Our first day on the road was long, to be sure; 11 hours and change from door to door. Nor was it without mishaps, either: a missed turn that nearly put us into Canada, and a lost campsite by a lake in northern Montana. Even after getting the access code to the night gate by late voice mail, there was no way we could find the walk-in campsite in the dark after that long of a day. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to find alternatives and flexible enough to accept them. Just up the road from the lost campsite was a motel with a sympathetic desk clerk who was willing to deal on the room rate. Even though we didn’t camp that first night, I got to make a camp dinner at the picnic table by the pool-couscous with peas and canned chicken. There were no leftovers.
It was obvious on that first day that we were still in the Great Northwest. We saw outposts of Zip’s Drive-Ins as far north as Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho-almost into Canada. We passed an elk farm, reminding me of when I’d seen elk meat in The Co-Op. There were roadside smokehouses and wild-game processing facilities. And for sale by the roadside, instead of the expected corn or tomatoes, was a jerky vendor. Elk, buffalo, or beef jerky, from $9 to $12 per 4-oz. bag. Too rich for my blood, but interesting anyway.
I took a really cool picture of the jerky wagon, but it seems to be gone now. It was an old camper with a totally homemade “Jerky” sign parked in a pothole-ridden turnout nest to the road. Pretty sweet-too bad I can’t show you.
Wait-here it is. I’d put it in a different folder than the other vacation pictures.