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Joshua Tree Monument Thanksgiving 2011

 

   So our first camping trip, after getting the Streamline home (his name is TRIP by the way) was to Joshua Tree National Monument at Black Rock Campground.

 I have been camping at Joshua since I was a kid. You didn't pay too much back then and we would spend weekends climbing it's large granite rocks all day and taking in blue sky and the scenery while sleeping after a good campfire in a Coleman pop up trailer. Memories!

 As a family, my husband, kids and I started the Thanksgiving camp out there when the kids were small . Nights are cold and tents can be uncomfortable but we always had fun.

This year it was with my younger brother, Micah and his girlfriend Amanda and two of her children. What a nice visit on a great weekend. The weather was perfecto! We got threats of rain all week but out in the desert- blue skies. We took our Dalmatian/Lab "Cookie" with us. In the photo below she is going after that ever fast rabbit- Wow! She loved her runs in the morning.

 

Gotta have the cool knit hat etc for Joshua-so you look native with the desert campers, rock climbers and hikers. My two- Summer and Corey.

Summer and I made tie dye tees to mark the historic event.

Group Photo!

The Montana Trip - to get the Trailer  May 2011

   Did you know it takes approximately 22 hours to get to mid Montana from Southern California?

(This is a first photo of our new addition after selling our little British Commer Camper Van)

Straight through, stops for rests and restrooms. Stretching cramped legs and coffee. Lots of coffee and Monsters. That's how we picked up the trailer. By the time we hit Montana, we were dying. It was the form of attack we decided on though, in order to have enough days on the way home to camp. So we crashed by the side of the road. Went potty in the bushes and at odd gas stations where deer heads looked at us from high on log cabin type walls (kind of spooky if you ask me but so Montana) and the blinking, head swaying, been-on-the-road-too-long driving that one should never do.

 We pulled into the Campground- a Stagecoach Station that was still being used to house a restaurant, campground and camping log cabins. It was wonderful, but the best thing was the bed in the little cabin we rented! Whew!   

Ekstrom's Stage Station 20 miles east of Missoula, Montana in Rock Creek.

The food was good in the restaurant and after a good nights sleep, we felt tired but renewed and took a walk by the creek nearby. What a good way to start a morning! Then went to pick up the trailer in Missoula Montana. It was restored and checked over by Mintage Airstreams there. One previous owner. The guys in the shop were personable and fun, we drove off filled with expectations

and a new trailer toward home.

We stopped  a couple of towns over in Deer Lodge and camped that night. I think the hamburgers in the little A&W were the best I've had in a while- mostly because I just don't have fast food anymore. then, when you do-it's so good!

 One main drag- a rodeo area and the old Montana Territorial Prison (Old Montana Prison). Opened in 1871 and closed in the 70's, it's on the historical landmark list.  A self-guided tour took us through, which was cool. I'd have been good- seeing that right in town if I was a resident there when it was open!

 I think the personal signatures left behind on the interior brick walls, the medical office or infirmary, and the size of the dark cells were especially memorable.  The auto museum next door was filled with great cars and trucks-even a VW altered for the Mad Max movie.

 

And the main drag was so small! I'm so used to the hustle and bustle (and insanity) of SoCal.

Driving home through Montana and Idaho makes you realize (again) how different Southern California is. Wide open highways and beautiful scenery is so nice.

We had early coffee on the road at a "Bar" with fly fishing day trips available. At a wood hand built bar with a very old experienced owner and his dog, along with a neighbor in for coffee too. Shared road trip stories and more. Being in places like that is somewhat surreal,

I love taking in the wonderful characters and the decor.

Humanity is an amazing thing & you should always respect those you meet on your way through life, they may have things to teach you.

 

Then we hit what I think of as Utah-but is really just a favorite area-Southern Utah

and Springdale and Zion National Park.

I love the red rocks, the vistas of sculptural cliffs and mountains and the weather.

The people are great too and the odd rock hound shops!

Stayed here at the Zion River Resort- wonderfully run RV Park. Right down the road

from Springdale (where you HAVE to eat at the Spotted Dog) and the entrance to Zion.

Love this place too- in Virgin, Utah (between the RV Park and Springdale) right down the road.

Great "cowboy" store and the past owner (who recently retired and sold it to those

who are running it so well) built the whole little "town" and

petting zoo within it out in front of the store.

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