Monday, August 29, 2011

Days 6-7: Some Good, Some Bad, Some Ugly

Having spent Day 5 of our 2007 Alaska trip stranded at the Old West RV Park in Reed Point, Montana, we were eager to get back on the road on for our 6th day of travel. We left our campground at Reed Point that morning, August 13, and drove to Belgrade, Montana, just west of Bozeman, to pick up our repaired tire at Best Rate Towing. We had them check the valve stems on all the other tires, and they said they all looked okay.

We think we drove through some pretty scenery as we continued our westward journey that day, but we couldn't be sure since the smoke from wildfires obscured our vision until we were well past Missoula.

We camped that night in a beautiful campground...Campground St. St. Regis, Montana. The sites were very nice, with lots of trees; and the bath house was clean and nice. We preferred to use our own shower, though, so took a site with full hookups. St. Regis was our most expensive campground so far ($30.69), and that was after our AAA discount.

100_0101-Campground St. Regis in St. Regis, MT
Campground St. Regis in St. Regis, Montana

The restrooms at Campground St. Regis were kept locked, and campers were provided with the push-button code required to open them. On the morning of August 14, Day 7 of our trip, the combination to open the men's restroom wouldn't work, and no one was in the office to provide assistance. A note on the door said someone would be there at 8:30 a.m. The office lady finally showed up about 8:50 a.m. She was greeted by a lot of desperate men.

Meanwhile, I went to the women's restroom and found it empty, so I sent Doug in there while I stood guard. He could have used Harvey's bathroom, but he preferred to save that for emergencies. This nearly was one.

With all that, we got a later start than we had intended. The man in the next site discouraged us from going through Seattle, saying that the traffic around Seattle was horrendous. So we got the maps out and decided to take I-90 to Spokane, then US 395 into Canada. We found a campground in the Passport America directory, just south of the Canadian border. I called there, before we hit the road that morning, and left a message, requesting a campsite for that night.

We'd been hearing a noise that seemed to be coming from the right front tire and decided we'd better get it checked out before we got into Canada. We found a Les Schwab tire center, and they pulled the wheel off and checked the brakes, but found nothing wrong. They didn't charge us anything at all for doing that.

We also stopped at a Walmart for a few things.

We tried again to make phone contact with Rockcut Campground, without success; so we checked out another campground in Kettle Falls, Washington. It looked kind of trashy, so we pushed on 25 more miles to Rockcut. Our hearts sank when we found it closed and apparently abandoned.

By then, we were almost at the Canadian border, so we went on across to find a campground in British Columbia. We wound up at Riviera Campground in Grand Forks, BC. It was on a narrow strip of land between Canada Highway 3 and the Kettle River, and it was cramped, expensive, and crowded. The campsites were so small that the awning of the camper next to us was almost touching Harvey's roof.

We had thought we might do some laundry. Happy to engage in a little additional price gouging, the campground owner sold us a cup of detergent for two dollars. He also sold us some Canadian Loonies (one-dollar coins) and Toonies (two-dollar coins) for use in the washers and dryers.

Poor Doug was hot and tired and frustrated, and he still had to level Harvey and do the hookups. I heated supper in the microwave and had it ready when he came in. But I think he was wishing he'd never met Harvey.

We decided to let the laundry go and do it some other time. But we saved the Loonies and Toonies and that two-dollar cup of detergent.


  1. Sorry about your tire problem. I love to visit people who are camping --but my idea of 'camping' is the Holiday Inn Express... ha ha

    I'm sure your hubby was tired of dealing with Harvey.. Hope the rest of your trip got better. The scenery was gorgeous I'm sure.

    1. Mine too but, with 3 dogs it makes hotels outta the plan. I travel with a 44' Voltage Toy Hauler. My hotel on wheels.

  2. I presume the adventure will continue...

    Part of me is quite tempted by the RV lifestyle but I understand that Murphy's Law lurks around every mechanical corner. (And I am not at all mechanically ept. No ma'am. Not at all.)

    Hope no other Canuckleheads gouged you, eh?

  3. Betsy - Like most everything, there was some good and some not so good on our trip. It was an adventure, to be sure. And, yes, there was some beautiful scenery.

    Frank - The adventure will continue. Doug and I are both mechanically challenged, too. That's why we had two different roadside services standing by.

    You gave me a smile with your "Canucklehead" comment. Doug wasn't feeling too much love for Canadians after our first encounter with one in the form of that Campground manager. But we found some nice ones. They're out there, eh?

  4. The plot thickens.I only hope that this saga ends on a happy note.

  5. Ruth - Well, we survived the trip; and we're still married. :) I hope I don't bore you to death with the stories of the adventure.

  6. Well had you traveled in the other direction and come to Ontario...

    Maybe it's a good thing you didn't because now you still might one day.

    I have been catching up.. reading past posts about life with Harvey and looking forward to more.

  7. Hilary - Our family vacations when I was growing up were always in Ontario...just not your part of Ontario. I've never been in the vicinity of Mississauga. But I might have to remedy that someday.

  8. It's a beautiful campground for sure. I'm just wondering why all those other men didn't follow Hubby's lead and use the ladies' room.

  9. Good question, Ethelmae. Maybe they just weren't quite as desperate as Doug. :)

  10. I laughed telling a kid the bathroom was a tree. It gets hard sometimes, but is easier for us men.I am camping right now and had a nice rain to send me to the library and read my posts.The cool nights are glorious.

  11. Ah, I seem to continually be reading your narratives two at a time! We are still interesting in trying our hands at RVing, but I must admit it seems a little scary...

    Eagerly awaiting your next adventure...

  12. Hi, Deb. I keep my readers confused by my irregular posting, I know. I'm just pleased to know that so many of you kind folks are hanging in there with me on this series. :)

  13. Steve - Yes, Doug and I have discussions about the convenience of men's "bathrooms" when we're hiking on a trail somewhere. I'm sorry you're experiencing rain on your camping trip, but I'm glad you have a library to retreat to.


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