Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Coach House’

We got a late start this morning.  Since we needed to stock up on supplies, we went to the local IGA market.  It was raining off and on all morning.  I sat in the Coach House while Jackie went inside to do the shopping.  At this point in our trip we were both exhausted from the pace and monotony of traveling.  The sameness of driving four or five hours then stopping for the night at a campground and then starting over the next day and the day after that had finally taken its toll on whatever “joy” that came from the act of traveling.  At this stage in our trip, we just wanted to get home as soon as possible.  I realized that if we wanted to do any exploring of the areas where we stopped, we would have to stay more than just one day.  It occurs to me that the whole point of this trip, apart from the act of traveling and camping in the Coach House, was to get to Blackduck and Blaine, Minnesota.  That accomplished, when we finally left Minnesota, the goal was simply get back home.  We could have spent more time exploring the places we traveled through, but with the cost of campgrounds and especially the cost of gas to keep the RV on the road (which averaged out to be about $90.00 dollars a day), the trip was already on the expensive side.  Traveling in the Coach House is comfortable enough; it has everything you need to make the experience pleasant. But at this point, Coach House is not for us.  When we stayed in Kino for a lengthy period of time, it was much more pleasant, though we had no freedom of movement to explore the area if we wanted.  Now, I think we will try to sell the camper when we get back home.

To make headway, we decided to try to drive all the way to Spokane, Washington before we stopped for the night.  The weather was improving, and driving through Montana again, gave us a different perspective of the state.  As the clouds begin to clear, the blue sky was vivid and the panorama dramatic:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The elevation once you’re in the state can be anywhere from 4 to 6 thousand feet, often with roads that slowly curve, then rise and fall.  Little towns can suddenly appear as if out of nowhere, their church steeples often the first clue that a town is approaching.  Here are a few more examples of Montana church steeples that seem to be everywhere:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I kept my camera close by as I was driving.  The steeple shots are taken through the windshield of the rig then cropped and leveled later using Photoshop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Often what you see first is the steeple itself, pointing upward toward the sky:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A final shot:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Drove six hours including gas and rest stops.  Very tired by the time we arrived at the Small Towne Campground in Terry, Montana.  We took a chance on this one; Jackie called ahead, but no one answered the phone.  When we pulled in, except for a few full-timers, the campground appeared virtually empty.  Not even the owners were around. We noticed a sign outside the backdoor of their house that  told us to pick any site, which we did.  The sites themselves were nicely graveled with plush, grassy sections right next to them, perfect for Roscoe and Louie to stretch out and cool themselves after a very long and rough ride.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Terry, Montana

It’s no secrete that when the body is overtired, the brain seems to shut down most of its reasoning capacity.  For example, when I tried to extend the leveling jacks and slide out, nothing worked.  Naturally, I overlooked the obvious, but I just couldn’t think through what I was doing wrong.  After six hours of driving,  my brain was dead.  While Jackie took the dogs for a little walk, I sat down, pulled out the monster ring binder, and skimmed the manual for a solution.  At least I still could read.  And then I found it:  “Apply parking brake fully” was clearly printed in bold font. If you get the body to relax, the mind will soon follow.  And so, with jacks and slide out fully extended, our camp was fully in place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Small Towne Campground site

When the owners finally returned, I sought them out to square the fee for the evening.  Very nice people, but they were a cash only enterprise, and I had no cash.  Not a problem.  The Stockman’s Bank has an ATM in the lobby and only a mile away.  The owner told me to be sure and check out the sculpture of two Montana cowboys standing around a campfire.  The thing was welded out of sheet metal by a couple of local prison inmates and displayed in a neighbor’s backyard.  I rode my bike to the ATM, got the cash, and looked for the sculpture. I couldn’t find it where she said it was; I even asked a few local Terry folks, but they didn’t know and looked at me as if I was crazy.

An inteevelyn with cameraresting side-note about Terry, Montana, is the fascinating story of Evelyn Cameron (1868-1928), a British-born photographer, adventuress of some considerable reputation, who moved to Terry in 1893 with her Scottish husband, Ewen.  After hearing stories about hunting expeditions in the Badlands of Montana, homesteading on the prairie, and living the life of a “pioneer,” Evelyn and her husband moved to Montana to see it all for themselves.  Evelyn inherited enough money after the death of her father to purchase a ranch.  After an initial failed effort to raise polo ponies to sell to wealthy Europeans, Evelyn raised vegetables to sell and took up photography after buying a nine-pound camera and tripod which she lugged around by horse, taking photographs of every aspect of frontier life in Montana.

Evelyn with horse:

evelyn with horse

Kneading dough:

evelyn kneeds dough

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Okay, so here’s the deal:  We had planned to leave two days ago, but the rainy weather—nay, the miserable, rotten, God-Forsaken, hell-is-really-a-flood kinda weather—kept us from making any progress on loading up Mr. Coach House for bear. I ask you, what’s the point of getting sopping wet, to the bone, if all you’re going to do is carry stuff out to your RV?  Exactly.  No point.  So fortunately (that is will become debatable as you shall see later) early this morning the sun was shining intermittently between monstrous, gray clouds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We left at 10:30 in the morning and drove until our first “pet break” at the Cascade Locks Rest Stop.  Walked the dogs (Roscoe is still borderline schizophrenic when it comes to traveling in any kind of vehicle moving in a forward direction; I don’t know  about backwards, but it’s probably the same anyway), and then had a snack and a smoke to relax.  Take our time, that’s our motto! What’s the rush?

But taking your time, as it turns out, is very hard work, not for the feint of heart or those who lack the courage to ignore the demands of the clock.  Forty years of “time-clock” punching has a way influencing behavior considerably beyond that last day you had to be on time.  And so is the case with us that no matter how hard we try to take our time, there’s that little “hurry up our you’ll be late” voice screeching in your ear.  So you keep it under control (the voice that is) as much as possible and proceed at a leisurely pace in the direction of your first destination: Hermiston and the Hat Rock State Park (yes, there is a big rock in the shape of a…well a hat!).hat rock

After six hours of of I-84 freeway driving, it was time for a quick Subway  s andwich dinner stop.  While waiting for Jackie to come back with the Subs, out of no where I heard a loud, metallic thud.  Checked for obvious issues underneath, saw no problems.  But now at the park the slide out is malfunctioning and the electric jacks are not working at all.  But the bed still opens, only it blocks the pass-through.  Time to problem solve:  on the road style.

The Hat Rock State Park Campground is pleasant enough and this time of year has its share of full-timers as does every park probably during the off-season.  The sites are grassy and level and we go for the water and electricity only sites.  Cheaper that way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Note tarp covered bikes loaded on the back of Coach House.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Upper rim of rock formation south east of hat rock and outer edge of campground.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »