September 19, 2011

Chloe Goes Camping too..

After days of endless and useless searching, we perserved. We now have a place in Missoula, Montana. Time to head back to Ohio to grab the Chloe monster. Two cars, two people, two bikes, one giant pooch and all of our belongings headed west through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and all the way to the west side of Montana.





Chloe was so cute.  Always falling asleep between her two paws on my lap.  The 90lb Bernese Mountain Lap Dog.



Of course Chicago was terrible but the rest of the first day went well.  We arrived early enough at the Mississippi River to set up camp and see how Chloe would respond.



Lisa, Chloe and I camped at the infamous Great River Bluffs State Park.  This is where Dave and I stayed with no tent poles on our first night last summer.  Also, where Dave spilled Budweiser all over our sleeping bags and pad inside our poleless tent.   A lot of history here.






Chloe was a bit cautious about entering the tent at first.  But once she was in she understood - bugs outside - Lisa, Chris, bones and pillows inside.  She took right to camping.  



I didn't even have to show her how to use the pillows.  She figured this camping business out - new smells, sounds and animals.




We rose early, packed up the tent and the pooch and headed west.  The sun was shining and Chloe was ready for the next camping adventure.




When not sleeping on my lap or the steering wheel, Chloe spent her time taking in the air conditioning.  Spoiled rotten.







The drive through Minnesota and eastern North Dakota was smooth and uneventful.  After several hours on the road  we were very tired and the sky turned to a pinkish blue.






Unlike our ride back to Cleveland, we found a campsite at Theodore Roosevelt National Park this time!  







Chloe was getting her paws ready for the comforts of the tent when we saw... a BISON.  Chloe's first bison.  She had never seen an animal bigger than her, let alone a monstrous bison walking next to the car.  She started to growl like she could do something about it.  




Chloe doesn't like bison but she loves camping.  We set up the tent and Chloe watched as wild horses passed through the meadows.




We took some well deserved R&R and woke to a beautiful sunrise in western North Dakota.  

Time to pack up the tent for the last time.  Lisa gave Chloe some extra kisses before we left.







We ran into some storm clouds before entering Montana.  No rain though.  Lisa took this picture of my Jeep, equipped with two dangling bicycles, under the cumulonimbus clouds.







Well here's a new position for Chloe.  Sleeping on my shoulder while driving through mountains and taking a picture.  Very safe indeed.




I could tell we were getting closer to Montana because the trucks now had grizzly bears on them.  






Montana at last.  Once in Montana we still had several hours of driving to go.  






Heading back to Bozeman where Dave and I spent several days with Dusty.  I love Bozeman.  Surrounded by huge peaks in all directions.


I would like to say the rest of the drive went smoothly but it didnt. Lisa and I had drove 2,000 some miles across five states with no problems.  It wasn't until 20 miles out of Missoula (our destination) when the trouble started.  Ten minutes from our new apartment Lisa's bike fell off the back of my Jeep and was thrown onto U.S. highway 93 - the westbound lanes.  Eventually, with the help of a state trooper and a fisheries and wildlife officer, we recovered the road beaten bicycle and the faulty clip from the faulty bike rack.  Chloe managed to sleep through the entire ordeal in her favorite spot - under the steering wheel.




After 3 days of driving we made it.  We are the newest residents of Missoula, Montana.


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Originally from Strongsville, OH, I spent 8 years in Raleigh, North Carolina and have since recently moved to Missoula, MT. I have been a runner all my life and have recently started pursuing ultra marathons. Any excuse to be outside and on the trails.