Traveling to Hellgate

Travel Journal – July 12, 2016
Camp - 7th Ranch RV Park

Camp – 7th Ranch RV Park

On disconnecting the fresh water hose here at 7th Ranch, I noticed a plumbing leak on my Kantleak water valve system. What now, I’m almost a month away from my home base here in Montana, at least in travel plans. Physically I could be there in about four hours .

If you remember I had a similar leak last year and Grand Design, the manufacturer of the Coach, replaced the entire valve (Kantleak Repair blog 2015) as a warranty item even though my Coach’s warranty expired. They have been great in standing behind their product. I’ll just watch the leak until I get home where I can repair it and if I can’t my Brother-in-law may be able to help me. He is very handy and has a work room with about any tool you could imagine. In the meantime I’ll fix a diversion for the leak and continue to monitor it.



After disconnecting all my utilities and stowing our hoses, cables and outdoor items we pull out, moving on down the road to our next adventure. Once again I leave another camp with feelings of leaving something behind. I think we saw almost everything here. It was a peaceful camp in the middle of miles of rolling plains.

Traveling to Hellgate
Rich farming land all around the valley

Rich farming land all around the Canon Ferry valley


I’m trying to experience as much of Montana as I can this year before heading back South for the Winter. It’s such a big state. I could probably travel Full-time here for a year and not see it all. As I travel North to Hellgate Campground I wonder what I will find there. I’ll be staying at a Bureau of Reclamation campground, right on the Missouri headwaters at Canon Ferry. Lewis and Clark preceded us by over three hundred years camping here at the headwaters of the Missouri River.

After a long gravel road entrance. We arrive at camp a little confused. We have a reservation here, but no Host to be found. I continue to pull the Workhorse down the dirt and

Hellgate Entrance

Hellgate Entrance

gravel road and find an area that says “Loop A – Reservations only”. I turn in and travel not to far before seeing my name and dates on the pedestal at the campsite. I carefully back our Coach in and we are home for another week.

I let Jagger out to explore a little while I set up camp. It’s right on the water and has some nice trees for some shade. I think it’s one of the better camps here. No close neighbors today, but I’m sure this camp will fill up on the weekend. It’s very close to the city of Helena, Mt.
Eagle Excapes

Eagle Escapes

Just after dinner I look out the window by my table and see what looks like a large bird land near the shoreline. I take another look and step outside the Coach. Oh, it’s a bald eagle and it’s huge. I try to take a quick picture, but he’s gone. I did manage to snap a partial picture, but they are fast. That is the closest I’ve ever been to a Bald Eagle in the wild. He was spectacular.  This is going to be a nice camp Jagger.

Safe Travels…Gary
More Photos: Hellgate Campground

5 replies

  1. That is a great shot of the bald eagle. The thought of traveling Montana for a year is intriguing. How is Jagger doing now that he has some miles under his collar?


    • You know Steve, Jagger keeps doing better, but I think it’s me. I’ve never had a dog that was socialized this much. It seems the more confidence I have the better Jagger does. We can go on walks in a populated campground now, and seldom does he react to other dogs, unless they bark and lunge at him first. Even with that I am able to get his attention and bring him back down.

      I’ve only had one incident with people. It was the day before yesterday here at North Rim, Grand Canyon, Az. We were coming out of the Coach. I always come down the steps first. Then I look around and release Jagger. Well two ladies were walking by, I thought nothing of it. I give the command, “Free Jagger” and he jumps down as usual. One of the ladies screams to high heaven. Well Jagger has never had someone do that, I think it scared him. he took off after her barking violently with me hanging on to the leash. It took me awhile to bring him back down. It was very frustrating to me, but I was more frustrated at the lady, I guess. I shouted out an apology and Jagger and I went on down the road…the opposite direction.

      I guess I still can’t let my guard down 😦


      • I love reading about your adventures! Maybe Jagger needs to meet Caesar the dog whisper! You could email him…
        I look forward to retirement so we can travel everywhere! I am saving for our vintage trailer to have my friend Brian restore! Happy travels! If your ever in mesa, Arizona let us know….we have a guestroom and two fantastic cooks! As well as laundry room! We have the beautiful Canyon Lake and red mountains to explore…
        Michele Sellers


      • Hey Michelle. I just saw your comment and thanks for following. A meeting with Ceasar would be awesome, but I’ve heard they are very hard to get and very expensive. Jagger is doing better now, actually I think he trained me. I avoid situations where we come close to other dogs and carry a pocket full of treats for distraction. He actual has a few doggie friends now. It just takes awhile to warm up.


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