LOCATION: Columbia Falls, Montana – near west entrance of Glacier National Park
CAMPGROUND: Mountain View RV Park. Small commercial park, with decent space between sites. Full hook-ups. Picnic table, but no firepit or grill. Beautiful bathrooms and laundry. Great wifi. Too expensive at $48/night. 4 stars out of 5
WEATHER: HOT!!! We saw a sign showing 104
DRIVE: 7 hours
We aimed for an early departure from Three Forks, and made it out by 10:00 – not too bad. The first two hours of the trip were on busy I-90. We drove through tall mountains, with semis passing us on our way down, then we passed the semis on the way up. Up and down; repeat. The speed limit on the Interstate is 80. I putzed along at 60-65, with everyone else zipping by me. It was a white-knuckle drive. We got off the Interstate when we saw a route called a “scenic byway” that parallels the interstate. What a relief! And, indeed it was scenic.
We soon started passing by sparkling mountain lakes.
We were on secondary roads the rest of the way. A strange phenomen — cars that are impatient to pass us wait until a yellow line/no passing zone to start passing. It never fails!
There was a lot of road construction and we had several stops where we sat 20 minutes or so.
As the afternoon wore on, we watched the thermometer in the truck go up and up. And this is Montana? We later learned that this is the hottest day that they have had this year.
We found our RV park and got settled in. It is a nice RV park, but we would really prefer to be out in nature – in a state park or woodsy campground. This area, though, is jam-packed with visitors and this is all that I could find. Absolutely every other campground was booked up, and this RV park is completely full, too. We are scheduled to be here 2 weeks, but I am going to see if I can find anything else in the area. At least we have a place to stay if nothing else works out.
DINNER: Plan B….Plan A had been grilled chicken, but it was just too hot to be outside to grill, even at 7:00. So, I did an antipasto platter. The recipe came from the package of the sun-dried tomatoes I had in my pantry. Definitely gourmet, and I will do again on another hot evening when it is too hot to cook. Recipe:
16 oz mozzarella cheese pieces (I substituted feta as I forgot to buy the mozzarella!)
1/2 pound sliced Genoa salami (I substituted some grilled weiners as they needed to be used up)
1 bag (3 oz) sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups green and kalamata olives
1 16-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 glove mashed garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Arrange everything on a platter. Mix olive oil and garlic; let set a few minutes, then drizzle over the platter. Finish up with the drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Serve with a French baguette. (I substituted naan as the store did not have anything else).
Our daughter Alexis who lives in Rochester, MN volunteers often at a dog/cat shelter. She posted this photo today. She looks so happy!