Tonight Edward is in St. Regis, Montana. He was here two years ago, so he remembered that it is a long day to drive from Olympia, Washington to St. Regis. But St. Regis means one thing that Edward knows and loves: Huckleberries. A Huckleberry milkshake was just the right thing to fill him up after a long hot day of riding in the camper.
It is very smoky all across Washington, Idaho and Western Montana. In north Idaho, they saw fire crews working very close to the highway and there is a big camp for firefighters in Wallace. The ride up to Lookout Pass was the slowest ever. The traffic was moving only about 5 miles per hour and it came to a complete stop at times, They are working on building a whole new highway up the Idaho side of the pass. Traffic is reduced to one lane, so no one can go any faster than the slowest truck. And then a truck broke down part way up the hill and got everything stopped until the construction crews could help move the truck out of the way to wait for a wrecker to come and help.
After the top of the hill, the speed retuned to normal and the winding trip into Montana is filled with lots of trees. It looks like a good place for bears to live. Last time Edward was in St. Regis they stayed at one campground. This time they are at another - this one is much nicer and very convenient.
Tomorrow they will head to another good pace to look for bears: Red Lodge
Edward has been to Red Lodge, Montana before. Usually he stays in a campground in Red Lodge, but last night the camper was parked on the street next to the house of Susan's sister. Still, Red Lodge is a beautiful place. He could hear the creek rushing over the rocks and the town was more quiet than many campgrounds. There were no railroad trains in the night and no highway rushing by. If you come to Red Lodge, you have to drive through town. There is no bypass to take the vehicles around town, as is the case with places with Interstate highways.
Red Lodge is full of wonderful memories for Edward. Last summer the camper was in Red Lodge for several days. Edward had a sleepover with Elliot and Elliot's family came for a camper visit. It was a year ago that Elliot visited the animal recovery center and Blackberry E. joined Elliot's bear family.
Edward knows that this trip is coming to an end. The camper will head back to Rapid City today and soon will be back in its storage place. It has been a wonderful adventure and Edward is already thinking of new places to go and new adventures to seek.
Edward is back in the Americana Campground in Olympia. It is a very familiar and a very special place. Today the camper stopped at the home of Elliot and Emmala and their parents and then Elliot and Ted took the camper, with Edward to the campground and set it up. Edward got a few minutes to play with Elliot before they went back to the house and left Edward in the camper to get used to the campground with the giant trees.
Then Susan and Ted came back with a surprise. Elliott is staying for a sleepover on the first night! Elliot brought the whole bear family to visit Edward. What fun it is to play with other bears and with a boy who has a wonderful imagination. Elliot told Edward about all of the plans for the next few days. Tomorrow they are going to look at a pedal bicycle. It seems like this will be an exciting and wonderful visit.
The campground is lovely and quiet and filled with giant cedars, Douglas firs and hemlock trees. The trees are so tall that it is a wonder.
Today Edward got to travel across part of Montana, the Idaho panhandle, and a little more than half way across Washington. It was a new road for Edward. He had been across Washington on highway 20, on Interstate 90 and on US 12. Today he went on US 2 - across high desert and down to the Columbia River and up into the Eastern slope of the Cascade mountains.
Leavenworth is a very interesting town. Most of the buildings are made to look like a Bavarian village. Of course, it isn't in Bavaria, which is in Germany, but it is an old logging town in the Cascade mountains. There are several different campgrounds. Tonight the family is staying at the Leavenworth/Pine Village KOA. It is owned by the same company that owns the Palmer Gulch KOA near Edward's home.
In the evening hike they went down by the river where they saw a dog chasing a ball thrown into the water. The dog was a very good swimmer. While they were watching, Edward fell in the river. No harm was done. Bears don't mind getting their heads wet. And Edward floats so he was easy for Ted to grab him from the river. Susan dried him off and he is as good as new.
Tomorrow we get to Olympia. Edward likes visiting with Elliot's bear family when they go to Olympia.
Edward was at the Missoula KOA a little over a year ago, so the trip from Big Timber was sort of familiar. This time there was a little rain, but they stopped at Wheat Montana and got some good bread along the way.
This visit, however, was extra special. They got to visit a family with an almost brand new cub! Baby Faye is only eleven weeks old. Edward can't remember when he was only 11 weeks old. She was already longer than Edward, but she couldn't do very many things. She liked to be held and fed and have her diaper changed. She liked it when her dad made faces at her and when her mother laughed. It was fun to hang out with them for a little while. Faye's mother, Jamie, is Susan and Ted's niece, so it was a special visit to them. They were meeting the baby for the first time.
The campground at Missoula is nice and comfortable, but the campsites are pretty narrow and the neighbors are very close to each other. It has lots of activities and there is ice cream in the evening. And tomorrow the caravan will head west again. We'll be in Washington by the time we stop tomorrow.
Edward is back at the Boulder again. Yesterday was a very interesting day. The 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was going on. The camper got right into the traffic with thousands of motorcycles. At Alzada there were over a thousand bikes in a town that rarely has more than a dozen people in it. The weather was interesting too, with hot sunny parts and cool rainy parts, some dark skies and some bright skies. The mountains were beautiful as they pulled into the Boulder place.
It was fun for Edward to explore the cabins and feel at home in this now familiar place.