Sunday, July 31, 2005

7AM - Libby Dam.
Pulled out of Blackstone Flats campground and are now at the top of the Libby Dam. We have made a Day Camp at the visitor's center which opens at 9:30am. We will tour the dam and powerhouse with a ranger! Wow!

11AM - Just finished the Libby Dam tour.
In our travels we have wanted to tour several dams, but tours had been stopped after the 09-11-2001 attack. The Libby Dam tour is terrific. The tour goes over and down into the dam, thru the powerhouse and even a look at a turning generator. Really great!

LibbyDam07-31-2005Copy

Downstream view of Libby Dam.



2PM - Camped along the east shore of Lake Koocanusa.
Koocanusa is the name of the lake that forms behind Libby Dam. This is a huge lake, maybe 80 miles long extending across the international border into the Province of British Columbia in Canada.

Following a dirt road leading toward the lake, we found our Camp overlooking the water.

CampKoocanusa07-31-2005Copy

A cool breeze comes off Lake Koocanusa at our Camp.



9PM - Vagabonder evenings are soooooo gorgeous.
It's almost like magic how we find these gorgeous places to make Camp. Almost every day, a gorgeous place pops up for us. How do we explain it?!

KoocanusaEvening07-31-2005Copy

We are sooooooooo lucky!



Do you wish that you had a Datastorm Spacestation Uplink System?
Many readers emailed that they cannot afford the $5,295 installation and $99/month subscription. We on the TiogaRV Team afforded it, and are soooooo glad that we did!!
DataStorm Space Station Uplink System!




YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The wonder of traveling only 30 miles each day!
A few wannabe RV vagabonds emailed me worrying about paying for gas when they retire. Why worry? If your goal is only to travel 30 miles each day, gas won't be a problem for you.

Is racing 200 miles and eating breakfast at Denny's what you want? How about leisurely going 10 miles and finding a place to make a Breakfast Camp? Yesterday for example, I drove a few miles and found my Breakfast Camp. I was happy at this Camp, because there was a nice view out the window of a ranch below me. Green grass and trees were in this view. It did not matter that also on this road was a gravel pit, and that I was close to a highway with trucks. What mattered was that I was in my fantastic MsTioga, preparing breakfast way out somewhere.

I will never get over the excitement of putting bacon and sausage into the pan for breakfast. It is sooooo great to be able to make breakfast in my own portable kitchen, with everything so convenient. To be able to set my table way out someplace that I've never been, and sit down and eat, looking out the window at the scene. Wow! Can it get better than that?

So why worry about paying for high priced gas? Why not think about making it your goal instead to travel leisurely? And enjoying the wonder of preparing your own meals in your own RV kitchen? And going only 30 miles each day, exploring our marvelous land? The Tioga and George RV Team traveled all the way from Cabo San Lucas this year to Calgary, Canada. We went all that way in less than six months, at only 30 miles each day.

6:30AM - Kootenai River Morning.
The Kootenai is a honkin' river, and has been flowing at over 18,000 cubic feet per second. Wow! Yesterday afternoon when it was really warm, I went down and cooled off my tooties in the clear and very cold Kootenai. Really great.

KootenaiMorning07-30-2005Copy

The Kootenai River at our Camp before dawn.



8AM - In the Town of Libby.
I gotta tell you that Libby is a swell town! There are tons of free U.S. Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds below Libby Dam and alongside the Mighty Kootenai River. We have made a Breakfast Camp at Libby's Memorial Park. Wow! The Memorial Park is an RVers paradise!

LibbyMemorialPark07-30-2005Copy

Libby loves us RVers!

9AM - Picking up the target pistols.
Remember back in June when I figured out how to store my target pistols while exploring in Canada? I packed up my pistols and sent them by UPS to a gunsmith here in the Town of Libby, Montana. This morning I went down to Rob Hughes' home in Libby, where Rob operates his gunsmith business.

If you are going into Canada and need a place to store your guns, find a gunsmith and UPS your guns there for cleaning or repair. Then, pick them up when you return to the USA. As long as the gunsmith does NOT insist on going thru a gun registration for your weapons.

12 Noon - Back in Memorial Park.
We had a Team Meeting, and decided to stay in Memorial Park for the afternoon. It gets pretty warm about this time of day in Libby, and maybe under some shady trees in the park is a place to hang out.

1PM - Reader Liz Pitrie visits The Team!
Liz is a resident of the Town of Libby, and a reader of our blog. Liz has emailed us a bunch of info about her Town of Libby. Liz is a retired chef whose specialty now is baking foccacia bread which she sells at the Farmer's Market here every Thursday. Liz brought a loaf of her wonderful foccacia bread as a gift. It is sooooooo delicious. It is also all gone. Yes, I ate the entire loaf already! Thank you soooo much Liz!

3PM - Back at Blackwell Flats Campground.
We moved our Camp back to Blackwell Flats. I am going to cool my feet in the wonderful chilly Kootenai River again!



YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Friday, July 29, 2005

7AM - Pulled out of our Kootenai Forest Camp.
Heading west toward Libby, Montana, looking for a Breakfast Camp along Hwy #2. In about an hour, we came to a little side road and found a level spot looking over a ranch below. The view is nice, so we made a Camp.

LibbySouth07-19-2005Copy

Nice view just behind our Camp.

2:30PM - Libby, Montana.
The TiogaRV Team has made a Day Camp in the Town of Libby, Montana. We want to take a peek around town. Maybe go into a place that has air conditioning and do a bit of shopping? Hmmmm?

4:30PM - Camped alongside the Mighty Koontenai River!
We are Camped at Blackwell Flats US Army Corps of Engineers "free" campground. The Mighty Wide Koontenai River flows just past MsTioga's rear window.

KootenaiCamp07-29-2005Copy

View of the Mighty Kootenai River from MsTioga's rear window.



Do you want to boondock, but wondering how to do it?
When we first started making Camps out in the wilds, we wondered if we could find places to Camp. But the beauty of the forests kept us going. Boondocking in wild places is absolutely wonderful! There are zillions of free Camps out there for you.
Secrets of the Joys of Boondocking!




YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Thursday, July 28, 2005

6AM - Kalispell, Montana.
Our Nite Camp in the City of Kalispell may not be a gorgeous boondock. It is a quiet Camp however, which is very important.

Kalispell07-28-2005Copy

Our Camp in Kalispell, Montana before dawn.



Tons of chores in Kalispell.
We have sooooo many things to do before we head west out of Kalispell. Everything from buying electronic contact cleaner at a Radio Shack for Mr. Datastorm's and Mr. Chips' connectors, to buying Folex shampoo for MsTioga's carpets. The Wal*Mart is just a short distance away, so we must go there!

1PM - Camped in the wilds of the Kootenai National Forest.
After we passed the large McGregor Lake, we took a gravel forest service road south into the Kootenai National Forest. This is a very good improved gravel road. A few miles up the mountain, this road was gated but an ungated dirt road appeared, and we took it.

It quickly became obvious that this smaller road was rarely traveled, and not maintained as well. Grass and plants grew in the center space between the two tracks. But since we are here to explore, we drove on this road exploring. We are now in the center of the forest. This place is pretty wild, and perhaps we will see that Grizzly Bear that we have been longing to see.

Kootenai07-28-2005Copy

Are you able to see the dirt road? Hmmmmm?



7:30PM - Evening at our Kootenai Forest Camp.
Nobody came by our Camp all day, and nobody is expected way out here on this rarely used forest road. However, two young deer came within a couple hundred feet a little while ago. They were foraging around doing their deeredly things.

If the nite sky stays as clear as now, there might be a great view of our Milky Way Galaxy tonite. The Moon does not rise until almost 11PM! Love that!

KootenaiEvening07-28-2005Copy

Evening time at our Camp.





YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Leaving Moose Lake.
We are heading down the mountain this morning. When we arrive at North Fork Road, where we camped before for few days, we will decide whether to return to Apgar Campground in Glacier Park, or head toward Columbia Falls.

Deer don't see me.
As I was typing this post, a deer came up from Moose Lake. It amazes me, that deer do not see me when I am inside MsTioga. I looked right at this deer, and the deer appeared to look right at me. We were only about 20 feet away from each other. A few minutes later, another deer came up from the Lake, and this deer did not see me either. Both deer went their separate ways up the mountain.

11AM - Day Camped at Lion Lake.
We had planned to Day Camp at the Apgar Picnic area, but the trees were soooooo tall, that Mr. Datastorm said, "Forget it." We dumped our holding tanks and filled the fresh water tank at the campground. Later in the afternoon, we will go into Kalispell to find out if Mr. Datastorm's replacement connector board has arrived. The board was sent to a Datastorm dealer for us to pick up.

3PM - At the Datastorm dealer.
The little interconnect board had been delivered, so we dropped by and picked it up. We are hoping that replacing this little board will fix up some of the problem symptoms with Mr. Datastorm.

4PM - Doing laundry at the Imperial Laundromat in Kalispell.
Man-O-Man, we have three loads of laundry to do! It is pretty warm here in Kalispell. It is amazing how nice and cool it was by comparison at Moose Lake where the elevation was 5,600 feet and the temp was 65 degrees this morning. Here in Kalispell it is 2,900 feet and 85 degrees this afternoon.




YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

7AM - Moose Lake Morning Mist.

MooseMist07-26-2005Copy

Some places in the forest make me feel sooooo good inside!
I don't what makes a place special. While driving on the road yesterday morning toward Moose Lake, the road turned special. Maybe it was the flowers along the road? Or maybe it was the early morning light, or the green trees? I don't know.

Moose Lake is special. This morning Mr. Mavica, TriPod and I went down to the campground below MsTioga. There are only three campsites at Moose Lake and they are free. No campers are here this morning.

MooseCamp07-26-2005Copy

One of Moose Lake's campsites.



Moose Lake's campsites are close to the water. If you come here to fish, bring some kind of boat because the lake bottom is very shallow near the shore. You will sink right up to your waist in the silty lake bottom if you try to wade out to fish.

MooseEast07-26-2005Copy

Mid-morning at Moose Lake.





YesterdayTomorrow

No anchor map link published for this day.

Monday, July 25, 2005

7AM - Heading west to Moose Lake.
According to our maps, Moose Lake is about 13 miles west of our Camp. We are heading up to Moose Lake. If it's nice, we may make a Camp there for several days.

8:30AM - Arrived at Moose Lake!
We have made our Camp at the road's end. There is no way for MsTioga to go down to the Lake, because there is no road to the water. From the computer desk window, a small bit of the Lake is in view thru the forest's trees. A few feet away from MsTioga, a gravel path leads down to Moose Lake. The huge fire that burned the forest all the way east to North Fork Flathead River, did not get this far west. Tons of green fir trees are everywhere.

MooseLake07-25-2005Copy

As Mr. Mavica was taking my pic, a fish jumped out from the lake!



6PM - Taking a hike up Moose Peak Trail.
If I would have known how far it was to Moose Peak, and how much a rise in elevation, I would never have made it to the top. But I did not know until I returned to MsTioga. Several times when I saw the trail continue to rise, all I could say was, "Oh God!"

8:15PM - Back from Moose Peak Trail!
Looked up the info about Moose Peak Trail on the net. I guess that I am in better condition than I thought! Man-O-Man!!
Moose Peak Trail #250 Information.
Difficulty: Medium.
Elevation rise: 1,876 feet.
Distance one way: 3 miles.


Just before I reached Moose Peak, the trail became completely closed in a field of flowers! Sort of a, "Welcome to Moose Peak."

MoosePeakFlowers07-25-2005Copy

Flowers fill the trail's end.



MooseLakeFmMoosePeak07-25-2005Copy

View of Moose Lake from Moose Peak.



How do you heat your RV?
We are camped at 5,650 feet altitude and it is 33°F outside. But inside because of our Olympian Wave6 Catalytic heater, it is a toasty 66°F. Quiet heat using no electric power!
Catalytic heater - best way to heat your RV!




YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Big Creek Road.
Headed west up Big Creek Road. The sign at the road's entrance read "Moose Lake 17 miles." A short distance up this road, Big Creek could be seen down the canyon, and the Creek seems more attractive than Moose Lake. Soon we came to a road leading down the canyon toward Big Creek, and we took it. These dirt roads are suprisingly good, compared to the washboarded gravel main road.

9AM - Big Creek Camp.
We are camped very close to Big Creek, in a large open meadow. Some people have what appears to be a long term camp on the opposite side of Big Creek.

BigCreekCamp07-24-2005Copy

What do you think of Big Creek Camp?



7PM - View from Big Creek bridge.
The evening is such a great time. We love the long shadows. It's also cooler, only about 83 degrees now. Mr. Mavica, his sidekick TriPod and George walked down to the bridge over Big Creek.

BigCreek07-24-2005Copy

Looking down Big Creek from the bridge.





YesterdayTomorrow

Google Map Link

Google Earth Link