A bridge over the Snake River in Idaho.  I was attracted to it's design and French Curve flow.  Small but beautiful and also modern looking.

I'm back home as of Thursday October 8, 2012!

A lot of Yin Yang on this trip.  It seems I can avoid some unknowns but the unknown unknowns always get me.  For instance, in a rush and stressed about the trailer on it's maiden voyage, I stopped at the Nut Tree to grab a bite.  A nice juicy Whopper from Burger King.  Now what was I thinking, with heart disease and all, ordering a Whopper?  Well I took a big bite with both the Whopper and my keys held in my right hand.  I then realized too late that keys are not edible, especially after biting down and breaking a gap in my bridge.  Now I have a gap in my front bridge that you could drive a 24 wheel truck through.

Little mishaps abounded.  Like my refrigerator was a constant source of concern.  Too hot, too cold, D/C or Gas, A/C or D/C, Gas level OK or not.  I swear, I got up in the middle of the night because the refrigerator temp had dropped to 24 degrees, and I had to turn the gas off in order to let the refrigerator warm up to a normal temp.  When I got up later that morning, I was pouring icy milk crystals over my cereal.  Fun stuff.

The first time I parked next to a curb, I pulled in really close and then I heard my trailer hub cap being shredded on the curb.  Yes, I learned the trailer is wider then my car and the hub cap is the first to go.

The first time I emptied the porta potty, I learned the meaning of noxiously odiferous.  Yes, convenient to use if necessary but don't.  It was messy to empty as well.  Especially if you have never done it before.  Eww, too much information.

My only option was to drive the above pictured ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) after my car faltered.  Just teasing.  My last night of camping was a huge surprise.  Normally when rolling into a Forest Service camp I would have the whole camp to myself or at most, one other camper.  This camp on a Tuesday night was packed with only two sites left to occupy.  Yep, Deer season had opened up the previous Saturday and these were the diehards, staying until they got "their" deer.  Two deer were hanging from trees in two different camps, all dressed and ready to take to the butcher to be made into steaks, sausage and or jerky.  Almost every camp site had a version or two of the above pictured ATV.  The modern equivalent of a horse without having to feed or cleanup after it.  That case on the front is probably to carry hunting guns in.  Notice the power winch on the front?  This is very handy for hoisting the deer up a tree or to winch yourself out of a huge pothole after getting stuck.

I'm sorry.  I know this may be disturbing to view but it is a reality during Deer Hunting Season.  They are harvested to feed the hunter's family and friends.  It's too bad they don't know how to shoot back.  It might make it a little more sportsmanlike and fair.

A wild Rose bush.  I would have loved to see it in bloom.

After completing my loop in Montana and heading back through Oregon, my car faltered.  It developed a bad miss in the middle of the High Desert which made it difficult to travel 60 miles to the next town.  My beast of a car had barely enough power to make it up the grades and a check engine light was constantly blinking.  It was guzzling gas at an astounding rate making the last few miles even more stressful.  I did manage to get it into a shop the next day to find out that an ignition coil had failed.  Replacement was successful but it was like finding out your wife had cheated on you, how do you ever trust her again?  This is a car that has never failed me, well maybe once or twice or three times, come to think about it.  After all, it is a car not a wife.  $200 and I was back on the road.  As a precaution, I headed to Bend where I had an appointment with a Toyota dealership for the next day.  After going about 100 miles fault free, I called Toyoto and cancelled my appointment.

Thrills abounded.  Watching a lady pull in a foot long trout on Henry Lake, spotting a group of people watching a Moose Cow and her Calf feeding in the middle of the Snake River, a White Tailed Deer bounding out of her nest right in front of me, seeing and photographing Nemo, a Brook Trout in a tiny Stream of water. The many birds and animals along the way.  

Anybody want to play?  I did see two ladies with kids in tow earnestly headed for the reservoir with their fishing poles not even giving this playground a first thought.  This was in a very remote Idaho State Park which led me to ponder, why put recreation in a park that has so many really interesting things to do involving real Nature? Maybe it was built for the Bear Cubs to play on. 

Trailering was liberating.  The Forest Service camps were my favorite.  The camps were typically five dollars a night or even free at one camp near Missoula.  Even the RV parks were mostly cheap, often times $20 a night but sometimes $35 at the more upscale ones.  I avoided them because for five dollars more I could stay in a Motel Six.  The trailer is cramped for one person.  It is hard to imagine camping for a month in it with two people.   For the first two weeks, I was constantly tearing it apart looking for stuff.  How it can be so difficult to find something in such a small trailer, is beyond me.  Of course, as I was tearing it apart, I was thinking of new ways to store stuff and making notes so I would remember later.

Dozens of Quail at this camp site.  Fun to watch, especially the way they scoot from place to place, like late for a very important date.

The Solar System was wonderful.  I would run my 160W refrigerator on solar from 11 till 3 (midday sun) and then switch over to gas.  The remaining sun was enough of a charge to watch a DVD at night on my 23" screen.  I had to conserve when the smoke got really bad in Montana as it cut my available solar power charge in half or more.

Sirius the subscription radio service, worked fairly well but because of intermittent reception I had to reposition the antenna from inside my trailer to outside.  If there were trees blocking the antenna, then it was still intermittent.  Overall though, it did work really well, especially in FM radio fringe areas ( where I was 90% of the time).  It was nice to listen to music in the middle of nowhere.  

3,987 total miles this trip on a car towing a trailer. This car now has 209,719 miles on the odometer.  My typical MPG on previous trips dropped from 24 to 17mpg so I am going to try some streamlining ideas to improve that.  I have a whole 2x4 full of post-it-notes of improvements to make and things I forgot to pack.

So, I hope you enjoyed my blog.  Drop me a line when you get a chance.  I love to read emails about my trips and yours.

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