Montana – A Slight Return
If you’ve not figured it out by now, we arrived safely in Bigfork, Montana for our second turn as camp host at
Wayfarers State Park Flathead Lake State Park, Wayfarers Unit.
Unlike last year’s arrival on July 4th, there was no rush at all to get set up and prepare to get right to the camp host duties.
Having only last year’s experience to relate to, an empty camp ground & just being here was a bit weird.
We arrived on the 14th, I had two days of orientation with the rest of the state park volunteers and employees and then had to do almost nothing for 2 weeks except be here!
We knew last year that if we were asked to come back, we’d do less hunkering down in the trailer like a couple of hermits and do a lot more exploring.
Our first week here, we took the kayaks out on Flathead Lake. Last year it wasn’t until we almost left for Las Cruces that we finally ventured on to the water.
Even a visit to the National Bison Range Refuge has already been checked off our list, after it first appeared last year.
We’ve even taken Buddy kayaking!
Despite a couple of involuntary swims, he’s not afraid of the water and has even “chased” waves when we take him down to the shore.
We are planning on putting a dog platform on each of our kayaks so that Buddy has a steady seat and place to shake off water after a swim.
Something like this, but more bumper-y to keep him on board:
That adorable fur ball is more popular than we are.
When campers drive by or walk by, they don’t wave or say “Hi” or “Bye” to us. NO, they wave or say “Hi” or “Bye” to HIM.
His annoying popularity aside, he has adjusted quite well to being in our pack and to life as a campground dog.
We do take him for walks occasionally off-leash (“breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law!“) and he has learned to stay on the roadway and out of campsites and we have learned that he’s a lot smarter and understands a lot more than he lets on:
- We say “wait” and he’ll stop OR he’ll stop on his own and wait for us to catch up
- Courtney and I both walk him and take him different routes (routine? HA!), but also some of the same routes. If we come to a corner/fork in the path, he seems to understand a pointing gesture as to which way to go
- He’s making progress when it comes to overcoming his friendliness and is starting to recognize ‘stay’ and ‘sit’ when other dogs or people come by. Unless it’s Aaron, one of the paid staff here. Buddy can’t control himself and all progress gets tossed out the window until Aaron leaves.
With a year under our belt as full timers and a second season as camp hosts just starting to build up steam, I’m looking forward to a summer of REAL exploration of the area (Glacier National Park and your gorgeous lakes? We WILL be in you!).
This Summer season will be a breeze and nothing but awesome.