We are a Big Rig looking for a Tent Experience.

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Next I expect I should start posting to The Campground and Day Trip sections.
First post is our day trip to Livingston.

(April 30)

We landed at our hosting site at Carbella BLM campground. 18 miles north of Gardiner MT. In case you forgot it's Free for 14 days. No services but at these prices who cares.
We knew this was the place as the BLM just installed a new sign to guide the way to our site. They said they picked this site as it was a little secluded and also had some shade. Like we shall see if that is needed as it is still cold as real cold up here in MT. Me thinks we got here a little early as most of the motels and shops in Gardiner are just not up to speed yet for the influx of tourists.  It's still a goast town in my mind yet. I imagine just the way they like it in off season. But now they have to gear up to make their fortune over the next few months and then go back in to hibernation.

We made our way through YNP and the north drive from West Yellowstone to Gardiner which was on the last part hectic since the old main road had been washed out, so they are routing everyone over the high line road which had several as in many,10% grades and not a fun drive for a motor home, to be sure. But we made it and found our host site which has a big new host site sign on so we definitely know where we were to land.

Who can drive through YNP and not be confronted with a buffalo jam. At long last, a Sysco food delivery simi decieded that he had enough of this so, he pull around all of us and just slowly plowed right on through. Guess what these critter knew they were on match for him, so moved and we were also able to sneak by.  I think the Sysco truck (on a schedule) doesn't run into this most everyday. A Sysco truck, us, and critters. Only one thing is out of place and it's the tourists.

The BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner will drive on over from Butte MT on Thursday to check us in and get us settled for the summer.

Next I expect I should start posting to The Campground and Day Trip sections.
First post is our day trip to Livingston.

(April 26)

Yep we landed at the State Park last night and it was very cold and later on we tried our 8K Gen. and it didn't start.
By now you know how I reacted to that. Screams of OMG now what.
Well when we were on the Homer Spit in Alaska in 2022 we had power problems
and bought a 2000 Honda gen. till we could find a repair shop. Got it repaired at Renewable Energy Systems of America  in Anchorage.  (it was a loose connection on the inverter buss bar causing it to ark and burn)  They got us right in and happily told us we hadn't blown the inverter, just the damaged buss bar, after he had tested all components.).
This time my Screams were of Joy.
  Guess what we brought it with us this trip? Terry wasn't going to, to save space but I said BRING it.
So glad now, as it's been a lifesaver already on this trip for just such an emergency situation..
The Honda is doing great and we hope that when we get to warmer and to a thousand foot lower location over in Gardiner MT the big gen will start again. Tries to turn over but doesn't fire up.

Terry wanted to take a drive to his favorite local fly fishing shop Beartooth Fly Fishing in Cameron MT 41 miles up from here on HW 287  towards Ennis MT on the Madison River. He has befriended them and wanted to stop for a visit and also get his Montana fishing Lic.
(We always stop and camp and fish here on the famous Madison,
When he told them we were planning on going through YNP to get to Gardnier they said the park had a foot of snow last night and travel was not recommended and more for tonight.
 Ouch that would mean a long detour up and through Bozeman and Livingston to go back down to our site just north of Gardiner.
On our way back from the fly shop we detoured east around and past Hebgen Lake (which was mostly still frozen over) to West Yellowstone and stopped at the YNP Visitor Center. They said there was a winter storm watch, but we should be good to go through the park as planned if going through later Saturday morning. Guess there is no rush (70 miles) to find out if our camp hosting site is open and ready for us.
The adventure begins....

Along the Hebgen Lake road I had to break big time so as not to hit this critter. Actually two of them. Don't we all travel in pairs.

(April 25)
Moving north on US 20 from Blackfoot ID through Idaho Falls to Ashton ID and up to much higher altitude into the Island Park area which is 20 miles west ot West Yellowstone. We had planned to boondock (as in dry camp) at our favorite spot on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.
Well as you can see we might be a just a tad bit too early.

So onward saying now where do we land for the next couple days.
As we drove on we could see the side roads to the Forest Service campgrounds were fully covered in snow drifts yet, and it was overcast with intermittent light mist which made it all the more worrisome as what we were to do. We hadn't even contemplated we would be finding these conditions. Remember we came up from Las Vegas just a few days ago where it was 90+.

I knew there was the Henry's Fork Idaho State Park up ahead just before you turn right heading toward West Yellowstone. So as we had good cell service I called them and were informed the state park was partially open for dry camping in a few spots. She was so conserned that we knew that no services had been turned on in the park yet. I informed her we were self contained and not a problem and that we would be living without service all summer annyway.
 So off we went more northward.
We stopped at a gas station which was right next to a closed, as in not open yet, large RV Park. We told the attendant what we were up to as being here early to camp host over at Gardnier. He surmised  they might have asked us to arrive a bit early as even the commercial RV Park next door wouldn't open till mid May.
So we unhooked from the MH and drove back and 2 miles into the State Park. A few spots in the first only open loop were clear of snow and even one pull through. Back to retrieve the MH and come back and get settled in for the night.
State Park fees $7 a day  and partially open for dry camping only (no services) $31 per night. In season it's $7 plus $64 for FHU sites..
We had stopped in Rexburg ID coming up US 20 and topped off the MH propane tank (25 gal) and diesel fuel so are good to go without any services. Our 8K Cummins Generator should provide all the power and it seems to be very efficient. Solar during the day, that is if the sun shines. We do get low but acceptable amp charge even on cloudy days.
We better get used to this way of dry camping since this is how we are going to be living all summer at the host site.
We fully beleive we are going to be just find off grid as we try to do this most of the time and that's how we like to roll.
Ok, how can I not resist... Like the title of our blog sez... We Are A  Big Rig Looking For A tent Experience
So this camp host gig was right up are alley.  I Hope.
As we settle in we see  40° for a low (not too bad, me thinks) and 90% snow showers predicted overnight .
So be it, as this is an Adventure Isn't It???

Now the big question is what is our hosting campground going to look like when we get there in a few days.
Stay Tuned MY Friends...

(April 23)

If it's 11:30  it must be that we have arrived early at our next site. Blackfoot City RV Park. Reserved online and only $35 for 50 amp and water. Now for getting here so early,  I thought it would be a long drive and (suggested and later demanded) we get up and we got on the road at about 8:30 AM  Big mistake, Yup I can do that on accession.
So since we are ahead of schedule we are now going to stay here tomorrow night..
 I might see an Arby's in my future, a Greek Gyro since it  might be hard to find where we are going.
 Now on to our landing here...
Even though this is blacktop camping it was not totally level. Had to put three blocks under the front wheel as I don't do tilt well. It wasn't off much and we have parked on much much werse. But when on blacktop make it level, me thinks.

The next thing was to unhook but there was a little problem the umbilical cord tying the MH to truck had one end laying on the ground. It hadn't been dragging for long as just the plug clip connector was shattered. Off to the local auto parts for a new plug and in no time at all Terry replaced it making sure the wires were correct. The orientation is on the broken part and not on the round black wire connector. Without the red  guide the plug can go in upside down.  That's when my new FRS radios came into play so we could flip the MH turn signals and see if the plug was on right side up. Then to put the guide which clips in to hold the all in place. .Oh and by the way this is not the first time this has happened so we bought an extra connector. Dumb, but not stupid.  Now will wrap duck tape around it when in travel so the catch can't release. We shall see.

All a lot to do about nothing, now that is all done and fixed. It's what Ya do in this lifestyle.
Always something is better, than always nothing.

Then we noticed a little problem with the sites water spigot.
Running when it is turned off. Terry didn't bust it, It was running when we arrived.
Called the park and they sent out a guy and he asked if we needed to use it as to fix it he would need to shut down the main supply to replace the faucet..We filled thinking this might be the issue so told him not a problem. That's what good future camp hosts do, Don't Ya Know...
(I have an mp4 video of the water faucet running and am learning how to post it. New tricks to learn)
If I get that to work. How about a time lapse of the tomato plant growing? Maybe NOT.

We have had our treasured tomato plant (Celebrity variety) stashed in the shower stall and it was time to gave it a little sun.
 It was getting limp and needed lots of water. Didn't bring fertilizer so off to of course Walmart tomarrow which is as we are not out boondocking but in a good sized city and drove right by one to get to the city park just down the street..

(April 22)
Spent the day sitting still in this nice Twin Falls County Fairgrounds campground. About time we took a travel day off. Alter all we are way ahead of schedule as we don't have to show up till mid-week of not this week but the week after.
After sort of sleeping in went out for lunch to Golden Corral, and it was very good again. Next to GC was Dick's Sporting  Goods and Sportsman's Warehouse. We walked around looking in each of these huge stores. It's was Monday but more clerks than customers in each. And OMG I didn't even find that must have item, as in stuff.
Stopped at Auto Zone to get anti freeze to add to the overflow coolant tank in the MH. It was down about a quart. Terry sez over the years he has to add a little at times. But said this is not an issue.
 I hope so.
 If you have been paying attention we on our way to our BLM campground gig for the third year (2019) in ID at the BLM Blackfoot Res. On the way as we stopped in of all places Quartzite the MH radiator blew. We had boondocks in Q for about 10 years in our early full-time years (check out the main index page for all those posts) and now just passing through years later we get stranded here .A month later living in the RV repair shop for a new unit to be built from scratch and shipped. Who

knew these things weren't off the shelf items. Yep were late for the camp host start
date. Even
missed Memorial Day opening.
So we now should be good on the cooling front as we even got their upgraded advanced design radiator fan from
Source Eng. That was then, this is now.
So when even a hint of coolant issues pop up I take notice. The motor home water temp ran very cool all day from Ely, NV to Twin Falls, ID now that we are out the heat down south. Even down south it ran acceptable. Happy with how all is going.
Then across the street to a automatic car wash and got our tow GMC Canyon truck washed as we only did the MH at the truck wash in Kingman. They would have done our tow vehicle at the same time if was connected, but since we had to disconnect so we could back up killed that idea. Now both are clean and looking like we are riches traveling fancy in our retirement years.
 Next a trip to Walmart to return a Midland FRS set of radios which I bought there yesterday. Decided I wanted the higher end units and  the Walmart clerk said wise move as the ones I chose was top of the line.
Now if your following along here is our next travel plan ideas.

If your'e lost Twin Falls is north of I 80 which runs from SLC to Reno. And on the I 84 which runs on northwest to Boise. 
OK here we go from Twin Falls on HW 30 (not going just north of town and using I 84) Seems HW 30 as it was called back in Iowa was the Lincoln Highway would be a slower less stressful drive. It went through my home town in IA and was the main E - W route untill the interstates were built as in Iowa I 80. and why would I want not to travel on this heritage road again. I hope it has been kept up as we have been on some horrible non maintained roads in northern AZ
We will get off HW30 140 miles at Heyburn for a Llove's travel stop for fuel .And then jump on I 84 and later I 86 to Pocatello (normally we stop here at the Bannock County Event Center RV park) but this time we are passing on by and our next overnight is 95 miles to Blackfoot ID City RV Park. (Reserved online and 50 amp for $35) After that a stop in Rexburg for fuel and MH propane as we show 1/3 so want to fill before we reach our destination host site. It's not like stopping at any just grill gas bottle replacment spot.
Can we drive in and out to fill the attached tank under the MH.
You remember when we had to not be able to back up out of that truck wash place.
Using Google Maps found a good drive through PP fill station right off I 15 going north.
From there onward to Island Park and boondock in a spot we have stayed several times. Then just a hop and jump to West Yellowstone and onward through the park to Gardnier, MT

But that is for another day and another post.

(April 21)
What a relief getting out of Las Vegas. We (as in I) wanted to go to Camper World looking for a new folding camping table. Camping World is on the southwest side of Vegas and getting there was not that big of a deal when you have navigation showing the way. But OMG the freeways were many and busy. Now I have a feel for what LA must be like and no time do I want to experience that as Vegas was about all I could handle. On the way back to the shore of the lake we were side directed on routes I hadn't planned on but we did get home.  So many huge houses, all cramped right next to each other. Like they say...Reach out and touch someone, like your neighbor. Wondering what all these people do for a living to afford such expensive housing. And why would anyone want to live like this?

Next day we were off to points north like Ely NV

Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark

Watched out of the blue as it appeared on my you tube recommended on what to watch. Think you tube is watching us for our (current location) as this popped up to watch.
Didn't even know they had a steam train out of here. But these people just did the museum and ride and posted it. A good watch and so clear video and they are fun as they were so excited to take any steam train. Not like it's the Silverton or Cumbures and Toltec steam trains but still any steam train ride is a good ride to be sure.
 This rail yard and railway is a hidden gem and one that was amazingly saved and preserved so that they could carry on this town's industrial heritage and share it with the rest of the world. They have done such an amazing job at restoring much of the trains, steam locomotives, buildings and equipment to keep this an operating railway providing train rides and tours for all visitors. They enjoyed our train ride being pulled by Engine No. 93 that led them on a 90 minute ride into the mountains and learning about the areas mining history. They really enjoyed there visit to the railway and took some great video to share of their private tour of the Engine House and RIP buildings. See their video.
No we didn't take the train but could hear them fire it up from our RV Park.

And now today Twin Falls ID. Two very long days of driving and we are now as in the picture staying in a favorite spot at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds. Hundereds of sites and we are one of about three RV here.

Will stay for a couple of days and explore the area as we are way ahead of schedule. Not expected at the campground host site for another 10 days. There is a Costco, Dick's Sporting Goods, and a Golden Corral here so good shopping and good food are to be had.
We ate at a Golden Corral in LV and  was very much impressed with the food guilty. So me thinks we are going to do this again.

The Top 10 Things to Do In Twin Falls

It's tough to narrow down the top activities in Twin Falls — the plunging, spectacular Snake River Canyon alone deserves its own bucket list! But we've done the hard work for you and chosen our best recommendations for this bustling, growing city.

(April 18)

Left the
Golden Valley RV Park (Kingman) next on to the HW 93 (just can't get off this crappy highway)  toward Hoover Dam bridge and cutting through Lake Mead Natioal Rec to our boondocking spot at Government Wash right off HW 167.  It ends back out north of Overton to I-15. Then another cutoff HW 168 to Coyote Springs and again US HW 93 and on up to Ely NV. That is after we have worn tired of the views overlooking what's left of Lake Mead.

(April 17)
We got an early start for us from Gila Bend and heading up to Kinsman and let me tell you never again will take HW 93 from Wickenburg to Kingman AZ
The worst potholes in a blacktop road I have ever driven on with 5 - 6% grades (more like 10%) Even after reaching Kingman the Interstate was just as bad. Not sure anything is still in place in the MH. With the MH water temp beeping in alarm and trying to down shift to rev up the RPM to help cool the engine and the wicked crashing pavement and Terry next to me with a bad case of the hiccups NOT a pleasing drive to be sure.
Like I said Never Again... .

      In Kingman AZ I saw a Blue Beacon Truck Wash.
So tried to pull in and got in the wrong drive (SEE BELOW Red is wrong drive, Black is the entrance drive to the wash which goes all the back and around to get in line. In the red lane no place to turn around.
 We had to disconnect our GMC tow pickup from the MH so we could back out and get in the right lane. (If you didn't know, you can't or shouldn't try to back up a MH with a 4 down tow vehicle hooked to the rear) Fun and games unhooking in the drive way and if you thought I didn't raise my voice in disgust at the poor signage for their entrance.  But it might have been my problem by not understand their sign.  And now as I remember an employee who was stranding outside rushed over waving at us and not till I was in too far in, did he come to my window and say 'to use the other drive... I asked him if I could turn around going forward and he said not big enough and I told him we couldn't back up. After we got in the correct lane we were pleasantly
surprised with the results. I can't remember if we ever had this beast commercially washed before. And for $57 worth every penny. I will be doing this again.

That is the exit that faces the main busy street. Trying to figure out how to get to the back entrance while holding up traffic made me reflect on the idea of dementia.

Also after we get settled at our campsite this summer I plan on working on the MH decals as they are as they say "checking" as in cracking)  and need to be reworked by sanding, primered, and paint over the vinyl decals. I have watched the you tube videos and think it is doable. The other option is to remove them and replace or paint. Not cheep, me thinks. But will do that if I have to, since we're not about to buy another MH any time soon. This I hope should be our last RV. Now if you want to start a "Go Fund Me"  I'll see what we can do.

Oh, almost forgot, this is our RV Park for the night. Right north of Kingman. Mostly permeate site users but a couple of open sites for overnights. Golden Valley RV Park  $30

Next on to Government Wash campground (they call it a campground but is free dispered) along the north edge of Lake Mead for a couple of days. Time to slow down and smell the roses...Not roses but It is spring bloom in the desert.
Yep... I did a Spell Check

(April 16)
We got out of bed at 7:30 AM as we stayed in the MH. Now this is way early as a retired person to be getting up but I guess if we want to get on our way towards Montana it's what a person has to do. We were on the road by 8:30. Our neighbors Miles and Linda were standing outside to wave us on our way. Not out of the ordinary as Linda seize she normally gets up at OMG 4:30 AM.
So were are off and I mean OFF on our journey.

All is going good with the
MH performing better than or as expected. It has been a reliable for the most part as for the diesel has only 82K miles. We do have after market warranty till the end of this year for major issues.
Sure things happen as since when have owned this unit we have replaced the trailing arms, airbags with inhanced handling package. New tires and then the radiator blew and we spent a month at a repair shopin Quartzsite AZ  living it while a new radiator was built along with a upgraded radiator fan. We like to think we have repaired and upgraded so we should be good for awhile.

 We got to Gila Bend at about 12:30 and got fuel at Lowes. Next was lunch since we had skipped breakfast. When going through Gila Bend a must go to place to eat is Sophia's

It's a little run down these days but the food was good and fast. As we drove out of town (such as it is) (no grocery store ,etc) we saw other Mex. food places so you can't say there is no competition. Anymore this is a truckers and tourist stopover for food and fuel.
Then off to the RV park Sonoran Desert RV Park  at $60 a night. Not crazy about any resort type RV park but we have stayed here before and it is right on our route and a good stopping point going each way from Benson, AZ to here and then more north to Kingman, AZ bypassing Phoenix. Later we will bypass Las Vegas by going around Lake Mead and camping at Government Wash Campground. Free dispersed sites.. More on this later when we stop for hopefully a few days.

The next few nights, true to form wil be boondocking. Next stop should be north of Kingman at aTA truck stop and then a few days along Lake Mead. Even had Terry pack some firewood for the Lake Mead stop.
More on how that all works out later.

 They  have a nice heated pool. Will see if later we want to go experience it.
Well we were stuffed from lunch and just kept inside in the AC, Our front AC is out of commission but our rear unit did cool us down with a fan blowing it forward.
Yep it's warm but looking ahead as it is still snow showers in MT with 50s to lows in the low 30s.

It was great day to put out our traveling tomato plant.
Heat and sun is what they are made for.
If you are wondering we store it in the MH shower when on the road.

Being the task master of this outfit I'm having Terry outside wiping down the sides of the MH which need a good cleaning. Can't do much in a RV park but he can wipe it down some.. He is not happy a happy camper having to do like work. But I said I drove you clean.

(April 15)
Terry went to town to the post office as he had to show ID proof to get his mail forwarded. I screwed up when doing his online as I used my credit card to process his $1.10 charge. So it didn't know it was him. It would have worked if I had used his card. Mine went through just fine.

Next got a test from my local Dr. saying he sent tow scripts to the local pharmacy if i needed them. I don't as have them with mail order. But I called and told them to cancel one of them but the other one I would be in to get as it is for farxiga (retail $1596) with my Ins $33 so I will take it anyway I can get it. So I just checked to make sure the new script didn't mess up my mail-order  account. It didn't as I still have three refills in mail order and the local one is just for one fill.

(April 14) Starting out...
We have the MH all packed and the the fridges in the house are turned off and mostly we are now living in our MH on our AZ property. The MH is not level and and i don't do tilt well. Later gonna run it up on blacks.

Watched the Billy Joel Live from Madison Square Garden and it of course was great.
To get ready for that I moved the  Amazon Fire Cube from the house to the MH and stepped through the prompts to make it work with our TV and surround sound Sony receiver. It all clicked and connected 
to each device and BAM all is working as desired. It feels real good and at the same time feels realy strange to be back in our MH on wheels. We had first thought we would be out of here on Momday April 15 but checking the weather forcast it shows 20-30 winds and gusts to 40 nmph.
So we will stay boondocking in our front yard . Ya we do have power from the house till we discennect it all when we leave.
We are going to try to leave south AZ Monday April 15th  (as from the Benson area at our acreage) and head west on  I-10 and then on I-8 west and  stop for the night in Gill Bend and then next day to a TA truck stop northwest of Kinsman AZ for the next night. Yup I did call ahead to TA, they do allow Revers to overnight.  After that bypass Las Vegas and go through Lake Mead and boondock along the north shore area there. Then on up the Ely, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Island Park south of Ennis, MT where Terry wants to reconnect with fishing outfitter buddies if time permits. To get to our BLM host campground we are then going to go into YNP at West Yellowstone and drive though to Gardnier and out to our host site. I checked and the park roads are scheduled to be open by the time we get there.

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