Saturday, February 9, 2019

Decision Made

I left you while I was lounging about in the sunshine waiting on Brenda's next X-Ray results down near Quartzsite, Arizona. I had pulled back into our spot near where the legendary Wandering Willy was hanging his hat so Bill and I had a few fires, told some lies, and debated politics for at least a few minutes every day. For the most part our political leanings are pretty similar but that would be boring, so I had to take a contrarian view on a few occasions just to spice it up a little, but we never did let it decay into watching FOX & Friends or becoming Justin Trudeau fanboys. Somehow all those things are less important when you are enjoying desert sunrises, campfires, good friends and some hummers buzzing the sunsets.

We took a spin into Quartzsite for a look around, the day after the big show, so the crowds were pretty manageable. I really just wanted to see what was up and if K&B had any new stuff, but lo and behold the last time I was actually in the "Q" for the big show was about 10 years back and it looked like time had stood still, everything was right where I left it, the only thing different was a couple of tents selling Trump T-shirts and Hats but the rest of it was just like I left it. Other than the run into Quartzsite, I think I made one quick trip to Parker for a propane hose that needed replacing on the BBQ but for the most part I just chilled in the desert.

View from the top step of the Solitude
A 3 frame Pano with a Hummer crashing the party

Brenda's appointment was on Friday the 1st of February and although the breaks have not displaced there was no way her Doc was letting her fly for the next 6 weeks or so, which had me packing for a little journey back into the land north of summer. I pulled out early in the morning on Saturday and headed north, making about 834 miles and five states that first day, pulling into Idaho Falls just as the sunset. I had slipped by in front of a storm in Southern Utah and the roads were decent so I just kept rolling. Thanks to Brent Ross for his great weather and route watching the entire journey.

There was a major storm expected in Montana so I held up for a day in Idaho Falls, and then when the weather wasn't looking like there was much improvement in the forecast for the next week I headed north. From Idaho Falls to the Montana line it was slick, snow, and fog and right at the freezing point so the climb up the Monida Pass was interesting to say the least.

Once I headed down the other side the temperature started dropping, but cold weather makes the snow covered roads a little nicer to drive so that was an improvement. I left I-15 at Dillon and skipped all the hills and high country north of Butte and rejoined the Interstate at Boulder. There is a long hill down from Boulder to Helena that was an interesting slide, and the piece between Helena and Cascade is always interesting when it is snowy, it is a little windy and the big transports who travel at higher speeds than I do in those conditions leave you driving in a sack of flour with the flying snow everytime they pass. But basically from Cascade on it was good going and not many were passing the big Ford.

From Great Falls to Sweetgrass one lane was bare and dry and we made good time. Once I got to the border I tried to roll down the window but it was frozen shut. I had to jump out to talk to the Canadian Border folks and they asked me two questions, did I have any firearms, and any booze, and then told me to get back in the truck before I froze to death and go home.

The roads from the border to Dogpound North (DPN) were great, bare and dry so with the Ford running like a hound we made good time and were home by 8 after another 750 odd miles.

I spent a couple of days unloading all the freezables out of the rig and now she is waiting for spring. I will use other transportation to head in for supplies while I am here helping Brenda follow her non-weight bearing regimen.


  1. Wow that's a lot of mileage in ugly conditions. Happy to hear you made it without any mishaps. Hopefully Brenda mends quickly. Stay warm.

  2. That is some long distant days but when you only have yourself for company it is easier to do. Glad you made it Safe and can now help Brenda out around the house.
    Looks like the perfect way to go through a Drive-Thru. LOL!

    It's about time.

  3. Glad to hear Brenda is avoiding surgery! And also glad to hear you made it through all that awful weather unscathed! It's been nasty cold for AZ but not as cold as MT or Dogpound North.

  4. What a drive! I don't think I could that kind of driving any more. Glad you made it safe & sound. Beautiful pictures, by the way. Give Brenda a big hi from me.

  5. Welcome home and our best wishes to Brenda! Evenings with Wandering Willy are always fun. We enjoyed our few days parked next to him a few years ago!

  6. Hi JB
    You don't know me but I have followed your blogs for the past few years. We are full timers from Wingham, ON, not far from the Bayfield Bunch. I understand we also have a mutual friend from Calgary in the person of Dennis Vath. We go from Yuma to Sylvan Lake, AB where we stay with our daughter and family for 6 wks before heading back to ON. I hate climbing into the high country above Butte with our motorhome and toad. I see you by-passed Butte by leaving I 15 at Dillon and rejoined at Boulder. would you recommend this instead of staying on 15? (

  7. I say, have you dropped off the blogging? That sky above Solitude is the most stunning one I've seen in forever. Thank you for posting it. Wondering if you enhance pictures such as this. Also wishing you'd start posting again - especially the gorgeous sky shots.

    1. I shoot in a format called RAW which means my pictures unlike most JPEG's that you see are pretty flat to begin with, so I pull up the contrast a little, and add a little clarity to most shots. If you don't shoot in RAW your camera is doing the post processing for you. Short answer though is Yes I do some post processing on almost every shot, but mostly just to get it to the point that it looks like what my own eyes saw.