Days at Bass Creek – August 2018

Monday August 6: We are glad to be camped at Bass Creek Recreation Area in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana. After a walkabout in the early morning sunshine, we invite my brother Rollie over (he is camped across the road from us) for tea on our patio. It is a nice time to sit out and chat.

Cougar setting

Today Clifford and I go to the Stevensville library, about six miles away, as it offers both power and free wifi. We get caught up on email and Clifford takes care of downloads that are too big for our hotspot wifi at camp. For lunch, we share a sandwich, sitting on a bench in the sunshine, and then continue with our projects.

Back at camp, Rollie joins us for chicken and rice dinner.

Tuesday August 7: Today I head into Missoula to have lunch with dear long-time friends, Ken and Shelley Anne. Ken and I have known each other since 7th grade when we were both in the cello section of the Missoula youth orchestra. We have a great visit and then I run errands. As I’m leaving my last stop, my car won’t start, which is disconcerting, and I can’t get hold of Clifford, which is also disconcerting. Eventually it starts, much to my relief, and I make it back to camp.

In the evening, my sister, Nancy, comes out for a visit. Really nice to see her.

Wednesday August 8: After a walkabout down to the creek and sending photos to family and friends, Clifford and I sit out on our patio for tea; nice way to start the morning.

Bass Creek

Clifford and I work on our projects and later in the afternoon, after Rollie returns from his gig in Stevensville, we sit out in the shade and play music together. Later Rollie joins Clifford and me for dinner.

Thursday August 9: This morning I walk the entire campground loop, and then join Clifford for tea on the patio. Since texts work here, I send photos and arrange time to meet with some of my kids and my siblings. In the afternoon, I start the synopsis for Ang’s book, Princes and Priests, as we are going to seek a literary agent. Learning how to do a query properly is a big project.

Flocks of butterflies hover in the trees

In the evening, my friends Ken and Shelley Anne come out. After they get set up in a campsite just down the road from us, we have time to sit out and visit awhile, making plans for a drive up the mountain tomorrow.

Friday August 10: I’m up at 7:30 and start getting ready for the hike with Ken and Shelley Anne. As I’m rushing about, Ken suggests that I take time to do what I need to do. What a great concept – Take Time to Do What I Need to Do! I realize I seldom do that, with the needs of others taking priority… so much so that it is just a habit.

Ken, Shelley Anne, and I are going to Joseph’s Ridge, a rather slow drive up the mountain due to the winding and somewhat rough road. At the pull-out/picnic area, after finding a parking spot, we get our hiking sticks and water, and head up the ridge trail. Ken hikes on ahead of Shelley Anne and me, as he seeks quiet, while we ladies are eager to visit and share what’s going on in our lives. We all end up back at the picnic area about the same time and share a picnic lunch with a fabulous view all around us. Back at the campground, we say our good-byes.

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View from the Joseph Ridge Trail
Hiking with Shelley Anne

After Ken and Shelley Anne head back to Missoula, Clifford and I go to the Stevensville library to take care of our business there. In the evening, Clifford, Rollie, and I meet with some of Rollie’s bluegrass friends who live near the campground. I am not a traditional bluegrass musician, so am limited in how I can join in with the others, but we have a good time playing music together anyway. Snacks and visiting afterward is quite fun, also, and it would be great to do this again, if time allows. Back at camp, it is late enough that I get right to the bedtime routine and off to bed.

Bass Creek – August 2018

Friday August 3: We finish moving out of Terry (our 30-year-old RV) and into Cougar (our new-to-us RV) in the Bretz RV parking lot in Missoula, Montana, where the two are parked side-by-side. We wait for my daughter Ang and her friend Rama to arrive, as they are taking Terry to give the old gal a good home and keep her in the family.

It is afternoon by time Clifford and Cougar are ready to head across town, while I follow in my Forester. Reserve is a very busy main street across Missoula, and we get separated when I stop at a red light. It is a bit nerve-wracking for us, as Cougar is a lot big bigger than Terry, and the backup camera is not working. Due to the traffic, it takes us a good long while to get across town, but finally after Clifford has made it highway 93, I catch up to him and we continue southward down the Bitterroot Valley, arriving at the Bass Creek Recreation Area in late afternoon.

Coming into a popular campground on a Friday afternoon is not the best timing, but unavoidable in this case. There is only one spot available and we are grateful that it is a big pull-through. There is not much shade at this site, but the sun will be good for the solar panels and since we now have have an awning, we will be fine. Our view is a good-size meadow with a hillside of trees across from us. By time we get set up and have dinner, it is quite late. We are happy to be here.

We set up Cougar for the first time
From our patio, we have a view of a meadow and trees

Saturday August 4: I spend much of the day putting things in place, unpacking and relocating, trying to find room for everything. In the afternoon, I hike a ways up the trail, but decide not to go too far alone since a bear and cub have recently been seen in the area.

Tumultuous Bass Creek

By evening, everything is pretty much in place. We sit out on our patio, enjoying the warm evening air and the view. Bed before midnight.

Sunday August 5: I go for a walkabout first thing this morning and take a few photos. This campground is one of my favorites, being in the mountains with a creek nearby and a good hiking trail.

The meadow

In the afternoon, Clifford and I meet Ang and Rama at the Lumberjack on Graves Creek Road for a late lunch. It is great to see them, and the hamburgers here are quite good.

Returning to Bass Creek, we see that Rollie and Ninja have arrived and he is setting up in the spot right across the road from us, which will be handy for getting together to play music.

Rollie and Ninja set up across the road from us

After Rollie is set up, we hike up the trail a ways to that sweet spot where the creek is calm. Sure is good to be here.

Reflections on Bass Creek

Back at camp, I organize and reorganize, still figuring out where things go in our new space, and then catch up on my journal, as writing got behind last week as we moved from Terry into Cougar. That was a big deal and other activities were pushed to the back burner. Before heading to bed, I finish reading the James Doss book that I started a few days ago.

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 8

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Sunny autumn skies – camp tree

Mostly sunny this morning, but a very damp 35 degrees after yesterday’s rain.  The campfire is reluctant this morning, but after awhile a cheery blaze warms me as I sit with my cup of coffee and “A New Earth,” reading about the pain-body, the condition where one identifies with one’s pain so much as to lose touch with the real person.

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Keeping my coffee warm

After breakfast I walk across the meadow, irresistibly drawn to the aspens on the hillside.  This time I find a game trail that ascends at a comfortable angle and I am soon at the aspen grove.  I take lots of photos even though the angle of the sun is not ideal.  There is quite a breeze, causing the leaves to shimmer and sparkle as they dance about.  It is really quite marvelous and I thoroughly enjoy being there.

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Leaves shimmer and sparkle as they dance about

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I walk with trees

Back at camp, I have a long cello session broken by wood gathering in the deep woods behind the camp.  I realize there is so much more to explore.  I did not have the energy for it earlier in our stay, but I feel like I’m missing out on something important.  Well, next time….  The twigs and branches that I find are really quite wet, so I reluctantly leave the magical woods

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Magical woods

and walk across the meadow to gather twigs and branches that have had more time to dry in the sun and the wind. Back at camp I continue with playing cello until Becka calls.  Someone made her angry and she calls to talk about camping because it makes her feel better.  We plan a camping date for next summer, perhaps right here.  Clifford needs to use my cell phone for a business call, so I give him the phone and head on back to the aspens.

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The sun shines low from the west

The sun is now low in the west, shining through the gap between mountain peaks.  It is cloudier this afternoon, so I have to wait for sunnier and still moments to get shots with the glow of the leaves as the sun shines through them.  Back-lit leaves of plants and shrubs also get my attention.

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Even while I wait for these photo-opp moments, I am thrilled to be here on the mountain with these lovely trees.

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Lovely aspens dance for me

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Hard to say good-bye while the sun yet shines

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Still saying good-bye

I can’t bear to leave until the sun has settled low enough that no more sunlight illumines the grove. Finally I say “good-bye” and head down the  hill, picking up chunks of wood on my way.  Back at camp, it is time for another campfire, hot tea, and journal writing. Bass Creek has been good for me.  Every day I breathe in the fresh air; I am surrounded by mountains, tall ponderosa at the meadow’s parameters look down on me, dark mysterious woods invite me to explore, and golden aspen dance for me – they have all shared their strength with me.  I am feeling healthier and more peaceful being here at Bass Creek. There are even moments of joy.  I hope to carry this joy with me as I move forward to what lies ahead.

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Moments of joy

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 7

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Misty drizzly morning

Tuesday October 21: We were going to put the big tarp over the Pony yesterday since there is a forecast of rain, but we were too tired and cold when we got back from hiking and figured we could do it this morning.  Then it started raining in the night, so it is too late to put up the tarp.  Too wet for a fire this morning – I could build a fire, but can’t read and edit in the rain, so it is an inside morning.

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Rainy day at Charlie Waters Campground

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Mossy tree trunks, all in a row

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The rain emphasizes the moss on the tree trunks

Later, when the rain lets up a bit, I decide to go for a walk across the meadow,

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Our campsite as seen from across the meadow

and once there, emboldened by my successful hiking yesterday, I hike on up the hillside to the grove of young aspen that I have admired from a distance.

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Hiking to the aspen grove

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Nearing the aspen grove

It is pretty here, even if there is no sunlight to bring a glow to the leaves.  I walk amongst the trees, admiring their autumn colors and smooth cool bark. I could be an aspen tree.

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Walking with the aspens

By time I get back to camp, my shoes, socks, feet, and sweats are wet; I change clothes and wear slippers the rest of the day as I only have the one pair of shoes with me.   Another oversight in planning and packing – of course I know better, but sometimes things fall through the proverbial crack.  I haven’t gotten all my ducks lined up properly this fall.

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Rainy view from the Pony

I finish editing “Against All Odds” and then edit photos from our British Columbia trip until the battery on the laptop runs out.  That is the drawback to camping without enough sunshine to inspire the solar panel to create electricity for us.  Time now to write in the journal – real paper, real pen – no electricity required. Chilly outside all day, but the Pony is cozy, so we don’t mind.

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 6

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Blue-sky day

Monday October 20, 2014 – It is going to be sunny today, but I make a small campfire for the warmth until the sun reaches the campsite, enjoying my morning ritual of fire, coffee, and journal.   After breakfast we make a quick trip to Stevensville for ice and a few groceries.  Back at camp, we decide to hike the Bass Creek Trail which leaves from a parking lot at the end of the campground.  Based on the doctor’s recommendation, I’ve not been exerting myself, but every day that we are here, I feel better.  There may not be another chance to hike the trail with a great blue sky and sunshine while we are here.  We drive around to the parking area, although it wouldn’t have been terribly far just to hike to the trail head.  I have a small thermos of tea, my hiking sticks, and the Canon G1X.  I am going to mosey along taking photos while Clifford goes on ahead.  I will only go as far as I feel totally comfortable with.

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I am thrilled with the sunlight coming through the aspen trees, turning yellow to golden.  The western larch are also a rich autumn color.

AutumnBass_G1x 407Although I can hear the creek below me, the dense growth often obscures the sight of it,

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The creek below the trail

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Colors of autumn

The further up the trail I go, the chillier it is.  As we were getting ready to go, I discovered my day pack was left at home by mistake.  It was warm enough at the camp that I didn’t think I would need more layers than what I am wearing, but now the windbreaker and gloves in the day pack would be most welcome.  Reminder to self to have the extra layer just in case.

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Patches of sunlight on the trail

So, I hike from one sunlit patch to another, stopping to take photos whenever autumn leaves catch my attention.

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AutumnBass_G1x 437Several times I stop, thinking I will turn back, but after resting on a rock in the sunshine and drinking some of my hot tea,  I go on, eager to see what is beyond the next bend in the trail.

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Around the next bend in the trail

Eventually, it is the deepening shadows on the trail and the chilly wind that forces me to turn back.  I am glad that my stamina was not the determining factor.

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Trail in shadow

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Deepening shadows on the trail

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Down the trail toward the lingering sunlight

I hike briskly back down the trail, not stopping until I reach the trail head, where the last of the afternoon sunshine brings a bit of warmth.

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Last light coming through the trees

Back at the campsite, I am too cold to play cello, so go on inside the Pony to warm up.  Make a hot cup of tea and get on with editing.  Clifford has hiked considerably further up the trail than I did, so it is a while later before he comes.  Then we have dinner and I continue editing.  I am nearly finished with the book I am working on.  I download the photos taken today and am pleased with the beautiful autumn colors.  I am looking forward to doing some photo editing soon.  And off to bed with vision of golden trees dancing in my head.

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 5

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Morning color

Friday October 17, 2014 – Partly sunny and 32 degrees when I get up.  No campfire this morning; I just find sunny spots and move my chair and table to keep pace with the warmer oasis of light. Make a cup of coffee and read “A New Earth” – thoughts on how thoughts/emotions come from the ego trying to strengthen itself, which is always at the expense of the “other.”   Edit “Against All Odds,” play cello while the sun shines,

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Wood, dense and mysterious

and explore the woods, gathering more branches and twigs.  I love the woods, so dense and mysterious.  Haven’t explored them nearly as much as I’d like.

When the campsite is in shade, I build a campfire and continue editing until it is too dark to see outside.

Saturday October 18, 2014 – Today is a town day and so off to Missoula first t hing.  Run errands, visit my mom – a very bright 88 years young, and go to Barnes & Nobles for the bookstore fix.  Home after dark and head to bed soon after unloading and putting away our purchases.

Sunday October 19. 2014 – Nice day, no need for a campfire this morning, and I’m saving wood for the cooler days that are forecast.  Katie, Jeremy and the boys come out in the afternoon and we do a walkabout in the woods to the creek and to the little A-frame “fort” that some industrious kids built sometime this summer.  The boys (my grandsons ages 2 and 4) have a great time playing in the water and exploring the fort.

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Finley throwing rocks in the creek

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Jude at the fort by the creek

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Katie and Finley in the fort

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Finley peeking out of the fort

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Katie and Finley headed back to camp

Back at the camp Katie gets the campfire going and starts dinner while the Clifford, Jeremy, and I gathered more wood.  After dinner we sit around the fire enjoying the time to relax and chat.  I’m really glad that they were able to come out again,

Later, more editing.  Hard to put it down.  The Novels of Shannon series which I am editing takes the reader to another world where the characters become real while their adventuresome journey, fraught with peril, draws the reader in.  Our lives may seem tame compared to theirs and yet we all face common questions about the intricacies of life: how to live with our weaknesses and our strengths, how to survive pain and loss, how to become fully alive.

Bass Creek – October 2014 – Part 4

Wednesday October 15: This is a day of changing weather.

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Overcast, then the clouds begin to part

Cloudy when I get up to make my campfire and a cup of coffee.  Read “A New Earth” resonating with the words, the meanings, going beyond ego to BEING.  Well, I might not be getting there, yet, but it makes sense, anyway.  Write in my journal and have breakfast by the campfire, enjoying the warmth.

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Then the sky clears up enough that I get out the cello, glad to have enough sun to sit and play a bit.  But by time I get the cello out and set up, and play through one piece, it clouds up and starts to rain.  I scramble around getting the cello and music put away as quickly as I can.  The little storm passes, the sun come outs, so I get the cello out again. Then the rain comes again and as I am putting the cello away, a big gust of wind knocks over the stand and music is blowing everywhere.  I could have used some help, but Clifford is not is sight.  This time the rain continues through the remainder of the afternoon.

Sometime during the afternoon the rain lets up enough to let the wonderful warm late afternoon light come through and a lovely rainbow appears arching over the trees at the end of the meadow.  Sweet.

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Cloud moving on, sunlight coming in

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Rainbow arch at the end of the meadow

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Dark clouds in the background, warm sunlight in the foreground

My homemade chicken soup has thawed out, so I simmer it an hour to be on the safe side.  How much nutrition is left in a soup cooked that long, I don’t know, but I am not taking any chances.

Our battery is not charging, so light and power are an issue tonight.  Too bad, as I can see to write blogs with the laptop, but once its little battery is dead, I am out of luck.

Thursday October 16:  I light the stove to start warming up the Pony and get the tea water going.  There is a pretty sunrise this morning.

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Sunrise color

Take photos of the droplets on branches on my way to the restroom, nearly a block away.  It has been good for me to do a morning walk, albeit out of necessity, and this morning it is especially pretty out after yesterday’s rain.

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Delicate seed pods

After breakfast we go to Stevensville for ice and groceries, then explore the Chief Looking Glass State Park.  It was too expensive for us, and I am really glad we didn’t go there, as it is much prettier where we are at Bass Creek.

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Mountains of the Bitterroot Range

Later Merri and Ali come to visit.  Merri and Clifford have a plant identification project going on, which is fun for Merri, as she loves plants and knows a LOT about plants and trees.

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Looking at the trees

Ali is kind of bored and just pokes around at the fire.  Maybe walking around looking at trees and moss and berries are not her thing.  We all have a cup of tea before they go.  I am glad they got to come out, even though Merri and I didn’t really get much time to visit.  Just nice to have her here for awhile.

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Decorating the pumpkin with gifts from the forest

We do the CI meeting from my cell phone.  I’m not feeling great, but can’t distract myself with photo editing, as my laptop is dead, and it would be rude to distract myself with reading or writing.  Finally I just crawl up on the bed and don’t even pretend to be actively involved.  Wonder if it was eating a whole raw potato that caused my indigestion.

Yogurt and mint tea for my dinner and by bedtime, I feel better and sleep okay.

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 3

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Campfire in the morning

Sunday October 12:  Wake up early; too dark to sit out, so I make mint tea and sit inside to read “A New Earth” until it is light enough to head outside to make a campfire.  The wood under the pull-outs is a bit wet, but the wood under the tarp is good and dry, so I soon have a cheery fire going. The way Tolle explains some concepts in “A New Earth” helps me to make sense of the lessons from “A Course in Miracles” which were not resonating with me.  A different way of looking at things can be very good.

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about 11:30 and we

have time to do a

walkabout taking

photos of raindrop

on leaves and

other delightful

after-rain images.

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Give her a camera and a cup of coffee…. and she is all set!

Then we head out to see my sister, Lillian, who lives about 10 miles outside of Stevensville on the other side of the Bitterroot valley.  As we look back, we can see snow on the mountain tops on the western range.  We have a nice visit with Lillian; I let her know that I have been to a doctor for the first time in about 20 years and that there are some health issues going on.

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Lillian, Carol, Ang

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Oden displaying 12-year-old dorkiness

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Lillian’s driveway

From the eastern side of the valley where she lives, we have a clear view of the snowy mountains to the west, so more photos are taken as we head back to the campground.

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Across the Bitterroot Valley – we are camped over there

Back at the Pony, after Ang and Oden leave, I do some editing and read portions of the journal from 1979 to 1980.  There was an entry regarding a conversation Katie and I had regarding priests and bishops, and how bishops could tell the priests where they had to go.  Katie, who was four years old at the time, totally got the idea and decided that she would be a bishop when she grows up so she can tell people what to do.  It was really quite delightful, the best part of the whole 6-month journal, and it made her day when I sent it as a text to her. No campfire tonight as it is a bit chilly this evening and more comfortable inside, even though I struggle to read by the available light.

Monday October 13:  Wake up early with leg cramps, but luckily I am able to go back to sleep and get up after daylight to go out build a campfire.  I make tea and as I get settled by the fire to read, the tea spills and I have to go back inside to make a new cup.  Clifford is up and we have a discussion about the pan that needs replacing, which gets me thinking about what I have been reading about ego  – is my suggestion to use more butter in the pan merely a suggestion or is it my ego coming forward to say I know better than someone else how to use the pan.  There are definitely some grey areas here. I do a walkabout looking at the other campsites, gather wood, and explore the woods which are enchanted, I’m quite sure.

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Enchanted woods

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Old school cello is camping cello

Mild temperatures and sunshine in the afternoon gives me the opportunity to play the cello again today.I am not very satisfied with this cello, not liking the sound of the A-string or 4th position, both of which are used all the time.  It creates a quandry for me – how to go camping AND have a pleasing instrument to play.  Haven’t felt like playing the flute because the higher registers are not appealing to me.  Oh well……

And so goes the day. Later in the afternoon the picnic table at the vacant site next to us is still in the sunlight, and I move down there to continue writing in my journal until the sunlight is overtaken by shadow. Before the sun sets behind the mountain, the last rays hit the young aspen grove on the hillside across the meadow from where we are camped.  What a wonderful burst of color.

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Last glow of light on the aspens

Back at our spot, I build another great campfire and sit out editing until it is too dark to see.  As the fire dies down, I leave the embers to glow while I go inside to join Clifford and make us a tasty dinner.   After dinner, I make notes in a word document from the old journal.  Not sure I want or need to save the old journal once that is done.  I had written down many dreams that might be of interest, but maybe not worth keeping, either.  If I was going to learn from them, it should have have been then. Head to bed, thinking how much different my life is now.  The struggles of that period of my life are far behind me.  How joyful it is now to be camping, drinking a morning cup of coffee or tea by a campfire, having the day to read, write, or walkabout taking photos, and quiet evenings with Clifford.  My kids are grown and are people I enjoy spending time with.  Life is good.

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 2

Friday October 10: Looks like it will be a sunny day,

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Morning campfire and tea

but I make a small campfire so I can sit out to read and write until it warms up some. I read “A New Earth” and write in my journal, enjoying my hot tea and the warmth of the flames. After breakfast I go searching for wood for the campfire, finding some cut wood behind one of the camps. The woods here are dark and mysterious, and dense with a variety of trees and shrubs. I almost expect a wood nymph to show herself.  I think I could explore forever and not tire of it.

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Woods dark and mysterious

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Shrubs highlighted by a ray of sunlight

After several walkabouts to take photos, bringing back some wood each time, the wood supply begins to build up. This is a good thing, since the forecast is for rain one of these days. I have another campfire in the evening as it is much easier on my eyes to edit by natural light until it gets too dark to do so.

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Evening campfire

Saturday October 11: It is mostly cloudy this morning,

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Mostly cloudy

so I build a campfire, glad for the wood I gathered yesterday. The guy in the campsite across the road from us says we can have the wood that is at his spot, as he isn’t using it. I happily gather it up, stockpiling some under the pullouts of the Pony and the rest goes in a pile that I cover with a tarp at the first sign of rain. I keep the campfire going as long as I can, but eventually the rain becomes too heavy for me to read or write outdoors and I am forced to go in to continue with my editing.

I brought one of my old journals with me from 1979 to 1980, and begin reading it, curious if I should keep the old journals or begin getting rid of them. The entries are mostly quite brief, but bring back painful memories of how difficult my life situation was at that time. I am ever so grateful for all the good memories I have since Clifford and I have been together. And this camping trip to Bass Creek will be the next addition to the good memories bank.

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Good memories at Bass Creek

Bass Creek Camping – October 2014 – Part 1

Wednesday October 8: Yesterday we made it as far as Ang’s cabin on our way to Bass Creek south of Missoula, Montana. This morning she and I have coffee while we chat, and after sharing breakfast with her and Oden (my grandson), Clifford and I head on to Bass Creek.

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Sharing a cup of coffee at the cabin

We arrive at the Charlie Waters campground in the early afternoon and are surprised to find it nearly full, which is unexpected for a mid-week day in October. We later find out that hunting season for something-or-other just started and there is a church group gathering. There are not many sites to choose from; Clifford wants sunshine, I want secluded and pretty. We drive through the entire campground at least three times before we compromise on a site: not secluded, but pretty with the woods behind the campsite, and a moderate chance of sunshine throughout the day.

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Exploring the woods behind the campsite

We explore the woods at bit, looking for the creek that we can hear. It is not accessible right at our campsite, but can be reached further along. Then we get the Pony set up and this is home for the next couple of weeks.

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Creek hidden in the woods

Thursday October 9: Wake up to sunshine and beautiful blue sky. I set up a small table and my chair in a big patch of sunlight, make a cup of French Press coffee (doesn’t need electricity, as well as making good tasting coffee), then sit in the sun’s warmth to write in my journal and begin reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. The book opens by discussing the insanity of the human race because of ego identification with thought. So far, so good.

After breakfast we drive to Stevensville to get ice and a few groceries. I am pleased to find that the Super One store there has a good section of organic produce. On the way back, we explore the group campground not far away, a couple of side roads, the picnic area, and the road that goes beyond the trailhead and up the mountain that is across the meadow from us. In our exploration, we find a little niche off one of the side roads with a couple of primitive campsites. Good thing to keep in mind for next time.

Back at camp I edit “Against All Odds,” my project for this outing, while Clifford does research and plays with his ham radio gear – his projects. I play my cello for a bit

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The cello

before walking across the meadow to take photos. The autumn colors are just beginning here.

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Bass Creek 1_G12 035The light in the afternoon hits a grove of young aspen on the hillside across the meadow causing them to glow as if lit from within. I can’t get to them now, but I am certainly drawn to their vivid color.

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Aspen grove on the ridge

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Another family of aspen

Katie calls: she is concerned that I am not getting enough good meat in my diet, based on the lab results I have received, so she is bringing her family and dinner out to our camp this afternoon. When Katie, Jeremy, and the kids arrive, we build a good campfire. Katie cooks a great dinner over the fire; we eat and visit until after dark. It is such a treat to have visitors, and especially fun to have visitors who cook!

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Katie cooking dinner over the campfire

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Jeremy and Finley

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Justice holding little brother Jude

What an enjoyable evening! A really nice end to this lovely day at Bass Creek.