Once we finished up our sad business with Tikita in Dillon, we continued on our plan and headed toward the fairground in Helena. This was a few days of recovery and just hanging out with our two remaining kitties. They don’t seem to know what to think about Tikita being gone. I wonder if they think we will take them away for good? I do think they both knew she was sick though; they just seemed to.
On our way from Dillon to Butte for a night at Camp Walmart we saw eight Tesla recharging stations at a rest area. Eight? Really? In rural Montana?
We passed through Boulder, Montana where good friends from the Oldsmobile club live. Well, he still lives there but she died several years ago when they were returning home from a trip to Yellowstone in their 1927 Model T. They were struck from behind and she was killed instantly. He and their two dogs were seriously injured but survived. A very sad time for us.
I had written him a postcard to let him know we were passing through and when I went to the Post Office to mail it (he doesn’t have a phone and just a PO Box) the lady there couldn’t tell me where he lived but a guy in the parking lot who was taking a picture of the bus knew him and told us where to go to find his house. Cool! Except he wasn’t home. Boo. We left a card and went to lunch before heading to the Windsor Bar where the PO lady said we could find out where he lived. It turned out he didn’t go to the bar very often, once a month or so. We left him some cash for drinks on us when he comes in next. The diner we ate at.
And the bus in front of his house. I’m sure he will never see the picture. No phone, no computer…
We are finding that the Elks Lodges in the west are few and far between so we have switched over to county fairgrounds for now. We had the one in Helena to ourselves. And a nice view from the bus.
Big sky country indeed…
After Helena we detoured to Great Falls since there was a bike trail there and we hadn’t ridden since Colorado. Jim found an RV park and we squeezed in for a couple nights. The drive between Helena and Great Falls was spectacular with sweeping views of the Missouri River valley and mountains and water all around. I would have taken some pictures but I was driving. Worth the trip for the drive alone. The day we set to ride Jim wasn’t feeling great so I went out on my own. After about four miles I discovered that I hadn’t tightened up my handlebars when removing my bike from the rack. So it was a four mile walk back. OOPS!
When we moved on to Havre for the Fourth of July we were practically alone there too. Fairgrounds are good for walking, biking and there are lots of little interesting and colorful buildings. We did have neighbors for one night in Havre where we wanted to hide out for the Fourth. They came down from Canada “for the fireworks” but we weren’t sure what to expect. The kitties were on their own here and Carmella climbed a tree onto their neighboring RV. “Nothing to see here!”
Lo and Behold! They shot off the fireworks right at the fairgrounds and we had a front row seat with hardly anybody else there! It was also one of the very best fireworks displays we have ever seen. Sunset on one side, fireworks on the other.
The next morning we were alone again. We took some walks and found where they shot off the fireworks. LOTS of them!
When Jim put together this northern route we didn’t really know what to expect but sweet serendipity strikes again. The last piece of the puzzle was Fort Peck, a Corps of Engineers site that is first come first served. We knew we might have to dry camp but we’re good with that. We arrived to find no electric sites and took a temporary one right by the office. It seems like wherever we do have to stay in an RV Park we are crammed right in front. Which is actually good for people-watching. We don’t stay in them often.
The next morning they came to the bus and said we could move to another site with power. It turned out to be a stone’s throw from the Missouri River in a big, shady site. Cats on patrol.
Speaking of cats, Carmella was lounging on the picnic table and Jim said to come see the kitty on a leash! Turns out the people next door have a full time traveling kitty too. Linda and Buttercup came over to say hi and Carmella watched from a comfortable distance. Buttercup is a very friendly and pretty kitty, a tortoiseshell, tabby and calico all in one.
Hi Linda and Buttercup! They left the next morning so we didn’t get to visit more. Maybe down the road.
We’ll spend another couple of nights here during which time we will have to come up with another plan. Corps of Engineers are at the top of the list, especially as we follow the Missouri River. We know we are going to North Dakota since it is one of three we haven’t been to in the bus. In the lower 48. Rhode Island and Maine are the others.