On August 1 Barb and I departed Bismarck in our camper, heading out west to join friends in what we labeled a “Cruiser Rendezvous”, since we are all either current or former Caribbean cruisers. We spent the first night in Miles City and the second night at Rocky Mountain RV Park, just north of Yellowstone National Park. We spent August 3rd from sunup to sundown within Yellowstone, and then returned to Rocky Mountain RV Park. Next morning, we continued west, stopping for the night at Lolo, Montana, at a campground that doubled as a square-dance center. Finally, on August 5th we arrived at the home of Tom and Leslie Arnold, near McCall Idaho, the site of our rendezvous. Not everyone had arrived yet, but eventually the full complement was there: Tom & Leslie, Mike & Roberta, Jack & Jo, Bill & Colleen, Bruce & Jan, Chris & Barbara, Dave & Helen and, of course, Barb and I.
Our gracious hosts, Tom & Leslie:
On August 6th, a number of us drove through McCall to the Ponderosa State Park to walk the Lily Marsh Trail near Payette Lake.
Barb and I owe Bill & Bruce an enormous debt of gratitude. They helped us decide how to upgrade our camper by adding a solar panel and an inverter/charger and by expanding our house battery bank and by rewiring the master control panel. They created the list of materials to accomplish these goals, and then took delivery at Flagstaff and then brought it all to McCall. And then they spent DAYS of their Idaho vacation formulating the details and installing the upgrade. And they did this not just for us, but for Mike & Roberta as well. Incredible. Thanks a billion, guys.
Each couple was in charge of creating a dinner for one night for all guests. Barb and I did a Low Country Boil. After the Boil our friends surprised us with a toast and a candle-topped dessert in celebration of our 34th anniversary.
And then we all gathered around a fire in Tom’s new bonfire burner.
On August 8 we had an after-dinner private concert featuring Rob Mehl. Great songs, and what a story teller!
On August 9, most of us braved a chilly and blustery day to take a pontoon boat cruise on Payette Lake. We stopped at a friend of Tom’s at one point, and took a short walk to “Charley’s Garden”, a private-but-open-to-the-public garden.
We thank Tom & Leslie for conceiving and realizing this event. We thank them for opening up their home and their commodious guest house. We thank them for organizing such enjoyable side activities. We thank them for being such gracious hosts.