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NEW > Got to look the part to be a BLM Volunteer. 

NEW > Now always trying to help out, the two caps are ones we still had from our last hosting gig.
But the new brimmed sun hats, vests and new t-shirts are on order. We were sent the catalog and told to pick out what we wanted.
Come on by and we'll take some selfies with Ya.
Back on the road again.  We have agreed to be BLM camp hosts this summer at Carbella CG in Montana close to the north entrance to Yellowstone NP. 
More about the Carbella area
Camping  in Paradise Vally near Gardiner & Livingston MT
Yankee Jim Canyon Whitewater and History
Yellowstone Area Hikes and Atractions

Come along for the adventure to see what it is like to be a host these days.
NEW > We are scheduled to arrive at the campground between April 29 and May 2. One we get there the BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner will come down from Butte and get us settled in. At least that is the paln and we are sticking to it.

Now you might wonder what is so special about this area, so how about some picuters.







Popular boat launch.

 And You said you want to fish.


 Oh and BTW did I say the campground is Free, marked sites w/table/bear storage/and a fire ring? Yes, they do have pit toilets. OK no water or dump on site. Electric if needed is by your solar or generator. But remember it's free and a good jumping-off point into the park for day trips.  Well if you can handle all this. It is a gem 18 miles north of the entrance to YNP. (Gardiner MT)
Do you need more? Have you cost-checked rates in RV parks in Gardiner or West Yellowstone? Also, West Yellowstone is a tourist heaven/hell, and Gardnier is very much less so. More of what you might be looking for, a calmer relaxing time while on vacation (or full-time traveling).
Oh and having a friendly camp host to answer and help if needed. Friendly yes, but not so much, if you put trash in your fire ring. You wouldn't do that now, would you?

 

Why are we gonna be camp hosts you may ask?
It's time to do our thing. We laid low during COVID and in 2022 did the big trip to Alaska. I didn't post the trip here as we were too busy just doing it, so to speak. And I was still reeling from what they liked to call Long Covid. I never tested POS for it, but who knows what was going on. I lost over 75 lb. and just did not like to eat much of anything. I didn't feel sick but, food was just repulsive to me. That lasted most of the year and in 2023 I was starting to gain weight and eat. We traveled back to Iowa in the spring and then on to South Dakota to get my driver's lic. and then Montana, WY, CO, UT, NM, and back to our Arizona winter property. Dry camping in BLM and FS campgrounds. Stayed for the max. allowed time in each site. (14 days) and then would move on slowly. It was a relaxing summer.


So what should we do this summer and it hit us why not settle down a bit and Camp Host again. We had done a gig in 2017 - 2019 at Blackfoot Res for the BLM. So on to vollunteer.gov to research opportunities. Boy did that start the ball rolling. So many choices that need to be gone over trying to find the right fit for us. Did we want to do a huge campground with mutable hosts and mess with a reservation system OR first come first served (FCFS) small locations. And of course, fishing was a big want for Terry. We thought we had it down to a few, but when we started to ask questions and read the reviews things got narrowed down in short order. It seemed the more due dalliance questions we asked the less information was offered. Since we had been comp hosts for the BLM in the past we kind of knew the ins and outs and could see some locations had obstacles that we could tell we just would not have liked to deal with. We did get into accepting a FS campground in Steeley Lake, MT. It was a two-host deal with one host on duty T - S and us S - W. That's right we would have weekends off. How cool would that be for a camp host situation? Our philosophy is that if on site (even not on duty) we are still there to help. But the offer was canceled later on, as they were having water issues and had decided to close the campground for most of the summer and rework the plumbing so that took care of that thought. Next, time was growing short to find another as many openings were being gobbled up in the meantime.
But persistence paid off and we were offered a just north of the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. 18 miles north of Gardiner MT right on the Yellowstone River. 16 sites and float boat launch, and get this is a BLM campground FCFS with no Fees. Yes as in Free. No water, power, or dump. But free is free, and just outside YNP. Carbella Campground. The link shows many pictures of this location in Google Maps. This was right up our alley as we are well equipped to boondock as we have solar, lithium bats, and an 8 K diesel generator in our MH. To stay connected if cell service is poor we have of course Starlink. This is after all how we travel all the time so we can do this. And we will get a stipend of $30 per day to boot. We have filled out all the government forms for background and security checks. We had been through this before with the BLM so not an issue.
As you can see from the Google Maps pictures (all 147 of them) who could ask for or find a better location to spend the summer


Now getting into April
Getting ready to roll with a couple of stories of the process.
Made an appointment a month out and took my HM in the day before. Had to call asking for status as they had had it for a couple of days without calling with status. If I remember correctly I was told on one call to them their procedure was to work on new sales units first and fit others in later. Thinking an appointment was normally the day things get started. I became frustrated. Threating to just come an get my RV they said it was scheduled to get looked at the next morning. I can see after I expressed my feeling that the service I expected was not happening. They then stepped up to my maybe misplaced expectations and got right on it. They called with status twice during the next day. Told I needed a new front AC/Heat pump. I very much agreed with their extensive diagnosis, but time frame to get one didn't work as we had to be in Montana end of April camp host for the BLM. After a bit of misunderstanding on expectations on my part I can now say they did do right by us and we will be back to get this work done when we return in the fall.
Now as we have an 05 Monaco just finding a RV service palce to even work on your unit can be a challange. The big boys like La Mesa etc. Won't even work on older units. Might be they just don't have the time as they have newer sold units under warranty they are busy with. So it is nice to find a RV service center that will even talk to us, so to speak.
I would recommentd Desert RV in southeast AZ

And on ths same theme we have the great Mescal Auto & RV Service right here in our little burg.
We take our truck and MH to them for serive.
3 weeks ago:

We take our motor home to them for annual service and they look over everything and make sure we are road worthy for our summer travels. This year they found air leaks and researched the air lines and fixed them. Last year they found a front stabilizer bar missing and went and found one and got it installed. Always above and beyond our service expectation's. Oh and did I say what they charge is so very reasonable, well below what we would expect.

 I did a post on the lcoal Facebook area forum expressing my service comments. Over 100 other locals on the foum ALL yelled just how great they also felt about this treasure service company we have here.


Now that we have to get the MH cleaned out and loaded with our summer stuff.





Now we are getting it together with Dr. appointments and getting service done on our MH. New tires for our tow vehicle.
After spending the winter at our winter spot we now need to get in gear and prepare for the summer. Having to get everything sorted and loaded for travel and prepare the winter house property ready to be closed up tight with utilities shut down for the summer. We have great neighbors who look after and take care of things as needed while we are off adventuring.