Apostle Islands Camping 
Joe, Sarah (a friend of Joe's) and I all went camping on the mainland of the Apostle Islands from Thursday to Friday. The weather on Friday was pretty much perfect. A nice temperature to not get too hot, but not get too cold either. Parts of the trail were very muddy though. The campsite is a 4.5 mile (so they say) hike from the parking lot. Unfortunately, it's a lot of up and down, but it was still fun. We reached the campsite around 4:30 and started working on dinner. It was really windy by the lake, so that was chilly. After dinner we hung out in the tent and played Bananagrams.

The only sleeping bag Sarah had was one only rated for 55 degrees.... Needless to say, it was colder than that. Joe kindly gave her his sleeping bag and he slept in hers. He was pretty cold most of the night.

We woke up to a chilly, cloudy morning. It got a little better as the trail moved away from the lake some. I got a few blisters on my feet the first day, but mole skin really helped that for the hike back. When we got to the swampy section (last half mile or so) it got hot! It was so weird. You could definitely tell when the breeze was coming from inland or from the lake. The inland breeze did not help one bit.

I can't speak for Sarah, but Joe and I are definitely sore.

-Miranda



Our packs during our rest.

Sarah and I hanging out before heading out again.

Ice still hanging on to the edge of the sea caves.

The three of us on our last leg of the hike.

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Back Home 
We were talking about heading home to visit people and deal with some things, but weren't quite sure when or how. We were leaning towards taking the train and staying for only a week or two. That would have required that we leave the cats with Pat and Nancy.
After much thought and debate, we decided to just take the RV home. We had to leave immediately though because the tabs expired March 1st. So, we left Friday evening, drove until 3am and stayed that night in a rest stop near Bozeman, MT. We left in the morning and got on the road again.
North Dakota was crazy! Not only was it super cold, but it was foggy and everything was covered in frost. A gas station was creepy with how much frost there was.
We ended up running out of gas about 3 miles from exit that had gas. We might have been able to get there, but it was about 1am, so we thought it best to just stop at the rest stop that we were just passing. It was 16 when we got up in the morning (9am) and that felt warm, so I don't think I want to know how cold it was while we were asleep.
Joe talked to a guy that worked there and he just happened to have some gas in his pickup. So, we made it to the exit with the gas easily. We basically drove straight home from there and got back around 7pm.
We'll probably stay for a couple months. Once it warms up we'll most likely be heading out again.
-Miranda

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Mostly Boring 
We've been in Montana for a while now. We pretty much just work. We did join a gym, so we head to the gym three days a week before lunch. It's definitely not always fun, but a great way to get exercise since we normally just sit around.
A couple weeks ago, the weather was perfect, so Pat and Tom took Joe and I downhill skiing. Neither one of us had been skiing in many many years. It was really fun. We mostly stayed on a pretty easy hill. Pat and Tom wanted to try taking us on a more difficult hill to see how it went. Joe ended up missing the turn so Pat went with him and Tom stayed with me. My hill was hard. I didn't fall at all, but I went as slowly as I could and was stressing myself out the whole time. Joe said his hill was really hard (steep) and he fell at least 8 times. We both went back to the easy hill. :) There was another one that was slightly harder at the bottom of the hill we had been going down. We tried that one and loved it. Just a little more challenging, but still possible. Of course they closed it by the time we got back to the top since it was an hour from closing time.
Around that same time, it was warm and there was fresh snow, so Pat and Joe made a snow bunny. It was sort of creepy.... While I was out taking pictures of it, Curly decided to climb up one of the posts that holds the roof over the porch area. Joe had to help him down. He probably would have figured it out eventually, but might as well be nice. :)
Other than that, it's just been work and more work. The cats are doing great. They can be pretty annoying, but, for the most part, they behave.

-Miranda

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Sorry for the out of focus photo, but that's the best one I had of him up on the post.

Joe helping Curly down.

The creepy bunny.

How I found Pickles sleeping one day on the bed.

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The RV 
Pat has a gigantic shop. He has his RV and boat in there and there is plenty of room for our RV. So, when Pat got home from work, we went to move it in there, however, it would barely move... It was slipping and sounding just awful. It was stinky too... Joe finally took a look at it today and it is the head gasket. So, chances are good we will be junking the thing. It was a brand new engine, so that's really frustrating.

On a side note, it's been snowing for two days here and it's absolutely gorgeous! It's so dark though. We've been getting up around 8:30 and it feels more like 6:30. We also spent Friday checking out some of the gyms around town. One was tiny, no pool, and really fancy, but not too pricey. It was pretty busy though. We did come during the lunch time work out though, I guess. We then checked out The Summit, which is the massive gym that is associated with the hospital in town. It's huge! Has a lap pool, climbing wall, track and lots of other stuff. It is pricey though. The last place we checked out ended up being really cheap (they were having a special for this month). They have a small therapy pool, so not good for lap swimming, but they have a hot tub. Also, the couple times we've been there, it has not been busy at all, which we both really like. So, hopefully we keep up with this. The plan is to go basically everyday for an hour or two. :)

-Miranda

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Kalispell 
Well, we spent Monday in San Francisco. We just drove around and ended up in downtown... We even drove through Chinatown on accident! The road was super narrow, very slow and up a steep hill. Very neat looking area, but not someplace I ever want to go in an RV again... We found a small Chinese place for dinner (not in Chinatown). We then went to Golden Gate Park and spent a few hours in the Science Academy. It was very neat. Their aquarium and rain forest exhibits were very interesting. We left there to head back towards downtown for a meeting Joe had with a guy that works for Adobe. He was going to see if he could help Joe with the game any. After they got some work done, Jenny contacted us (just in time). So, we went to pick her up, then found some dinner.

We left by heading over the Golden Gate bridge. Not only was it sort of necessary when you're in San Fran, but it turns out that was the best way to avoid having to pay any bridge tolls! :)

It was already pretty late, so we didn't get very far. We were super tired, so couldn't make it to a rest stop. We found the first exit that looked pretty dead and stayed on the on ramp. It was cold! We left right away in the morning, had breakfast out (just a quick Subway/Starbucks stop) and found a little place in Grants Pass for a late lunch. We made it to about 50 miles south of Portland. We could have gone farther but any east of Portland, the weather was saying super cold. We left right away in the morning, only to hit the beginning of Portland's rush hour traffic. For some dumb reason, we drove through town instead. We needed gas and breakfast anyway... we found gas, and ended up getting milk for breakfast there.

While stopped at one gas station (around Spokane) we noticed there was coolant dripping out from the truck. When Joe checked it, it was really frothy. Upon looking that up, he found out that there was a high chance the head gasket was going. Since there was nothing we could do about it, we just kept going. We made it without a problem. The roads were mostly good. It's snowing lightly today and it sounds like it's supposed to snow this weekend, so apparently we have good timing. :)

Since we're in Kalispell now, just working, we probably won't be updating the blog very often. Just for a heads up.

-Miranda

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