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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Boondocking Heaven

~Wednesday, June 8, 2022~

Day 724 (Travel Day)

Generally speaking, when we stay at a Harvest Host location for just 1 overnight stay, we don’t pull out the slides. To do so requires leveling the trailer both front to back and side to side. So we just deal. Of course Sadie gets incredibly confused when her more spacious hallway has been shrunk to the size of a sardine can. For us, it makes for tighter sleeping quarters and nowhere to cook really. But, what’s one night? Despite the lack of space, it felt good to get more zzz’s than I’ve been getting lately.

Then it was off to Bozeman, MT which we’ve passed through before on our way to Yellowstone. It will be a week of boondocking for Jeff and Sadie as I leave tomorrow for Sacramento, CA to be with my madre for a much overdue visit. Cannot wait!! We both have been counting the days.

On the way to our destination, we were amused by several things.…..Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park (prairie dogs have their own state park??). This 98-acre preserve protects the black-tailed prairie dog. Interpretive displays tell the story of these small, entertaining creatures and their role in the prairie ecosystem.

At one point, we crossed the massive Yellowstone River, which cuts diagonally across Montana for nearly 700 miles to its confluence with the Missouri River in North Dakota. Did you know it’s the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states? It was near this point that we spotted the longest train we think we’d ever seen with an engine front and back and 3 in the middle. They must require 5 engines because of all the weight their hauling? Wow!!

The snow-capped peaks of the Bridger Mountain Range were visible to the northeast and were they gorgeous. The Sacagawea peak is its tallest mountain at 9,596 feet.

Passing through the small town of Townsend, MT was a delight (population 2,100). Nestled between the Elkhorn Mountains to the west and the Big Belt Mountains to the east, the valley between, offers quaint shops, many with western style store fronts, and is a mecca for boaters and fishermen. With Townsend’s location on the southern tip of Canyon Ferry Reservoir, there are endless recreational activities. Evidently, the winter months find the frozen lake dotted with huts and tents of avid ice fishermen.

We made good time, arriving at Goose Creek Campground at 4:00. And holy cow, what a location!!! There is a more “formal” campground nearby, but we preferred the boondocking sites, which is generally the case, closest to the water of Canyon Ferry Lake. This is forest service land, and very well maintained I might add. Even though the first site we saw seemed to be the perfect one, we still wanted a look beyond that, just in case something better presented itself.

There were some others that were nice, but nothing quite like the first one. For some reason, there’s a concentration of people down the road from us. The only reason that comes to mind is being closer to the water supply? So we hurried back to the first spot, hoping nobody snatched it. Yes!! It was ours. Maybe it was the perfect weather, or the most calm, serene lake we’d ever seen, but think this could be our best boondocking spot yet. Or maybe a close second next to our go to spot in Sedona. And wouldn’t you know it? I’m only here 1 night to enjoy it. No offense mom. I’d rather spend time with you, but is there any way I could be in 2 places at the same time? Our site is on a short bluff, above the lake, surrounded by gorgeous mountains,

and the perfect amount of privacy. There is a family staying about 100 yards from us, but we still have enough solitude with a wall of shrubs/trees between us. And we have easy access down to the beach, perfect for Sadie.

There are people fishing, boating, water skiing and canoeing. Oh so peaceful. With the sun taking its time to say goodnight, the lake remained in its glass-like state with the occasional ripple from hungry, jumping fish. Not a bit of wind….a nice change from our prior locations as of late. I think we may have found heaven on earth.

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