Friday, July 24, 2020

Boondocking, Wallydocking, And Moochdocking, Oh My! (Also Some Camping...)

After arriving June 28th, we haven't strayed so much as an hour from Missoula, splitting our nights among the Rotts' valley rent-house, the Mullan Road Walmart, Bretz RV, and an East Missoula truck-stop we favor. You can't say we are hard to please. Most of the time we were camped at the Powell campground in the Clearwater National Forest, over the Pass, and just down the hill from Lochsa Lodge. $10/night for seniors, with electricity. And right on the river. We spent some time at our storage unit, some time on an optometrist appointment (there will be more), some very little time on shopping/repairs, some wonderful time with old friends (one cow's length apart), and considerable time on the trails around Powell, enjoying the scenery and some productive huckleberry patches. We expect to do some more of the same in the coming few weeks before heading back to Middle California for a couple weeks, then heading back to Missoula for the rest of August and September. And whither then? Hard to know in these times, but we're pretty sure we won't be leaving the States.
Moochdocking in Missoula

Among the curiosities: it is July 3rd, our Glorious Leader is
doing his 4th of July stunt at Mt. Rushmore, and for half an hour
this giant C17 has been circling the field above Missoula, maybe
a couple thousand feet up, lumbering along; it's a C17 that totes
Marine Corps #1 around for the POTUS, but it's a long way to
Rapid City....

Climbing wall at a neighborhood daycare

Social distancing in Missoula; a week later Gov. Bullock
mandated face masks

From the Powell campground, the Lochsa

Why the Clearwater is so clear: among its major tributaries are
the Lochsa and the similarly clear Selway

At the Lochsa Lodge; a few days later, masks were required;
even the bikers were complying (OK, they're generally of the
older, endangered cohort)

We always try to stay at historic campgrounds

Our encampment at Powell

Out hiking on Parachute Hill; last time I informed a ranger there
were no grizzlies hereabouts, I got quite a surprise (Wind Rivers,

Vicki about to embark on Lewis and Clark Trail #25

Standing for scale: this is how high they place snowmobiling

Old, old cedar

Curiosity of the day: at an Idaho Transportation site

Near White Sand campground, the actual confluence of the
Crooked Fork and the Colt Killed Creek, sources of the Lochsa;
"Colt Killed" Lewis and Clark named it because they were
starving (the Bitterrroot are famously devoid of game) and began
eating their horses; and grilled colt was on the menu

Today's Colt Killed Creek

Getting your wood a Forest Service employees' residence
at Powell

Forest depredation...not beetles, now moths...and global warming

Often our hikes took us where no Google had
gone before

Vicki earning her Trail Builder Patch Class IV:
barring a path that led to a dangerously angular
and gravelly stretch between the river and road;
and pointing the way to an alternate

Beautiful river, now quite low

This was once the great ski/snowmobile blaze to Lochsa Lodge

The trail west of Powell led through a number of snags and
jumbles of deadfall


But there was great huckleberry reward for those who persevered

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