One last Montana-hurrah. Camping.

So, last time I wrote a post about Wise River, it was more of an informational blurb, to let other travelers know about one of our favorite areas to camp in (and a couple of my kids said, “WHAT are you doing telling people where that is?!?!?!?!’ lol.)
But this time there isn’t any information, no tips; it’s void of anything travel related, really.
It just some of my favorite pictures from our last week and a half in Montana, making lots of really great memories, with most of my most favorite people.  These pics are for Greg…we will do it again next year soldier, even better.  <3

This spot down by the river is always our choice camping site.  We used to bring our 30′ bunkhouse travel trailer down here to camp, and this was the perfect spot for all the things we like to do.  There are some drawbacks to camping outside of a campground, like no toilets or water, but that was part of the experience.
Last year was the first year that we had been able to make it down here since we started fulltiming 5 years ago.  We ended up coming down in a snowstorm, and we pulled into the first campground on the byway, and just stayed there thanks to the snow and cold and ice.  This year, Vaughn was bound and determined to get this big rig down into our favorite spot!  Jake and Thomas grabbed walkie-talkies, and spotted for him, and he made it in thanks to going off-road in a few spots, and some creeping along.  Here, if the camper would have come down another half inch, it would have been kissing the bed rails.  😉

getting the rv into a unimproved campsite at Wise River

The view from our camping spot.  I’d say it was worth it…


Glad we took that back seat out!
It’s an hour’s drive to the nearest town with a grocery store, so we stocked up before heading down there; too much to put it all away in the rv.   And yes, we did go through 2 full Costco size hot cocoas while we were there, and started in on a third.  😉


First on the agenda for the kids was to collect firewood!
Some serious team effort going on…


My good little workers!


We’d need plenty of campfire wood because the nights were getting down into the high 20s.   Have to have a roaring fire to hang out by when the sun goes down and it starts getting chilly!


And yes, I bought hot dogs.  You know how I feel about hot dogs, but I caved, and bought some.  It’s not really camping without hot dogs!


and marshmallows.  I don’t feel quite the same negativity towards marshmallows…probably because I like them. slow roasted, crispy, and golden brown.
…but by the time each of the littler kids generously offers to make me one and eagerly presents it to me, I’ve had PLENTY. thankyouverymuch


Not a bad camp site.  :)


Camping is somewhat defined for us.  While we are cheating by bringing our rv, it’s still camping if you cook over the campfire, right?   Check out our oversized campfire skillet! lol.


We love this thing – our Big Daddy Skillet has camped with us for years; it’s the only one big enough to feed our crew over a campfire.


Of course my kids play with fire.  :)


When it would get too cold out, then the games would begin!  We have some favorites: Canasta, Uno, and Dutch Blitz.  And now that we found out that there is an expansion pack for Dutch Blitz, now 8 of us can play with the original Dutch Blitz and the Expansion Pack Set! yay!  …maybe silly, but we like to play better with these bright cards than with regular decks 😉


THIS Brother got out his .22 and his OWN ammo (that’s true love!) and gave the girls some pointers on improving their shooting…
It was great being somewhere where you hear shots and think, ‘oh, nice, the kids are practicing’.  Unlike many places; we heard shots the other night and thought, ‘do we call the cops?’. rofl.


He actually spent quite a bit of time coaching them!  <3


Even Molly,  She’s not shown much interest until now, so he was pretty tickled that she asked him to teach her!


…an educated kid is a safe kid.  😉


Not many campgrounds are big on knife throwing. lol.

Our little “do it MYSELF!” had to be right in on the action, so Thomas taught him how to throw…Caleb doesn’t have the strength to stick it yet, but it won’t be long (well, you know, next summer when we are back in Montana and he can practice again! lol)


I think that the boys split every piece of firewood.  Just because they could.


We played hard, got grubby, and rested lots!


We dug in the dirt,


practiced making fires (without daddy and his kerosene!)


and explored.  We even fell in a few times.


The second weekend that we were camping was such a treat!!!
Bethy and Eli drove down and spent the weekend with us!  <3


And we just enjoyed them.


The boys played one last game of Axis & Allies…


and we got to love on Beth before we left her back here in Montana.


This right here?  This is my happy place.  It doesn’t really matter what is in the background.
This picture makes me laugh, and it makes me cry, all at once.  Is it the same for other mothers?  As each child spreads their wings, you are really happy for, and proud of them, and you wouldn’t call them back, but it’s like a little piece of your heart has left with them.
I miss my bigs.  All 4 of them.
but I would miss them even if we were still in Montana. lol.


There is little we relish more than enjoying nature with our tribe.

We had a great time getting our big rig down in the river bottoms (and shared some tips on visiting the Wise River area in an RV), and we loved visiting Crystal Park and digging for prisms with the kids.
Our week and a half on The Wise was wonderfully refreshing!
Too bad the weather isn’t warm enough to turn around and do it again.  <3



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  1. You have a wonderful family that enjoys being together enjoying God’s creation. I hope our paths cross one day. I enjoyed reading this very much.

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