Morning came, and as we did nearly every morning that Little Bird and Ox we with me, we cooked up a bunch of bacon and made some eggs. Once the dishes were washed and put away, sleeping bags stuffed, backpacks repacked, and all of the belongings and people were piled into Walden, we continued our journey.
The first stop was a hardware store. The screw that holds the cell phone mount on Walden’s dash shelf had stripped. When you live in a van, not having a place to keep your cell phone is a real drag. I got a new screw. And a washer.
I also needed some hose for my bubbly water setup. I have a 2.5 gallon keg that I fill with water and carbonate with a 20 ounce paintball CO2 canister and an adapter so that I can use a regular CO2 regulator. The hose that I had wasn’t designed for the pressure I use to carbonate the water, so I got some new braided hose.
Little Bird has some little slippers with leather bottoms. They are too slippery. They bought some grippy stuff designed to put on stairs, for example.
With our materials acquired, Little Bird and Ox set out trying to clean the bottom of her shoes so that the grippy stuff would stick. Meanwhile, I got the cell phone mount fixed and added bubbles to my keg of water. With the cell phone back on its proper place on the dash, the keg ready to deliver bubbly water at high pressure, and Little Bird’s shoes now grippy, we were off. It was no Boiling River, but it was shaping in to a good day to drive through Montana.
I hadn’t taken as many pictures of the gates to ranches in Wyoming as I might have liked, so I made a point of getting a few pictures of the ones here.
Late in the day, We saw a sign that promised a ghost town, which sounded cool to me. We tried to find the ghost town, but I got a bit concerned when the guy in front of us got out of his car to activate his four wheel drive on his truck. Not much further along, I chickened out when a detour took us up a one-lane two-way road and it was unclear just how the truck coming the other way was going to get past us. I backed down the road and headed back out.
By this point it wasn’t clear when we were going to get to a place we could stay for the night. I’d hoped that the road that we were on would provide us with a place would could tuck in for the night, but it all seemed to be private land and just didn’t feel right. Everyone was getting hungry and Missoula was still an hour away. We pulled over and whipped up a bit of dinner. It was a spicy sausage-tomato sauce pasta dish. I got Little Bird to do a bit of the cooking.
While we were busy cooking, Ox took a little constitutional to clear his head from the long day on the road. You might not be able to see him in this picture.
But if you look really closely, you might see him here near the top of the world.
We finally made it to Missoula. It wasn’t clear where to stay, so we stopped at a bar and called some campgrounds. We ended up at a KOA. They have a reputation for being expensive, but this one was priced similarly to the other campgrounds and was closer to town than any other campground.
This was my first stay at a KOA. It had a very “family” atmosphere. There were bike rentals for these strange little recumbent tricycles, a game room, and an “ice cream social.” There was even a hot tub. Little Bird wanted to check it out, but both Ox and I were too tired to make our way over there.
I posted a few more pics if you’re interested.