Saturday, June 21, 2008


I WANT TO SEE THE MOUNTAINS IN YOUR EYES. WHOA, WHOA, I'VE HAD ALL OF THIS LIFE I CAN HANDLE. MEET ME UNDERNEATH THAT BIG MONTANA SKY... (cut and paste the link to hear Marie Osmond and Dan Seals sing their 1985 #1 hit "Meet me in Montana.")

Thursday morning I left my campsite at Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs Campground and headed north. I drove through the quaint, but touristy town of Gardiner, MT then straight up HWY 89 to Livingston, MT where I fueled up. 21.58 gallons at $4.57/gal. The best since May 25th in Vernal, UT. I checked my digital read out for my mileage. I have a vague recollection of it reading 12.9 MPG. Not too bad for all the mountain driving I had been doing. After fueling up I veered west onto HWY 90.

AHHHHH!!! So here I am in Montana. It gets prettier and friendlier each time I visit. Snow capped mountains greeted me around each corner. I cruised past my favorite overnight Wal-Mart in Bozeman. I made an obligatory stop at the Harley-Davidson shop in Belgrade. I browsed the aisles but didn’t buy anything. I stopped at the intersection of HWY 90 and HWY 287 for a scrumptious sandwich at the Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli. (

I was only going to eat half of the sandwich, but it was so good I just had to eat the whole thing!!

Determined to do the whole Montana experience, I continued west on HWY 90 to HWY 69 where I turned north toward the town of Boulder for a soak at the Boulder Hot Springs.

“One of the last remaining grand hotels from the golden age of Montana’s hot springs resorts. “ “The 32 hot springs flowing from the hillside behind the hotel range from 125 degrees to 180 degrees F. The outdoor pool is kept at 95 degrees and the two indoor hot plunges average 104 degrees. The bed and breakfast inn features antique-furnished rooms in the east wing of the hotel. Nourishing breakfasts are served to overnight guests………”

I alternated between the hot plunge, a very quick dip in the 70 degree cold plunge, and a short, painfully hot experience in the very hot steam room. I did this for about an hour then returned to my trailer for a few hours, then hit the plunges and steam room again for another hour. Then I topped it all off with a very loooong shower - a rare treat for a boon docking Rver.


Overnight parking was not allowed in the Hot Springs parking lot so I continued up the HWY to a very scenic rest stop about 12 miles south of Helena. Only one or two non refer semis joined me during the night, and didn’t even run their engines. So, it was very quiet and peaceful. I was entertained for a few hours by a lady who spent the remaining daylight hours moving from picnic table to picnic table, singing, walking around in circles, and going back and forth to her car. I went to bed when it got dark. She was sleeping in her car when I awoke in the morning. She drove off in her packed-to-the-gills Volvo station wagon before I departed. I was glad not to be on the road with her.

I then proceeded on to Helena. I had read somewhere that the fair grounds in Helena allowed free RV parking around a meadow. I drove to the fairgrounds but was told by employees that dry camping was $15 and full hook ups was $20/night. I thought I’d save a little money over the $10/night charged at the Ekl's Lodge, but being that the fairgrounds was more than the Elk’s I ventured over to the Elk’s. I parked in the same spot I’d parked in the last two times I stayed at the Helena Elk’s. It kind of felt like home. After I got parked and unhitched I drove Bubba The Truck to the nearest do-it-yourself car wash. Bubba got a bubble bath and looked GOOD!! Then I “did” Wal-Mart. I picked up a few things I knew I needed and a few things I didn’t know I needed until I saw them.

Saturday morning I continued to do the Montana experience by going to the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in downtown Helena.


I couldn’t resist buying two large chocolate, cherry, macadamia cookies. I’m going to test my willpower and eat only half a cookie per day. :-) Yeah, right!! I resisted buying other things I really didn’t need. I had a large purchase looming ahead of me at my next stop. I drove to the fairly new Costco in Helena and dropped Bubba off at the tire shop for fancy new French rubber shoes. The cost was $768 for four new 10 ply tires. Thank you Prez Bush for my tax rebate check. It really came in handy going towards new French tires!! :-) Seeing the tread on the new tires made me realized how little tread I had left on the old ones. While Bubba was being tended to I managed to spend another $138.00 in the store. It was all stuff I really needed, like a suitcase of Moose Drool Beer, which really came in handy later Saturday afternoon when the temp soared above 90 degrees!! UGH!! I also did some serious grazing of the free samples in Costco. The store wasn't terribly crowded and the grazing was great!!! Ah, life is good!!


At 3:43 PM, Blogger Barbara and Ron said...

I love that song. Good for you - helping the economy like that. I stole that lovely scenery shot for my desktop - must be having mountain withdrawal.


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