Posts tagged Idaho

Change of Plans

Yep. I’ve made some changes that I feel are better for me in the long haul.  Day after tomorrow I’m heading back to Montana till its time to head down to Az. for the winter again.

I’ve had a darned good time for the most part these past three weeks, but therein is part of the problem.  I’ve only been gone three weeks and I’m about to go batty!  I’m so accustomed to working and staying busy as a result that this forced vacation stuff is not making me the happiest of campers.  Heck, I’ve seen places that I’ve not seen in 50 years, and am so thankful for the opportunity to have seen them again, or in the case of Crazy Horse Memorial (the first time). But, I would need to be hauling in major bucks to see all the other things there are to visit in western South Dakota, and that just isn’t happening right now.  There are caves, Black Hills Gold factories, theme parks and all sorts of other stuff to visit, but I just can’t afford to.

So, still being within 750 miles or so of western Montana, I’m going back to where I can just stop and wait out the rest of summer and visit family in the process.

I’m not parking in the kids driveway though, will actually be in a small KOA campground in Dillon, which is only 20 miles from the kids, so it will be easy to run out any time they aren’t otherwise occupied and at the same time will still give me some space to call my own here in my little house on wheels and them the space they deserve in their own home.

One day I will get back to Nebraska and Colorado, just not right now.

My son and I are going to try and plot me a slightly different route down to AZ. while I’m over near them.  If all goes as hoped, I may be seeing more of Idaho and some of Utah and less of my old route through Nevada, just depends on what kind of large hills might get in the way of the van hauling this trailer over then! LOL

When we know, I’ll let you all know!

TATA for now!

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What a Weekend!

We ended up changing plans for this past weekend’s road trip. Instead of going to Missoula (turns out the best of two rv parks in the area wasn’t going to open till May 1st), we went to Lava Hot Springs, ID. What a cozy little community and the hot springs were fantastic! If you ever get a chance to go there, do it! They have a couple of rv parks (nothing fancy, but that was okay), several motels and as I understand it even some houses that can be rented out, so anyone should be able to find the accommodations they need. As busy as it was already this early in the spring, I would recommend trying to book online or calling ahead, no matter what kind of accommodations you are looking for. They must really jump once summer has arrived! And, winter must find lots of people there also as I talked to a few who said I really needed to come and enjoy the place in the winter, till I explained that I am off to begin my “working retirement” in a week, so they must go to the hot springs frequently to be able to describe some of the scenes they told me about.

Most of the shops in town aren’t open yet, but will be getting ready for “high” season real soon. Those that were open were fun to wander thru when we weren’t in the hot springs. Man, that water was heavenly to soak in ! LOL We went twice on Sat. (in the afternoon and then again in the late evening). I think we lolled in the water off and on for about 4 hrs. during the course of the day! lol Not a bad deal for only $7.00 per person for an all-day pass, and I believe that rate is the same even in the summer.

Maybe I need to backtrack a bit and start with the beginning of our trip. LOL

We actually left Dillon about 3 p.m. on Friday, had to wait till school got out so my grandsons wouldn’t miss any school, since they will be missing a couple of days this next week… (Yep, it will be time for me to start heading to California then!) Anyway, the kids decided to let me take the lead, since I need to be able to start thinking for myself road wise shortly, even though I would have happily followed them! LOL DD (dearest daughter) was with me and in charge of the walkie talkie when Mom was too busy to respond or call out. Things went along fine for quite some time, I chugged us over Monida Pass without giving myself too bad a case of fright (worried that I was asking too much of the van’s motor) and we headed on into Idaho. At Blackfoot I decided that I really didn’t want to risk running too low on gas so we all pulled off at a Flying J truckstop…..Do not ever go to that particular truckstop (very, very tiny for being a truckstop) if you are pulling any kind of rv and you have never been near it before!!! I’ve been in lots of other Flying J Plazas and they have been just awesome and will be some of my first choices when I am looking for gas as I start moving around the country, until I find some other places that might make me feel they should be added to my collection of places to stop for gas, etc. First I had to make a left turn on to a busy side street and suddenly was faced with a right hand entrance (just barely past the corner) to go in by the pumps. Well, dummy me decided that that was just too much wiggling to do too fast, so I headed down the street beyond the gas station building. Seeing there was plenty of space back there by the semis’ I turned in thinking to go around the far side of the building so I would be aimed back towards the outlet for heading right on back to the Interstate once I had gassed up. Very bad move on my part, and very poor signage on their part. I drove around to the far side of the building and turning directly into the sun headed towards the pumps only to find at the other end of this driveway a sign saying DO NOT ENTER! It was a one way driveway and it was meant for large trucks, buses and rvs’ to use, from the other direction. Of course, there was a bus fueling in one lane, and a semi in the other…. Thank goodness, DD was with me, because my thought was to get out of their way as quickly as I could. With the sun in my eyes I couldn’t see where the cement divider was between the truck side and the car side, but it seemed it should’nt be there in front of the building, so I was preparing to turn right again when something made me ask DD where the end of the cement was. There was no end, it was solid and as high as any regular sidewalk would be! I would have probably blown the airbags of the van if I hadn’t been so scared and had hit it. But, then I was faced with an even bigger problem…. There was only one way to get out of my mess and that was to back down that driveway and into the truck parking area! Seems reasonable, doesn’t it??? Well, it sure isn’t if you haven’t ever backed up a van with a 19′ trailer behind it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nope, I still had not had the opportunity to learn about backing that much equipment up and DS was in his rig on the other side of the gas station, behind the bus and truck I was blocking! Did I remember we had a walkie talkie to call for help??!!?? Well, of course not! LOL DD said she would get out and direct me, since I knew I had to move us out before I started getting yelled at, so we began doing the maneuvering needed to start me in a backward motion. That is not easy by any stretch of the imagination!!!!!!! I wiggled and I waggled, pulled forward and straightened out when I knew I was really out of line and tried it again till I got halfway backed down that hunk of driveway and I lost my nerve when I realized I was too far over to the left once again. There was this really, really big yellow painted cement barrel thing trying to see if it could become the back corner of the trailer! I hit the brakes and just sat there trying to collect my wits without screaming or crying, when what to my wondering eyes should appear in front of me??? DS !!!!! And do I mean the dearest son a woman could ever have and see at a moment like that! He hollered as he came striding over for me to get out so he could back it out without damage. How did he know I needed help? They had seen me and decided to give me a chance, but were talking to DD on the walkie talkie that she had taken with her and I really don’t think she remembered she had it until DS called her to see if we needed help. At first as I understand it she thought we could manage on our own, but soon decided that maybe help was needed and like right NOW! LOL Well, after we got out of that pickle and I got around to the other entrance to the pumps, DS told me that truckstops in most states are not set up like they are here in MT. For the most part I am going to find that they are one way (marked or not). MT. has really big, wide open truckstops that go any direction a person might think they need to go to get at the pumps! Well, I learned a useful bit of info from the experience, one that I will never forget, just would have liked to know about traffic flow patterns like that ahead of time! LOL As for backing up………… I still don’t think it is a nice way to travel (after all going forward is so much more sensible), but I do know that if I have to do it, and don’t have a lot of pressure while trying (nor such a long narrow driveway) I’ll be able to do it! Going to practice whenever I get a chance, I promise! Pull thru rv spaces are so much nicer though! LOL

Well, we got to the hot springs a lot later than we would have liked, but that’s because I was leading at 55 and 60 mph and the kids were following, so it was after dark when we pulled in. Poor DS had to back both rigs into our spots then cause no one could really see where to go except by some little lamps posted between each space. I got firsthand experience just watching him to understand why he has stressed getting to camp in the afternoons when I am on my own. I’m afraid he was totally worn out by the time we could call it “home” for the night. Thankfully Saturday was as I described earlier in this post, and Sunday started off equally well, he deserved any “breaks” he could get!

As you may have guessed by now, we are safely back in Dillon, MT. now and have been for some hours. We had planned to head towards the kids’ house about noon today, but with the lovely spring like weather we got to enjoy for a change, we kind of did things in slow motion, I guess. We didn’t actually leave Lava Hot Springs until nearly 2 p.m. Only an hour earlier than we had taken off on Friday. I sure didn’t want us to be getting back here after dark again, so I knew I had to get brave and do something to speed the trip up a bit. Since I was once again leading that meant I had to set the pace…. Yep, I ate those words I wrote last week and hit the gas pedal. LOL No, I’ll never be called a “speed demon” but I did manage to get up to 65 mph and kept it at that speed until we hit the Idaho side of Monida Pass. Since this is one long haul up in a series of hills leading to what felt like the top of the world, I’m pleased to say that the van and I still pulled it at 55 and 60 for the most part with strong headwinds to keep me on my toes, too! LOL

Actually, we made a couple of stops before going over the pass, once for gas (not in Blackfoot) and then again at a little spot on the road called Spenser. Spenser in the opal capital of ID. and possibly the US. Can’t remember exactly what their sign said. Anyway, there are a number of mines up there and a couple of opal stores (one of them stays open all year round), so we decided to go have a look. DD didn’t think she had ever seen an opal, so I’m glad we had the chance to show some to her. The ones that had been cut, polished and set in jewelry were exquisite, but we all found the uncut ones more entertaining and interesting. The owner of the shop keeps a pan of stones available for the public to paw thru and buy for next to nothing, that definitely have opal materials in them. Whether they are gem quality or not is up to the purchaser to find out if they want to pay to take them to gem cutter. We let DD and my grandsons pick around until they each found a rock that appealed to them and once their purchases were completed we headed back up the road for MT. We made it back an hour faster than the trip over had taken, but we didn’t stop anywhere for dinner like we had on Friday, so I don’t know whether my going 65 versus 55 or 60 really made any difference or not, but it sure was nice to arrive in broad daylight! LOL

Now the kids are all tucked up in their “stick” house for the night and I am getting ready to cuddle up in my own little nest out here in their driveway for a much deserved night’s sleep myself, so I can begin dreaming of the beginning of my adventurous new lifestyle which will begin next week!!! The kids, grandkids and I will be heading out on Thursday, the 17th for the Craters of the Moon, ID (yep, same stretch of road as this past weekend) and then we will head into Nevada on the 18th. The morning of the 19th they will head back to MT. while I point myself towards Sparks, NV. for the first leg of the trip on my own. More to follow when we are on the road again!!!!!!!!!

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