Monday, June 26
The crew and I leave Spring Hill Campground and follow Route 1 as it goes west to Georgetown Lake, curves northward and descends sharply to Philipsburg Valley.
This is part of the “Pintler Scenic Loop” and scenic it is with green, rolling hills and widely spaced ranch houses. Flint River, silvery and shining in the morning light, flows alongside us for a few miles as we make our way to Interstate 90.
Traffic is easy on I-90 to Missoula and beyond.
Now the wide and dark Clark Fork River is our mysterious-looking companion for several miles, often slipping under the interstate to the other side and then winding back again, as if teasing interstate drivers with her silent, powerful presence and calm demeanor.
I’ve set for our destination Quartz Flat which is a pair of campgrounds behind rest stops on the east and west side of the interstate.
The original crew and I stopped at Quartz Flat a few years ago and I remember it being a pleasant forest of Ponderosa pines and also it being convenient.
The east side has two loops. I choose a campsite in Loop A and we settle in. As is my practice, I don’t unhitch.
We may stay only one night. Depends on how ambitious I am in the morning . . . .
The camping fee at Quartz Flat is $10 regular/$5 senior pass. It has the usual picnic table and fire ring, plus a camp host. The campground road and parking pads are paved. There are water spigots scattered about, vault toilets, trash bins, and a dump station.
Clark Fork River is behind our site.
It’s down a steep cliff and not accessible from our camp. I’m okay with that. It’s a powerful river and we’re on the cut-bank side of it. I’d worry about a canine escapee running into it and being swept away.
Reggie and Roger are happy to be on the ground again!
We enjoy the shade until early afternoon when it is replaced by full sun.
The crew and I take a long nap inside the Best Little Trailer with the Fantastic Fan in the ceiling doing its best to keep us comfortable.
It turns out to be a hot day.
Gee, I misjudged this campsite. Full sun in the afternoon is no good. Well, we will leave in the morning. Fourth of July weekend is creeping up on us fast and I need to find a good place to camp away from the fun and madness.
Tuesday, June 27
Before leaving Quartz Flat, I drive us over to the other side of the interstate to see the other campground, known as Loop G.
Hey, I like this better! It seems like it would be shady throughout the day with all these trees. There’s a camp host. Only one other RVer here. Hmm. . . I do like this. Oh, and there’s a train!
(Funny thing: Later I’m online and read reviews of Quartz Flat. Someone wrote that Loop G is to be avoided due to the train. I love having a train go by and I also love it when people are told to go elsewhere!)
Looking over the sites, I see the preferred sites would be the ones at the back, next to a vacant forest of pines.
Therefore, I pick a site on the interstate side.
Reg and Rog are hopping around because they only had a short walk this morning.
“Okay, c’mon. We need to go pay.”
By the time we reach the pay station on the other side of the campground, I’m convinced this is a good camp for us.
I write a check for $15 for three nights, slide it into a pay envelope, and insert it into the iron ranger.
After three days here I may decide to stay here through the holiday weekend.
Why not? This isn’t the kind of campground people choose to celebrate Fourth of July. People stay for overnight and leave early in the morning. There’s a camp host. We can walk in the forest or go through the tunnel to the other side and walk the interpretive trail. We aren’t far from groceries in Superior, ten miles away. This will work!
Roger is attracted to the flowers in front of the camp host’s site.
“Roger! Get out of there!”
This is the piney-est camp we’ve every made! Reg and Rog are happy here.
After taking the next photo, I set up the quilt for the crew.
No need for me to explain what happens next. (Notice that only three out of eight paws are actually touching ground.)
As for me, I push back in the lounger, of course!
A MESSAGE IN REAL TIME: Today is July 4th. Happy Independence Day everyone! May God continue to bless America! — Sue
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Uh-oh. I wonder what these two are planning.