Glacier National Park

We finally made it to Glacier, it’s been a few years since we found out about a national park near us.  We first heard about Glacier watching 20/20 In An Instant on ABC about a father and daughter being attacked by a bear.  It was a riveting story and thankfully they survived and we were amazed to find out there was such a beautiful place nearby.


Mitch at the wheel while I try to be the best co-pilot and picture taker I can

This is the sign at St. Mary’s Campground, which is located on the eastern side of the park

There were fields covered with these strange  white flowers

Come to find out it’s called bear grass

We’d reserved A site at St. Mary Campground just to make sure we had a spot the first night.

When I first got out of the RV and stopped to smell the flowers this guy was staring me in the face!

The campground itself was just ok, not much of a view and I felt a bit claustrophobic.


But… the surrounding areas and views were amazing!

We made plans to hike to St. Mary Falls the next day and wanted to capture the sunrise so we decided we’d get up around 4 a.m. After driving for 8 hours it wasn’t a problem falling asleep while the sun was still shining, we were spent.

Bright yellow patch along our drive that you just cant miss

We headed west up on the Going to the Sun Road and saw a moose who stayed long enough for us to get a quick grainy picture.

The morning was so peaceful, there was a slight breeze and on occasion the scent of wildflowers would ecompass my senses.

hello sunrise, see you soon moon

on our way up the Going to The Sun Road


Yes, the water really is that blue

The hike was a mile long and we did our best to make sure if there were any bears around they heard us coming.  Hey bear, hey bear, hey bear was our hiking mantra.

the trail towards St. Mary Waterfall

All the burnt trees stand stoic defying the fire from 2015

The vibrancy of the colors are mezmerizing, it’s amazing

We did encounter a deer that was more than happy to keep us company along our walk.

looks like we aren’t the only one who uses the trails

Sunrise on St. Mary Falls

Taking in the scenery

Wildflower with the waterfall

View from opposite the falls

the charred remains remind of the past as the beauty holds the promise of tomorrow

Wild flowers everywhere

just breathe

St. Mary Lake

This area is quite famous, Forest Gump “was running” through this area.

Wild Goose Island

Wild Goose Island is featured in the beginning of the Shining as is Going to The Sun Road.

Two Medicine Lake campground

Wonderful campsite, highly recommend.  we rode our bikes to the visitor center, had a snack, looked at the souvenirs and skipped some rocks in the lake.

Note the bench, it’ll soon be the epiphany bench

There’s a storm a brewing

A quick easy hike

we got a ways up the mountain

We were able to get a great view of the campsite and spotted Harvy

Now it’s really starting to rain

Now it’s pouring and we direct our attention to some fun out of the sun

We played multiple games while waiting for the storm to pass

Yes, we played all those games

So we didn’t see any bears, but what do you know, there’s a tiger!

After the storm passes we take a walk to the epiphany bench and have a real heart to heart. Although we paid to stay the night at Two Medicine Campground we were both restless and ready to head home. Neither one of us wanted to just stay and relax. It was as if we were trying to do the norm of the camping world and we’ve never been the norm.  So, we said, so what, lets go! It was around 4pm and on our way out we stopped to see another fall.

This is Running Eagle Falls right near Two medicine campground

More wildflowers

We drove for a couple of hours to make it to Lake McDonald on the West side of the park just in time to capture the sun setting.

West Glacier, Lake McDonald

These are the amazing colorful rocks seen on the shore of Lake McDonald

We decided that we’d drive for a few more hours towards home until we made it to the 50,000 silver dollar store and just sleep in the lot like old times with the semi trucks. Mitch finds something soothing about sleeping with the sounds of the semi trucks running through the night, and I love to get some gas station coffee bright and early in the morning. It’s a win-win.

So we learned that we don’t really want to stay at the campsites, we want to see the sights. 

Also, we realized that just because we can make food in Harvy, we don’t really want to. We are on vacation! We want to eat the gas station nacho cheese, get iced coffees, try out the local food and just enjoy the journey.

Glacier is a hikers paradise, a picture-takin haven and a place you just gotta see to see!

Camping in Colville

Noisy Creek Campground 

 near Cusick, WA on Sullivan Lake

Colville National Forest


We’d planned to stay a couple of days, but after a long restless night, one day was plenty!


We still had enough time to soak in the sights


made plans to kayak on this lake another time


Saw the creek that gave the campground its name


Enjoyed the amazing beauty that surrounded us


feeling mesmerized by it’s never ending charm


Blew bubbles and wittled sticks

perplexed about what kind of bug this was, and enjoying that fact that we couldn't look it up on our phones!

perplexed about what kind of bug this was, and enjoying that fact that we couldn’t look it up on our phones!


got some good laughs and made some special memories.


We stayed at site #4, very spacious and somewhat secluded


Pops did some off road adventuring


I gazed at the clouds passing over the trees


Mitch make fire! He man of tribe!


campfire pretty


Enjoyed hot dogs and bbq potato chips

The man with a flower in his cap was ready to go home and the night had just begun!

As night came upon us, the man with a flower in his cap was ready to go home… and the night had just begun!

Dad's suggesting we get ready to head home soon

Reminiscing about stories of the past

Being up almost every hour during the night made it seem as if we'd been camping for days

Being up almost every hour during the night with pops made it seem as if we’d been camping for days.

We were all ready to start loading, just a couple more pictures to capture the experience

We were all ready to start loading, just a couple more pictures to capture the experience

Heading home

Heading home

Over the red bridge we go

Over the red bridge we go

A day of daisy's and dillydally'n will do for now

A day of daisy’s and dillydally’n we will do for now, see you again soon





Hello Yellow….stone National Park

Vacation time, wahoo! Let’s go to Yellowstone National Park!  Mitch got 3 days off from work last week and we were excited to take Harvy the RV on our first real camping adventure. I tried to think of everything, even contacting Dad’s VA doctor to get him set him up with a wheelchair so he wouldn’t miss any of the views. I hauled load after load into the RV until I got everything I thought we would need, and more. Prior to heading out, our dear friend Terri surprised us with a little bouquet of flowers and well wishes.  A wonderful start to a memorable adventure!


It says, “Harvy RV and crew, have a fun ride!”

We started our 8 hour drive Tuesday evening the 25th of August around 6 pm after Mitch got home from work.



First potty stop for the dogs, State Line, Idaho near Walmart.




The silver lining of smokey skies, amazing sunsets

The plan was the drive the majority of the way Tuesday evening and arrive at the park around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning to get a campsite. There are 7 first come, first served campgrounds at Yellowstone and it’s posted that they can fill up by 9 a.m. during the busy season.


We’re goinroadtrippin!

We all settled into our spots to begin the long drive, and made plans to stay over at a Walmart ,  or a truck-stop close to our destination.


Milo staked his claim on Mitch’s lap


Charlie had a harder time finding a place to lay at the start of our journey.

One we laid his blanket on the bench, he was up and at peace

Once we laid his blanket on the bench, he jumped up, laid down and was content.


Even the flowers found a comfortable traveling spot

As it got closer to midnight we were feeling pretty tired, so we stayed at a rest stop about two hours from Yellowstone.

This is the route we took  to Yellowstone.



As we went through the last town conveniently called West Yellowstone, Pops says, “Shawna, will you look at my inhaler, I think I’m out.”  A sinking feeling instantly hits my stomach, the one thing I didn’t think I needed to check for him. Turns out I should have. I searched for the nearest pharmacy and just as we see the sign that says left to Yellowstone we turn right to find the Silvertip pharmacy.

After learning that we had to have his doctor call in the prescription, it wouldn’t be there until the next day and it would cost $300, I began searching for something we could use off the shelf until we got home.  There was nothing on the shelves for people with asthma, emphysema or any other COPD!  You’d think there would be something on the shelves since breathing is so important. Ugh! We opted to see if there was a VA nearby with a pharmacy…no luck. We called the VA nurse in Spokane, told her our situation and hoped she would have a better answer.  After driving 8 hours in two days we couldn’t turn around at the entrance, so I asked if she thought Dad could make it couple days without his rescue inhaler.  She said probably so, just don’t let him exert himself at all and keep him in the RV a lot to stay out of the smokey air.  No longer had  I hung up the phone when Pops says, “Shawna will you look at my other inhaler, I think its out too.”  Yes, not only was his rescue inhaler empty, the Sybicort Inhaler that works throughout the day to relax his muscles and improve breathing was empty as well. I knew Pops had become more forgetful, not remembering to take his pills or forgetting what he had for dinner the night before, but I didn’t realize that the one thing he always remembered, he would forget. What a time to learn that he no longer could be responsible for keeping track of his breathing meds. I felt completely responsible for the situation  and just prayed that that the nurse and Pops were right about him being able to make it a couple days without his “breathers”.

By now it’s a little after 9 in the morning, and we are all worse for the wear. As we go through the gate, we see the sign saying that a few of the campsites are still available.  The Ranger lady says, “Old faithful is only about 30 minutes away just go south”.  We weren’t sure how much time we would have, considering our predicament, so we headed straight for Old Faithful.  But wait, there’s something steaming along the way. Lets stop there first!


Letting off some steam at the Fountain Paint Pot


Hot Springs


Even hotter springs

White mud bubbles at the Fountain Paint Pot

White mud bubbles

These popping bubbles reminded me of the movie the Labyrinth with David Bowie

These popping bubbles reminded me of the movie the Labyrinth with David Bowie


The one with the wheels got to hold the banana peels, but hold the excitement!

The water is so hot that it kills the trees and any other vegetation in it's path

The water is so hot that it kills the trees and any other vegetation in it’s path

We loaded back up and were on our way to see the most popular geyser of Yellowstone; Old Faithful.  Finding parking was a bit more challenging than we had anticipated, not that the Harvy the RV is too big, its just that the place is FULL of cars and people! We get the wheelchair back out, load Papa up and begin heading in the direction that we think Old Faithful is. Suddenly far above the buildings I see water shooting straight up into the sky, it was happening and we were missing it!  Not knowing how often it erupts, I begin running, pushing Pops in his chair towards the action, we were still in the parking lot so we had to hurry! As we approach the sidewalk there is lowered area designed for what you would think would be wheelchairs, so I am still running and not until we’re almost on it do I realize there is still a lip on the sidewalk, WHOA, the front wheels slam into the cement and the momentum begins to pull Pops forward lifting him out of his seat. With all my strength I pull back on the handles, trying to prevent him from flying out of the wheelchair onto the cemented sidewalk. As quick as he was lifted out of the seat, he falls back down into the chair, WHEW! Crisis averted. That was close, my bad, yikes.  With the relief of nothing bad happening, I began laughing uncontrollably. It was only funny because it didn’t happen, yet there would have been never ending tears if it had happened.  Note, never assume because it looks like it’s a dip or lip for wheelchairs that it will be a smooth transition.


Old faithful erupts on average every hour and half.

another way to tell when it's about to erupt is when the seats fill up!

Another way to tell when it’s about to erupt is when the seats fill up!


The longer it erupts, the longer it takes for the next eruption


up, up and up it goes

Shooting high into the sky

Shooting high into the sky

and then the show is over

Giving all the people the show they came for

The coolest geezer by the geyser

The coolest geezer by the geyser sign

Great stuff, we got to see a couple sights already, and Pops is still doing well, so onto getting a campsite for the night.


Our first Elk sighting on our way to find a campground

We didn’t really want to back track, so I suggested  we do a loop and make it to Tower Fall campground.  I’d read it was a good site, not many people and in a good location.

Beautiful drive though

Beautiful drive

It took sooooo long to get there, probably 4 hours, seriously.


This park is no joke when it comes to how big it is and how much driving there is involved.

2nd yellow

Click on map to see the route we took

We made it to Tower Fall


Close up view of the top of the waterfall


The whole view of the waterfall at Tower Fall

The campground was on the other side of the road and by the time we got there it was 4 pm, the sign said the campground was full.  According to the map, there were 2 other campgrounds within the vicinity. We decided we’d try and hope for the best.

yellowstone map

Click on the map for more details about where we stayed and where’s best to see wildlife

There was no vacancy’s and there’s no sleeping on the side of the road in your RV. There was no cell service to even see if the other first come first served campgrounds were full, and to drive another two hours just to find out that there’s no spaces available would be awful. Needless to say, thats what we did and the other two were full as well. With our tail between our legs we reluctantly exit Yellowstone at the Northeast Entrance and stop in the town of Cooke City.  Dad was getting hungry and suggested getting something to eat. We stopped into a Bistro, sat down, looked at the menu, and the prices and thus opted to just make sandwiches in the RV.  Yes, after she had brought us waters, we just stood up and walked out. Glad we did too, especially after reading other peoples reviews!


Whatever, at least you guys get a variety of food!

We now had to figure out where we were going to be able to stay for the night, or should we just go home? We even talked about just driving up to Glacier National Park. We’d been driving so much, and had no where to stay the night. Our bad, for wanting to see sights before snagging a campsite! Arg, lesson learned. We decide to just head East, sooner or later maybe we’d find a place to park for the night. Not any sooner had we went up a hill out of the town of Cooke, there was a beautiful brown sign saying Gallatin National Forest campground and it wasn’t full! We all sighed with relief, thanked the good Lord and put er in park for the night. The campgrounds come available again at 7 in the morning at Yellowstone and we weren’t going to miss this opportunity a second time. We were all ready to go at 5:30 in the morning, Pops was still feeling pretty good so off we went to get a campsite for the night in the park.

The Soda Butte

The Soda Butte near the Northeast Entrance

Along our way towards Tower Fall campground again to check for vacancy, we see Pebble Creek campground is still full, as is Slough (pronounced slow)Creek campground. Yikes, well, worst case scenario we drive back in the evening and stay in the same place from the night before. We were passing the part of Yellowstone called Lamar Valley, well known for the best area to see wildlife, and we thought that all the people who were out of their cars with the super fancy massive lenses, were taking pictures of bison. I even said, “Wow, what is it about the bison that would make them all stop at the same spot to take pictures?”

Love in the wild

Doing the wild thing in the wild

We later learned there are wolves and bears that frequent the area as well, and that’s what they were probably photographing.

If there are masses of people, know it's something more than buffalo

If there are masses of people, know it’s something more than bison

Just might be a bear in this picture, if only we knew what to be looking for haha

Just might be a bear in this picture, if only we knew what to be looking for!

We were so involved with how big they were and the cuteness of the babies, we didn’t think to ask the people in crowds what they were looking at.





After the bison took their time crossing the road, and giving us ample time to take some pictures, we were ready to find our campsite. Not more than 2 miles down the road Pops says, “Antelope!”. What? Really? We pull over and turn around to see them standing on the side of the road, in the wild, in real life, ANTELOPE!  That was a first for all of us.






If the saying goes;  does a bear poo in the woods? then we got a new saying ; does an antelope squat to pee?

So happy to have seen wildlife, we load back up and head for our campground, at Tower Fall.  Finally we arrived at the campground, grateful to see there’s not a sign saying FULL, we drive up the road to check out which site we would like.  It was small, sites were really close together and we felt cramped just driving through the campground. It was not what we’d hoped it to be, so after seeing the sights around the area we decided to try and stay somewhere between  things we still wanted to see.




Driving west through Mammoth Hot Springs

Our next stop would be Indian Creek Campground!


It’s a larger campground and it’s awesome! Come to find out, they weren’t full the night before! Had we only known!


Beautiful and peaceful, besides hearing one very heated verbal altercation later in the day, from a neighboring camper. It’s not to uncommon to hear in campgrounds, unfortunately.

We stayed at site #4

We stayed at site #4

Finally, a place to call ours for a day! What to do now? Go see the stuff of course!  Off we went to check out Mammoth Hot Springs! Pops opted to hang out at the campsite, relax in his chair and keep the bears away.



First we had to stop and check out the white rocks along the way

See Harvy from Mitch's view

See Harvy from Mitch’s view


See Mitch from Harvy’s view.            Hello Yellow….stone!!!!

After driving another few minutes a beautiful waterfall caught our attention.


If I knew the name of it, I’d tell you. Lets just call it pretty and is on the side of the main road between Mammoth Hot Springs and Indian Creek Campground

Onto check out what all the steam was about at Mammoth Hot Springs.


The steam, the sulfur smell, and the surrounds are surreal











A good amount of the hot spring is coming from this one area

A good amount of the hot springs are all coming from this one area


A tree branch after years of being exposed to the elements of the hot springs



Look, something is starting to grow again at the bottom of the dead tree

Look, something is starting to grow again at the bottom of the dead tree






Be prepared, because depending on where you start, there is A LOT of walking involved, and A LOT of stairs. When it was all said and done, we walked up and down half a mountain. Walking up, I was so focused on just making it to the top I didn’t realize how steep it was. On our way back down, we were passing people going up and we could see the determination in their faces, the wondering of how much further and hear their labored rhythmic breathing as they worked their way up the stairs. We headed back to camp after all that adventure for much needed relax time.

Making it back to camp we put out our flowers to enjoy the summer rain

Making it back to camp we put out our flowers to enjoy the summer rain.  The sign talks about food and the bears.

There are bear proof food storage bins at every campsite

There are bear proof food storage bins at every campsite

After having a couple hours of down time we took the bikes out for a ride around our campground.


Views along our bike ride


The creek close up


even closer

Dinner time and we were going to make hamburgers on the new charcoal grill Mitch got. Wait, we have to assemble it? Oh no! I opted instead for ramen noodles, I was too hungry to wait.


Get your grill on baby!

Finally, camping! We started a fire, roasted marshmallows, and enjoyed the night.


Things were working out well.


Pops was still feeling pretty good!


We made plans for the next day to get up early once again in hopes to see more wildlife, check out a couple more sights and then head back home in the afternoon. Getting to bed early, we were all ready for a good nights sleep, and turning the heater on since it had gotten in the 40’s at night already. We wake around 4 in the morning to Charlie whining, his nails clicking on the flooring as he paced, there was another noise we weren’t familiar with, a rhythmic fast paced sound.  We get up to see pops sitting on the steps of the RV with the door open, trying to catch his breath so he could go outside and have a cigarette. Yes, even though he couldn’t breathe, all he could think about what having a smoke. Thankfully he didn’t fight me when I took it from his hands and helped him back into the RV. No time to waste, we gotta get pops home. Dad slowed his breathing, relaxed and fell back to sleep while we were driving home. Frantic in my head, think and knowing that there are millions of people with COPD, there has to be someone willing to give him a shot of their inhaler! While I am going through any and all options if he has an asthma attack, I just keep praying that the Lord helps us through this time. We stop at a gas station along the way and I get a cup of ice and begin making small talk with a lady getting coffee also. I decided to ask her if she knew of any all natural ways to help relief symptoms of COPD and tell her our story.  She wasn’t familiar with any all natural ways but she did have a nebulizer in her car!!!  She’d gotten it when she had pneumonia last year and kept it with her just in case.  Yes, a complete stranger, sharing much needed medicine to help us out!

Betsy our angel

Betsy our Montana angel!


Finally, the struggle to breathe is over!

Thank you Besty!  You saved the day,  bless your kind heart for helping us, we were in dire need.

Pops slept almost the rest of the way home

Pops slept almost the rest of the way home

As did Charlie

As did Charlie

and milo

and milo…. and myself


Thankfully, being the reliable wonderful man Mitch is, he drove the whole way home after a long three day vacation while everyone was out like a light.





Harvey the RV

There’s more than one way to peel a lemon, and tons of ways to cook with them. When the lemons of life start to get you down, search for a new recipe!


When life gets too tart, just put some love in it.

Good news to report, we finally sold the camper!  A lovely couple from the coast came over, it was everything they wanted  and just like that we only had the travel trailer left.


The new owners loaded up and are ready to head home

After a year of trying to sell our beautiful 32′ travel trailer we had no luck, consignment didn’t work, craigslist didn’t work, even running an ad in the local wheels and deals only got us one phone call!


Willy (camper and truck) and Way (the travel trailer) before we went full timing

We were even willing to finance a loss just to get it sold and had it listed for less than others with similar year and make.  A few weeks ago, and at a loss for what to do, a thought came to me…what if we were still supposed to have an RV in our life?  I made the comment in passing to Mitch, ” I wonder if we just aren’t meant to sell it, maybe we should trade it in for the RV we’ve always wanted…a class C!  Shoot, at least we could use that, we’ve paid on the trailer for a year and haven’t used it once.”

What about you Milo, you want to go camping?

What about you Milo, you want to go camping?

We began our search with a prayer, “Please Lord, give us signs if the ones we look at aren’t for us.” Thankfully he made it loud and clear!  We test drove one, and as we were working the deal to purchase it, it got sold out from under us.  Oh, well, guess that wasn’t the one.  I found a 2002 that was a bit rough, I liked it, but Mitch just didn’t feel right about it.  Thankfully he reminded me, “Don’t get desperate and settle!”


Pops cruising around with Becky while Mitch tried to figure out what it was that I liked about this rusted out, torn up RV.

Alright then, guess we’ll keep looking!  We both liked another one but the price was so far beyond our budget, thankfully it didn’t work out.


Mercedes engine, need I say more. Way too expensive for us, but it drove like a dream

We kept the faith and finally, Brian from Camping World found us the best RV for the best price. He set us up with the Camping World in Burlington, WA and with his diligence and willingness to help, our hopes came to fruition. We are happy to introduce you to….HARVEY THE RV.


A whole new world of possibilities and adventures to come

He’s a 2011 21′ chateau Four winds class C.


Perfect in size, no slides and everything we wanted and more!

Now we have something that I feel comfortable driving, no more hooking up the trailer, we can all ride in comfort and Mitch won’t have to make as may stops for potty breaks! Plus it’s a great place for family and friends to sleep when they come visit, since we only have a one bedroom house!


There’s even a queen size bed!

Maybe this is life’s way of giving us a re-do in the RV world, because we’re not done road trippin!  Now that it’s not our lifestyle and it’s just for little trips, I truly believe that we’ll have the experiences I was hoping for when we went full timing.


Looking forward to making espresso’s before we go adventuring

This is the best example of never say never, cuz never, never happens, and in life we can always change our minds and our futures!


Big smiles for future traveling miles

Spring has been great to us this year,


Mitch made a wonderful treasure hunt for me on Easter!


Each piece of paper was another clue to the next egg! so fun!

Since it’s my most favorite holiday he went all out!


He even made a basket for pops.


I was even lucky enough to win a bread maker at Bi-mart when I checked my numbers last Tuesday!  After being members at Bi-mart for the last 6 years our membership number finally came up!

Looking forward to smelling that fresh baked bread smell.

Looking forward to smelling that fresh baked bread smell.

The temperature is beginning to warm up, we’re in the high 70’s now, the tulips are almost done for the season and we’re looking forward to making the most of our summer, hope you all are too!


Blooming with joy and love!