Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Kalispell, MT    High 88  Low 52

Scooter is definitely better today. In fact, she let me know in no uncertain terms that she did not appreciate not being fed. She got to eat some egg for breakfast this morning and seems to be doing just fine. She also went for a ride with Dad and I think that was the best medicine ever.

David – the doctors have diagnosed him with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. No cure, but they are trying to come up with a drug combination that will ease some of his symptoms. Reading about it on the internet, I learned that it can be very debilitating for days on end. He will need to learn to live with the problem and keep a journal to determine what his triggers are. But it is so wonderful to at least have a name for what is wrong.

Now back to enjoying this almost perfect weather.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Kalispell, MT  High 88  Low 51

Since it’s the week-end, we stayed pretty close to home. Did some laundry, a little grocery shopping, gave the girls baths. Lots of fun stuff. NOT!

We’re so pretty.


Scooter isn’t feeling good today. She’s been throwing up this morning, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on her to see if we need to find a vet.


We made a stop at Depot Park in Columbia Falls. Take a look at this neat old 1904 Shay Locomotive which was used for logging in the Swan Valley.


Jim added a new fish decoration to our household. We stopped in Snappy’s Sport Store and ran across this treasure. What fisherman wouldn’t want a fishing rod fly swatter.


Sue and Doug and Paul were all heading for new places this morning. Sue and Doug are headed up to Nelson in Canada to visit good friends and Paul is moving over to the east side of Glacier Park. We needed to have one more get together and I was feeling domestic (I know, I really was sick!) so I fixed dinner at our place. Had a wonderful time. So glad we got to meet Sue and Doug. And Tucker. We’ll be seeing Paul again sometime in Arizona.

David (Jim’s son), Kelly, and Katie Bug were supposed to be back today from Baltimore where Katie was competing in the National Track and Field Championships. But David has ended up in the hospital and we’re not sure when they will be back. David has had stomach problems for years and the doctors here have not been able to determine what is wrong. Hopefully the doctors back East have better luck. David’s Mom lives back there so she is making sure he is getting good care.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Polebridge, MT   High 76   Low  49


Yesterday morning Jim and I headed north. The other day we received a comment from hobopals  asking us if we were going up to Polebridge. Even though we lived in this area for several years we never made the journey up to the Polebridge Mercantile.


The road follows the North Fork of the Flathead River and wanders along the west side of Glacier Park. The road is gravel for several miles and if you don’t like washboards, this one isn’t for you. Eventually it turned into an oiled gravel road which wasn’t too bad. But slow going.


Polebridge is unincorporated and is about 22 miles from the Canadian Border. The signs say the border is closed but I read on the internet that several people have actually come through there hoping they won’t get caught.  Not a very smart idea.


The store was built in 1914 and I’m really not sure why or how the Mercantile became so famous but the place was packed and more folks kept rolling in. It was a 50 mile journey that took nearly two hours because of the road conditions and still they come. And what does everyone go to Polebridge for?

The pastries.



You can also rent cabins for the hiking and rafting in this area.


Views of Glacier National Park


My cloud picture for the day


To end this wonderful day, we went to dinner at Scotty’s with Sue and Doug


and Paul


Everyone headed for home and just in time because one wild storm rolled through with lots of thunder, lightning and really hard rain.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Paul rode down from his campground near West Glacier and then rode with us as we headed around Flathead Lake and down memory lane.

We lived in Lakeside in the mid-90’s for a few years and we wanted to visit a couple of places from our past.

Our first stop was at Somers boat ramp. This is where Todd used to go swimming during the summer months. Also, in the winter time this is where Jim used to go ice fishing. Thank goodness he no longer wants to do that.


From here we went to Lakeside and went up the mountainside to see our old house. At one time this was my dream house. But it turned into nothing but work and more work. All we did was take care of the house and the 3/4 of an acre that it’s on. I ended up resenting the house and was so very very happy when we sold it.


This was our view. (I forgot to take a picture but the house is for sale and this was on the website).


From there we went to the top of Blacktail Mountain. Jim used to go hunting up there when he wasn’t fishing on Flathead. They  built a ski area on the mountain since we moved and we wanted to check it out. However,when we got up the 10 miles of dirt road the rest of the road to the ski area was blocked off.


The views can be incredible from the top of the mountain, but it as very hazy today and the pictures did not turn out too well.



Blacktail Mountain is part of the Salish Range and served in defense of our homeland during the Cold War.Tthe U.S. Air Force had a radar base just above Lakeside and the radar installation was located at the top of Blacktail Mountain.

P1000072 P1000071

Saw this beautiful new home and just had to take a picture.


Next stop was in Polson for lunch. FIESTA  EN  JALISCO, a Mexican restaurant right on the lake. The food was okay but the view was fabulous.


After leaving Polson we drove up the east side of the lake towards Bigfork.


Our timing couldn’t have been better. Flathead Cherries are just now being picked and the roadside stands are open. We had to stop and buy some of the best cherries ever.

And once more – the end. (I honestly did not plan this one.)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I love it when we have a mix of new friends, old friends and animals friends.

First, I need to apologize for this terrible picture. My camera has been giving me grief and I finally broke down last evening and bought a new camera.

New Friends (and animal friend): Many of you out there follow along with Sue and Doug on their journeys in their pop-up camper and orange Jeep. We finally got to meet them because they are here in Kalispell. We also got to meet the most important family member, Tucker – the flying Wallinda. They are at an RV park about four miles from ours and we just dropped in on them to say hi and visit. Doug and Jim started talking fishing and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever drag him away.


Sure am looking forward to spending more time with these wonderful folks. Paul and Mary (Boris and Natasha) were also supposed to be here this week but they had air conditioning problems down in Colorado and aren’t going to make it. Miss you guys.

Old Friends: I used to work in Kalispell and there is still one guy left in the office who hasn’t retired that I know. So we tracked Rod down and went to lunch with him today. Went to Nickel Charlie’s and had a great meal and got all caught up on what he’s been doing. He’s going to retired the end of this year and I keep telling him it’s about time.


Loved the inside of this place.


After lunch we picked up the girls and took them for a walk in Woodland Park which is 38 beautiful acres.


It has a rose garden, rustic log gazebos, horse shoe pits, log pavilions, kids playground equipment, picnic areas, two miles of walking trails around a large pond with water fountains that freezes for winter Ice skating with a warming hut in the winter, a water park, swimming pool and skate board park. We often took Todd here ice skating. I much preferred the warming hut.


More Animal Friends: There are hundreds of ducks, geese and swans in the park and people bring bread to feed them so they are quite tame. However, Skittlez was good at protecting us from any bird that might come too close.


However, this Mama Goose hissed rather loudly when we walked by to let us know she was keeping a close eye on us around her babies.


Not often that I see a black duck.


These signs are all around the park and they do mean there are ducks crossing every where so be alert.


It’s a beautiful park and a wonderful place to take a picnic lunch.


We are staying at the Rocky Mountain Hi RV Park. Lots of trees for those who want trees and open spaces for those of us who prefer fewer and smaller trees.


Couldn’t resist this one.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Kalispell, MT  High 82  Low 48 (just about perfect)

I very seldom see the sunrise, but I wanted to be on the way to Kalispell kind of early so this is what I got to see this morning. So beautiful, but not enough to get me up early every morning.


We left Helena about 8:50 and headed up over MacDonald Pass which was originally a toll road over the Rocky Mountains. It is 6,299 feet at the top and was named after Alexander MacDonald who built the first road across in 1870. Going down the west side there is an 8% grade and then a 7% grade for several miles. Really not very hard to do. The east side is much curvier and warns truckers to drive 25.


Highway 12 is four lanes going over the pass but becomes two lanes on the west side. Sometimes two lanes isn’t quite wide enough.


Also, as in the rest of the country, summer is road construction time. We had a couple of places where we had to slow down but not really anything that held us up for any time. Notice the hitchhiker on our windshield.


I’ll never forget the first time someone gave me directions to get from Kalispell to Helena. They told me to go down Highway 83 to the cow and turn left. Well, it’s actually a bull but you can’t miss it and you have to turn. I couldn’t find any history on this bull but he’s been there at least 40 to 50 years. Somewhere I have a picture of my Dad standing by this bull.


Driving through the Seeley/Swan valley is one of the prettiest drives. There are many lakes through this area and you drive along their shores for many miles. Because I was in the passenger seat I didn’t get any good pictures. I’ll take some on our way back to Helena.

In the winter time driving this road is like driving through a picture postcard. When the trees are covered with snow and the world is white, it is just amazing. But that is one of those things that I’ve done and hope to never do (I really do not like that snow). A lot of the trees have been killed by the beetles but just picture it with a white blanket on it. (That is a logging truck in front of us – lots of them in this area.)


Arrived at the Rocky Mountain Hi RV Park in Kalispell and got set up. We don’t have the river front view that Sue and Doug have but it’s still a pretty good view. Hope to meet them this week.


Met Paul at The Back Room for a rib dinner last night. We’ll be seeing him a few more times this week while we are here. We met Paul over four years ago at an Escapade and have been able to meet up with him several times a year since then. Sure do love this RVing life.


My internet connection is better up here so hopefully I can make comments on blogs again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Helena, MT   High 91  Low 58

This fish came to us all the way from Hawaii. There is no paint used on this fish; it is made entirely of naturally colored wood that is found in the islands. Todd and Michaela brought it to us from their honeymoon.


We mounted it on the cabinet door.


IMG_5442 Meet Scott. He’s the son of a very good friend of ours and he lives in East Helena. We headed out to see him Saturday afternoon to check out his fish taxidermy business. Gee – do you think this might be of interest to my hubby?

This is a brook trout mount that he is currently working on. He uses a form for the head because real fish heads shrink and dry up.


These are real fish gills.


These are the fins – notice how they are held with clips until they are dry.



Among professionals, it is generally agreed that the most difficult branch of taxidermy is fish mounting. Creating a technically accurate fish mount can be a real challenge. Fish taxidermists must be outstanding flat artists as well. They must have the ability to draw, paint, mix colors, and sculpt.


Mounting fish not only requires the ability to accurately recreate the anatomy of the subject, but to restore all of the colorations as well. When a fish skin dries, most of the color goes away, leaving only brownish patterns on the skin and scales. Fish taxidermy is the one area of wildlife art where the artist must totally recreate the colors of the skin all over the animal. In bird taxidermy, the taxidermist must paint the legs, feet, and bill, but the feathers retain their natural colors. In mammal taxidermy, the taxidermist must paint the nose and eyes, but the fur requires no color correction. In fish taxidermy, however, the taxidermist has to paint every square inch of the specimen, and make it appear natural.


He is amazingly talented and we really had a great time. He and Jim are making plans for fishing when we come back to Helena.

Tomorrow we head up to Kalispell for a week or so.