LOCATION: Georgetown Lake, about 80 miles southeast of Missoula
CAMPGROUND: Phillipsburg Bay Campground, a National Forest park. Right on the lake. The paved sites are nestled in the tall Lodgepole pine trees. No services, but potable water is available at pumps. Pit toilets. A whopping $8/night for sheer beauty. Five stars out of 5.
WEATHER: Much cooler. Highs only in the 60s.
DRIVE: 3 hours
We awoke at the Harvest Host winery to the scene of a herd of deer right outside our bedroom window. So pretty!
We decided to take the longer, scenic route today instead of the interstate. Unfortunately, after going about 5 miles, we encountered the dreaded “Road Closed” sign. We tried to follow a detour for awhile, but got lost. Very stressful. Did I mention who was driving???
Finally, we got back on the scenic road, and yes, it was scenic. The highway follows the Blackfoot River, rippling away with lots of curves. Being a conscientious driver and following the signs, I watching for: deer, free-range cattle, bighorn sheep, and snow-removal equipment. Ha! Consequently, I wasn’t driving very fast. A huge semi came throttling behind me and zoomed around me to pass. He swung back into our lane too quickly, and we almost almost got clipped. I was really shaken!
Unfortunately, the smoke (perhaps from California fires?) dulled the mountain views. This is what the sky looked like…
Wanting to stop for a lunch picnic, we spotted a pull-out. Someone has decorated it to be a “Redneck Rest Stop”. It has a bucket toilet with a sign that says “If indoor plumbing doesn’t bring you happiness – then what can?”
The person with that sense of humor might also have posted the sign in the town we came to shortly after the rest stop. It said “Relish today; ketchup tomorrow”. Cute!
We arrived at the campground in early afternoon and got set up. It is really very pretty here. I checked out the vault toilet, and as I came out, I found this mule deer visitor!
We hiked around the campground until it started raining. Everyone is hoping that the rain will clear up the skies. After the rain, George built a great campfire. It is quite cool, so the fire felt wonderful. We will be swapping shorts for long pants and t-shirts for sweatshirts. I have put the two winter blankets on the bed. Low temps in 40s tonight.
DINNER: Hamburgers on the firepit grill. Baked potatoes and cabbage (the last of). Here is a hint for the potatoes: When we had electricity two days ago, I microwaved 2 potatoes, cooking them about 3/4ths done. I wrapped them in aluminum foil with a dab of butter. Then, tonight, I put the potatoes right in the coals to finish them up. It gave them a smoky flavor. Yum.
BOOK: During the afternoon rain, it was a good time to read. I finished up “When the Wind Blows” by James Patterson, a book I had picked up in some campground library along the way. Typical Patterson thriller. 3 stars out of 5.