Thursday, July 22, 2010 – LONG Travel Day to Kading Campground, MT

We had so much to do today, and so far to go, we set the alarm for 6:15, up by 6:30, out by 7:15 with coffee to go. First stop was the Crosswinds RV store in Pocatello to pick up a new electrical cord we had ordered last week, then a stop for breakfast to go at Burger King on the way back to the freeway, then a quick gas stop just before crossing the border into Montana (high prices, but the only fuel for miles beyond. They had a wifi signal so I quick checked my email before moving on. Next stop was to pick up hay from a woman in Dillon, MT. Her bales were HUGE, so I couldn’t just pay her the $4 a bale she was asking, so I gave her more. The bales weren’t perfectly green (which, apparently, folks around here expect), but it was fine and fresh and certified weed free, which is good enough for us. That took us almost an hour to load. Then we headed to Wal-mart in Butte, then a liquor store at a gas station/casino (truly!), then onto a town called Deer Lodge where we picked up water, then finally, on to the Helena National Forest. Our original plan was to stay at the Kading Campground, which has a horse corral, but discovered they were “closed” for reasons I still can’t comprehend, (though they gave the impression there were trees down, which turned out not to be true), but they said there were many turnouts with the Little Blackfoot River next to them. As we traveled across 15 miles of gravel road, we saw quite a few turnouts, but most were occupied and many would never be able to accommodate a rig our size. We decided to go all the way to campground before turning back to look for something. We arrived at the campground (noticing that the campground looked fine, except the blockade that prevented us from entering), and saw that while there were corrals across the road from the campground, there was no running water, and no creek nearby. Hubby decided to follow the road to see where it went, and found a turnaround a little ways up, and signaled me to follow and take a look. We found the trail began at that point, but it seemed large enough to (maybe) get the RV down it to a little clearing next to the creek. We decided to give it a try. There was one sharp turn where I ended up dragging the back of the RV, which one of the stabilizers, which will need repairing later. Ultimately, we made ourselves a nice little camp, though the only way we could get level was to encroach a little on the trail, but there’s room enough to get a pickup truck by, as we discovered later, so no harm done. It was well after 7:30 by the time we got everything settled in, and we were exhausted from all the activity. Through together some dinner, then crashed!

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