Saturday, May 31, 2014


Back to Herron Park we went, to try out our loaded packs.  Mine weighed 17lbs, Darrell's was 25.  Close enough for now.  We just wanted to see how we felt at the end of a 4+ mile hike with some good elevation gain.  It was all good!

Luna loves hiking so much.  Never runs after squirrels or rabbits (yet) and smiles for the camera.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


When Amber came for Darrell's birthday dinner the other night, she brought just about all the backpacking equipment we had ordered and sent to her place.  I filled my pack with 2 gallons of water and the tent.  Came to about 27 lbs.  Just about the right weight, but distribution is important, so hopefully my actual "stuff" will be better distributed. I took a walk down the steps and back up, and have decided I can do this!
Darrell knew he could do it, I just needed a little more confidence building. We chose Osprey packs, they get very good reviews, and are well designed and light weight.

This is the Big Agnes Jackrabbit 3 person tent.(in our case, 2 persons and a dog).   It was super easy to set up, and has lots of screen for good ventilation.  Big Agnes seems to be one of the most popular tents we found on the sites that we researched.  One being
Luna enjoyed being inside it, too!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


 We saw on the local news that there would be a bear safety talk at a nearby hiking trail, so we headed over to see what we could learn.  It was well attended, and we all went on a couple mile hike to learn about bear signs, tracks, and how to use bear spray.  Kim Corette, who used to be a park ranger in the Bob Marshal Wildnerness, and now works for Whitefish Legacy, gave a great informative talk.

Just as we came around a bend, one of the kids spotted a bear.  I thought it was too coincidental, but it was just having dinner.  Ants, probably.  We walked past slowly, making lots of didn't even put its head up to see what we were.  Perfect training opportunity!

We all got to try out test canisters to see how it felt to shoot the spray.  They didn't really have any irritant in them.  The real ones have capsaicin, and you don't want to be around when they spray.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The days are getting longer here; right now it doesn't get really dark til about 9:30 or 10.  Instead of sitting in the trailer, we opted for a short, after-dinner hike at one of the Whitefish Trails.  The city's volunteers have worked hard to establish a trail system that goes almost all around the lake, offering hiking and biking trails that are well maintained. This one goes to a beautiful overlook of Swift Creek, one of our favorites.  Not too long, and pretty level.

We couldn't resist the call of Sweet Peaks ice cream shop.  They also have doggie ice cream. Happy dog!


So, we have our backpacks, tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads ordered.  That was just the beginning.  Since we haven't done this in 30+ years, it took some remembering to make up a shopping list.  Long underwear is a must, something to hold our morning coffee, gourmet freeze-dried food (not), and don't forget the sporks.  We have only begun.  We'll be adding more and will keep you posted.  This part is fun!  Now we have to get in shape to make the hikes.


Again this year, Amber invited us to be part of her crew for this race.  We were "field marshals", which meant standing at certain points of the course and keeping hikers and horses off the race course.  Pretty we mainly cheered everybody on!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


We've already been here 2 weeks, but the days have flown by.  It's kind of like moving into a new house...gotta shop, do laundry, clean off the road dirt, and have a little fun, too!
After getting a few things unloaded, we headed over to Glacier to attend one of their Glacier Institute brownbag talks.  During the summer, there are speakers from all areas of interest...this one was about bats in the park.  We found it really interesting, learned stuff we didn't know, and really piqued our interest about bats!

 McDonald Creek is flowing nicely.  Snowmelt isn't at peak yet, so the water will be higher in a couple of weeks.

Back at Les Mason, we discovered morels growing randomly near our campsite.  There were none last year, but we found several this year.

Friday, May 09, 2014


 Above is our first glimpse of Flathead Lake, as we enter the home stretch. The Rockies are still frosted with a nice pack of snow, not to be gone until sometime in late May.

 Big Mountain, above....Amber was just skiing up there a few days ago, so it's still viable for the die-hards like her.  Here we have baby pullets....laying hens.  We went to one of our favorite farm and ranch supply venues and stocked up on pig ears for Luna, and got our fill of window shopping for cowboy boots, farm implements and Carhart clothes.
In anticipation of our upcoming backpacking trips, we have been shopping all over town, getting input about sleeping bags, tents and backpacks.  Having done this 30+ years ago, it felt great to see all the improvements and innovations the industry has made over the years.  Darrell is trying out a "Big Agnes" sleeping bag here.  Don't know the story behind the name, but they seem to have a good line of gear.

Sunday, May 04, 2014


Everywhere we go with Luna, we seem to have an easy time of finding off-leash dog parks....and today was no exception.  Salt Lake City has a plethora of "pocket parks" throughout the city.  Even behind our KOA rv park, there is the Jordan river with a walking path along the river, and a beautiful park across the way.  This park was only 2 miles from Temple Square, and 4 miles from our rv park.  A creek runs through it, and there is a small pond for the dogs to swim in.  Luna found the biggest stick she could and was in doggie heaven.


We were able to find an RV park in Salt Lake City that is just 2 miles from Temple Square.  We usually fly through the town every year, but this time we wanted to do a little exploring, so we stayed an extra day.  I had never seen the Mormon Temple, and was curious about it.  Above you see the golden angel Moroni that the Mormon faith holds as very important.
Of course, we had Luna with us, didn't want to leave her in the RV park where she may bark....but anyway, we did fine with her, she was the only dog in the square and behaved nicely.
The temple was beautiful!  We arrived on a Saturday, and, according to a guide there, there were 52 weddings being held that day.  He told us only Mormons who had passed a test of faith, tithing, and abstinence could enter the temple.  We soon discovered there were many young missionaries strolling the grounds who were very purpose-driven (as in wanting to convert us to their faith), so we walked quickly and purposefully ourselves.

 The dome you see is the tabernacle where the choir and organist perform.  They were having an organ concert at noon that day, but we noticed you had to enter through a box office where they required you to give address info and sign papers.....having Luna with us, and not really wanting to have a missionary on our doorstep when we returned, we didn't go in.  The grounds and flowers were gorgeous.

Thursday, May 01, 2014


We covered 270 miles today, which is average for us. We are in the Sevier valley, which we always like to drive's like going back in time, passing by the small farms with the river flowing by.  This is the view from our campsite tonight, I think it's a peach orchard.