A long while ago — back in 2016, I think — I realized that I was already forgetting places, and I made a pact with myself to write about every campground I stayed in, so that my blog would be a true record of my travels. That’s easier said than done when I’m moving every single day.

But I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t forget about the Far West Montana Fishing Access Site even if I didn’t write about it. For starters, it’s seriously pretty.

White dog walking on path through green weeds with yellow flowers, blue sky, and trees arching overhead
Z, taking me on a walk through the wildflowers.

It was also completely deserted when I arrived here on Monday. As in, I was the one and only person in the entire campground.

It’s also free, but not the typical “public land that you can park on” free — there are clearly marked campsites, with fire rings and picnic tables. Also, in my case, a nice view of the water. I think there are only two sites that actually open onto the water, but since I was alone, I felt no hesitation in taking one of them.

It’s also seriously tick-infested. Ugh. Every campground has a good news/bad news situation, and the ticks are definitely the bad news for this one. They’re making me totally paranoid. I’m being careful and I’ve still found five in the van. Fortunately, Z’s on a good tick prevention treatment, which I know, because one of the ticks was already dead. That’s my favorite kind of tick, personally. I also haven’t yet encountered my second-to-least favorite sort of tick, the one already embedded in my skin, or my least-favorite tick, the one that gives me Lyme disease or some other horrible tick-borne illness. At least I’m assuming on the latter, since I haven’t run into the former. Either way, ticks. Ick.

Before I knew about the ticks, though, I had a delightful Tuesday morning, spent sitting outside, in my brand-new camping chair. Yes, I found the camping chair! On Monday, I left Wyoming and headed toward North Dakota. Around noon, I found myself in Billings and despite knowing that it was a pointless waste of time, I made my way to CostCo. I told myself that they weren’t going to have the chair, but I could still get cheap gas and maybe some more of the really good cherries that I’d found in Bozeman. As it happened, the cherries were too expensive, I didn’t really need gas yet, but they had the chair! I was so pleased that I bought two of them, so the next time I have a guest in the van, I’ll even be able to offer my guest a comfortable seat. And it really was comfortable — because there are no arm rests, I even managed to write outside for a while.

Again before the ticks, I liked my free campsite so much that I decided to give myself a rest day, so I spent all of Tuesday enjoying my empty campground and my water view. I wrote a little, but mostly read books and made myself some delicious meals (spicy pasta with weird but tasty soybean noodles for one) and puttered around the van. I enjoyed it so much that I debated spending another day, but after the ticks, I decided I’d rather move on. I’m not sure I can escape from ticks, really, and Montana ticks don’t carry Lyme disease, so it’s not like I’m safer from the scary things by heading into the midwest where the ticks do carry Lyme. Still, I lost my enthusiasm for enjoying the grass when I found ticks in my bed.

But I woke up on Wednesday to unexpected thunderstorms.

Cloudy sky over water, with rain falling in the distance
Rain in the distance, but it was still pretty

My weather app still says it’s going to be a beautiful day, but it was thundering and lightning at that very moment. Since I didn’t want to drive in it, I decided to run the generator, charge up my computer, and write a blog post instead. And now that the blog post is done, I should probably make some decisions. Stay or go? Read another book or pack up the van? Work on Fen or head into my 49th state? Decisions, decisions…