2012 Travels travel blog

Carpe at the Helena Elks Lodge
We have 15 Amp electric—life is sweet...

Crossing into Montana at the Continental Divide

"Boopsie", our GPS, at the Continental Divide

Snow topped mountains backdrop Carpe
This is at a rest stop in southern...

Interstate 15 south of Interstate 90
We just love these western highways

Construction at Butte, Montana
No backup, everyone just moves into one lane...

Onward to Helena!
Note the low clouds

Sandi's new friend at Helena Costco
The giant teddy bears are just too...

We got treated to a Rainbow
Rain squalls before sunset offered a special...

Montana State Capital building in Helena

Thu, 03 May: Begone evil winds... We just don't care to deal with you any longer.

After yesterday's banshee winds in Rexburg, ID we'd had quite enough for a while, thank you! Today's forecast called for more winds, but just in the Rexburg/Idaho Falls area. So, we got our tushes in gear and rolled wheels at 0820.

We headed west from Rexburg via Utah 33 and transitioned to I 15 north, on which we spent the balance of the day. As predicted, the winds settled down as we proceeded north. The skies were leaden with rain (sleet/snow/etc.) threatening. We were a bit concerned as we had some high (almost 7,000') passes to cross. Fortunately, the temperatures remained in the mid forties and we only had one brief encounter with a rain/snow mix.

We crossed into Montana at the Continental Divide (6,850') and switched drivers at a rest stop a few miles north of the state line. Sandi drove the next leg, an uneventful stretch of mostly deserted Interstate with only a (relatively) short stretch of construction activity.

We lunched at a rest stop just south of I 90, and Bob took over for the final leg. This took us through Butte and north to Helena, where we are currently ensconced at the Elks Lodge. We arrived here about 1410 accompanied by a light drizzle. We're now "at home" for a few days with 20 amperes of power to keep our batteries charged and gas furnaces humming.

We added 267 miles to the odometer today and consumed exactly thirty gallons of diesel. Our overall daily mileage was 8.9 mpg, not too shabby given the high passes we negotiated.

We'll spend the next day or two here. This is our last Costco before Canada, so we headed there just as soon as we were settled. The tire center was deserted so we had them rotate Dinkum's tires, which were long overdue for rotation. We didn't stock up on too much given the uncertainties of crossing into Canada. There are Costcos in Calgary and Edmonton so we'll not starve.

The weather here is cool (but not as cold as in Butte and other high elevations) and overcast. The forecast calls for possible thunderstorms this evening and into tomorrow.

Fri, 04 May: It rained at sunset last evening and we got treated to a nice rainbow. We feel rainbows are pretty special, so Sandi braved the tail end of the shower to get a pix of Carpe and the rainbow.

It was in the thirties overnite, but we kept the bedroom gas furnace set on low so we were comfy. We're not too far from the railroad tracks so we got whistled to sleep (or awake) all nite.

After breakfast Sandi tried to call Verizon and add Canadian voice coverage to our plan. It took her four tries to get to a human as their automated voice system kept hanging up when she insisted on speaking with an operator. The customer "service" representative with whom she finally spoke was a bit less than useless, so we got in the car and drove to Costco.

The "nice young men" at the Verizon booth got us set up for Canada. We'll have limited (no unlimited mobile-to-mobile or nite/weekend) use of the phone in Canada. Feel free to call our regular numbers should you need to reach us... We even took a bit of time and drove around the city of Helena. Bob got some nice shots of the Montana State Capital on his cellular telephone.

The rest of the day we kept busy with details for our border crossing and downloading files we'll need during our expected "internet blackout". What that means is that we won't have use of our MiFi while in Canada and must depend on RV park and other "free" wireless. So, if you don't see regular daily updates to this Journal you know why. We'll write them every day, and upload them when we have a connection.

More rain in the forecast for tonite and tomorrow. We'll see how it is in the morning and make a go/no-go decision at that time. We're hoping to move north to Great Falls and then to Shelby. But, if it slips a day or so no worries! You gotta love plans that are chiseled on a Etch-A-Sketch.

Trip Summary

Miles this leg: 267.2

Total miles: 1,162.8

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