Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Monday, July 24, 2017

Smoke Gets In Your (Our) Eyes

At the KOA Journey RV Park, Butte, Montana...

As near as I can tell, we seem to be heading toward the Pacific Northwest. I suppose our thinking is that a number of bucket list items remain in the western U. S., many of which we didn't fulfill on our last sampling of the area a couple of years ago. So, regarding this list, we've 1) expertly toured Hannibal, Missouri, thanks to friends Ed and Marilyn, 2) toured the Ford Museum and assembly plant in Michigan, 3) toured the Amish areas and RV manufacturing mecca in northern Indiana, then we headed for 4) Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, so those things are certainly checked off. 

Then, we thought, since we're already this close, why not head toward Montana and check off some more items? First on the list in that area was to travel the Beartooth Highway toward Yellowstone. We have visited the park itself (not adequately), but had never driven what is supposed to be "the most scenic highway in the U. S." So, off we went, ending up a couple of days later in Billings, not far from the scenic route that begins at Red Lodge, Montana.  We had a nice, shady (and expensive) spot at the Yellowstone River RV Park, and our Internet TV streaming came in handy, as the satellite antenna was useless underneath the trees:


Alas, our experience on the Beartooth Highway was not to be. On the appointed day, we noticed that visibility was not very good in Billings, but we drove to Red Lodge anyway, hoping things would clear up. They didn't. We were told that the smoke from forest fires in Canada had drifted into this area, and the visibility was truly terrible. It didn't improve after three days, so we reluctantly returned to Billings, pulled in Phannie's slides and set out for Glacier National Park, hoping things would look better there.

This is not the first time our traveling plan had been thwarted by forest fires. We passed up Glacier in 2015 because of the fires there, so we're a bit apprehensive this time, too. 

We can't help but be grateful for the life we have in retirement wherein we can travel wherever our whims take us, but knowing that this freedom of opportunity is only temporary. Meanwhile, we intend to make good use of this blessing, so stick around; we can't wait to see what we do next. 

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

I would rather own little and see the world than to own the world and see little of it. --Alexander Sattler

14 comments:

  1. Nice looking CRV! Just sit tight and enjoy relaxing!

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    1. So far, we really like it, Richard. It's a shame you can't tow the new ones.

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  2. Well, you're not too far from us. We're at Canyon Ferry and the skies aren't too bad down here. Not sure what the rest of our summer is going to be like though with all the fires. Stay safe.

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    1. We arrived in Kalispell tonight, Sandie, and it is beautiful up here, thank God!

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  3. We had to do some dodging around forest fires as we left the northwest area. A great area fires or not.

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    1. True, and we've got our fingers crossed, hoping we'll be able to dodge them, too!

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  4. Be sure and take the underground tours in Butte.

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    1. We will make sure and do that next time we come through, Jan. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  5. It is so nice to have wheels, isn't it? Then when the Jello plans jiggle, we move easier. Enjoy your travels and this great life!

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  6. I sure hope that smoke clears before we reach the Yellowstone area tomorrow! I have a lot of aerial filming planned around Ennis, MT and in the Centennial Mt area along the Montana/Idaho border west of Island Park, ID. Take it with you or blow it back up north Mike....please!

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    1. I hope it does, too, Gordon. We were very disappointed. Maybe it won't be on the west side of the park. Y'all have fun, but be prepared for hordes of people; you ain't in Port Orford anymore...

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  7. Keep your journey documented because we plan to follow your trip north next year! Glad you are both doing well, we need little excitement at this point! We are back home in Chillicothe, Ohio and will head south next month!

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    1. Glad you're back safe and sound to your old neck of the woods; I know your friends are glad to see you! The only problem we've found is the great difficulty in finding places to park Phannie and Mae. The RV parks around the national parks are jammed worse than ever. This is not something we would do again without a lot of planning and reservations far in advance.

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