Jul 082013

After a stop at the post office this morning we will be hitting the road headed for Montana. It’s time to change the view out our windshield.

We’ll be sad to say goodbye to Greg and Jan, who have been here helping us man our booth at Escapade, and Greg has been doing some work on our motorhome for us. He installed a new motion sensor light on the outside near the door, because the one we bought a few years back had stopped working. I like this one a lot better because it has an LED light and is much brighter. I wish we would have had one of these before we got burglarized a few years ago. It might well have scared the creep off before he got inside.

Greg also replaced the plug that goes into our Ford Explorer for our brake lights and turn signals, since the one we had disintegrated. And then he fixed a couple of computer and website problems I was having. What would I do without my own personal jack of all trades tech?

I’m not sure exactly where we’ll end up tonight. Billings, Montana is about 240 miles from Gillette, and we want to stop and visit with Chris Dunphy and Cheri Ve Ard from Technomadia, authors of The Mobile Internet Handbook. They are stuck in Billings for a few weeks while the engine of their bus conversion gets rebuilt. Though we have exchanged e-mails for a long time now, we’ve never actually met and are looking forward to getting to know them in person.

Depending on the time of day and weather, we may dry camp somewhere in Billings, or we may hunt up the local Elks lodge and park there overnight. The next day we want to be somewhere between Deer Lodge and Missoula, which will put us within an easy drive of Kamiah, Idaho on U.S. Highway 12. We plan to stay there a couple of days visiting Terry’s cousin Toni and her family before we continue on toward the Washington coast.

The audiobook version of my Big Lake mystery novel went live on Audible.com on July 3rd and between then and the last reporting date, July 5th it has already sold 24 copies. Yesterday I finished uploading the second book in the series, Big Lake Lynching, to Audible and opening it for auditions from narrators. I’m hoping that Bruce Miles, the same gentleman who did the first book, will do all of them in the series.

Speaking of books, I want to tell you about one I am reading now and another that I’ll start on next. Seldom Disappointed is the autobiography of mystery writer Tony Hillerman, whose work I have always enjoyed. In addition to knowing how to craft a good story, I was surprised to learn that Hillerman was a genuine war hero, earning a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart during World War II. While Hillerman makes light of the awards, they don’t give those out just for showing up. The Silver Star was the result of his holding off a German attack with just a .45 pistol and hand grenades, and the Purple Heart came about after he stepped on a land mine, leaving him with severe wounds and temporarily blinded. And all this by the time he was just nineteen years old! But, like most heroes I have known, Hillerman would rather comment on the good things in his life, and he does an excellent job of it in Seldom Disappointed.

The other book I just bought and am looking forward to reading is by another heroine of mine, but this one wasn’t in a combat zone. Kay Peterson, co-founder of the Escapees RV Club and a pioneer of fulltime RVing, has a new book out titled Beating the Odds: The Story Behind the Founders of the Escapees RV Club, which is the life story of Kay and her late husband Joe, and how the greatest RV club in the world came about. Life wasn’t always easy for Kay, and the book tells of her life growing up with unhealthy parents, being hospitalized with tuberculosis, and recovering to return and work in the same hospital as a nurse. It’s a wonderful story by a wonderful lady who has never met a stranger, and who has been an inspiration to tens of thousands of RVers over the years.

Since I don’t know where we’ll land tonight I have no idea how good our internet signal will be, but I’m sure I’ll have more to tell you about in the next blog.

Thought For The Day – I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends. – Walt Whitman

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “Montana Here We Come!”

  1. Nick, Passport America RV Park ” Old West RV Park” in Reed Point. Back track to Deer Point to visit
    a. Old prison
    b. Basement of Old Prison the largest collection of old cars I have ever seen.

    Also a great stepping off point to the Beartooth Mountain range,The Road to Nye,or a wonderfull drive out beyond Anaconda,or if you stay anywhere close to Missoula.visit Garnet Ghost Town. Honestly,you will have volumes to wright about.

  2. Bill and I pulled into Cabela’s to meet friends for lunch. There are signs in their parking lot “No overnight parking”. We weren’t there 10 minutes before the police came by. Billings is not RV friendly. Campgrounds are way overpriced. Our friends told us someone on the city has ties to a campground. We ended up driving to 7th Ranch in Garryowen. Pompey’s Pillar is worth a stop if you haven’t seen it.

  3. Sorry to hear about Billings again being back to being a RV unfriendly we sure will not stop there next summer. Sorry to hear that your right hand is not traveling with you again. Happy trails to all. Just stay safe everyone. Send some cool weather when you find some we are in the high 90’s with matching humidity.

  4. Yea, hope you can stay at the Elks. We just went through Billings and had planned to stay at Cabela’s. It was pretty warm so we decided to drive on to Reed Point and stay at Old West RV Park. That was our 2nd stay there and new owners are making it better. Bathrooms & showers are new. The night we stayed the owner was lending a small tv to a camper that didn’t have one. Just don’t let them talk you into going down to the saloon to eat, we ate there last year, yuk.

  5. We stayed at Cabela’s last summer for an overnight stop–no problem. We asked the clerk inside and they said it was just fine. They even have a dump station there. Also a big beautiful class A also stayed there the same night.

  6. Hey, I’m just a reader of your blog..but I am parked at Lolo Hot Springs for a few days…There is plenty of room and it’s not expensive and has hot water..
    If you pass by I am in spot #30…I’d like to meet and say hi..
    Have fun,

  7. We are at the Moose lodge, but Cabelas is full of RVs and the clerks in the store said it was no problem. We also saw several other store parking lots with RVs in them.

  8. Our paths almost crossed. We stopped at Garryowen to miss the storm that blew through and also to have the Indian taco at Crow Agency. So we got to the Moose Lodge on July 9, just missed you guys. I will say $15 per night is waay better than $35 per night at Garryowen.
    Unfortunately, we had to spend 3 nights at the Moose while I was getting some blood work done and getting our scripts filled at CVS. But July 12 we are moving on if we can only decide which direction we want to go.

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