lurking out here. Stay safe.

  18. Kathy (NC) says:

    Love it! – thank you for sharing your summer haven with us. A beautiful place to share with your two boys.

  19. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    I see you made the header photo our favorite from last post😃

    Re toys: the boys may like an empty water bottle tucked inside. Have fun!

  20. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Hello folks..I have a question…does anyone have any idea how I would find Sue’s post about her curtains? I remember they were white with grommets and from amazon. I would love to read the post again as I want to replace my Casita curtains!
    Hope everyone is having a great summer….we are off to Klamath Falls this weekend to kid sit the grands…way looking forward to it!
    Hello Sue, as usual, love your adventures.

  21. Dawn in Asheville says:

    Ah, I’ve missed a few posts! Once the “real” campover was done (went to a nearby lake overnight) jumped right into the next projects. Which of course meant taking everything back out 🙁 But after three days I’ve pulled up all the old carpet and have all the flooring in except for the bathroom, and then will have to add trim which is going to be another long bout of frustration. So many angles, corners, vertical trim pieces to surmount…I swear it’s been about an hour a plank and that is with help! LOL! Everyone said this floating plank flooring stuff is easy but I beg to differ in a tiny RV without a single straight wall. And I just am terrible an conceptualizing anything spacial. Grin.

    The night at Lake Powhatan was wonderful – not enough time – just enough to hook everything up, make dinner, take a walk the next morning and then unhook everything. Cat still not a happy camper. Hid under the passenger seat the whole time. But mom approves of her bed (the dinette) and we got a little silly with a little too many libations, but it was a fun celebration – been a long summer. Also figured out a few things I needed ie a new sewer hose and connection, better night lights, an outdoor pad for Freyja, how to wash dishes better, that my weboost doesn’t seem to be working as expected…

    After the flooring I’ll hit renovating the bathroom, change out the kitchen faucet and drains, finish wiring up my gadgets then can turn my attention to the exterior. Sadly found a leak in the cab – Wednesday she goes back in for a new converter, another attempt at replacing the awning fabric and going to see if they can help me run down that leak and replace the luan over the loft (and run me some 12v wire to the vent while they are at it so I can install a fantastic fan). So the list is finally looking somewhat manageable.

    That’s it for me. Especially loved this post and the description of Reggie coming out to you for some mom and me time. It’s a good balm for the frustrations of renovation! Keep my eye on the ball…

    Safe journeys to you and the crew!

  22. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Quintessential summer! What a wonderful post. That lake sounds grand, especially swimming in it.

    I have never eaten a crayfish. I wonder what they taste like.

    The boys are having a blast!

  23. Tony says:

    I don’t comment much but I enjoy your blog.

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Tony, nice to hear from you. Comment as much as you like – we’re a very friendly group 🙂

  24. ApplegirlNY says:

    How refreshing to take a swim on a hot day. Good for you and the crew. That camp sounds and looks like paradise.

  25. Archae says:

    Hi Sue,

    Your campsite sounds idyllic, especially its proximity to water.

    Water is warmer when surrounded by sandstone cliffs because the sandstone holds heat from the sunlight which then warms the water. The sand bar would do the same thing.

    We used to waterski at Pueblo Reservoir in Colorado and at Yellowtail in Montana. One year we went waterskiing on April 14th, which was early in the year, but the reservoir is surrounded by the rocks that hold heat even through the winter. The water was warm. Our daughter’s best friend went snow skiing the same day.

    I’m in Wisconsin right now .., no smoke. The water levels in Lake Superior and the rivers are high. Humidity isn’t bothering me right now. Temps are in the 70s with lows in the 50s, but I’m looking forward to returnig to the western states.

    Love the pics.

  26. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    Socks for chew/pull toys… “Oh wow Roger, Sue left us a a whole bunch of toys in the laundry basket. Let’s have some real fun while she is shopping”

    • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

      Could be worse, I had to keep our laundry secure. Keva used to pull my dirty underwear out of the laundry and chew it up. Always mine never my husbands.

      • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

        Keva is not misspelled. It’s Gaelic meaning gentle, precious.
        Keva was an Irish wolfhoundX

        • Archae says:

          How is Keva pronounced?

          • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

            Good question☺️ I don’t actually speak any Gaelic language. I found it in a list of Irish girl names. I think it had pronunciation with the list but I can’t remember. We adopted her 9 years ago. We pronounce it key-vuh. Rhymes with Reba (McEntire)

          • Rover Ronda (WA) says:

            If you choose to use this name be ready for everyone to try and spell it Kiva like the underground religious Pueblo Indian structure.

            I think Keva is a beautiful name and didn’t mind correcting everyone, or just letting them spell it wrong. Keva certainly fit her personality.

            • Archae says:

              Thank you for responding. I wondered if the pronunciation was differennt from kiva, more like Teva. Maybe I’ve been mispronouncing teva, as in sandals.

  27. Virginia620 (AL) says:


  28. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Love the post with the beautiful lake and pups. That sweet Reggie coming out to sit on you lap reminded me of how Bridget used to snuggle up to you for her “me” time.

    Socks are the best toys. Angel doesn’t care much for the store bought toys. Her prize possessions are my socks. She has one nasty favorite, but she raids the laundry basket or my shoes of other ones. She still makes me laugh when she brings me a sock every time she returns to bed during the night. If she can’t find one in the basket, she take her favorite off the bed, out to the living room and then brings it back. She is one funny dog, but I love her.

  29. AZ Jim says:

    What a great life you are giving those boys! We “observers” get joy from your adventures as well. Keep happy Missy.

  30. Jan Johnson says:

    It sounds wonderful and great for high blood pressure! I need to be there right now!

    That banner photo is the cutest thing ever!

  31. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Now this is a perfect summer! Camping at a beautiful lakeside, swimming (sort of) and frolicking in the water with the boys! Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Joe Bruner says:

    What a great way to spend a summer! The clear water is beautiful and you do a great job with the camera. I love your blog and I finally got to the point that I could tell Reggie from Roger. Keep up the great work!

  33. weather says:

    What a great place to stay during a heat wave, I’m glad it was available for two weeks. I love your methods of enjoying watermelon 🙂 . Having your own private cove made it especially nice, for all three of you. I’m sure the camp host was grateful that you were among the few quiet families there. I imagine dealing with people that disturb others by being too loud would frequently be an unpleasant part of her job.

    Reggie having a playmate and still having you “all to himself ” sometimes is wonderful. Those little guys truly are fortunate to have you, each other and everything that they do now. The new header photo is a delightful image encompassing much of that.

  34. Shelley in California says:

    I do the same after I swim I stay in that wet suit as long as I can do stay cool. Sounds lovely Sue enjoy your special time with your boys.

  35. Terri says:

    What a beautiful place and a delightful post. I would be swimming there too.

    Reminds me of my childhood. We caught crawdads in Missouri with a piece of string and bacon. My brother and his friend once brought something like 80 of them home and my long-suffering mother boiled them. The tails are so good. But the creek where they came from did not look as clean as your lake!

  36. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    What a great post – I really enjoyed reading about your daily routine as I’ve often wondered about it. I was hoping for a swimsuit shot of you Sue, but I guess you don’t do selfies and the boyz weren’t about to snap one of you!! We just got in late last night from our two weeks in Hawaii – one week in Kauai and one in Maui. It was our first time to Kauai and it is absolutely beautiful with a very laid back vibe. People seem to go to bed when the sun goes down and get up when the sun comes up, which we liked. I made myself a pest to everyone who had a dog as I missed my babies so much. I met a lovely woman on the beach who volunteers at a local no-kill shelter on Kauai – they have a program where tourists can “borrow” a dog for a day to walk them and spend time with them and get them out of the shelter for a few hours. We would have done it but we were leaving the next morning 🙁 I was able to read all your posts but couldn’t comment due to a weak cell signal. It sure looks like Montana has been beautiful for you and the boyz. I wonder if you had one of those lightweight boogie boards if they would stand on it and let you “float” them on the water?

  37. I used to swim all day all summer and now can’t remember the last time I was in the water 🙁 Your private cove sounds heavenly, especially past the rocky bottom!

    The boys are so cute, even when they look like so “vicious” with the remains of their toys.

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