Montana, The Summer

Let the adventures begin!

Jagger – A Rainy Day

I had one of those moments tonight, ya know, the ones where you wonder where the last few months have gone. I sit down in my recliner, more like fall into my recliner, and Jagger quickly settles next to me as I try to collect my thoughts. I remember leaving Arizona with my eyes set on Montana.

Of course, the anxiety set in first. I always feel a little anxious when we move, hoping I don’t forget part of my routine, which is why I made my handy checklist. This relieves my anxiety, knowing everything is complete and in order before our wheels start movin’.

Last camp before starting Summer Adventure

I decided to play it safe with the fracture to my back recently. I spread out my normal packing routine across several days hoping I wouldn’t be too sore on moving day. With all of this extra planning, I realized I hadn’t made any reservations as I migrated north! It was Memorial Day and I was hoping to find a spot. This is not like me at all, I plan every last detail months in advance!

I found a campground, “Bonito Campground”, just outside “Sunset Crater National Monument” and it happened to be on our way to Montana. We arrived at 1:00 pm after traveling 150 miles from Payson, Arizona, surprised to find the campground was only about half full on this Friday before Memorial Day. Maybe going on a whim isn’t so bad! However by 4 pm, the campers poured in, only three tent sites left, and by dark the place was full!

The campsite we chose was located in one of the lava flows. I noticed the sites looked like they were made out of ground up lava rock. It is pretty interesting to me how the lava eventually breaks up into pebbles. It only took a thousand years and in another thousand years, it may be difficult to even tell it was ever a volcano, that is unless it erupts again. Hopefully not in the next few days! Jagger seemed to enjoy this place, being able to run around off leash. I enjoyed my visit to Sunset Crater that Saturday. I had visited other volcanoes but this one was even more interesting due to the timing of the volcano erupting in Hawaii.

Moving On North

Jacob Lake Campground

Jacob Lake Campground

On Sunday we moved north to Lake Jacob Campground. It was a good stop for an overnight stay. We lucked out and squeezed into one of two sites left. There’s definitely no time for sightseeing this trip, even though we’re just outside the Grand Canyon North Rim (about a thirty-minute drive). We were here last year for a week-long stay that included some exploration time.

First thing Monday morning we break camp and again head north on highway 89 ALT to 89 North traveling 148 miles to Piute Lake Campground for one night. When pulling into the campground I noticed right away there were no paved roads here. When you pull near the lake you must watch out for soft sand.

I pulled up the Workhorse to a stop in the soft sand to walk around and check out the area. As I stepped out of the truck I noticed quickly that I needed to watch where I stepped. Sheep droppings from the sheep roaming freely. I’m not sure if they are wild or what. I also noticed there were lots of bugs but there didn’t appear to be any mosquitoes. If so very few.

While there were three camps near the lake, they were pulling up, Memorial weekend was coming to a close. Jagger and I would spend the cool night alone, with the entire lake to ourselves, other than the occasional coyote singing its lonely song.

First thing Tuesday morning we woke to a cup of coffee and checking the news on the internet. Our camp did have a great cell signal even though we’re 10 miles from the nearest town. Afterward, we broke camp and continued North to our Montana home.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger


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