Sloway and Cabin City in the Lolo National Forest

When we leave the Big Pine Fishing Access campground and continue our westward journey on I-90 I keep my eyes open for an improved campground, meaning one with pavement, water, garbage, tables, firepits.  We don’t need electricity or sewer so I’m not looking for THAT level of improvement, but we need something out of the mud.

It isn’t long before I spot a sign advertising a forest service campground called Sloway.  Sloway is in the Lolo National Forest and it is indeed an improved campground.  Being a national agency we will get half off the going rate.  Considering the retired, white-haired old lady I have become, that suits me fine!

I pull in, sign us up for a night just to see how it goes before committing to anything longer than one night.  We are in campsite 15.

This campground is chockfull of offerings. It has a picnic area, a launching area for canoes, kayaks, and rafts, a horse camp (which has it’s own entrance up the road), a section for large RVs with 7 pull-thru sites, 20 tent/car sites all with tables and fire rings. There are several vault toilets, 2 garbage collection sites, a recycling area, water spigots, and a camp host.  $10 per night, half that with senior pass. It’s right off the freeway, but traffic isn’t bothersome.  There is also a train that rolls through several times a day/night across the river, but I am either getting used to those sounds or going deaf. Not sure which it is.  What’s that, you say?  🙂  Lots of pines for shade.

We end up staying three days total, and you know what? I didn’t take any photos!  The old lady is losing it I guess!A

Before we get out of Montana we stay one night in another USFS campground called Cabin City. Much smaller than Sloway in the way of offerings, but has the basics: 2 loops of 12 sites each, tables, firepits, water, garbage, vault toilets.  It’s a pretty campground, but not so pretty getting there.  We drive past some drop-dead gorgeous homes and then at the turn to get to Cabin City, some pretty darn dumpy places.  All is well though, once you are in the campground. We saw a wild turkey sneaking through the undergrowth on one of our walks.  As in all of Montana, it’s bear country so keep your food inside your vehicle.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Still reading Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons … Good one!

Life is short 

 

 

 

 

Dry Creek Road

From Montpelier Canyon Campground we again head north on Hwy 89 and back into Wyoming. At every turn is a scene I simply must photograph.

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Or a wildflower calls out not to be forgotten.  They are everywhere!
DSC_0048 (2)Surely the westward travelers were uplifted and encouraged by the sights of this area when they marched ever onward toward Oregon and California. How sad it would have been to be too downtrodden with exhaustion to enjoy the beauty around them, those who travelled this area when the grass was new and the wildflowers burst forth.

As we get closer to the little town of Afton, and the even tinier town of Smoot, I begin searching for a forest service road somewhere along the highway in the Bridger-Teton National Forest when I spot Dry Creek Road.

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and with all the rain up north, Dry Creek is anything but Dry. The roaring creek claws at the banks and the roots of the trees and bushes lining its path.

We drive back farther than I like to be without cell service and turn around, heading back to the very first camp site I saw once past the houses on private land.  It’s very shaded!

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We take long walks and long naps, spending two nights here.

 

 

 

 

The boys smell something in the air

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

CURRENT READ: Sweet Hollow Women   by Holly Tierney-Bedord

 

 

 

Flagstaff and Walnut Canyon

After our few days on the Forest Road off of 89A we head on into Flagstaff. The usual routine ensues.  Walmart to pick up groceries, water, and ice, and find the local dog park.  Flagstaff has THREE. I find the one closest to where we are and the boys get their playtime in. No photos of the little beasts as the park is completely shaded. And besides I am too lazy to go back to the van and get the camera.

Flagstaff is a beautiful town nestled in pine trees. It is surrounded by volcanoes and in most places you can see Arizona’s highest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak, 12,633 feet in height.

After The Chiweenie Brothers are sufficiently tired out we stick around the park and I check out the map then we’re off to Walnut Canyon.  We can stay very near the Walnut Canyon Monument and still be within ten miles of town when we need to re-supply.

We find a very nice spot beside an huge old juniper tree.

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Charlie, forever on the lookout for lizards even if it means wiggling under the windshield cover in the early morning sun.

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The boys enjoy some sunshine outside while waiting for me to get the gear gathered for a walkabout in our second camp within this same boondocking area of the Coconino  National Forest on the east side of Flagstaff.

DSC_0001 (1)Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

 

CURRENT READ:  Turbo Twenty-Three, a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich

White Spar Camp Ground

Saturday, March 31, 2018 turns out to dawn bright and beautiful with no wind.  I decide we will leave today instead of tomorrow.  Scurrying around breaking camp the boys know we are leaving and they are beyond excited.  As we pull out Fries does his usual thing of putting his front legs on the dash, hind legs still in the seat and gazes out the windshield. I have tried and failed to get a photo of him doing this, so you’ll just have to picture it in your mind.

Highway 89 North toward Prescott takes us on a climb in elevation toward the small town of Yarnell. This may or may not ring a bell for some of you, but it was near Yarnell, Arizona that a wildfire, ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013, overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. God bless our courageous men and women who do firefighting for a living.  Not too many braver than they.

Before we actually get to Yarnell I spy this alongside the road.  Someone else sees things in rocks and mountains!  Ha!

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As we cruise through Yarnell I spot this as we drive by and had to stop, walk back, and take a photo of it.

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The only goal for today is to find a place to stay for the rest of the weekend that has cell service so I can call the clinic in Prescott Valley and see if they can get me in to look at that tooth in the upper left corner. 

We have managed to level out after Yarnell, but soon we begin to climb again and it’s about 15 miles of wonderful road (saying that with tongue in cheek).  For those who know Pit One Grade from where I came from it’s like that only a lot longer; not enough guard rail, two-lane, mountain-on-one-side-gorge-on-the-other, but with many switchbacks and a lot of traffic.  And what goes up must come down … YIKES!!!  Sorry folks no photos here!

After that adventure in driving we come to White Spar Campground, a USFS offering that is just a couple miles from Prescott.  Not thinking we will find anything else on up the road before we hit town I pull in and sign us up for two nights. It’s actually all the camp host will allow us and we get site #2 only because the people who reserved it decided not to take it.  It’s a blessing and the two days will take us to Monday when I can make that phone call. From there on out the site is available for two night stints until the 6th when it’s reserved for someone.  

I much prefer boondocking, but sometimes that just isn’t available, so I am thankful.  Our neighbors to the right have bird feeders out and when I am not reading or blogging, I am watching the birds. 

Nuthatches, rufous sided towhees, and a big ‘ol raven keep us amused

There are TREES here—oaks, pines, and some juniper—and I am able to run a line between two oaks so the boys can have a lot more freedom while I am slaving away at the computer.  Being in a campground means lots more noise and a lot less privacy, but nights are quiet and that, too, is a blessing as this campground is right on the highway.

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Thanks for stopping by 2DOGS! Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  Yes                          Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms: Vault toilet     Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                           Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes                         BBQ:  No
# of Sites:  50+ (I think)        Fee: $14 per night, half that with pass

OTHER:  Reservations are recommended, but if someone hasn’t shown up or there is a spot that isn’t taken prior to a reservation you can stay two nights at a time. Reservations take priority.

There are hiking and biking trails just as you pull into the area and a picnic table and parking lot.  These trails are BUSY!

The campground is right along Highway 89 so it’s quite noisy, but the traffic is almost nil at night. 

ALL WHO WANDER ARE NOT LOST … Usually.  🙂