My husband and I met doing bird field work in the Coconino and Apache Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. This job involved being up and ready to go at 4:30 am every morning for an entire summer (we worked 12 days on/2 days off) while camping. If there’s one thing we KNOW how to do, its camp.

Bull Lake near Troy Montana. A truly lovely place.

So for our annual week-long sanity get away this year, given the pandemic, we decided to take a car camping vacation. Yup, that’s right. Two people, two dogs, a weeks worth of food and camping gear, in a Prius! One leaking air mattress (replaced), a stove that wouldn’t hold pressure (replaced – old one will be repaired at home), new batteries for the headlamps, a stop at a thrift store for additional blankets, one overnight in a hotel/cabin in Eureka Montana for showers, 6 nights in a tent, a flat tire (thanks Les Schwab for having me in your system even in northern Montana, and to Prius for equipping us with a spare that could travel about 50 miles to a tire shop), a dying phone with a broken camera and well over 18 hours of drive time later, we were home. And it was fabulous. We still know how to camp!

We stopped in Spokane to visit Michael’s mom and a fellow farmer friend. And at Bull Lake near Troy Montana to visit with the parents of an old college besty. Ann has been reading my blog since its very inception in 2010, and it was so lovely to visit in person and have a wonderful home cooked meal. We dropped off boxes of produce along the way (I rode to Spokane with boxes of produce under my feet) and enjoyed home grown tomatoes for the entire trip!

We had intended to visit Glacier National Park. But all of their campgrounds closed after labor day, and only about half the roads in the park were open. And tourists were buzzing around the entrances like a swarm of bees trying to get to the honey. Parking lots were full by 7 am. Yeah. Not our idea of a relaxing vacation. Thankfully, the park website was doing its best to encourage people to stay away, and so we took their advise. Some other time, Glacier, some other time.

This parking lot is reported to fill by 7 am.

My husband and I are at our best when traveling. Getting out of the house – we always almost kill each other (thought that’s gotten better in 20+ years). The number of things that need to be wrapped up on a farm, when you are also in the business of selling products from said farm, when you leave for a week is very very long. Not the least of which is to find a house sitter to make sure plants are kept watered, animals fed and disasters averted. Big thanks to our next door neighbor for stepping up, even though she’s afraid of animals.

Ross Creek Cedars are not to be missed. Near Troy Montana.

But once we are on the road, its smooth sailing. We rarely plan other than a rough destination, and just see what the universe has in store for us. We traditionally listen to a Stephen King book on audio (this time it was The Institute – which, at over 18 hours, lasted us most of the trip). We talk about big and little things. We randomly stop to check out whatever catches our fancy. We eat too many road snacks. We thoroughly enjoy each others company. That’s a lovely thing after 22 years of marriage.

Cascade Creek, along Hwy 135 in Montana.
It only started to get smoky on our last day. We missed a great deal of it.
Bodhi would like to go back RIGHT NOW!

And now we’ve been back for two weeks, coming home to 4 days of atrocious air quality from the CA/OR/WA fires, and are getting caught up on damage from a wind storm (11 tomato plants tipped over), new baby bunnies being born, tomatoes and peppers processed, potatoes washed, onions bagged, and a new product available through Hayshaker Farms. Romesco sauce. So good, you want to just eat it with a spoon!

© 2020 Miles Away Farm, where we’re miles away from being too old to camp, but in our 50’s, are starting to consider a camper van to facilitate never buying another air mattress.