Thursday, June 3, 2010

Plans? Who makes plans?

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Greater Spokane Elks is quite an old Elks Club with lots of RV parking, a very friendly camp host. We had the Elk’s Friday Fish Fry and a nice quiet night. We did some shopping in the “big city”, got 1 cache and went to a very small homey museum.

CIMG5698 The directory of the museum was from Southern California and wanted to reminisce about the 60’s in the South Bay. It’s fun going to a museum to find the local history and then talk about our common history in the good old days.

One of the first things we do in the morning along with having our first cup of coffee is read Nick Russell's blog.  It just so happened that the morning we were going to leave for Helena, MT, Nick had the Lolo Pass on his 10 favorite routes. Well, that cinched it… we were going over Lolo.  We traveled along the bubbling waters of the Middle Fork of the Clearwater, the  Lochsa Rivers and many creeks. For many miles these full rivers hosted anglers, boaters, and exciting river rapid rafters.





We were coming into Missoula and called our friends from FMCA Golden Spike Chapter, Jim & Betty Steindorf. They live up US-93 in the little town of Charlo. Jim’s father Homesteaded this land and Jim and Betty spend summers here and 7 months on the road in their Bounder RV. They insisted we come up and “park for free” as Jim says. We were treated to a wonderful tour of the history of the area.

This is the beautiful Mission Church St Ignatius. St Ignacius 3


St Ignacius 4

The interior of this church was painted, walls and ceiling, by Brother Carignano a cook at the mission.




We saw many of the many farm and wild animals in this beautiful part of the country.Two Horses on Old Frieght Road





Though it was cloudy and rainy off and on all day we still enjoyed the spectacular Mission Mountains.

Mission Valley Overlook 2

We went to the National Bison Range east of  Ronan, established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 after 30 million Bison were systematically exterminated down to less than 300 animals.


We drove all around the Mission Valley area taking pictures to document the area for a tour Jim & his brother, David, will be giving the end of July for the 100th Anniversary of the Steindorf’s Homestead.

The next day we took a drive around Flat Head Lake. This is the largest fresh water natural lake west of the Mississippi, 30 miles long and 15 miles wide.  We stopped at an outlet, Two Dog Down, and saw the funniest signs.


CIMG5802 CIMG5803 We stopped for lunch in the touristy town of Big Fork and window shopped and just had a great time.  We drove back to Charlo and shopped at an Amish store, had dinner at the 4x4 Cafe, and saw the play Fiddler on the Roof put on by the local theater group. We sure enjoyed the real small town America.

Parking on the Steindorf’s Homestead was full of animal photo opportunities like the mother owl and her babies that live in the trees along the driveway.

1 Owls on the driveway

Orange hooded black birds that Jim called Cow Birds when he was a boy. Boy are they noisy.

Home again  

A group of Geese are residents on the two ‘pot holes’; we would call them ponds in CA.


Betty fixed us 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts with home preserved strawberries, raspberries, a delicious desert with rhubarb just picked from her huge garden. We can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and for being the best tour guide.


It just doesn’t get any better than this!

On the Road Again, Caching Places That We’ve Never Been…  Thanks for joining us.


  1. Thanks for the tour and beautiful pictures - they were all terrific! Nice job on getting the ones of the river rafters!

  2. Great pictures! Nice to catch up with you two. We are finally back in Texas, right now in Amarillo until Thurs. a.m. Then will be heading south to Burnet for our daughter's wedding. Afterwards will head North. Plan on attending The Rally in Louisville, KY, then on to Nick's Rally in Elkhart. Hope to spend a month there, good Nick and Terry Time! Enjoying your blog...
    Jan and Greg


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