Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nirvana, Shangri La, Heaven, Valhalla?

This is my favorite picture from yesterday, taken by my good friend Tom McCloud as he followed us north on US 191....that is "us" in the middle of the picture.

Seriously, I don't think any of the words I chose for the title of this post are remotely adequate to convey, describe, impress upon, or enlighten anyone as to what an amazing driving day we had Monday.  These pictures are a reasonable facsimile of what we saw, and experienced, but they pale by comparison to the visually stunning scenery we enjoyed "in person" as we drove north from I-90 on US 191 toward Great Falls, MT.

We are in the middle of a mini heat wave here in the Big Sky Country......a heat wave in the low 90's.  When it is hotter, as it is the past few days, we try to get an early start so we can finish our distance for the day prior to the heat of the day, plug in, and get the A/C going.  Normally, as you know, when we are moving every day we would be more inclined to stay in Walmarts, Lowes, Cracker Barrels, etc., but I don't see the point of sitting in a parking lot with the generator running 24/7 to keep us cool......in the end it is only slightly less in cost than paying to rent a spot with electric, but not nearly as convenient, so, therefore, we have been plugging in a lot lately.

Keeping with our Jello plans we departed Peter D's RV Park in Columbus, MT at 8:30 am on the dot.....pretty good by Jello standards.  If we kept to I-90 into Butte, MT and took I-15 north to Great Falls, MT it would pencil out at around 284 miles.  If we took the shorter option we would leave I-90 near Big Timber taking US 191 north to Great Falls.....only 214 miles.......for us an easy choice.  Of course, as always, secondary roads can be a flip of the coin, but this secondary road was "splendiforous", if that is a word.   I was so taken with the view unfolding in front of my eyes that we didn't stop for a break for over 100 miles in Harlowton, MT.

God's Country....I'm sure

US 191 is mostly STRAIGHT........there were gentle ups and downs, with a rare short, steep ascent here and there.  The asphalt was very smooth, and we just purred along enjoying the scenery.  I was talking with TLE as we drove along and we both agreed this drive, this day, was in the top five of drives we have taken since we bought the Newell....maybe all time.  The amazing thing is the secondary road we took to Devil's Tower back on Saturday is also in that top 5 all time!

Click on this picture and see the two newer Newells following moi....

TLE's picture of the day.....she calls it "endless road"

We arrived in the bustling city of Great Falls around 1:30, right on schedule, while it was a mere 83 degrees.....the heat of the day was to come later when it hit 93 degrees at 4:30....by that time we we sitting in very cool interiors talking about our amazing drive Monday....214 miles of bliss.  We sit just a block from I-15, which will take us into Canada Tuesday.

Ensconced at the end of the day in Dick's RV Campground, Great Falls.

I'm sure it has not been lost on you that we have been covering longer mileage each day than is our normal travel style.  There are three reasons.....1) We have 5 days to make it to Cochrane, Alberta, Canada to keep our necessary reservation at Bow Rivers Edge RV Resort.  The distance divided by 5 came out to 180 mile days, but, of course, it is not possible to divide the 5 day drive into exactly 180 mile days; 2) We have added miles as the mood struck us, like taking the secondary road to Devil's Tower adding some 75 miles extra our first day; and 3) We are traveling with other people who have different travel styles than we.  We have all compromised a little to travel together.  Frankly, we have had the time of our lives so far traveling with the McCloud's and Olivier's.

Tuesday we will enter Alberta, Canada heading for Lethbridge, and Wednesday we will arrive in Cochrane......"God willing, and the river don't rise".....as you may know from watching the news, the Bow River has been flooding in Calgary, and our RV park in Cochrane is on the Bow River.....so far all is good in Cochrane.  These next two days of travel will be a little shorter.

Tuesday we will become Canucks for a couple of weeks.....hope the border crossing goes smoothly......thanks for stopping by!


  1. That's the same RV we have front and center of Peter D's RV Park's home page picture!

  2. I'm confused, I can't find a Peter D's RV park in Montanya, Google shows it in Wyoming?

  3. It is in Wyoming....Sheridan, WY

    1. So you headed south from Billings (where Chris & Cherie were)then back north to Great Falls?


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