This morning was beautiful and warm but with the sun coming up so early the 4am dawn-light wakes me and makes it hard to sleep until a normal time. While I have a sunshade for the windshield, a custom curtain for the back window and towel-curtains for the driver and passenger windows I have nothing to block the direct light through the tinted windows of the back of the cab. After last night I decided it was time to do something about that and need to locate a Walmart!
Without the crazy mosquitoes to bug the hell out of us we took our time this morning, wrote some blog entries and took a while to break camp. Kye and Cody are both really good about roads and cars, and so close to a main road I was extra cautious, but Kye still managed to sneak away and slow-down traffic while I was brushing my teeth. She got in a little trouble for that!
I stopped in Lincoln, MT for breakfast as I needed something a little more substantial than Poptarts or granola bars. It was a great meal of Eggs Benedict and hashbrowns…couldn’t have asked for better. Small town breakfasts are always the best. Lincoln is best known as the hide-away of Ted Kazinski, the Unabomber. I learned this only after my first trip through Lincoln and deciding how much I like the place three years ago. It is definitely a little eerie learning that.
From Lincoln we headed towards Kalispell, MT with the intention of stopping at Swan Lake (no, not the ballet) on the way. Sadly, and completely depressingly, there was only one public access point to the lake (which is, bear in mind, a multi-thousand acre lake…a standard in Montana public access it seems). Instead of the over-crowded, single-access point on Swan Lake we continued on and spent a fun hour at Echo Lake where the dogs got to play in the water; Kye chased white horses and everyone got out of the truck for a while.
We fed, filled up with gas, beer and ice just south of Whitefish, Montana and headed into the national forest. Trying to avoid the mistakes of the last couple of days with 6pm pull-in times I was adamant I was going to find something earlier and give the dogs and myself a chance to relax. And yet every national forest access road I tried was a “residential area”…which I will never get…but I finally pulled into a wide open space with flat ground, had a campfire ring, that was both private and had no neighbors, and was far off the main road.
At nearly 7pm it was still hot out and the flies are beyond irritating (but I will still tolerate them over mosquitoes as they don’t bite). I needed to turn the truck into the rising sun so that the dawn-light wasn’t too irritating at 4am and I could sleep until a normal time. I took a shower before the sun disappeared behind the trees using my camps-shower, which was almost too hot, but it was good to feel clean. Using a camp-shower in a public-access campsite is not for the shy and you learn to scrub and dry quickly…just in case.
Kye, Cody and I enjoyed a pleasant, roaring fire before retiring to bed, although it did spit coals at us and ruined one of my brand-new blankets. It was a small price to pay for a beautiful evening, some great company and a few beers.
All in all it has been a good day, with little driving and a lot of quality time with Kye and Cody…oh, and a much needed shower!