Flat tire!

CAMPGROUND: Not a real campground, but a Montana rest stop!
LOCATION: Near Fort Peck, in northeastern Montana
WEATHER: Cool in the AM. Cloudy. High 75

Last night, George discovered that one of the tires on the pick-up was flat. If it had to happen, this is the best place for it. We were still unhooked, so this morning, he took the truck into a maintenance shop in White Sulphur Springs. It was a real old-timey kind of shop, established in 1919 and still run by the same family.

They kindly squeezed our repair job in.

George, of course, chatted with everyone during the repair. He learned that the shop owners had worked on these cars years ago and then bought them when those customers moved away.

Conastoga Campground has been a nice respite for us. While I was in the office using the wifi, I talked with the volunteer working at the desk. Small world – I found out that she and her husband are workcampers. They will spend the winter workcamping at the RV park next to our park in Mission, Texas. We have thought about workcamping – working in a campground or RV park for 20 hours/week, and getting a free RV site as salary.

While I was using the wifi, I received a message from Trusted Housesitters, the website we use for housesitting. A couple from Mozambique are interested in us! They want to schedule a Skype interview. I hope it works out!

We left White Sulphur Springs about 11:00, heading north and east. Tonight, we didn’t have any camping reservations, and just thought we would drive until we were tired, and find a spot. That was not to be.

We drove about 200 miles through really remote country. I don’t think I have ever seen so much wheat and hay in my life. Bales shaped in every way imaginable – round, small rectangles, large rectangles, some stacked like pyramids. Walls of hay bales. Even the old-fashioned, European-style haystacks.

The farm equipment is huge.

After the hay fields, the landscape became more bleak. Sagebrush was all that was growing. It reminded us of the Saskatchewan or South Dakota Badlands.

About 3:00, we were ready to call it quits for the day. Finally, after another 90 miles, we came to a town. The RV park there was pretty sad and scary looking – falling-down buildings, muddy sites, run-down RVs. No sign of a shower/bathroom. And – $30! Surely, we could do better. In this part of the state, there aren’t many federal or state parks.

I am proud of George. Usually, he likes to let the gas tank get to empty before he buys gas. This drives me crazy!!! As we were leaving this town, he saw a sign saying “next gas 65 miles”. Our gauge said we had 70 miles left in the tank. He made a u-turn, and said we had better fill-up. Yeah!

After another 50 miles or so of nothingness, we stopped at a very nice highway rest area. Brand-new building. Lots of parking. Why not camp here? There were no “no camping” signs. Nice clean, new bathrooms. Level, paved parking. We will see if the police kick us out in the middle of the night…..check tomorrow’s blog!

KARMEN’S KITCHEN TIP: Cupboard space is limited in the Airstream, so I have to be really thoughtful as I pack up each trip. Most kitchenware has to have a dual purpose. Tonight I used the salad spinner. It comes in handy, of course, to wash greens. I buy the greens you have to wash as they are cheaper than the pre-washed salad bags. The spinner also serves as a fruit bowl on the kitchen table, and as a colander.

DINNER: With no outdoor cooking options, I cooked inside. I made a sauteed shrimp dish with lots of garlic and butter. I served it over fettucine. Side was a lettuce (using the spinner) and tomato salad.

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