Thursday, June 18, 2020

Hot, hot, hot!

7:34 am - Thursday - June 18th - Gardiner, MT - 40° F, 100% humidity, wind 6 mph out of the south....feels CALM to me.  Still heavy cloud cover today with a forecast high of 57° F, and a 63% chance of rain later today. The view this morning......↴

 LaDuke Springs Campground

Wednesday morning was dreary, rainy and cold.....a day that we normally would have stayed put, but we had committed to moving south on US-89 closer to Yellowstone National Park to a campground called LaDuke Springs Campground whose proximity to the Yellowstone River, and Yellowstone Hot Springs is just yards in either direction.  We love soaking in the mineral waters of hot springs whether they be formal, or in the wild.  Over the years we have visited hot springs whenever we are near them (Warner Hot Springs, CA; Keough Hot Springs, CA; Fairmont Hot Springs, MT; Hot Creek.....near Mammoth Lakes, CA; Chico Hot Springs, MT; Tecopa Hot Springs, CA; Downata Hot Springs, ID).  Yellowstone Hot Springs was just about to have their grand opening when we left our job in Yellowstone back in October of 2017, so we never got to try them out, but this time around they are there you go.

We rolled out of the Park County Fairgrounds just before 9 am, and met Claude and Gail at the local propane station to take on 30 gallons of propane.  We haven't added propane since we left the Anza Borrego back on March 2nd, so it's been 3.5 months.....the analog gauges which tell us how much propane we have used are not very accurate when they get below 1/2.....I thought we were down about 40 gallons.....nice to be wrong.  Once that task was done we were on our way south through the Paradise Valley.  

The distance was only 43 miles, but it began to rain just south of Livingston, and pretty much rained all the way to Yellowstone Hot Springs.  This is the first time in 18 months we have purposefully driven in rain....we really try avoid it, for obvious reasons.  The last time was in late December as we headed south from Nashville to Cedar Key, rained all the way from Chattanooga, TN, through Atlanta, GA all the way to Valdosta, fun at all!

We arrived at LaDuke Springs Campground just before 10:30 am quickly sliding into our respective sites....#15 for TLE and I....a long 70' pull through, and #8 for Claude and Gail.....a backin side, but they pulled in front first to have a view of the mighty Yellowstone River, which is just feet from the front of their coach.....

.....I really love dry camping as there is nothing to city water, no sewer, no just park, level, and you are a motorhome you don't even have to go outside, which is nice if it is raining, which it was when we arrived.  When I went to turn on the inverter so I could turn on my Winegard Slimline dish, and let it find the three satellites it needs to provide a signal to our DVR it did not come on.....that is really rare!  When I went outside....see, there you check on the inverter which is located in a compartment just below the drivers seat I found the red 'OVERLOAD' light on....I don't think that has happened for 3 years.  I wasn't able to reset it, so I went to turn on the Kohler generator, and it would not would kind of sputter, but not run....doh!  So, it fell to me to pull out our third power option, the Honda EU2000i portable started first pull as it always does.  So, one issue solved, but two others awaited my attention....why wouldn't the inverter reset?  It turns out that during the rain storm water infiltrated the bay where the inverter is mounted, and must have affected the inverter, so I left the bay door open to let the moisture I opened the hatch which provides access to the Kohler generator, and found it soaked also.....I left the hatch open to let things dry out there, too.

Around 2:30 TLE and I decided to get the car out of the trailer, and as she was backing out the VW the wheels spun on the wet surface of the ramp ripping a piece of angle aluminum up, and then as she transitioned from the ramp to the grass the front air dam caught and was pulled out from the front of the car.....geeze....when it rains it pours....two more things to fix!  I had TLE park the VW right where it was and went to work reattaching the front air dam....that took about 15 minutes, but I got it back together.  Next up I removed the angle aluminum piece, straightened it out, and then reattached it with self tapping Phillips head screws....another problem fixed.  

By this time it was 3 pm and time for us to change into our bathing suits and head over to Yellowstone Hot Springs for a late afternoon soak.  The normal daily cost is $18/person, but since we are staying at LaDuke Springs Campground we get $2 off per $32.....

......Yellowstone Hot Springs is less than three years old, and, therefore, has a more modern, up to date feel than Chico Hot Springs....there is a large lagoon style pool which is kept at 101° F, a hot pool, which is kept at 106° F (where we spent our entire time), and a cold plunge where we spent NO


....the setting is spectacular, and the ambiance is as well.  The one draw back is there is no food service, or alcoholic beverages like there are at Chico Hot Springs....nevertheless, we had a wonderful time.  Around 4:40 pm it began to rain again, so we retreated to the changing rooms to dry off, and head for home.  We'll be here 4 days so there will definitely be a couple more soaks before our departure on Sunday.

It rained for another couple of hours while we sat reading, and enjoying the warm, dry comfort of our Newell the by....I checked the inverter when we got back and was able to reset it, and was able to start and run the Kohler successfully, so all the issues we faced upon arrival have been dealt with and resolved.....whew!

Thanks for stopping by!

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