Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Soiled Doves, Lingering Winter and the Charm of The Nugget Campground

Airstream and Snow-Packed Lookout Pass

Airstream and Snow-Packed Lookout Pass

©Bert Gildart: Yesterday, as Janie and I crossed Lookout Pass (separating Montana from Idaho), we discovered a new substance.

Natives call it snow (rhymes with glow) and in places it was so deep that it towered over our Airstream. We quickly discovered the substance is wet, very cold–and that at this time of year the banks are dark with thousands of pine needles and certainly don’t glow. Then, last night, we actually discovered how this stuff is made, for tiny hard flakes starting falling from the sky. To compound matters, this morning we awoke in a campground in St. Regis (just over the border and in Montana) to discover our water hose was stiff as a rod, which means it F-R-O-Z-E.

After four months in the desert, these phenomena are foreign to us, but it appears as though winter has not released her fierce grip yet on Montana and that we’ll learn more about these features before the month of May is over. That, at any rate, is what our neighbors from Bigfork told us–who joined us for the last leg home. They’re new to RV camping and wanted to rendezvous with us somewhere along the way. Originally, we’d mentioned Oregon, but Oregon was so rainy we all agreed that Montana (cold as it can be in late April/early May) might be better. So here we are now in St. Regis, all bundled up, rain free, but surrounded by banks of lingering snow. Apparently so much of the stuff remains that the words “June flooding” are now on the lips of weathermen.


Most campgrounds are still closed but not “The Nugget,” one of the nicest campgrounds we’ve discovered in a long time. First, it’s ideally located, offering biking, fishing and hiking–all in a short radius. Equally as important, Jim and Shirley Shotwell, the relatively new owners, have created a personality for their grounds, imparting an old mining atmosphere.

Brothel and Soiled Doves

Brothel and Soiled Doves

Near the entrance they’ve brought in old mining structures, and then added ambiance. “Soiled doves” were always a part of the mining atmosphere and the nearby town of Wallace, Idaho, is famous as a town that has preserved all aspects of its mining history. The town’s “Bordello Tour” and its summer playhouse performance (”There Ain’t No Sin In Wallace”) is well known in the Northwest.

Above is our contribution to that theme, obviously posted in a joking way. However, to the lonely men who lived here during those times women were scarce and bordellos probably did much to reduce violence, always on the cusp. Elsewhere throughout “The Nugget,” Jim and Shirley have artfully placed old farm implements and mining paraphernalia. The campground has the Good Sam stamp of approval and, as one would expect, is immaculate. We’re talking about a multi-family get together and agree the Nugget would be ideal.

Later today, Janie and I will return to Bigfork. We’ll de-winterize the house, WINTERIZE the Airstream and begin preparations for other upcoming travels. Despite rising gas prices, they will be many.

Comments are closed.