Friday, August 18 – Thursday, August 24
Our camp at Pelican Fishing Access Site on the Yellowstone, Grey Cliff, Montana
Every day around 6 p.m., a raptor flies over our camp to alight on a snag nearby. From that vantage point, she/he has a clear view of the river and the grassy field next to our camp.
I won’t be able to get a good picture from this distance. Maybe it will be good enough for identification.
One morning the crew and I board the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
“Let’s check out some more fishing access sites.”
Reggie and Roger approve of this suggestion because they know it means a new place to explore for morning walk.
As we ride out of Pelican FAS onto the gravel road, I look up.
“Hey, I think that’s the same bird.”
On top of a tall pole with a cross beam is a large nest. In that nest sits what appears to be our daily visitor. (According to readers, it’s an osprey.)
I step outside the PTV and take these photos.
Then when I turn to join the crew in the PTV, something moves across the field.
Hmm . . . I get the feeling this is going to be an interesting morning . . . .
We cross the railroad tracks and turn left onto Frontage Road.
It’s a two-lane, paved road with no traffic this early. The traffic is on the interstate, running parallel to us. The road takes us past more fields of dry grass.
Oh, a historical marker . . . .
Let’s see . . . He was 78 when he found the grave. . . . and here it is. What possessed those people back then to take such risks? . . . to be in such gorgeous country and yet still push onward . . . .
“Okay, okay, you’ll get out soon. I promise.”
I start up the PTV and we continue on our way.
Beyond the settlement of Quebec, I turn left at the sign for Bratten FAS. (I know, I know, the arrow points to the right. I took the photo of the other side.)
Who knows, maybe this will be our next camp.
Over the railroad tracks again, down the gravel road toward the river, we come to the familiar message board regarding fees to camp.
Oh no, another fishing access site camping fee of $18 for out-of-state people without a fishing license, like me. Well, this is not going to be our next camp. That’s for sure!
I park in the gravel space next to the vault toilet house.
As soon as I get out, Reggie and Roger hop and jump back and forth from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat.
“Ooh, two happy boys! You’re gonna’ love this!”
I snap their suits onto the ends of the tether, lift them to the ground, and we take off.
Boaters are congregated around the boat ramp and there’s one camper in the tiny campground of about five campsites.
We avoid all that and walk up the road the way we came in.
“Here’s a good place for our walk!”
Through the field we go, past the cluster of trees on our left. A train wails by us (at right, out of frame in above photo).
We reach another broad field bordered on one side by the Yellowstone River. Beyond the river are low hills.
All of a sudden horses emerge from the dense woods and trot over to us!
Oh, boy, what beauties!
I very much want them to come up to me where we can meet calmly!
But nooooooo . . . . Not gonna’ happen.
Roger and Reggie have to protect me from these big creatures. They flip into a frenzy of frantic barking and caterwauling . . . It’s a wonder they don’t jump right out of their suits!
The horses look perplexed by these little, crazy critters making such a big fuss.
I back Reg and Rog away to a point where they settle down. Horses look at us. We look at horses.
They lose interest in us and do what horses often do . . . graze. Except for the one, the most gregarious of the bunch, the one who led the rest to visit us.
The moment passes and we all head toward whence we came.
Taking photos of horses is fun. Besides, a blog about Montana has to include horses!
The crew and I return to the PTV.
I reach down to lift Roger.
“Roger! What did you do? Oh, honey, you rolled in stink!”
I rummage around in the PTV and find an old rag and a bottle of Windex.
Well, this will have to do . . .
“Hold still, Buster. You can’t go home all stinky . . . ”
More about this day in the next post.
NOTE: Recently a reader announced plans to go to the Southwest from Virginia to tent camp beginning in October. I couldn’t give any advice because I’ve never camped in a tent as an adult. Several of my readers are avid tent campers. I invite you tenters to share your knowledge and experience in the comments section. What equipment is essential? Where to camp in the winter? Any tips? I’m sure your suggestions will be appreciated. — Sue
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