Monday, July 4, 2016

At Spring Gulch NFS campground, south of Darby, MT.  Written on Sunday, July 3

Fourth of July in Conner, MT

The while 5 days I’ve been here, it’s been quiet and the other folks have been pretty mellow: even a bunch of bikers. The people across the way were a nice couple from California in a pickup camper, who went off most days to go fishing somewhere.  The woman of that pair fell on a river rock and broke her arm (above the elbow: that’ll be a nuisance to immobilize and set!) and their spot was claimed by a family group with Idaho plates on a very large 5th-wheel trailer.  They had three kids ranging in age from something like 8 or 9 to very early teens.  Each kid had a little quad (motorized 4-wheel toy) and Dad had a full-size quad.  And they spent hours buzzing up and down the campground road, squealing and towing each other on skateboards.  Squealing, I tell you!

They did quiet down when dinner called (the smell of burning chicken filled the air,) which was just about when I was heading for bed.  I did resist the urge to go shake my cane at them and yell “Get off my lawn!”  It was a holiday weekend, and they were out camping, and I’m sure it will be one of the good childhood memories.  No harm, no foul.  But I found myself thinking that no WAY would we have let son Mike do something like that when we were camping with him.  If they’d had quads back in the day, I’m sure he’d have loved it.  But it was SO intrusive: their noise filled the whole campground.  I liked it better when the loudest noise was either the Bitterroot River across the way or the mosquitos trying to get through the screens. 

From here I’m headed south and east.  I haven’t decided yet — I’ll probably need to make the call tonight — but I’m still thinking I’ll head across Wyoming and south to Boulder.  We’ll see once I get on the road.

Continuing issue: solitude. 

Before I forget: forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.  I think it was the second night I was here.  It was late afternoon, it was hot and humid, the mosquitos were in full cry. As I walked down to the toilet, I heard — generators.  Yes!!!  So I went back to the rig, fired up the generator and the a/c.  And for a blissful hour or so I was cool and not sweaty and only a little guilty.  On that subject (generators, not guilt) I was again impressed by how quiet the current Honda generators are.  Trailers, even big ones, generally don’t have generators built in the way motorhomes do.  You haul the generator out, put it somewhere, fire it up, and plug the RV into it. They’re really quiet.  Mine makes the sound of a well-mannered lawn mower; the Honda units just purr.  

One of the features of this time at Spring Gulch was trips into town.  “Town” is Darby, MT.  Home of supermarkets, gas stations, laundromats, cell phone service and cheeseburgers.  And cowboys. About 15 minutes up the road. 

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