Red Lodge, Montana


Normally Edward Bear makes his posts to the blog for each new place or situation. And Edward is in exactly the same place as he was last night. However, he was disappointed that it was too late last night to take a picture of him next to Rock Creek, so here is a picture that was taken today. The camper will be in the same place for the rest of this week. It is Wednesday today and they won’t move the camper until Sunday. Susan is visiting with her sisters. They really enjoy it when all three of them can get together. Ted is making some repairs to the camper, so he is around sometimes, but he is also taking hikes and I think he is going to go for a paddle one of these days, too. It is generally a vacation for him right now.

So Edward probably won’t post until Sunday when he will be in a new place. He will be having a good time listening to the river sing.

Red Lodge, Montana


Edward is in a familiar campground this evening. Perry’s Campground in Red Lodge, Montana is a place where Edward has stayed several different times. In fact, it was the place where Edward first met Emmala when she was just a baby. Edward is hoping that there will be some better pictures tomorrow or the next day, but tonight the only picture he has is of his chilling in the camper. That is because it is already dark outside and so not good for picture. The day was just so busy and fun that no one thought of taking pictures until it got dark.

One of the things that Edward likes best about Perry’s Campground is that it is right next to Rock Creek and the creek makes a beautiful music as the water dances over all of the rocks rushing to get down from the mountains. The water is very close to the melting snow, so it is very cold. Being a bear, Edward doesn’t mind cold water. In fact he prefers cold water. That is just the kind of bear he is. He thinks that Sam likes cold water, too. One thing for sure, Sam Salmon feels right at home when he is near rushing water.

Today the drive from the Missouri Headwaters to Red Lodge was short, so they got to the campground in the morning and had lunch there before going to see Peggy and Danny. There was lots of talking, pictures to look at, stories to tell and much more. Susan and Ted took walks before and after supper. It was a good, fun, full day.

Edward hopes there will be more time in the next couple of days to tell more stories and maybe get some more pictures of this beautiful place. For now, however, he is going to go to sleep in the camper with the music of the water outside.

Three Forks, Montana


Edward is thinking of today as a day of rivers. This morning they packed up the camper and followed the Clarks Fork to Missoula. Soon they were heading up the Blackfoot River. It is a beautiful trout stream and they stopped for lunch alongside the river. There is a book in which this river is a character. The book is titled “A River Runs Through It.” After a while they left the river behind and went up, up, and up and over MacDonald Pass. On the other side is Helena, the capitol of Montana. They drove through part of the capitol and then headed south to Wheat Montana where they stopped and bought flour and bread. Edward knows that Emmala, Elliot, Eero, and Eliza like it when Ted bakes bread, so it will be good to have a fresh supply of organic whole wheat flour direct from the source.

Tonight the camper is parked at Missouri Headwaters State Park. It is just a short walk from where the Madison and Jefferson Rivers come together to form the Missouri. About a mile downstream the Gallatin River joins, giving the name of the place “Three Forks.” It was named by the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery who had followed the Missouri River all the way upstream from where it flows into the Mississippi at St Joseph, Missouri.

As the sun went down tonight and a nearly full moon rose, Edward could hear lots of coyotes singing. They like to sing when the moon is full. Some people think they sound like wolves, but Edward knows the difference. Coyotes sing. Wolves howl.

As he drifts off to sleep tonight, Edward is dreaming of rivers. The water they bring restore and renews everything and whenever you look at a river, you are looking at change as the water goes by downstream and more water from upstream replaces it so that the river is always full.

Tomorrow the plan is to arrive in Red Lodge! Edward thinks he will see Faye and Edith and Otis. Every day is an adventure when the camper is traveling!

St. Regis, Montana

Edward really loves Western Montana and when he is in Western Montana he really loves to stop at St. Regis. And when he stops at St. Regis he loves to stay at the Nugget Campground. And that is exactly where he is tonight!

The Nugget Campground is special because Edward knows where to find a Sasquatch. Some people call the creatures Yeti, some call them Big Foot. But Edward knows that it isn’t just the foot of the creature that is big. It is all BIG! And Sasquatch is a mythical creature, so Edward hasn’t seen a real one. He just knows where there is a metal cutout in the forest and he likes to visit it when he comes to the Nugget Campground. There are lots of hiking trails in the campground and Ted and Susan like to take walks all around the area. There is a good hillside to watch mountain sunsets and that is where the camper is parked tonight. It is near a brand-new play structure with slides and a climbing tower and a lot of other fun things. It makes Edward wish that Patrick and Eliza and Emmala and Elliot and Eero were along to join in the adventure!

The best thing about St. Regis is huckleberry milkshakes. In Western Montana there are billboards advertising: Best. Shake. Ever. Maybe all of the cars driving fast on the Interstate miss some of the signs. Or maybe they don’t trust them because there is so much junk printed on billboards. But these signs are true. A huckleberry milkshake from Huck’s Cafe in St. Regis really is the Best. Shake. Ever. Ted and Susan have a tradition if they are in St. Regis at dinner time. They each get a Buffalo Burger. Sometimes they get sweet potato fries. And they always get a huckleberry milkshake.

Today was a good day and the drive wasn’t too far. There was some smoke in the area, but they didn’t see any big fires. That made Edward glad. He worries about all of the trees that are lost in the fires and wonders if the animals are safe. Sometimes, he knows, animals lose their homes in fires. Smoke from fires makes honey bees all go into their hive and huddle together where they can share whatever moisture they have in their bodies and regulate their temperatures. If the tree isn’t completely consumed by the fire they can sometimes survive even a forest fire, but if the tree gets all on fire they lose their home and they will be in it. Bees always go into their hive when they smell smoke. That is why Ted sometimes uses his smoker when the bees get too excited. They smell the smoke and go inside.

So far this has been a great adventure with lots to see and lots to think about. Edward is excited about tomorrow to see what it will bring.

Lake Chelan, Washington

It has been a fun and a full day for Edward. Susan and Ted arrived at the camper in the morning and loaded it with groceries and some other items. Ted hooked the camper up to the truck and then it was time to say good bye to Eero, Eliza, Emmala, Elliot, and Isaac. They stopped at the Lummi store for diesel and then were on the road. For the first part of the drive, Edward recognized the landmarks because they were heading in the direction of Baker Lake. However, they didn’t take the Baker Lake turn off and headed on up into the mountains. It was pretty smoky and when they stopped for lunch at the North Cascades National Park visitor’s center in Newhalem, they found out about the fires burning in the park. The highway they wanted to take was open but it had special speed limits and there was a pilot car to direct traffic one way through the fire zone.

Edward had never driven through a fire zone before. There were lots and lots of fire fighters and equipment on the road and in one place they could see flames just a little ways off of the road. Lots of people were working to protect things that might burn, but the fire was big and bright and the air was filled with smoke.

Then, after they got down from the mountain pass and turned toward Chelan, there was a second fire burning close enough to the road that they could see the fire fighters working to contain it. That fire had a helicopter dropping huge buckets of water on it. The could see the helicopter dipping the bucket in the river and then flying over the fire to dump water on the flames.

Tonight they are camped on Lake Chelan. It is the third deepest lake in the United States. It was formed by receding glaciers after the last ice age. It is 50 miles long, and averages 1 and a half miles wide. The water is cold and clear. The campground is full and there are a lot of people enjoying the lake.

Edward found a mystery at their campsite. On the ground, right next to the picnic table, there were lots and lots of googol eyes. At first Edward suspected that it might be the scene of some crime. He checked Sam Salmon’s eyes and his own, but they were not the same color as the eyes on the ground. Edward wondered what type of creature the eyes came from. The real story probably is that someone was doing crafts at the picnic table and somehow their container of eyes for their crafts got spilled. At least that is what Edward hopes. He thinks it would be terrible to lose and eye, even if it is only pretend and sewed on like his and Sam’s eyes.

Edward has heard that there are more fires in Eastern Washington and that is the direction that they are traveling. He doesn't know if he will see more fires tomorrow, but he suspects that there will be more smoke. But tomorrow the plan is to drive out of Washington, across north Idaho and into Montana. It isn't very far in miles, but there are more mountain passes to cross, so there will be much to see. Edward will probably go to bed early tonight to be ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

Birch Bay State Park, Washington


Edward Bear has been living a life of luxury. He has been sleeping in the children’s bunks since the last camping trip and now he is on another adventure with Elliot, Emmala, and Eliza. This adventure didn't require much travel. They camped at Birch Bay State Park, just 4 miles from the farm where Emmala, Eliza, and Elliot live.

Birch Bay State Park is partially located in a heritage forest managed in cooperation between the Nature Conservancy and Washington State Parks. The campground is in a grove of tall cedar trees. It also is on the shore, so everyone could walk to the beach to watch the sunset. There were games to play, bikes to ride, and lots of fun, including blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

Edward can tell that there are more adventures ahead. Ted has been working on the camper quite a bit lately. He installed an upgrade to the hot water heater. He repaired a bunch of drawer sides and he has been doing other small maintenance chores.

Stay tuned. Edward is pretty sure there will be some new adventures soon.

Baker Lake, Washington


O joy! O joy! O joy! Edward was really really excited a couple of weeks ago when he heard the sound of impact wrenches as the wheel bearings of the camper were being packed. Wheel bearings getting packed means that the camper is being prepared to go somewhere. For two years, since he both back from the big trip to South Carolina, Edward and the camper had stayed at the farm in Ferndale.

Edward didn’t sleep the whole time, however. The camper came out of the barn sometimes. There were sleepovers with Eliza and Emmala and Elliot. And two times Otis and Edie and Faye and their parents came and stayed in the camper. That was super fun!

But Edward loves to travel. And now he knew a trip was in store. then on Tuesday the camper was scrubbed from top to bottom. Edward could hear Ted on the roof scrubbing everything. Then the outside of the camper was scrubbed and the windows washed. the bathroom and kitchen were cleaned. The slide out was lubricated. On Wednesday clean sheets were put on the beds and Edward was happy to see that three bunks were made up with sheets and pillows and comforters.

On Thursday groceries were loaded and soon the camper was heading down the highway. Edward could feel it going up and up and when they stopped they were high in the Cascade Mountains near Baker Lake.

For three days and two nights there was so much fun. Edward heard about swimming and kayaking and hiking in the old growth forest. they cooked hot dogs over the campfire and toasted marshmallows for s’mores. They had blueberry pancakes for breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. They took picnics and played tree bingo. What a grand adventure!

Edward is so glad to be back on the road! And he learned that his fish has a name. The children call him Sam Salmon.

Made in RapidWeaver