An occasional journal of the Life of Reilly

Friday, August 11, 2006

This is what Mom has to say…


Note: This is a guest blog by my mother, Ilse Brukner. She is my inspiration -- she composes stories and poems in English, her second language after German.

I think it is about time that Mom makes a contribution to her daughter’s blog .

For 2 months we are on the road together and our time in Glacier National Park will mark the halfway point of this summer’s travels. We crossed Nevada, conquered Idaho and now we are exploring Montana and -- oh wonder! -- we are still on talking terms and love each other.

We developed a good travel system and are always on the lookout for a secluded campsite. Mostly we pull into National Forest campgrounds to have the benefit of the Golden Age Pass for seniors, which cuts our camping costs in half; though any US Government facility has the same advantage and a chance of us being there. Also, the National Forests offer dispersed camping which is our preferred type. There is solitude and where else can you see a moose walking by slowly? Looking for those sites is a challenge and it takes time to explore the side roads which are always dirt roads, mostly former logging roads. With 40 years of camping experience behind us, of which 20 years were spent in a jeep pulling a military trailer converted into a tent trailer by my husband Ali, we are only too happy to pass on our knowledge to the next generation anytime.

Now our rolling home is a van - also converted by Ali - which offers refuge to all of us on rainy days and cold evenings. Occasionally we even watch a movie on the laptop– the “Pink Panther” and all its sequels – cozily pressed together in limited space. Doris’ and John’s tent pops up like a bright yellow mushroom beside us.

The ideal campsite is to be close to some mountain peaks the higher the better, for “the kids” to climb while we oldies - now around eighty - stay behind, preferably on a river or lake, guarding the camp.

While our youngsters storm the peaks, we are contend to be the support team and our time is filled with an extended morning walk of about 1 ½ hours preferably uphill at the beginning to massage the hearts. Ali, an accomplished photographer, with his camera around his neck, will always find something to be immortalized. His second hobby is watercolor painting of spectacular landscapes which are more difficult to find. My time is spent with hand quilting and embroidery and both of us are avid readers.

There are nights when two camp stoves are going full blast, and others when we invite each other over for dinner. The young ones are vegetarians while Ali and I are careful carnivores. We both have good sized camping refrigerators powered by the sun and our computers are energized by solar, too, and so are the lights in the van.

Since we never know what’s around the corner and where we will rest our tired bodies for the night, we remind each other to have the gas tank filled in town and the water cans filled at every opportunity. Camping on a river or lake gives us the chance for an additional water source to do dishes and for body culture. Food we carry enough to last us for quite awhile. These three things are paramount with off-road camping.

We appreciate the north with its running rivers. There is water everywhere, an astonishing thing for us thirsty desert rats from Southern California.

Did I give you a picture of our present life? If so, I am gratified and this blog has fulfilled its purpose.

Posted using wi-fi access from Missoula Public Library, Montana.
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All original text and photos are copyrighted Doris Reilly © 2006-2016. No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
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