Monday, August 5, 2013

A Day in the Sun

Sunday was a good day to do a little exploring by car around Kalispell and the local environs.  The day dawned crystal clear with a barely discerned breeze.  After writing my daily blog entry, and while TLE was taking a shower I walked over to Home Depot to buy a replacement wall organizer for my various fasteners, and other small hardware.  It used to be years ago that these organizers had metal cases, with clear hard plastic drawers.  Now the case is hard plastic and the drawers, while still clear, are a softer plastic.  They would probably last forever hanging on the wall of a home that doesn't move, but ours does, so it was inevitable that at some point the two lone plastic tabs through which the unit is attached to the wall via screws would break, and break they did on our 88 mile drive over from East Glacier.

The back of the old organizer with broken mounting tabs

When I opened the door to the trailer Saturday afternoon to get my bike out I saw that the organizer had fallen.  Thankfully I keep the front secured with a large plastic lid I re-purposed for this job......otherwise the plastic drawers would all fall out while we were in transit.  As a result very few screws, etc. fell out, and it was just a matter of getting a new organizer and transferring the screws.  Amazingly Home Depot still carries this exact organizer right down to the number and size of the drawers.  In addition to the new can't go to Home Depot and buy just one thing.....I bought some angle aluminum to brace the bottom of the organizer and take a little weight off of he two tabs at the top.  The last one lasted 2 years, so maybe with a little extra help this new one will go a little longer.

The new organize mounted

Secured for travel

Once that job was completed we got in the car and drove back east on US-2 to visit Flathead Lake Winery.  We had heard about them through Harvest Hosts, which we joined back before we began our travels.  They provide lists of Vineyards, Wineries, Breweries, Orchards, Farms, etc. that will allow people with RV's to spend a night, or three in their parking lots for free.  Flathead Lake Winery is part of that organization.  They specialize in fruit wines using regional fruit, such as Huckleberries, Cherries, Apples, etc.  We were thinking of utilizing their free parking offer, so thought we would check out the facility to see if we would fit, and to also sample some of their wines.

The winery is about 23 mile northeast of Kalispell near Columbia Falls.  The parking area looks good to us, and there is decent cell phone service.  In addition, Jada, the lady who did our wine tasting, offered the free use of their WiFi while we are there, so it looks like we will move back up there in a few days.  We enjoyed the wine tasting and bought 3 bottles of their a mixture of pinot noir grapes, and cherries.....a nice dry wine with a very interesting "nose", as well as taste......okay, I admit it....I'm starting to sound like a wine snob.

After a delightful visit with Jada, and a tour of their facilities we headed back into Kalispell to the local Goodwill store we had spied on our way out of town.  I didn't find anything I couldn't live without, but TLE found a very nice fur lined winter jacket, a Columbia polartec vest, and a couple of paperbacks.  It turned out the winter coat still had the original price tag inside, and had never been worn.  Total cost, including Senior discount......$17.94!  The jacket and vest were purchased with our upcoming workamper job at the sugar beet harvest in mind.  We will be outside, and the odds are it will be cold at some point.

When we knew we were going to be in the Whitefish/Kalispell area I contacted a Facebook friend, Clyde Dicks, to see if he and his family were available for a "meet and greet" Sunday.  As it turns out they were, and he suggested we meet he and his family at HuHot Mongolian Grill for dinner at 5:30.  As it turns out HuHot is about 450 feet from where we are parked, so we mosied on over about 5:15.

Clyde and his family (wife Kendra, and sons Denver, Kelvin and Aaron) arrived about 5:25.  We immediately dove into conversation that pretty much went on non-stop for the 90 minutes, or so we were there.  The food is served buffet style here, but it is not cooked.  You pick out the ingredients and sauces you want by putting them into a large bowl, or bowls, then take it to the circular grill pictured below where your ingredients are poured on to the grill and cooked.  What a cool concept!

I picked out sliced beef, shrimp and some spicey sausage to go with mushrooms, onions, noodles, etc. and then poured on several sauces that sounded interesting to me.  That has to be one of the spiciest meals I have ever eaten, but it was great.

Back row, left to right: Denver, Kendra, Clyde
Front ow, left to right: Kelvin and Aaron....of course you recognize the two old coots on the

Clyde's kids really wanted to see the coach and trailer, so we all walked over to give them the tour.   On the way we conscripted a lady standing outside her motorhome to take a group picture.  Clyde and his family have only recently moved to Whitefish from Dallas, TX.  Clyde and a partner operate an internet based business, so where they live has no bearing on his work....he can do it from anywhere with internet access, and phone service.  Kendra grew up in Minnesota, so she has an idea of what winter will be like here, but Clyde and the boys will experience a winter in the northern extremes for the first time.  They are all avid outdoors people, so a lot of skiing and snowboarding will keep them busy this winter!  We had a delightful time with the Dicks and are thankful they had time to sit down to dinner with us!

After our friends departed we took a mile walk down and back on US-93 to kind of walk off the dinner, although that is one thing I love about this type of doesn't seem to stay with you long, and that full feeling goes away pretty quickly.  Got this cool shot of a rain squall off in the distance right at dusk.  Love that Montana "Big Sky"!

We headed off to dream land around least I did....I think TLE followed me a half hour later.

Thanks for stopping by!

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