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!
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!