We leave today after a week here on the Missouri River in Montana, and it’s been peaceful, all in all.
Exception: the constant insects—ants in the sand, covering your feet the minute you stand still, crawling on Banjo as she eats them one by one. Long-winged flying things (ants?) all in the tent and in the trailer and buzzing. I’m sitting up late at night typing this, and they’re whining away around my little table lamp. But not biting, and that’s a big difference.
Exception: the lose dogs of the partying people camped on this stretch of the river. The people are far enough away from us that we can’t really see them, and we hear them only in the evenings when their cornhole games get rowdy, but the dogs. Man. No more long walks for Banjo and me in the mornings along the grassy fields. Tracy tried twice in the afternoons and then didn’t try again; he’d get near any of the other RVs, and dogs would rush over.
But we’re camped on a small spit here by ourselves, so we’ve been walking her along the water when there are no ATVs running about, and she’s thrilled with the catfish bones and skin she finds there.
So, yeah, sheltered from trouble that way, as well.
We spent a day in Helena doing laundry and shopping. How I hate shopping now: all the pressure to buy the right thing knowing this is my only shot for a long time in a city. And Tracy hates the city driving and parking. So we treated ourselves to a good brewery and lunch from a bakery with some Grateful Dead reference in the name. Approval all around.
And the drive there and back is a treat along the river. Day saved.
Isolation averted as well: our friend Tom visited twice, bringing all our packages as well as his easy-going nature, goofy jokes, and lofty wit. We taught him how to play the Firefly board game, and he and I played a game I’m calling “Ukulele Concert” wherein I try to play for an audience without forgetting everything I know and feeling embarrassed, and Tom made that a success, too.
Tracy and I began a new board game we bought in Missoula: Gloomhaven. To be determined how much entertainment versus trouble learning the million rules that will be.
And Tom generously took my waterwheel tiny house (okay, I had to coax him) so I could start on a new one, which is too young to photograph.
The old one may find a home, or, I half jokingly told Tom to throw it away and not mention that. Again like the monks who make mandalas from sand and then blow them away—everything is temporary.
Today we head to Yellowstone. We’ll try to boondock at a site Tracy’s heard of outside the north entrance, then avoid the crowds by driving in very early in the morning. We’ll see. Onward!