My inner time keeper says it can’t be so. The calendar tells me differently.
There’s a seriously messed up cosmic clock out there somewhere!!!!
We’ve already put in a tad over a month at Bernie & Sharon’s Riverfront RV Park in Garrison, Montana, 4 months to go.
Full days of sunshine are a much welcomed luxury here. Summer, as we expect, doesn’t arrive until late June and sometimes warm, lazy days of summer don’t find their way this far north until July. This reality check was proven to us a couple of years ago when we were volunteers at Whitefish Lake State Park in Whitefish, MT.
But it is gloriously green and rivers are running bank full. In light of the deadly Texas floods and the fact that the southwest could use this moisture, I try to keep the whining down to a minimum.
Unfortunately my trusty washer, which undoubtedly is the original motorhome washer and 11 years old, decided to die our first day here. Upon finally pulling it out last week and doing some investigating we discovered the part that likely needed replacing is no longer manufactured …. of course. So, I’m grateful the campground has a nice laundry room a short walk from my front door and cross my fingers that the dryer holds out much longer than its partner. I have a couple of new washers bookmarked on my computer from an RV supplier/dealer in Texas that offers free delivery. Cha-Ching!
Fortunately that is the only inconvenience we’ve “suffered” through since our arrival and if that’s the most traumatic event on our agenda then I’m countin’ our blessings!!
Our freezer already holds a couple of trout courtesy of fly fisherman Dave, one of the benefits of living next to the Little Blackfoot River.
|Little Blackfoot River|
We’ve walked one of many trails that border the Grant-Kohrs Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Deer Lodge about 10 miles east, that’s a National Historic Site and open to the public for FREE! As soon as the weather dries out a bit we’re planning to check out more of the trail system.
In a month’s time we’ve revisited local mom & pop restaurants we enjoyed last year, investigated future trout fishing spots, wandered thorough ghost towns, seen elk, deer, bald eagles, Canadian geese, Sandhill cranes, egrets, every type of duck and today I saw my first HUGE marmot starring at me from a campground wood pile. He looked as big as Willy, wasn’t happy I was invading his territory and let me know about it with an ear splitting high pitched chirp. I heeded his warning and did an about face. We’ve watched a nest of baby owls go from nestlings to young adults to just being absent from the nesting tree one day.
|Goose On The Loose!|
|Mama Owl and baby peeking out of the nest|
One evening Dave & I watched a magnificent lightning display from the bedroom window and when a clap of thunder rocked the motorhome Dave commented, “that one hit in the park”. Early the next morning while walking Willy I notice bark scattered all though the campground owner’s front yard and sure ‘nough, 2 huge cottonwood trees had lightning scars ripped through them all the way to the ground.
|Ghost Town Garnet|
All volunteers except one, who’s expected mid June, are on-site and ready to go. Most of them we met last year and we’ve enjoyed several get reacquainted happy hours already. Did I mention that the volunteer “duties” are fulfilled by the men and us “ladies” are not required to donate our time? No wonder they’ve had the same volunteers for many, many years!
Part of me feels rather guilty but most of me doesn’t! It certainly allows me the time I need to get my paying jobs done so we have more play time and ya know how we love play time?!!!
It’s also a bittersweet assignment since the owner of the campground was diagnosed in April with a non-operable terminal cancer, which I mentioned in my last blog. He and his wife live on-site and she has taken on his many RV park duties as well as being his principal caretaker. Their adult kids are often here helping to mow the grounds and clean the little laundry/game room/kitchen/shower/bathroom house.
None of this helps my guilt complex but they are being firm about not adding on to the volunteer’s duties but as we all know, everything is subject to change.
So, as this next summer volunteer chapter unfolds I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful, unspoiled part of America. I am also thankful for the good health David, I and Willy have been blessed with that also allows us to live this nomad lifestyle.
To Be Continued……