Thursday, August 19, 2010

Travel Mode

Our next stop is Elkhart, Indiana for the Gypsy Journal rally.  We have no goals for this trip other than to fill in our map by adding North Dakota.  It’s the only state in the lower 48 where we haven’t been in this RV.  We’ll be on highway 90 and plan to stay a couple nights at Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park.

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We considered popping up to Glacier Nat’l Park, but decided against it.  It would add to much time to our travels, and we couldn’t do it justice in 2 days anyway.  Maybe next summer we’ll be able to make it there.  As we pulled back on the highway out of Spokane, WA, I felt a pang of guilt that we would be traveling so close by where my step-brother Tom lives, but we needed to keep traveling.  I sent him an email (actually an instant message) and, he responded right back that he could drive the hour from his place to the freeway and meet us for lunch at a truck stop!  Perfect!  It even happened to be lunchtime!

Here’s ‘Brother’ Tom:

Thanks Tom for being flexible and making that drive – it was great to see you! 

The last time we saw Tom … also the first time I met him! … was in 2006 (blog post here.)  He was a long-haul truck driver.  We’re complaining about having to make the trip from Oregon to Indiana in 12 days – he says he would drive from Oregon to New York … and BACK in that time! He has since quit truck driving - now he’s a geek too!  He’s realized he can be a lot more comfortable working from home, and with computers, Internet, and Skype, there’s all sorts of jobs he can do.  

After leaving Tom, we continued on Highway 90 towards Butte, Montana.  They’re not kidding that this is big sky country! 

I studied my Trailer Life catalog, searched for campgrounds on my Streets and Trips program and decided on one park.  When we reached there, Jim wasn’t tired enough yet, so we kept going.  More computer research, more flipping pages in the book … then I saw a sign that said “Hot Springs” and it had a little campground sign below it on the same post.  I said … “Turn Here!”  Sometimes you just have to be flexible.  What a great spot this was!  I had seen the Fairmont Hot Springs in the books, but it was a hotel and resort, I didn’t think you could stay at an RV park and go to the hot springs.  I was wrong.  It was a delightful little walk from the nice Fairmont RV Park (with good Wi-Fi) to the even Nicer Fairmont Hot Springs resort.  $4.75 each admitted us to the hot springs *and water slide*! 

What a nice day!  And, what a great place this would be for a small rally or conference.  Make a note!  We had dinner in the comfy bar and lounge after soaking in the hot springs and taking a ride on the water slide.  Warm water slide!  Most of the water was about 93 degrees, then the hot pool was about 103.  Just delightful.

2 comments:

John and Carol said...

We arranged our travels to pick up North Dakota this summer, too. You will love Roosevelt NP. We toured the southern section--buffalo and wild horses.
We only count states we have slept in, not merely traveled through. That means there are 4 in the lower 48 we don't have on our map--but they are very small.

Jim said...

I believe the map police will cite you if you do not sleep overnight in the state. We did a FMCA rally in Minot a few years ago, but flew there. Doesn't count. That is why we are here now.