Big Sky to Big City

We have some catching up to do. The last time we wrote it was Sunday and we were just settling in at Missouri Headwaters State Park in Three Forks, Montana. That was a week ago. Since then we’ve fallen in love with Montana, we’ve been to Los Angeles and back for a wedding, we’ve visited with old friends and we’ve made new ones. So let’s back up a few days.

On Sunday evening we arrived at Missouri Headwaters State Park. It’s about 30 miles west of Bozeman and is where Lewis and Clark camped in 1805. (We don’t know for sure, but we’re guessing they didn’t have a 36-foot motorhome with its own kitchen and bathroom.) We scored a great spot down at the end of a dead-end road and, for the first night and most of the next day, had the park to ourselves. (Allegedly there were some moose in the area but we never saw them.)

We spent Monday and most of Tuesday at the park, getting out for a few easy hikes and one beautiful evening trail run but otherwise spending time being productive in our respective home offices (which on Monday for Kevin was a picnic table in the middle of nowhere that happened to have great internet and cell coverage).  Maybe the moose were busy working from home too and that’s why we never saw them.

At that point we had been boondocking for three days and Suzanne was eager to do some laundry and a little housecleaning, which requires having electricity and water. So on Tuesday afternoon we left our quiet spot and moved to the Sunrise RV Park in Bozeman. We weren’t thrilled about being in a traditional RV park but it was a necessary compromise for a day or two as we ran errands and caught up on laundry and cleaning. Bozeman doesn’t have much to offer in the way of RV parks and we chose Sunrise because they had the least bad reviews.The park was exactly as advertised: we were close to the freeway and close to our neighbors but it had hook-ups and laundry. It was bare bones but did the job.

Before we left on the trip our friend Jessica put us in touch with her sister-in-law’s best friend, Jackie, who has lived in Bozeman for 11 years. We originally thought that Jackie would just provide some insights on what to see and where to go in the area, but then we decided it might be fun to actually meet in person. So on Tuesday night we went to the Bogert Park Farmers Market and met up with Jackie, her husband, Jason, and her mom who happened to be visiting from Michigan. It was really nice of them to take time out of their busy schedules to welcome our gypsy wagon as we rolled through town. (And Jackie happens to be a dog lover, which made us love her even more, of course).

We had dinner on Wednesday night with our friends Tom and Marina at Montana Ale Works. We originally met Tom and Marina on a snorkeling trip off the coast of Belize a few years ago. Somewhere out in the Caribbean Ocean we started chatting and realized that we were practically neighbors, with the two of them living in Portland and us in Seattle. When we ran into them again in Guatemala a few days later we figured we were meant to be friends and have kept in touch ever since. Tom and Marina still live in Portland but it just so happened that they were going to be in Bozeman at the same time we were. They were heading into Yellowstone for a camping trip so we made plans to see each other while we were there. It was so great to catch up with them and even more fun to have our paths cross without us even trying.

On Thursday we packed up and headed out of the Sunrise RV Park, heading south towards Emigrant, MT to our friend Rebecca’s brother’s house. The first time we met Les was on Thursday as we were pulling our RV into his driveway. There is just something so special about a person who meets you for the first time and lets you sleep in his driveway that same night. Even better, he made dinner for us! We can’t tell you what Les does for a living, because then we would have to kill you, but take our word for it, he’s awesome. We enjoyed grilled venison and relaxed on his back deck, enjoying a beautiful view of Paradise Valley. Incidentally, if we disappear someday and you want to know where to find us, chances are we bought a plot of land in this area and put the RV up on blocks. Regardless of what we said about time limits in our previous post, this place would be worth building a carport over the top of the RV and settling down for awhile.

On Friday morning we left the RV parked in Les’ driveway, packed up the dogs and headed back to Bozeman for our flight to Los Angeles for Suzanne’s brother’s wedding. We dropped the dogs off at All-West Veterinary Hospital for the weekend, which was a recommendation we got from Suzanne’s-cousin-Pat’s-friend-Jan’s-friend-Shary who didn’t know where to board a dog in the area but asked the guy she just bought her house from. Regardless of how many degrees of separation there were, the recommendation was fantastic and we were really pleased. As anyone who knows us knows, we kind of like our dogs and as soon as Dr. Karyn Cook sat down on the floor to talk with them we knew it was the place for us.

We headed to Bozeman’s Galletin Field, hopped our flight to Los Angeles and went from the Big Sky to the Big City in less than three hours. There is something somewhat unsettling about waking up in the middle of nowhere in a beautiful part of Montana with no one around and then finding oneself stuck in Friday evening traffic in Los Angeles just hours later. We survived though and we enjoyed a beautiful (but all too quick!) weekend with Suzanne’s brother Sean, his new wife, Zelida and an assortment of wonderful family and friends. The love between Sean and Zelida is obvious and we were so happy to be there to celebrate with them as they start their new life together!

On Sunday morning we were back on a plane, landed in Bozeman, picked up the dogs from the animal hospital and headed back to Les’ house to pick up our RV. That was on Sunday afternoon and one week is enough to write about in one sitting, so we’ll leave you there for now. We’ll catch you up on our latest adventures in the next post.

For tonight we’re going to take a hint from our dogs and kick back and relax a bit. As you can see, RV-living is treating them well with their two giant dog beds and personal fan. See you on down the road!

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4 thoughts on “Big Sky to Big City

  1. It was wonderful to be with you both at the wedding. RV life is agreeing with you. Loving your blog! I’m so happy Shary’s contact worked out well for the doggies. Carry on….

  2. Everyone was delighted to have you two there at the beautiful wedding of Sean and Zelida last Saturday, especially given Suzanne\’s remarkable skills at ”train control.” I do not remember Suz ever mentioning having taken a course in train control, but her in-depth knowledge of all the mechanics were certainly a major contributing factor in the success of the wedding ceremony. Changing subjects, a rumor has been circulating on the Internet that the moose who live in the vicinity of Missouri Headwaters State Park were in hiding recently, because they felt threatened by the presence of two tough-looking dogs from out-of-state. I wonder if there’s any connection.

  3. keep on keepin’ on! suzanne- email me with an address where i can send something out by friday…xo molly!

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