Sunday, May 31, 2015

All the going's on

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

There's been a lot of rain since we've been here,
making our days off somewhat limited.

Even this evening, a big thunderstorm went over..

As you can see, the campground is pretty empty still.
Gordon tells us when the weather breaks, it will get full :-)

Earlier this week when it wasn't raining,
we took a ride to Newlan Creek Reservoir.
It's only about 14 miles from the campground,
and looks like a nice place to put the Sea Eagle in this summer.

The drive there was beautiful, as always.

Also was the view from the dam..

We caught a picture of this guy.

I wasn't sure what it was until I got a nice shot
of him with my telephoto.
I looked him up, and I think it's a Swainson's Hawk.
Anyone else confirm that?

This afternoon there was a party for Gordon & Sally.
Today is their 45th anniversary!

There was a very nice cake, and ice cream, and banana pudding :-)
Their church members came to celebrate as well.

Lyddia and I helped serve the cake & ice cream...

Lyddia, Sally, me

and Blanche manned the phones in case they rang :-)

We're getting to hear the melodic sounds of the Meadowlark
right behind our site..

Life is good in Montana!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial day...and a great sighting!

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

Since my last post we've been relaxing and watching the rain fall :)
It has rained the last 4 days out of 5.
Sure makes the mountains green!

The Killdeer babies have hatched and are gone..

Gordon is happy, he had blocked off the site they occupied :-)

Sunday we went to the local Lutheran church,
American Lutheran.
It is a 'yoked' congregation,
meaning the Presbyterian church and Lutheran church share.
I'm Lutheran, so it works for me!
They were very welcoming,
and asked if I would sing in the choir for the summer.
Sure :-)
Afterwards we went out for breakfast at the local
'truck stop cafe' for their buffet.
It was excellent!

Yesterday we took another drive as the weather was cooperating.
Our destination was to check out Castle Ghost Town.
George drove south on Highway 89, and turned onto MT 294
towards Lennep.
It's a beautiful drive through the rolling hills,
with the snowy mountaintops in the background.
As we were driving I was looking for wildlife,
and all of a sudden, I yelled for George to stop!
Good thing there were absolutely no cars on this stretch of road,
as this is what we saw..

What a thrill!!

We continued on, and got to the little town of Lennep,
It too is a ghost town, which once housed a Lutheran church,
general store, and post office.

At this junction we had to drive 7 miles on a dirt road (oh my!)
to get to Castle ghost town.
George was very willing, despite the look of what was ahead..

As we drove up the road,
we saw a few creatures..

and not so wild..

 It was a beautiful drive,
we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery.
Unfortunately, 2 miles up the dirt road, it became very muddy,
and we were concerned about the conditions.
We never made it to Castle, but will try again when the roads are passable.

It's off to work today...raining again...good to be inside!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Short Excursion

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

Yesterday we decided to explore our little backyard a bit.
We were told that there is a great little ride to take on
route 89 north to Memorial Falls, so that's where we started.

There were some beautiful views on the way north of the Little Belt mountains..

The road winds up and down, and over the summit of King's Hill Pass.
All of this is part of the Lewis & Clark National Forest.
The highway follows Belt Creek, which we were
 happy to see actually has water in it :-)

We eventually found ourselves at our destination for today,
Memorial Falls.

Even at the trailhead parking lot,
the creek is beautiful, as are the rock formations.

Even though my sciatica is still bothering me a bit,
we decided to give this short hike a try.
It's only 1/2 mile to the falls.

The trail is narrow and rocky, but only slightly uphill.

The creek is right beside the trail,
so there can be some opportunity for wildlife.
We saw none this time :-)

It wasn't long, and we were at the lower falls.

 There is an upper fall, but from there the trail gets steep,
and with the altitude (over 7300 feet) and my sciatica,
we didn't finish the hike to the very top.
We're still not quite acclimated to the thin air here :-)

On our way back into town, we stopped at a few pullouts..
this being the Showdown Ski Area.

We eventually ended up back in White Sulphur,
and George (of course) found a car wash there..

I stayed inside :-)

 We're finding that for a small town,
there are some great restaurants in town.
George and I got a bite to eat at
the Branding Iron Cafe.
I had the best Patty Melt I think I've ever had.
People eat hearty meals here!

We also checked out the local grocery store, Mathis Food Farm.
You can see how small it is :-)
It has enough goods to keep us happy
until we make it to a Walmart in Bozeman which is 80 miles away!

We also checked out a local Spa Hotel & Hot Springs.
For $6.00 (senior rate!) you can soak in the Mineral springs.
They have indoor and outdoor pools..

The sulphur smell is overpowering,
but it's supposed to be very healing and soothing.
We'll see :-)

Today we're relaxing, we have the windows open even.
It's another beautiful day in central Montana!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wow, what a job!

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

Well, we made it to our summer home!
Monday we drove a short 195 miles,
through beautiful Idaho and Montana scenery,
and made it to White Sulphur Springs, MT.
We will be working at Conestoga Campground until Labor Day.

We have a great site, with a view of the Big Belt mountain range.

This campground has only 48 sites, with 50 amp, 30 amp,
and several water and electric only.
There is a small office and store,

and a great laundry room, restrooms and showers.

The owners, Gordon & Sally Stewart couldn't be nicer.
After we got settled on Monday, they took us out to dinner to the 'truck stop'.
It's a great local place that you would never walk into if you didn't get taken by a local.
The food was fabulous!
Gordon also gave us a tour of the town, it's very small and took 5 minutes :-)

We jumped in with both feet on Tuesday to our duties.
I will be working the office, taking reservations, checking people in,
and selling things from the store.
George will do outside duties, mowing grass,
and helping out with painting and site maintenance.
We both clean the restroom area.
George and I work 2 days each.
Hours are sort of loose.
As the owner told me, come on over to the office anytime you want.
Stay until 7 or so, then you can keep an eye on any late arrivals
from the comfort of home :-)

I learned their Campground Master system very quickly,
as it is similar to Campground Manager that Coyote uses.
There are only about 20 of the 48 sites rented, and 3 of those are the workampers.
We're promised it does get pretty busy in the summer :-)

This morning I walked around and took pictures of the park and surrounding views..

There are some nesting Killdeer in the gravel.
Gordon cordons them off with cones so they don't get run over.

 There is a small trout pond on the property.
No catch & release, they want you to catch and eat!
$6 per fish :-)

 Gordon has plywood cutouts all over the park
in the shapes of wild life, wagons, and such..

George got the hanging baskets up and around the building.

Today during my shift,
the other workampers came over with Sally, the owner,
and we all played cards.
I hopped up to answer the couple calls we got :-)

Blanche, Sally, Lyddia, me

We really struck gold with this job.
There is so much to do around here,
nice scenery to explore.
It's going to be a great summer!