Tag Archives: Moose

9/30/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 20


Coeur D’Alene

I enjoy this small town.  It’s situated on a gorgeous lake with rolling hills and wildlife all around.  With a population of 45,000, it is roughly the size of my home town when I was a teen.  I’ve checked real estate prices on the lake.  Older homes with a good view, a pier for a boat, 3 br 2ba, and older floor plans run just under $600,000.   Homes with modern floor plans and lots of glass are just over $1M.  There’s one spectacular 3br 2ba home right on the lake that’s wonderfully designed and spectacular.  At $6 million, it’s ridiculously out of reach.  Why would I look at real estate prices in CDA?  We would never move here.  For me it’s a way to see how insane California real estate prices are.   Surprisingly for properties on the lake, the disparity is not huge.  Off the lake, 3br 2ba homes can be as low as $250,000.

The women’s motorhome is pushing on today.  We’ll head on to Missoula and Butte, though I doubt we’ll get that far.  We may stop in Arlee for the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas or the National Bison Range.  The Jocko Hollow Campground near Arlee is open year round.  We’ll see how far we get today.  Three to four feet of snow fell in parts of Montana and with the temperature expected to stay low for a few days, we’ll see snow today.


Lake Coeur D’Alene is Huge


Into Montana


Early Snow is Everywhere







Le Petit Outre, A Bakery Tale

We have evolved a tradition in our travels.  Bean probably started this last year by introducing us to Boise’s best bakery where we had amazing almond croissants.  We were blown away they were so good. Since then wherever we go, we sample local bakeries looking for our take on “the best”.  Leaving Idaho, Ellen notice we would pass through Frenchtown, Montana. Ah, they must have a great French bakery, right?  Wrong.  There isn’t a single bakery in Frenchtown. I mentioned we could make it to Butte today, but not to Bozeman unless we really push. Butte is 283 miles from CDA where Bozeman is 380, another two hours driving.  Ellen searched bakeries in Butte and found NOTHING. So sad, no great bakeries to visit there either.  What about Missoula?  We would pass right through. Ellen practically leapt out of her seat. “Le Petit Outre” (the small other) is a five star bakery in Missoula.  Cool.  It’s on the other side of town from I-90.  No big deal, we’ve driven Li’l Beast to Franconia Notch.  We can handle downtown Missoula blindfolded.




The final road our GPS took us on is a residential road with oblong roundabouts for traffic control and low lying trees.  With some trepidation, I drove into a residential area to pop out at an older brick building that announced “Le Petit Outre”.  Parking was impossible.  I dropped Ellen off, “Call me when you’re done and I’ll come pick you up.”  It seemed the only reasonable thing to do.  I got turned around, nearly lost, before finding parking close by.  Ellen called as I was exiting Li’l Beast.  She had a loaf of wheat stalk French bread, a chocolate croissant, an almond croissant, and two scones. She passed me one stalk from the loaf.  It was wonderful.  Based on the bread alone I highly recommend stopping by Le Petit Outre.  We drove through Missoula to continue on I-90.


Le Petit Outre Mural


Missoula Mt


Just Visitin’


And On To Butte


At Walmart Butte Mt


Walmart Returns

Butte’s Walmart took the 6 quart pressure cooker back without question.  They had a 3 quart display unit, but none in the box.  With additional drinking water we drove off to Butte KOA.

There’s about two inches of snow on rooftops in Butte in spite of temperatures in the 40s. The snow on the north slopes around Butte shimmered in the sunlight.  Gray clouds hung over the ridge tops, but the sun was bright as we arrived at the KOA.  It was cold.  Temps reached 47 here and there on the drive.  Mostly temps were low 40’s until the sun started down.  Now at 8:40 outdoor temp reads 30.  I have the light on in the water compartment which should keep our outdoor shower from freezing.  I’ll turn our gray/black tank heat on tonight. We should have sufficient water in the tank to avoid freezing in just a few hours overnight.  Temps should climb back into the 40s tomorrow.


View from a Wells Fargo ATM



Butte KOA

We stayed here last year.  I remember meeting the owner near closing time. He was helping a bus-sized RV add water at the time.  Last year we arrived the day they were closing.  This year they’ve shut off water to the sites and closed the shower/rest rooms! It was cold in Butte this past weekend.  We expect around 22 F tonight.  No worries about freezing, yet.  No reservation necessary at this KOA; it’s practically empty.  Cold weather drives “sane” RVers south.  Not US!



Clearly a trip to Glacier National Park or into Canada is not happening this trip.  Tomorrow we’ll drive to Bozeman stopping at Walmart and REI; Walmart looking for a 3 qt pressure cooker and REI for a warm down parka for me.  We hope to stop at the Museum of the Rockies to check out their dinosaur exhibit. We’ve never been.  I asked Ellen if she had a preference: arriving at West Yellowstone or Gardiner as entry to the park.  She preferred Gardiner.  I was very happy as I like Gardiner much more than West Yellowstone too.  It’s small and much more quaint.  We can visit a photographer we met last year.  A bonus, Mammoth Campground is open year round.  We’ll go from Mammoth to Madison Campground enjoying the expansive views, one of America’s true last wildernesses.

I-90 and side roads have been clear.  We’ve had no rain or snow today.  This weather should hold to Friday 10/4 with temperatures rising daily.


We sleep over an electric blanket that warms us from below on very cold nights.  Usually we turn it off and keep the heat off.  Last night we kept the blanket on low with the heat off.  We were toasty.  Tonight we may leave the heat on but set to 50 or 55.  That should dissipate some of the interior condensation.   Even in 7 degrees we’ve been toasty inside.

9/27/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 17

Tattoo McGoo

As I walked to the showers, I approached a woman walking her dog. “No moose this morning”, I said.  We chatted about the moose eating apples, while her dog strained at the leash.  He was a small furry thing who desperately wanted to explore. “Oh he loves toes and shoe laces, but he loves to jump too.”  “What’s his name”  “Tattoo McGoo”.  Her husband injured himself.  He’s in rehab locally.  She’ll have to drive their rig back to Flagstaff Arizona her self.  “He’ll probably have to fly home.”  I said under different circumstances, I’d offer to drive her rig with her.  “Oh, I can handle it.  Where are you from?”   “Near San Francisco, California”  To which she said, “I don’t like people who don’t like California.  I grew up there.”  “If you listen exclusively to Fox News, you’d think California is going to hell in a hand basket.” She said, “If you only watch Fox News, you have other problems.”  All the while Tattoo McGoo was licking my toes and ankle and now and then jumping on my leg.

She also mentioned that the salmon run in Glacier National Park is amazing, “Not To Be Missed.” She lived in Missoula and would go up to watch the eagles snatch salmon out of McDonald Creek.  As with so many things, the salmon run on the creek is long gone. History Wednesday describes what happened to the famed salmon run with its Grizzlies and Eagles.



Whimsically Painted Power Boxes


Coeur D’Alene From Behind, The Mudgy Moose Trail



There is a winter storm watch for the mountains in Montana. Helena is expecting 8” of snow on the ground.  We could easily push through to Missoula or even Helena, though we would be stuck there for two days while the storm passes.  We’re comfortable here at CD’A on the lake.  We’ll stay here today and perhaps for another three days depending on the weather.  It will be magnificent seeing snow in the Rockies.  We will wait for the roads to clear before moving on.  Next week temperatures are expected to return to normal.  In the mean time we have our favorite bakery, lots of books are available at the clubhouse book exchange, we get local TV channels, and DirecTV.  I expect Bill Maher’s will have something to say about the impeachment inquiry and Ukraine.

I exchanged “Moment of Truth” and “The Outside Man” for “Roses are Red” and “Red Notice”.  Looks like RED is today’s keyword. 

The sun shown bright and warm briefly this morning.  Patches of blue sky show through low cloud cover.  The threat of sprinkles, perhaps rain hangs in the air.  The lake is stunning both wrapped in gray clouds and in brilliant sunlight.


Again mommy & teen ager were foraging at the apple tree.  They’re much more relaxed around us than we are around them.  From time to time mom would eyeball us then go back to feeding.  We didn’t see the moose at all our first day and thought they had left the island.  Now we see them a few times each day.  We sometimes stand closer than we should.

Our LP tank is down to 1/4.  we last filled on 9/13, two weeks ago.  With cold weather coming we’ll fill again today. Consuming 3/4 tank in two weeks in the fall is OK with me. The electric heat pump is very effective in cold weather, but it is extremely loud.  We prefer to use the LP heater. Most of our consumption is through the heater.  We run everything else on electric.

Ellen just gave notice, “I’m ready to go”.  We’re restocking supplies and “things”, an extension cord and a hammer for example.  Yup, I didn’t bring a hammer.  I do have a rubber mallet.  Now to stow everything and head downtown.IMG_2958

Find the Moose


Big Hint





Pilgrims Natural Food Market

AroundMe is usually better than an area Google search.  Sometimes it leaves off good finds.  Today AroundMe introduced us to Pilgrims Market, al alternative to Safeway; more like whole foods or a Co-op.  It has higher ratings, it’s obvious why once you step inside.  It’s the local hip Coeur D’Alene market.  A bonus: there’s an ACE Hardware across the street. 

We dropped by Safeway for a few items Pilgrims didn’t carry and grabbed two croissants at Lakeside Bakery.  Back at Blackwell RV we topped up our LP and settled in for the afternoon with sandwiches and soup from Pilgrims.

Rains started around 4PM and were heavy at times.  Now at 8:30 the rains have stopped.  There’s no thunder & lightening tonight.  We had some last night with more expected tomorrow.

I have a strip light I’ll install in Ellen’s closet sometime later.  I may have some difficulty attaching the 120-12 V adapter.  The logical socket I’d tap into is sealed off in a stapled together wooden box.  If the box can be removed, the task will be easy.

9/26/2019 Blackwell Island Coeur D’Alene, Day 16


Expecting rain, we put the cycles on the rack and covered them up. No rain so far at 11:30 pm.

Rock Shadows

Ellen always brings a flashlight with her on our way to the showers. Last night was no exception.  Playing the light along the walkway we were startled by a rock shadow that appeared to move as the light played over it.  I joked about seeing a raccoon or coyote behind every rock on the path.  Ii was in mid sentence when Ellen abruptly inhaled, “Isn’t that moose?”  She played the light 100 feet up the path in the trees. She didn’t play the light on the shadow, but near it.  I couldn’t see anything.  I played my light along the path and sure enough, “It’s a huge moose.”  We walked to our left and away from what was a massive animal, a female.  She was eating apples from the tree, not interested in the fallen fruit. Ellen was both joyous and fearful.  As with any wild animal, a moose is unpredictable.  We walked well clear of her.

We didn’t find her on our way back nor around The Beast.  We know now that the “moose and babies” really are at the camp.

Thursday Morning

A weak front came through last night with moderate winds.  We have scattered light rain this morning.  The sun is nowhere to be seen.

Heading back to the showers this morning I saw mommy with one of her teenagers.  I went back to tell Ellen, “The Moose is Loose”, grabbed my phone, and took our first moose photo this trip.  Later I saw Ellen out looking for the moose as well.


Not Really a Baby


I’d Guess my Plaid Pants Gave me Away!

I love the rake of the young moose’s ears.  I stand about head high to the young moose’s head.  Mommy is massive and not to be trifled with.


We are at a crossroads.  There is a cold front that arrives Saturday and Sunday.  Daytime temperatures may drop to 40 with evening temperatures well below 32.  I have no concern about freezing pipes with daytime temps well above freezing.  My concern is snow.  The cold front brings rain and snow in upper elevations. By Monday or Tuesday, temperatures should rise and this first storm’s snow will melt.  What do we do between now, Thursday, and Monday?

I had planned to drive to Banff and Lake Louise, which would be gorgeous blanked in fresh snow.  Driving north without snow tires in this storm is folly.  That rules out going to Glacier National Park as well.  We could wait out the storm and go north Monday or Tuesday.  We could skip them and head on to Bozeman and Yellowstone. 

In any event we will stay here at CDA for another day.

Mid morning we had a 30 minute downpour then on and off rain.  By mid afternoon skies had cleared.  We even had warm sun.

Some weather outlets are saying “the sky is falling”; that we should expect up to 3 feet of snow in the mountain passes in Montana.  It is possible, though I doubt we’ll see that much snow if we move on to Montana ahead of the cold front.  Do we stay or do we go? 

The moose were out eating apples again this afternoon.  They’re shy around humans, tending to move into the brush when we walk by.

More “Rocks”


One Fellow Hangs with Mom


The Other Not So Much


We took Lyft to Syringa, a local sushi place.  It was very good, except the hotate (scallops) had an unusual taste.  It could have been excessive water cress or the scallops themselves might have been different.


Home on the Lake