Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 42

I’m getting a little better at ordering my mornings to ensure some quiet time with the Lord.  It really does have to be done first thing or else the rest of the day presses down around it.  A rock or stump near the fire ring works perfectly with the only distraction being corralling straying dogs.  By the time the next person is up, I’m ready for the rest of the day.  

Water boiled with nothing but pine needles and pine cones as fuel - By Mom

Jeremiah got up and announced we had 2 hours before we would get dumped on by a storm making its way across the mountain.  He left to gather stove wood.  That kicked things into high gear.  

Joshua left the tipi up as long as possible and we got almost everything else packed in between eating bagels and cottage cheese.  The storm stalled out and we used the extra time.  We were packed and in the van by the time it started to rain.  

Then the question became, “Where do we go?”  Some had interest in going to church in Missoula.  Some thought a hotel would go well with that.  Some wanted to go to Big Hole.  Some wanted to head to the Tobacco Root Mountains.  Some wanted to explore all options simultaneously.  Some wanted to make a decision and stick to it, not desiring the consequences of aborting one and trying for another at the last minute.  Some wanted to drive to internet to check out options.  Some wanted to not drive in the potentially opposite direction of our destination for internet.

I saw a German Shorthair run through the campground looking rather scattered even for a pointer.  Something told me I should grab him.  I argued.  His owner might be calling him from those woods and I could be wrong and mess things up.  About 10 minutes later another dog came through with the same orange hunting collar.  This time there were people.  They were looking for the other dog.  I got out and told them where Buster had headed and clambered through the woods looking for him.  He was found further down the creek.

We finally pulled out a good while later.  It was really too late to drive to the Tobacco Roots to camp, but it was unlikely we would find a hotel that met everyone’s standards for a price we were willing to pay.  If we spent much tim looking unsuccessfully it would put us in a bad spot for camping.  We headed south.  Jeremiah turned on the hot spot and started reading off hotel rates for each upcoming town.  These we compared to what we’d found in Missoula.  If we didn’t find something significantly better, we should go ahead to Missoula and be that much closer for church. 

We stopped at one place in Stevensville.  Decided Missoula was better.  In Hamilton we found the Town House Inn, connected to a gas station and convenience store, which a casino next door.  Their review were great and they had reasonable rates.  The problem we’d been having was that places that allow dogs usually err on the heavy side of the air fresheners and other unpleasant chemicals that Mom and Joshua are pretty sensitive too.  The Motel 6 lady had advised us that our best bet would be hotels that charge a pet fee as they would likely use chemicals on an as needed basis rather than as a matter of course and not charge a fee.  Some pet fees are as much as $50 in which case I’d opt to leave them in the car for the night.  However, I was hoping to give them shampoos.  Mom and Joshua went to ask to be shown a room while Jeremiah got gas.

They returned satisfied.  The pet fee was reasonable as well.  We parked, paid, and started unloading.  When we brought the dogs in to the lobby, everyone (manager, maid, and receptionist) appeared and got down on the floor to pet them.  Then they proceeded to turn the office inside out looking for the bag of dog treats.  They provided bowls and L.L. Bean beds of the dogs.  The room was very clean, well stocked, and no smells, chemical or otherwise.  It was around 6:30pm.

There was hot tomato soup in the cafeteria.  We brought in some food from the car as well and heated it in the microwave.  Everybody got nice long hot showers.  It took lots of scrubbing to get actually clean.  It had been 2 weeks since my last shower.  I washed my hair three times.  We spent the “extra” hour of the time change catching up wit the internet.  To bed around 11pm.

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