It has been over two months since my last post! In future posts, I will retroactively describe the construction over the last two months, but WE'VE BEEN CAMPING!!! In July, we took 4 camping trips and each was very different from the others.
Cascade Campground, Inaugural Trip for my birthday, Red Lodge, MT
Our first trip was on my birthday. We pulled Eisley up to Cascade Campground in Red Lodge for two nights. There was one other group in the campground, but they were quiet folks, too. It felt like we had the whole mountain to ourselves.
Cody Rodeo, at a KOA in Cody, WY
This trip was the opposite of our first. We stayed in a packed KOA. It was little more than a parking lot with a pool. This was not our favorite version of camping, but it allowed us to go to the rodeo. The rodeo was awesome!
Basin Campground, in the Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge, MT
This campground is pretty close to our first site, but the experience couldn't be more different. We went on a weekend instead of midweek. It was packed, but that kinda became the best part. We bumped into close friends with kids the same age as ours. Instead of a quiet, family-oriented experience, we had a very social one. The kids ran around playing while the adults sat around the fire and enjoyed good conversation.
Yellowstone National Park
For this trip, we decided to give our little-engine-that-could some well-deserved rest. Our small SUV has handled all of our local trips with determination and aplomb, but this trip to Yellowstone had several mountain passes. We rented an F20, 3/4 ton truck to pull Eisley up over the Beartooths, though the park, and back. It was awesome.
Despite having been to the park many time and the crowds being the worst we've ever experienced at Artist Point, we felt like Yellowstone itself gave us a personal tour. We decided to hike down to the lower falls - in the distance of 3/8 of a mile we became the only people on the trail. It was a steep, switchy trail, but it was only a 3/8 mile! We sat and had a snack with the falls all to ourselves.
We stayed at Canyon Campground, in the middle of the park. Our campground was full (we reserved one of the last sites about 10 months ago), but it was quiet and felt comfortable. You could tell other people were there, but not close enough to bother.
Lastly, on the way out a mama grizzley and her cub chose to walk right in front of our truck. We were the only people on the road (at first) and it was like they were there just for us.
There were many moments where I was sitting in a camp chair reflecting on all of the work of the last two years. These days were the result of the hard work, good advice, and help from my friends and family. My kids' lives have been enriched. My wife and I have shared memories. Summertime and the living is easy.
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.