Day 28 – 9/27 West Yellowstone to Helena, MT

Well, this is our last morning here in West Yellowstone.  I am letting everyone sleep in (no more than 9am), as we are driving to Helena today, and it’s about a 3 hour drive with the trailer, maybe less. 

It is about 31F now outside, and snowing!    Yes, snow again, right now the forecast is that it will stop and be gone by 9am anyway.  The grass is not white yet, but it is snowing enough that if this does not stop, there will be white here and there.  It is supposed to be sunny and warmer in Helena, so the weather will actually improve as we go North.  Well, 20 minutes after I started writing this, there’s white coverage on cars and on the grass… dang!  And 20 minutes after that, we have some snow on the grass, and it stopped snowing and we have blue sky.  Crazy. 

We got going with packing and getting things ready by 9 as planned.  It snowed a little more as we were getting things done, but not too much, just enough to get things more wet.  Our process worked as usual with one exception, when we pulled the slide out in we tried to do so slowly so there was time for water to drip out, and I was outside drying the sides.  We did that slowly, hoping we would minimize the amount of water that went inside and dripped on the floor. 

Well, that didn’t work all too well.  Once we finished pulling the slide out in, a good amount of water started dripping and flowing to the floor, on both corners.  Carol called me, so I came in with more towels and while she got the floor dry, I dried the top of the slide out (which was retracted in).  There was still a good amount of water there, which is what was dripping on the sides.  We decided we really need to watch the slide out better now, and really clean it good before retracting it.  We will clean it each time for debris and water.  No damage, just some water to dry up and we were all set. 

We left at exactly 10:55, which is pretty good time especially with check out being at 11. 🙂  I had taken a few heavier items to the truck, just so we were not hauling extra weight in the trailer, like all the books and laptops, and some of the drinks that were in the outside fridge. 

The ride to Helena was beautiful, we were in the middle of mountain ranges all the way there.  Just amazing views all the way.  Weather kept getting better and better as we got closer.  Helena is located between mountains, in a big valley, and that’s how our ride felt too, riding between mountains.  At one point we had a steeper grade down a valley, but not much. 

Good roads most of the way, with one 10 mile stretch as the exceptions.  That stretch was under construction and it was all gravel.  That was not good… we were shaking a lot from the gravel and going 25mph, but it was really bumpy.  Carol was worried about all the things inside the RV that would be falling or braking.  It really sucked going through that part.  Not to mention it was super dusty, so there’s dust everywhere.  Once we were out, we were about 90 miles away and stopped at a gas station to fill up, use the bathroom and check in inside the trailer. 

All was good, fortunately, only a few knives that were on the stove fell on the floor, no visible damage of any kind.  I’ll double check all nuts and bolts before we leave to Glacier next.  The rest of the drive was easy.  I’ve been monitoring the truck’s tires all the time on these rides, to make sure things are good, that no sudden rise in temperature or pressure comes on any tire, etc.  I’ve been locking the cruise at 65mph when I can, and the truck handles up and down hills with no effort.  Monitoring the trailers tires with the TPMS is nice, gives me some peace of mind.  I know the kitchen side of the trailer is heavier as the tires on that side always have a bit more pressure as we go, and the temp is a tad higher, but I can tell now what the constant is and what to expect. 

We arrived at the Helena KOA around 2:30pm, I got a few local beers at check in, and we pulled in to our site which is where we stay for a few days.  Nice site, level, nice view of the mountains, and we are just 8 miles from downtown. 

The girls started playing right away, making pretend food with grass and water, or maybe it was some magic potion they were making, I don’t know.  But, they were having fun and playing outside while Carol and I got things setup.  I did the outside, Carol did the inside and got lunch started (late lunch since we didn’t stop on the road).  We had lunch outside, it was nice and warm (compared to previous days), so we enjoyed it out there. 

After lunch, we decided to go to town, Carol wanted to get some things, groceries, etc and some treats for the girls.  I wanted to visit a brewery, which was close to the shopping area anyway, so Carol dropped me off and went shopping with the girls. 

I stayed at the Lewis and Clark Brewing Company Taproom.  Very cool spot.  Nice people, great beer.  I tried all their IPAs, they had 3 on tap, and also their Scotch Ale.  We had tried a few of their beers before and liked it.  It was a good time to catch up on social media and friends, and also use their Wi-Fi to let my photos sync with iCloud.  I usually turn it off so it doesn’t use all my cell data, so since their wifi was fast, I let it sync and I had 1,000 pictures to upload, which took about an hour.  I’m caught up now! hahahah. 

Carol and the girls joined me after they were done, and stayed for about an hour.  That was really fun, we were chatting and laughing, it was such a fun time,  I really enjoy those moments. 

After that we drove back, stopped on the way to get propane as one of our tanks was empty.  Carol made dinner, girls got ready for bed, we watched some TV and went to bed early to have an easy rested start of the school week tomorrow.  It was a very nice day here in the capital of Montana.

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