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First Camping Trip of the Summer

Our recent Facebook contest winner posted a wonderful story about her first camping trip this summer. In her own words…

First camping trip of the season. Hard to believe it took until the end of June to do it. But, it was well worth the wait!

On a spur-of-the-moment decision we took a break from restoring a 50-year old Shasta and hit the highway. We must be getting good at packing because it was only an hour of preparation and we were ready. With the kayaks on top of the Trailblazer we headed toward the Sun River for an afternoon float and a night under the stars. Well, inside the Burro under the stars.

The lazy float down the Sun was the perfect start to a well-deserved day and night off from hammering and sewing. We unhitched the burro and left him at the Lowry Bridge River Access and Recreation site. This little-known, free BLM campground is the perfect spot to launch our kayaks and then return back to cold beers on ice in the cooler.

Floating the Sun River is an easy and lazy float. One only needs to occasionally dip a paddle in to correct direction as you take in the incredible scenery.

Last year’s flooding completely changed the character and meander of the river. So this year is like learning how to dance with a new lover. Just when you think you should zig left, you find she wants to zag right.

My husband and I love to explore the little side channels and small back water flows. Many times the river current points you in the right direction. All you need to do is open your mind for a possible wading or swimming opportunity. We found such a spot. Nice and warm(er) water with a good rocky bottom. Embee immediately plopped into the somewhat chilly waters and began to flounder like a – well – flounder. My technique is a bit diffferent. I waded over to the shallower waters, where it was much warmer, and laid down on my belly. My natural “floatation devices” let me float while walking on my hands. This was the perfect perspective to view little water bugs, bubbles, and insects with the added bonus of only getting half wet!

Once we sated our swimming lust we completed the float. Our usual take out spot is the bridge at Simms. “Our” shuttle back to the campground is pedal-powered by Embee and his bike. I get the challenging job of sitting in the shade by the river protecting the kayaks and waiting for him to ride the four and a half miles back to the campground and return with the car. It’s a very tough job but someone has to do it.

I was entertained by two young teen-aged boys playing on the opposite bank skippng rocks into the river. They decided to swim the channel to the small rocky island for an unlimited arsenal of skippng stones. What fun it was to watch two young men laughing and playing under the Big Sky. If only us grown-ups could capture some of that youth every day.

Ember “finally” arrives to load up the gear and we head back to our leetle Burro. The sky in all its Montana infiniteness puts on an amazing show. I really can’t pull the words from my brain to describe the awesomeness of the display. You’ll have to see the pictures I attached and make up words of your own.

The next day dawns and we decided to do it all again. The second trip is spent dawdling even longer and collecting some very fine specimens of willow roots for assorted art projects.

I am writing this as I perform the exhausting chore of sitting in the shade by the river (again). This time I hear a rooster crowing loudly. I guess he’s making sure I don’t fall asleep on the job.

Goodnight Gracie.

What a story – congratulations to week #6 winner of our Facebook contest.

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