Monday eve. 7/21
We got off I-94 in Columbus. Hit a McDonald’s for the annual Egg McMuffin and headed toward Nye, Montana to check out Woodbine Campground – which ended up being really nice. We grabbed site 38 (easily the best view with privacy) and set up.
I’m pretty excited about my camper mods this year. After installing the bigger axel and wheels a couple years ago we had to put a taller tongue jack on and the back stabilizer legs didn’t touch the ground anymore, so I compensated by putting big blocks of wood under them. The whole shebang was pretty rickety – as in: if anyone merely turned over in bed, the whole camper squeaked and swayed. This year, I swapped the back legs with taller legs that touched the ground and moved the shorter ones to the front (where previously there were none).
It’s awesome. You are welcome, Menke family.
We lounged around camp for a while, made some sandwiches and relaxed. I’m pretty sure I could do some version of this for the whole trip, but Dave ruined my fantasy by saying, “I think we should go for a hike.”
So we did. Because, despite what all my friends and family think, Dave is pretty much the boss.
Shortly after getting back from our 2 mile hike, it began to rain. We stashed all the chairs and ran for the camper. The sound of rain on the roof and the rolling thunder was beautiful and hypnotic. We all promptly fell asleep. I never nap, so this was a pretty big deal. I woke up very proud of myself. And very lost. How do people do this on a regular basis? I assumed it was about 4:30. I lay there (laid there? Layed there? Someone please weigh in and tell me what is right!) and read for about an hour while everyone else slept on. I figured I should probably get up and start thinking about dinner. Just as I was thinking that, Dave started to stir and I asked him what time it was. He informed me that it was 2 pm — which means that I was asleep for approximately 5 minutes.
This was starting to feel like the world’s longest, eternal day. 2pm? Seriously?
Back to lounging. No complaints from me. Morgan brought her hippy hammock and Charlie enjoyed it immensely.
We prepped the rib eyes and potatoes and snapped some broad beans from the garden. Morgan made a caprese and Dave left to make his third trip to find cell service. He was trying to book a fly-fishing trip which was proving pretty difficult. Camping in July is a whole different operation than camping in August when things are quieter. He said he’d be back in “15 minutes tops.”
An hour later we were still waiting for him. Rain clouds were again building to the west.
I sprang into action, raked the coals into a pile, put the grate on and slapped the steaks and beans on.
5 minutes later, Dave (now the steak boss) showed up. All full of reproach and recrimination.
It’s true that he was right. And that we did sort of end of up with steamed steaks instead of steaks with a nice sear. But we did finish literally seconds before it started raining again. So can we please call this one a draw?
It stopped raining and we rallied for roasted marshmallows and lame, lame Keebler fudge grahams. I thought that I could kill two birds with one stone by buying the chocolate and the graham in one package. Charlie ate the first one and said:
“Eh. It’s ok. Kind of sawdusty.”
“Sawdusty? You think if they taste like sawdust that’s ‘OK’”?
Morgan said, “They are quite small.” And, “It’s all about the chocolate for me, so…”
…so I added Graham Crackers and Hershey’s Chocolate to the list.
We had only just settled in when we spotted the first one flying vertically through the air — these gigantic black beetles with the really long antennae.* Only: we’d never seen them fly before. Within minutes there were so many flying up above us and around us that we couldn’t count them. One got stuck in Morgan’s hair.
It was like something out of a horror movie. It was a good excuse to go to bed.
So we did.
*Later identified as Pine Sawyer Beetle