Glamping in Montana

When we bought our new trailer a few weeks ago I told Lyle that I hoped we could mix in some “glamping” weekends along with the forest camping we enjoy.

“What’s the difference?” you might ask.

Well, regular camping, for us, is forest service campgrounds. They are usually in remote wilderness areas. The amenities typically include a fire pit and a picnic table at the site, and a water pump and pit toilet somewhere in the campground. No electricity. No cell phone service. Pretty much off the grid. Which is nice sometimes.

On the other hand, “glamour camping” has a few more amenities. RV parks usually include full hook-ups (electricity, water, sewer) and a picnic table at the site. But often not a fire pit. Some RV parks even offer wi-fi, cable TV, a pool, a clubhouse, a laundry, etc.

There are downsides, though. More people. Smaller sites. Not as many trees. That’s why I wouldn’t want to do it all the time.

After two regular camping weekends in a row, we decided to try the RV park option this past Saturday.

We stayed at the Nugget RV Park in St. Regis, Montana which is about 2 hours away. Our plan was to spend the evening and night there, just relaxing, and then go on over to Missoula (another hour) on Sunday morning to attend church with friends.

The Idaho/Montana state line on I-90 is also the Mountain/Pacific time zone line so we lost an hour going over. It was about 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time when we got to the RV park.

Late in the evening we went for a walk around the perimeter of the park.

There was a little historic mining town close to the entrance of the park. At least that’s what the sign said. The buildings certainly looked historic. The assayer’s office was said to have been built in 1862. I had my doubts about the “hotel,” though. There wasn’t even room to stand upright inside and I don’t see how more than 2 or 3 people could have possibly slept in the place even if they were in bedrolls on the floor. I don’t know if that was just part of the original building or if it was just a little fake building for atmosphere.

The sign on the outhouse cracked me. “For picture taking purposes only.” Reckon someone actually tried to use it for its original purpose so they had to post that sign?

The front ridge of the park overlooked I-90. Being the driver that he is, Lyle loves to watch traffic. Much to our amazement, there wasn’t any. I mean, two or three vehicles went by, and then nothing. No traffic from either direction for several minutes. On a cross-country Interstate! It was a little bit eerie.

When we got back to our trailer I posted a picture of the highway on Instagram.

In a few minutes one of my Instagram followers, whom I’ve never met, posted a comment:

“My brother Gale may be at this park… Reflection 5th wheel with a new Chevy truck. Say ‘Hi’ if so.”

I didn’t figure we would find Gale but I made a mental note to look for him on our way out the next morning.

It was getting late but not dark. Lyle said, “We should take a picture to show how light it still is at 10:00 p.m.”

So we did. Then we sat at the picnic table for a little bit people-watching and enjoying the twilight.

The next morning as we were leaving the park I spotted a Reflection 5th wheel just a few sites down from where we had been. Sure enough, there was a new Chevy truck parked beside it. No one was around so I didn’t say “Hi.”

(Can you imagine if I knocked on Gale’s door? “Hi. Um. You don’t know me. But Larry told me to tell you hi. Actually, Larry doesn’t know me either. We’re just buds on Instagram. So. Um. Hi.”)

I did, however, snap a picture and post it to Instagram. Of course. And I tagged Larry.

“Is this your brother’s rig?”

Larry replied.

“Yes. Good job!”

It was almost like geocaching. Or stalking. I’m not sure which.



  • mommyhon333

    Funny story. It is truly a small world.

    Interesting to learn the difference between camping and glamping. I think, as a child, our adventures fell in the camping category. We had a very primitive (cheap) pop-up camper and used community bathrooms, often without showers. No pool, rarely electricity.

    I would love to have a nicer pop-up (do they still make them?) or have a place where we can rent one. And then camp a couple of times a year. Until then, I will continue to live through posts about your adventures.

  • Michael Ann

    Seriously though, how cool that you were able to find him! We tent camp in KOAs most of time. I consider electricity, water, hot showers, and flushing toilets as requirements! I wouldn’t call it glamping, per se, but I do call it better than primitive camping! I checked THAT box plenty of times in my son’s Boy Scout days, and I’m okay to not do it again! We’re actually on the road right now and will be staying in a KOA Kamping Kabin; it’s just too hot for tents right now.

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