This was a 5-day grind of 1075 miles. I am sure many would do it quicker, but I don’t like driving too far every day. We stopped in McCammon ID, Nephi UT, St.George UT, Yermo CA, and finally home. There was not much interesting enough to get us to stop in the 100+ weather. But a few things caught my eye and are in the pictures below.
We stayed 4 nights at Yellowstone Holiday RV Park and Marina. This park has a boat launch, small marina with boat slips, as well as cabins and RV sites. It is about 15 miles northwest of West Yellowstone making it close enough to the park to make for easy access, but far enough away to avoid the growing tourist infestation that is West Yellowstone. The RV park is on the north shore of Lake Hebgen which is formed by a dam on the Madison River. Just to the north east is the Gallatin River, so it is located between 2 excellent trout fishing rivers where I had a great time.
After the excitement in Conrad, we moved on to Bozeman for a couple of nights. On the way there, we stopped for lunch at one of the buffalo jump parks. There was an interesting visitor center detailing the extinction of the buffalo herds and the impact on the native Americans. I went fishing on the Gallatin River in the canyon section where they filmed the fishing sequences for the movie “A River Runs Through It.” It is a very beautiful area, and if you can ignore the noise of the busy highway that provides access, it is an enjoyable. I was skunked that morning. Up the river where the landscape opens up, is the tightly controlled town of Big Sky. There is a tall mountain which normally dominates the background. But due to the thick smoke from fires in Washington, the mountain was not visible. They are developing the ski area and associated tourist support services. The whole Big Sky area seemed too artificial and lacking in architectural variation for my taste. The property values are very high as they are limiting development and like other ski areas demand is increasing.
The Scene – Pondera RV Park, site 3
The Date – Aug 19, 2015
The Time – Approx 9:00 PM – 11:30 PM
The Crime – Domestic Violence
The Story –
A loud argument outside of the 5th wheel trailer in site 3 at Pondera RV Park resulted in a 911 call by the couple in the RV in site 2. A drive-by by the Sheriff made no impact on the combatants. Maxine witnessed the drive-by and the argument as she drove off to the local casino. The arrival of the Conrad police soon after must have driven the couple inside the 5th wheel. When the cops started yelling at them to come out, I noticed and started trying to take pictures. My first attempts came out fuzzy, but the gun-drawn stance is obvious. More police and sheriff vehicles arrived as the incident escalated. One of the officers went around to the other vehicles in the immediate area and told us to leave for our own safety.
While the evacuated campers milled about the dumpster and laundry room, nothing much happened as it got darker and darker. I went across the street and tried to take pictures from the loading dock of the neighboring business. Nothing seemed to be happening, but I was getting tired of standing around so called Maxine to come back. When she got there, we parked closer to the scene, and I played with my camera some more. With the camera propped on the dash, I was able to get a picture of a cop with a rifle with a scope on it trained on the 5th wheel.
About 10:30, a woman appeared in the street. We assume it was the one from inside the 5th wheel, and that she had been able to get out safely. Finally, an hour later, the cops started driving away without a word to the onlookers. We assumed that the guy finally came out, and they took him away.
The manager of the park said that the woman had told her she was going to Missoula that morning. The morning after the incident, I could see the blue SUV still parked in front of the 5th wheel for a while. While I have no facts, my guess is that the woman went to Missoula then came back to the trailer. An argument ensued and the man went crazy when the cops showed up. They got him out without violence and took him away. She spent the rest of the night in the trailer then left in the morning.
Less than 100 miles from Banff to Calgary made for an easy day. We took it easy the next day, too. The RV park is right next to the Olympic Park where the 1988 winter games were played. There is a Canadian Hall Of Fame on those grounds, and we went to visit.
Running north-south between Jasper and Banff Nat Parks, the Icefield Parkway is a very popular route through some fantastic country. The day we drove it was cloudy and overcast, which obscured the upper peaks along the road. It was also a Sunday in late August, and it seemed 1/2 of Canada was there with us. Looking back at the pictures I took, I can see that I was not too excited about stopping. Here are the best ones I got this year.
After the prairies, getting up into the Rocky Mountains and Jasper Park was very nice. Though it was late in the summer and half the population of Canada seemed to be there with us. We had a reservation at the campground, and even without any hookups, we survived just fine. We scheduled coffee and tea to match up with the hours of generator use, and fired it up when needed. The CG has 340 spots, but it is well laid out, and we had a great site. There is a herd of elk, 6 or 7 animals, known to hang out in the CG, and a couple of them came right through our site.