Friday, July 30, 2021

An Emergency Room Visit

Canyon Ferry MT - no change - smoke and hot

Been pretty quiet around here since Mick and Ginny left. Jim has been fishing but not catching and I'm reading and doing online jigsaw puzzles.

Sunday afternoon our friend Vaughn and some buddies dropped by after a day of kayaking on the lake. Vaughn and I have been friends for over 45 years. Always good to see old friends and be able to share a hug.

I also found out that my childhood friend, Dianna, died on Saturday. We saw her in Apache Junction before we left and knew that we wouldn't see her again on this earth. I miss you my friend. 

(I document all of the following so I can refer back to it if necessary.)

However, things changed on Saturday when Jim started complaining about his right shoulder and neck hurting. I figured he'd pulled a muscle or stretched it too much but we couldn't figure out what he did or when. 

By Sunday he was in terrible pain and could not use his right arm at all. He couldn't straighten up because it hurt so bad. Tylenol took the edge off for a little while and then the pain came back with a vengeance.  

The last time he had a pain in his back and thought he had pulled a muscle, he actually had a heart attack and needed bypass surgery. (he reassured me that this was different and it definitely was not his heart) So Monday morning saw us at the ER. Now you need to remember that Townsend is a small town - 2091 people. They are doing lots of construction on the hospital so we had to find the parking lot for the hospital. When we did find it, there was parking for 12 vehicles. Visitors and patients. 

We walked into the ER (with masks on) and checked in at a small cubicle. 


Then I looked at the waiting room. There are exactly four chairs in the very small waiting area. Nobody else there so Jim and I got to sit. 

They took Jim back almost immediately.  I stayed in the waiting room. Several folks came in but at different times. Two of them needed blood work, another guy had to see a doc about his hand, and who knows what others were doing there. All very interesting.

The doctor came out to talk to me. She explained that Jim was having a muscle spasm. They gave him an injection 💉 which ended up not helping at all and a pain pill which helped a little. They also gave him a prescription for 5 more pills. But basically there is not much they can do and he needs to "power" through til the muscle decides to loosen up. Supposed to do as much stretching as he can. 

By Friday he was beginning to feel much better even though he still couldn't turn his head or reach his arm up.  We are hoping by next week, he will be feeling much better.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A Truly Montana Birthday

 Canyon Ferry, MT   smoke, smoke and more smoke   High's in the 90s lows in the 60s

I am getting tired of the smoke so I can just imagine how all the firefighters are hating it. My heart and thanks goes out to all of them. We have six firefighters who have been seriously injured trying to save Montana homes and wildlife.

Ginny and Jim did some more fishing but no catching. However, one day when Jim went out by himself he did catch enuf for us to have a couple of walleye dinners. 


Not every day is sightseeing and fun. We still have the ordinary everyday chores of life - like doing laundry. We loaded up our truck and Ginny and Mick loaded theirs and we headed to Helena. First stop was the Breakfast Club for some really great breakfast burritos. We really like this place

After breakfast we headed over to the laundromat. Ginny and I did laundry while the guys took the trucks to be washed. Mickey had smashed a whole lot of grasshoppers on the front end of his truck and needed to get rid of them.

So Ginny - why isn't that dryer going around and around like it's supposed to?

After getting chores done we all did some Walmart shopping and then headed home.

Sunday night we bought fried chicken from Bob's grocery store in Townsend (it's really good) and had Ginny's potato salad and watermelon.

On Monday I had one of those days that are just as soon forgotten but birthdays seem to come every year no matter what. This year was special because we were able to celebrate with Mickey and Ginny.

We were going to go to dinner at the Big Bull in Winston which is just up the road from the campground. However, when we got there, they were overrun with a party of 42 (it isn't a very big place) so we decided to find someplace else. There is another bar and grill at Toston which is south of Townsend. We had never been there but decided to check it out.

The Bunkhouse is a truly Montana experience. It's a small bar with a pool table and a couple of slot machines. The drunk on-the-prowl female was trying to stay on her stool. The guys at the bar were trying to avoid her.  The bartender/grill cook was kept busy because she was the only one there. 


The food was pretty good. I even got serenaded. Somebody spread the word that it was my birthday and this guy sitting at the bar said that after he finished eating he would sing happy birthday for me. I didn't get his name but he really did have a great voice.


With all the smoke we've had some colorful sunrises and sunsets.

All too soon two weeks were gone and Mickey and Ginny were headed on to Sheridan for more adventures.

There they go.


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Six Months Without Our Skittlez


Our Skittlez has been gone for six months and our hearts still ache. Traveling without a dog along was a whole new experience for us. No need to hurry back to the rig or worry about the power going out. We miss her so much.


She was always a strange little girl. At the time we didn't realize it but now we know that we got her from a backyard breeder. She was 8 weeks old when we brought her home with us. Scooter was two years and they had a great time playing. We didn't take very many pictures back then (early 2000s) and I regret that. 

Scooter and Skittlez


Skitz was afraid of everything from plastic bags to loud humans. As she got older she hated being outside. She wanted to be inside, in her house, in her bed. She wasn't too bad a traveler when we first started full timing but as age crept up on her she hated being in the truck. She would pace and pant and cry. Once we stopped and she could get inside the Bungalow she would settle down. 

She loved her boiled chicken and peanut butter, but definitely not vegetables. She and Jim shared ice cream frequently which made her very happy.

She never chased a rabbit or a squirrel. Just not interested. Or else couldn't see them very good. We always thought her eyesight was never very good.

Rocky always wanted to sleep with Skittlez and she tolerated him.

We just wanted to share some pictures of our little girl.

Run Free Little One

 Rocky Joe, Scooter, Skittlez

I don't know who did this sketch but it makes my heart feel peaceful. So thank you to whoever created this.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Rain and Wind, Wind and Rain - Last Chance Tour Train

 Helena, MT - cold and windy

Tuesday morning the four of us have tickets on the Last Chance Tour Train in Helena. It was overcast, windy and quite chilly when we headed into town.

Parking at the Tour Train is hard to find but the train people have a shuttle that runs from a parking lot about three blocks away to the train. The woman driving the shuttle led us to the parking lot and Jim and Mickey helped her secure her signs which kept wanting to blow over in the wind. (notice Ginny's hair blowing in the wind)

 Our train and engineer/tour conductor

As the train took off so did the rain. That's right. RAIN!! We haven't seen rain in weeks and when we finally decide to take the tour, the rain POURED down. The train has a roof but no windows. 

So the rain came down and the wind blew and we got very very wet.  Jim and I had coats but Mickey and Ginny are tougher than we are and survived without coats.

There are going to be lots of pictures in this post taken by Ginny, Jim and me. 

The tour takes you by the beautiful Cathedral of St. Helena (the city is replacing water lines all over the city and getting around was a little difficult) i.e. - we didn't get to go by the front of the cathedral

Reeder's Alley, a restored miners' village from the gold rush days and the beginnings of Helena. 

Check out the Old Fire Tower which was built in 1876 and the Blue Stone House built by a wealthy madam but never finished.


The unique architecture along Last Chance Gulch complete with giant lizards and gargoyles

 The old federal building where I worked many many years ago

The State Capitol Building

Original governor's mansion

The mansion district - homes built by the many millionaires that lived in Helena 


This house is not part of the tour but I certainly find it interesting.


This doe and her fawn (can you see him nursing) were by one of the houses on a main street in town.

After the extremely wet and cold and windy tour we decided we would go say hi to my brother-in-law and sister while we dried out. Remember how they were tearing up the road when we were staying there and we had to get out? Well, it was a whole lot worse. Jim was able to find a few alleys that wound around and finally got us to their house but it was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When we left about a half hour later, they had closed off one of the alleys we used to get in and Jim had to find another way out.

After working our way back out of the road mess, we went to Pita Pit for a sandwich and the only way to end our day was a stop at the Big Dipper on Last Chance Gulch for ice cream.