Tag Archives: Campgrounds Yellowstone

9/29/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 19


No photos today, “nothing to see here,”  No sign of moose, though the snow in the hills outside Coeur D’Alene was impressive. Some pickup trucks were full of snow.

Sunday Snow

we had no precipitation last night, but awoke to a fine snowfall.  The snow melts on the ground immediately.  Our outdoor thermometer reads 45.  Is it broken?

No moose this morning. Ellen asked, “are we staying today?” With temperature continuing to drop with snow in the mountain passes, we will stay another day.  Monday and days following will see clearer skies with temps continuing to drop for a few days.  We’ll stay comfortable here then move on toward Bozeman then Yellowstone.  I expect our drive to Bozeman will be breathtaking.  The mountains will be bathed in white.

Bozeman is a liberal enclave in a sea of Trump Country.  It has some remarkable restaurants too.

We’ll drive into Coeur D’Alene today and walk about some.

Exercise & Pain

First, a disclaimer: what I am about to say holds true for me, I am a sample of one and statistically insignificant.  Still…

As I mentioned in prior posts, I experienced significant lower back, hip, and thigh pain during our first week’s travel.  As we walked more on the trip, first the back then the thigh and hip pain lessened.  After our bike ride two days ago, the pain practically disappeared for a day.  Some days my lower back muscles would not let me stand fully upright after sitting for a while. I’d have to stretch when I stood forcing myself upright.

Yesterday I spent late afternoon and evening in body contortions installing Ellen’s closet light.  I’d get up and down, stretch out, lie flat, all sorts of exercise that I was unaware of because I was focused on the task at hand.

This morning I popped out of bed with zero pain. None, zip.  I walked to the showers with zero pain; not even an awareness of my back or walk.  This I attribute to yesterday’s “exercise”.  In conclusion, I firmly believe that most back pain can be remedied with exercise and that pain killers treat the symptom.  Muscle relaxants and anti inflammatory pills do treat the cause, but should not be used as a substitute for regular exercise.  I believe the older we get the more important exercise and stretching becomes.    

Fall in Yellowstone

Skies are showing some clearing.  Cold but clearing is expected tonight.  Yellowstone in the Fall is remarkable.  The tourist crowd falls off, the weather cools, and many facilities close.  Most close in late September, some in mid October.  Mammoth campground stays open year round, well after the north-south routes in Yellowstone close.  The only road open year round in Yellowstone is on the north border: 89 Gardiner to Mammoth to Grand Loop Road to Tower Junction to 212 to Cooke City-Silver Gate.  All other roads in the park close in winter or before.

As we did last year, we’ll stay at Mammoth Campground and Madison Campground, and Coulter Bay Campground.  The KOA in Jackson is way expensive.  We’ll try to avoid it.  We enjoyed one particular art gallery in Jackson.  No doubt we’ll visit Jackson on our way south.

Yellowstone Operating Hours

It looks like Madison Campground will be open for us.  Coulter Bay in Grand Teton closes too early.  I wonder where we’ll stay. 

We’re off to town in a bit.  There’s more to Coeur D’Alene than “just” the touristy waterfront.


I did not bring my “expedition down jacket” this trip.  Big mistake.  Looking for a quality sporting goods shop in CDA proved futile.  The nearest great shop in in Spokane, miles the wrong direction.  There is an REI outside Bozeman.  I’ll wait to look for clothing.  Ellen suggested we check Walmart, a big “No”.

With bad weather we headed to Walmart.  My indoor outdoor weather station is dead, I need a new pillow, and Ellen has a number of things in mind #1 of which is a quick cooker (a pressure cooker).  On the way we passed Chili’s and agreed we’d head back there for a late lunch. That didn’t happen.  I don’t know how but we managed to spend far more than anticipated.  We returned with a new pillow, replacement weather station, a 6 quart pressure cooker, and new runners for The Beast’s floor.   The “instant pot” brought back memories of my mother’s pressure cooker. It had a weight for a pressure relief valve.  Mom warned us kids not to touch the cooker, “It’s very dangerous.”

Ellen made a stew of potato, carrot, broth, and some meat.  The stew cooked in record time in the “instant pot”.  The carrots were cooked perfectly while the potato was mushy.  Ellen’s decided the 6 quart is too big to be practical in our motorhome.  We’ll swap the 6 quart for a 3 quart. That means additional stops at Walmart to find a 3 quart.  It also means more shopping.

The new weather station works great.

Other Campers

On our walk this evening we passed Tattoo McGoo  and Penny who is still here.  Like us she is waiting for the weather to clear before heading south.   No word on her husband’s recovery as yet.

One of those huge motorhomes pulled in towing a jeep.  Three women in their early 40’s piled out.  After some discussion and a shouted, “No, Stop.”  they hooked up and settled in.  It’s unusual to find a group of women RVing.  They’re from Washington State.  I spoke with them briefly; didn’t want to be taken as “that guy”.