RV Trip Journal



Well, I managed to document our trip from California to Minnesota.  That’s not bad considering how much I enjoy writing! 

See the Pictures Here.



Friday, July 23, 2004


(From Kate’s Little Paper Journal)

1:00 PM – Departed Dogie Court

7:00 PM – Arrived at Mt. Shasta.  Stayed at Abrams Lake RV Park.  Beautiful little man-made lake.  No fishin L. Geese and ducks abound.  Very nice!


Saturday, July 24, 2004


(From Kate’s Little Paper Journal)

8:30 AM – Departed Abrams Lake.  Nice drive up Hwy 5.  HOT!! DQ for breakfast J.  And a romp and poop at Medford dog park.

Continued to Hood River.  Arrived at 4:30.  Got last RV spot at highly rated, 120°, parking lot.  Outta there!  Much cooler in the RV.  Drove ‘til midnight and landed in the Spokane KOA.  Basic, but good resting spot.


Sunday, July 25, 2004


Have too much to write by hand, so I’m switching to the laptop from Kate’s little paper journal.


Spokane KOA -  Our neighbor was from Duluth traveling to Portland.  Had just come through Glacier and gave us some good advice on a route through Idaho and Montana.


8:30 – Departed Spokane into Idaho.  Beautiful!  As our neighbor suggested we took 95 North out of Coeur d’Alene to Sandpoint.  Made our way around Lake Pend Oreille (Pondoray).  What a beautiful drive.  Thank goodness for the kind folk of the Midwest and their great traveling tips.


Down 200 into beautiful Montana.  Met up with “Santa’ in the small town of Heron in front of the General Store.  Santa lived in Walnut Creek in his younger days.  He’d gone to San Luis Obispo and got his degree in animal sciences.  After he graduated, he was offered a job in Montana.  They gave him a pick-up truck and put him on the road to visit veterinarians all around Montana.  Said he “thought he’d died and gone to Heaven”.   Wish I had gotten more specifics on exactly what he did.  He’d been retired for a bit and bought himself a 40-acre piece of Montana.  He advised us not to miss Ross Creek Cedars.  Of course, we took his advice and visited the large old grove of trees.  Very nice, but not as impressive as the California Redwood groves.


Oh yeah, we’d gone to Heron to see if we could pick-up a fishing license to Pat.  They directed us to Noxon, down 200 a few miles.  After a burger and some ice cream, off we went to find the Noxon Mercantile.  We took a bridge across Bull River into Noxon.  As we crossed an osprey dropped onto a fish just off to our right.  We pulled over and watched her for a few moments.  Into town.  Pat and Kate went into the Mercantile.  They mentioned the osprey and the woman at the counter said “isn’t she beautiful!”  She told us to look up as we crossed the bridge out of town where we’d see the osprey’s nest where she’d resided for a few years.  Oh yeah, the fishing license machine was out of order, so they directed us to the Exxon out on 200.  Off we went again.  Looked up as we crossed the bridge and, sure enough, there she was with her young clutch.  We crossed the one lane bridge and tried taking some pictures of the ospreys.  We were pretty far away at that point, so I’m not sure the pix will be clear.  The experience will be clear in our minds for a while though!


Stopped at the Exxon and purchased a license for Pat.  Turned up 56 to see the large Cedars.  Found a campground about a mile from there.  Bad Medicine was the name of the campground.  Tasted good to me!  After walking the cedar grove we went back to the campground and down to the lake (Bull Lake).  It is beautiful, tucked in to pocket surrounded by pine-covered mountains.  The kids took a dip in the lake and did a little fishing.  As the mosquitoes came out for the evening, we headed back to our campsite.  It had been nabbed by a very nice, older couple from Boise – Hugh and Sally.  They were about to move but we saw that the next site down was open and just as nice.  So we took that one instead. Glad they nabbed the other site.  They too had great advice to offer on Glacier and the surrounding area.  Gave us an extra map of the park from their trip that day.  Pointed out some good campgrounds near water.  They also pointed out that we could cross into North Dakota and cross the state on 2 rather than going all the way down to 90/94.  Should be a cooler and prettier trip.  We’ll see…


Set up camp.  Had weenies and beans cooked over the campfire.  For some reason, they sure taste good that way.  Finished our meal with some good old s’mores that Kate had been talking about for two days prior.  This was our first stop with a fire pit.  We were all much relieved J.


We’ve certainly met some nice people.  The local people of Idaho and Montana are clearly very proud of their states and wanted to share them with us.  Makes me want to be a part of it.  We’re daydreaming of moving to various places we see along the way.  It scares the heck out of Ben, of course.  But Pat and I are thoroughly enjoying the fantasies of log houses on lakes!



Monday, July 26, 2004


The day has finally arrived – we’re heading to Glacier!  We’re planning to stop along the way at Kootenai Falls.  Hugh and Sally said it was a stop we couldn’t miss.  Will fill you in later.


9:00 am – Took off for Glacier.  Stopped at Kootenai Falls and it was beautiful.  Could picture the Grizzlies fishing for salmon perfectly in my mind as we sat and looked at the wide, flat falls.  Hiked down about a half mile to the swinging bridge.  It was both scary and fun standing over the amazingly powerful water rushing a few hundred feet below us.  Gus was wise and stayed back with Pat.  The kids (and I) were very brave J.  There was a walking bridge with 3 flights of raised, spiky metal treads that Gus’ pads couldn’t take.  So Pat got his daily exercise by lugging Gus up and down the steps so we could get to the swinging bridge and back. 


On to Glacier…  We stopped for a snack at the Pamida in Libby figuring we’d stop in Kalispell an hour and half away for lunch.  Pat picked up some ice cream bars and sodas.  Downed the ice cream bars just in time to hit the Dairy Queen at the other end of town! J 


Hit West Glacier in the early afternoon.  Stopped at the KOA to clear and top the tanks for camping that night in Glacier.  Entered Glacier and went to get a spot at Fish Creek campground as recommended by Sally and Hugh.  Glad we did.  We found a real nice spot (67B) overlooking the creek below – far below.  Though we couldn’t get down to the creek, the background sound was lovely.  The campground is full of trees and very comfortable.  Back in the RV and across the bridge to Apgar Visitor Center.  The views were amazing looking out across Lake McDonald with the majestic mountains as a backdrop.  Went into the Visitor Center and discovered all the Red Bus Tours were booked until 4:00 the next day.  Probably won’t have time to get one in.   Dang!  Guess we’ll have to come back another time J.  Took the kids down to the rocky shoreline to do a little wading and fishing.  Did quite a bit of wading, some fishing and no catching.  Headed back to camp about 7:30 for some raviolis and, of course, s’mores.


Headed into the RV for a raucous round of Yahtzee! and Blokus.  We all got pretty silly and had Ben in tears laughing at being called Meat Stick.   Lights out.




Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Since we can’t get a bus trip in, and the RV can’t go up Going-to-the-Sun Road, we’re going to drive as far as we can to Avalanche Creek.  Want to see as much of the park as we can today.  The kids want to swim so we’ll probably do a little of that in Lake McDonald when it warms up in the afternoon.


Headed up Going-to-the-Sun Road as far as we could.  Stopped to see McDonald Lake Lodge along the way.  One of the Jammers (Red Bus) was parked outside the gift shop.  We took the opportunity to climb in and take some pictures.  They are really cool!   Stopped in the gift shop to check out the souvenirs.  Maddi bought a couple of things and Kate insisted she must do her shopping back at the Apgar Visitor Center.   Continued up GTTSR.  Stopped at a couple of vista points to take pictures.  Turned around at Avalanche Creek where we saw 3 RV’s rented from El Monte RV in Dublin.  Thought that was interesting.  Headed back down and, of course, stopped at Apgar Visitor Center for Kate.  Raided the gift shop and loaded up on souvenirs.  Ben, so thoughtful, bought a little “stress stone” for Pat who stayed outside with Gus.  He picked one out with a Big Horn sheep on it.  He read the display box and remembered what it said so he could tell Dad, “Rubbing the stone will relieve stress and promote inner growth”.  He splurged and purchased one for himself too ($1).  What a sweet kid J.  Kate bought herself some bear slippers and a little Indian doll and matching horse.  Maddi bought a thing or two for each of her family members.  I bought some slippers so Kate and I could “match”; and a sweatshirt.  Bought a nice felt fishing hat for Pat.


Didn’t really warm up, so we bagged swimming.  On the road again… back through West Glacier.  Continued east on 2.  Decided to take 90/94 through North Dakota for the wide lanes.  Headed down 15 to Butte and picked up 90.  Stayed outside of Butte at Pipestone RV Camp.  Nice place.  Not very scenic but good amenities.  Got the laundry done and we had “all you can eat” ice cream that evening.  They had a little playground and the kids loved the teeter-tooters (a Ben-ism).  


Talked to Ann and let her know we planned to get to her place sometime on Thursday.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004


9:00 am – Back on 90.  We’re hoping to get through Montana today and make our way across North Dakota and in to Minnesota tomorrow.


Made it all the way to Mandan, North Dakota – roughly half way across North Dakota.  It was a long day.  We didn’t stop until about 9:00 pm.  We stayed at Fort Lincoln State Park.  It’s a nice place.  Too bad we didn’t have time to stay and pick up some history.  Looked like there were a bunch of old buildings for the cavalry and a house labeled Custer House.  Guessing that’s General Custer.  We did see an old, restored Indian site called Slanted Village.  Couldn’t go in without a tour guide so we opted to hit the road again.


Thursday, July 29, 2004


9:00 am – Up and out again.  Can’t wait to get to Minnesota.  Hit Fargo at about 1:00.  Stopped for a DQ J.  Should be there in another 4 hours or so.



And that’s all she wrote!