Saturday, April 11, 2009

Montana to Idaho

While I was in Hamilton, I asked Len, who had driven a semi for years, how I could manage the steep descents without constantly applying the brakes. He suggested I go downhill in second gear. I had done just that in the VW Westphalia I'd had before but was afraid of popping something or overheating. Guess I was intimidated by the size of the motor-home, a far cry from a VW van. But I followed his advice and managed serious downhill grades like a pro. Thanks Len.

Made it almost to Leadore, Idaho. A scant few yards before I reached the place though, my rig stopped and would go no further. Had to get a new fuel pump. The work was impeccable and way less expensive than in the city. The people were so friendly that I decided to stay and settle down at the Smokey Cubs camp for a while before heading south. The official population posted on a sign read 90; but on another one a mile away from "town center" the number 90 had been crossed out and now boasted 663! A recent search on Google gave it as 50. So who knows? Smokey Cubs turned out to be another delightful surprise. Aside from meeting most of the human population, the only obvious life forms I encountered were herds of antelopes darting up and down the hills and a young bull who paid us a visit.

There was a cool creek gurgling gently below the trees, Canyon Creek. My dogs, Teddie and Keesha, played and splashed with abandon once they had noticed how shallow the creek was. Eventually Keesha noticed tiny fish, a glimmer in her eyes leaving no doubt as to her intentions. In her valiant attempts to gobble up the slippery prey, she ended up swallowing a few quarts of water while Teddie viewed all the excitement with an air of lordly superiority. Never a dull moment with those two. . .

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