Tag Archives: montana

September 3, 2013 Moving day

Palisades BLM campground to Red Mountain BLM campground

SmallRV andToadMooseMoved this morning about 35 miles north from my BLM site at Palisades to the Red Mountain BLM campground on the banks of the Madison, 8 miles east of Norris on 84. I wanted to get closer to Bozeman to find a solution to my missing window, and that would be the only likely place I will find a glass shop that might be able to make the repair. Since I had no Verizon coverage whatsoever at the Palisades site, I stopped at the grocery store parking lot in Ennis and got the IMac out to get on the internet and search out glass shops in Bozeman. I found 2 shops that looked look they may be able to help.

After getting set up on Site 7 at Red Mountain, right on the banks of the Madison, but really not that attractive a campground, no “it” factor, I hopped in the car and headed to Bozeman. Easily found the Glass Doctor and spoke with a helpful young man at the front desk. He seemed to understand what I was looking for, said they could cut laminated glass with rounded corners, had it in stock, and was familiar with the type of window frame I had and set me up an appointment for Thursday at 11 AM. Looks like kind of a tight fit to get the motorhome into their lot, and they are on a very busy business highway, but he assured me they can get me in there. His estimate is around $220 which seems a fair price I can live with.

Returned to my campsite around noon but just couldn’t take the heat anymore by 2PM. Loaded the dogs in the car, turned on the AC, and set out to go explore around Pony, according to the Montana Road Map, a ghost town up in the mountains. Turns out there are a few old buildings in Pony, but it mostly is just another small backwater, rather rundown town whose best days are obviously behind it.

Abandoned Montana barn

Abandoned Montana barn

Abandoned Montana farmhouse

Abandoned Montana farmhouse

 

 

 

 

 

However, there were a couple of dirt roads leading out of town and up into the mountains to National Forest lands and campgrounds and so up I went. By the time I reached the end of the road, I had gained enough elevation to have the temperature drop from 94 degrees to 74 degrees, just what I was looking for. Although the roads looked like they should have led to some wildlife sitings, all I got for my efforts was a very dusty car and heat relief, though I did see 4 good sized piles of bear scat in the road, just no bear scat depositor.

Mule deer doe and fawn

Mule deer doe

A pair of pronghorn

A pair of pronghorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did see a few mule deer and a small herd of Pronghorns as I took a shortcut along a dirt road through farmland from Pony back to route 287. Got back home around 6:30 and it was still hot. This was one evening it did not seem to cool down so quickly, but a thunderstorm around 8 PM finally did the trick.

Montana farmland

Montana farmland

Montana farmland

Montana farmland

A pronghorn and his harem

A pronghorn and his harem

Camera shy pronghorns

Camera shy pronghorns

September 1, 2013 Palisades BLM Campground

More ospreys and a trip up Johnny Ridge Road

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

 

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

 

I just had to go and sit with the ospreys again early this morning, then back home to read and watch the fisherman go by. The heat got be too much by 2 pm so, having explored the east side of the valley yesterday afternoon, I headed out to explore the west side today.

 

The Yellowstone talc mine

The Yellowstone talc mine

Headed up the side road to the Yellowstone Talc Mine and the national forest road beyond the mine. The road up through the national forest was a little narrow but in reasonably good shape. I managed to climb up almost to the top of Johnny Ridge Road, around 10 miles in, before being stopped by a waterbar too high for my extremely low clearance Prius. The temperature dropped from 91 degrees at the campsite to 73 degrees at the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, as I descended, the temperature, of course, rose. Seemed like I should have seen some deer or elk, or something on this road, but nothing was seen.

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Breakfast is served

 

 

 

 

 

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

 

 

 

 

 

Madison River Osprey

Madison River Osprey

Two Madison River Juvenile Ospreys

Two Madison River Juvenile Ospreys

Madison River Osprey bringing fish to nest

Madison River Osprey

 

 

 

August 31, 2013 Palisades BLM Campground

A trip out Indian Creek Road

Read, worked on processing images all morning and into the afternoon. Couldn’t take the heat by 4 PM and took an AC Prius ride out to explore the east side of the valley. Took Indian Creek Road and then Bear Creek Road up into the pasture and farm land below the foothills.

Abandoned Montana settler's ranch

Abandoned Montana settler’s ranch

 

Abandoned Montana settler's ranch

Abandoned Montana settler’s ranch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Took a couple of shots of an abandoned farmstead out in the distance. Saw a couple of immature bald eagles floating around with a hawk harassing them, but too far of for any good pictures. A pleasant couple of hours relief from the heat.

 

August 28, 2013 Ennis to Palisades BLM Campground

Moving Day

Time to finally leave the Ennis RV Village, a nice place to stay, featuring the only truly usable Wifi I have ever encountered, clean and well kept, quiet and convenient, with a reasonable price of $35/night. Filled up the motorhome with gas and propane and then headed south to Palisades BLM Campground on the Madison River, only 24 miles south of Ennis on 287.

Palisades BLM campground

Palisades BLM campground

My hoped for spot on the turnaround was taken so I settled in on Site #3, unhooked the dolly so I could park head first in facing the river and angled to accept the cooling breezes. Since there are no hookups here, I will be living off solar only, if possible.

My site at Palisades BLM campground

My site at Palisades BLM campground

The view out the front windshield

The view out the front windshield

 

 

 

 

 

A very nice large, flat gravel space with a picnic table, bear proof storage compartment, and a metal fire ring with cook grill make this space, less than 30 feet from the river’s edge one of the nicer spots I have encountered yet. Oh, and the price of $4/night, with my senior discount, is pretty hard to beat. Two small tent campers about 100 yards upstream and the pickup truck camper the same distance downstream, are the only other people here.

Read for a few hours and took off south down 287 around 5 Pm to see if there were any roads heading east into the hills above 287 ( there aren’t ).

Madison River ospreys

Madison River ospreys

Got some nice shots of an osprey pair in their nest on a nesting platform along the highway just south of the campground.This Madison River valley must be paradise for these fish eaters.

Madison River ospreys

Madison River ospreys

I continued down 287 looking for a gas station so I could fillup the Prius before I headed into West Yellowstone with its inflated prices.Only problem was that I had to go all the way into W. Yellowstone before I came across a gas station.

Since I was already there, and since I already had made this a much longer trip than I had planned, I decided I may as well venture into the Park to see if the elk are gathering yet in the meadows on the road on the way in from W. Yellowstone. An absolutely gorgeous evening as I drove along the Madison River inside the park. Quite a bit of traffic heading out of the park, but very little going my way. One small band of cows and calves with an escorting bull were plodding along the edge the river bringing traffic to a standstill with people simply parking their cars in the middle of the road, getting out and taking photos, completely ignoring park rules, of course. There being no shoulder to park on, I did not take any shots since I couldn’t stop and besides, the lone bull with this band really wasn’t that great a specimen, I would doubt that he will be holding on to this little harem when the big guns get here.

It is encouraging to see at least one group of elk here, maybe by the time I get into the park, there will be more. The outgoing traffic was backed up, parked, for more than half a mile, and since I had to reverse direction and retrace my steps back to the campground, I decided to continue on into the park, rather than just sit in that line of parked cars for the next half hour, so on I went. Nothing more to be found, though, so I finally turned around hoping that the traffic jam would be breaking up by the time I got there.

My little jaunt to find gas turned into a 4 hour 150 mile trip, not what I was planning to do, but it was beautiful evening for a ride, even though it didn’t produce any great photos. Got home around 9, turned the inverter on and watched a movie. Took the dogs out around 11 to do their thing and marveled at the moonless night sky. With no street lights, houses, or other campers leaving their outside lights on, it was absolutely dark and you could see forever in the overhead sky. Makes me think about doing some night sky photography, if only I didn’t have this bear proof food container sitting here reminding me what can be out and about on these pitch black evenings. Maybe tomorrow night.