RV Life – Travel through a truly remote, unpopulated region…

Late Spring in Anaconda

It’s May 30th. Two days until June and… summer? PERHAPS.

It snowed (a little) last night in town. Crossing the pass to Wisdom, the ground was snow covered with a fresh dusting! The mountains in this region are holding their snow (at about 7000 ft. and above.) The “moisture” is welcome in these parts as fire season is coming. The drive to Wisdom takes less than an hour. When I arrived (at Fettys) for brunch (I’m still doing intermittent fasting), it was a “balmy” 39F at 10:30am.

The stretch between Anaconda and Wisdom is virtually unpopulated. There are a few widely scattered ranches along the road, but no settlements or towns. Part of the drive takes you along the Big Hole River (see video) and you will pass by the Anaconda Sportsmens RV campground where most sites are waterfront. There is no formal fee to camp there, but donations are accepted. I believe the camping is all primitive, though spring water is accessible in the area.

Every week the weather remains cool and wet (or snowy!) into June reduces the likelihood of significant forest fires locally here in Montana, Wyoming or Idaho. This however does not guarantee an absence of smoke from forest fires west of here. The far western states have forest management practices that produce far more frequent fires than should occur. The intermountain states to the east are the recipients of the smoke from these seasonal fires.

June 10 update: We just had a heavy rainfall last night. Probably over an inch, which is a big deal for a region that averages about 12 inches all year!

Nearly unpopulated travel during my 75 mile “journey” to Wisdom and Jackson (Montana)

Springtime in Anaconda – retreating snow levels (and WIND)

As I drove from Anaconda to Wisdom this morning in addition to fresh snow, I was struck by the lack of road traffic. Over the course of the entire drive to Wisdom (55 miles), I overtook one vehicle traveling my way and saw no more than 6 vehicles traveling in the opposite direction! I don’t know that these observations in this remote region means much, but I am definitely seeing a “tick down” in leisure travel. I’m sure that inflation and continued high fuel prices are contributing to this.

Anaconda “stack” – 585 ft. – now just a tribute to the industry (and environmental destruction conducted here through much of the 20th century)

Do you trust the U.S. Dollar? I don’t and here’s what I’ve done about it…

It’s no secret – silver and gold offer protection from the declining value of the greenback. But, can you buy a cup of coffee with gold? YES! If you use Goldbacks. This is why I’ve added Goldbacks to my precious metals “cache.” I even met and interviewed a representative of the company that produces Goldbacks HERE (go to 7:30 min. mark.) Bottom line: I LOVE carrying a few goldbacks in my billfold, and you can too – learn more HERE.

RV Park Visitors

The RV park I’m staying at (for now) has about 105 sites. At this time (early June), I’d say 65-70% are UNoccupied. This is THE premium, full hookup park in this region. They’re rates aren’t cheap, but they’re not in the stratosphere either.

In all fairness, we’re *just* entering the “prime season” (June – July- August), so it may be too early to draw any conclusions from the light usage of this park. Fairmont Hot Springs (10 miles from Anaconda) has an RV park to support their hot springs, restaurants, and golf course. Over the recent holiday weekend (Memorial Day), the park was at least 30% empty.

It’s important to note that while Memorial Day is the traditional “beginning of summer” across much of the nation, I’ve learned that the weather here in the Northern Rockies doesn’t “turn” until mid-June. There is still the potential for many more RV’ers to come out and camp once Summer (however briefly) arrives.

Why Wisdom?

Brunch at Fette’s. A diner/restaurant open all day. Good food, very reasonable prices (for 2024.) Don’t miss the bakery/coffee shop next door. Open till 2pm most days. Great cookies, which I eat very sparingly as I’m still on a low carb diet.

Antler’s Saloon – great pizza. I’m aiming for that later today. Well, I do give myself some leeway on my low carb diet!

There are two RV parks in Wisdom. There’s a full hookup park known as the Big Hole RV Park. There is also an American Legion RV Park (dry camping only) on the west side of Wisdom. I have footage of the American Legion park in the video above. Both rv parks are within easy walking distance of Wisdom’s restaurants, saloon, bakery and gift shop.

Jackson (Montana) Hot Springs

Jackson Hot Springs is just 20 miles south of Wisdom. This made my total (one way) drive 75 miles from Anaconda. Thanks to “Montana speed regulations”, my average speed was around 70mph (or more.) Thus my round-trip driving time was just over 2 hours.

The hot springs were my next stop upon departing Fetty’s in Wisdom. The hot springs are about the only business operating in Jackson (population 36.) The facility is basically an old swimming pool, but the water is great and it is NOT chlorinated – a big advantage over Fairmont. Jackson also has a daily admission ($10. for adults), in contrast, Fairmont requires a membership (3 months minimum or an overnight stay at the lodge.) There are also hookups for RV’s to “camp” right next to the Jackson lodge.

Jackson Hot Springs – just a big ‘ol pool of hot spring water

Montana Life – Thoughts…

The towns are far apart from each other. In between there are few signs of human settlement. Cell signals come and go. Towns of any size, like Anaconda, Butte, Deer Lodge, Philipsburg (population 900), have all you really need. Fuel stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and rv parks.

The roads are engineered for fast travel between towns. The speed limit on the interstates is 80mph – which on certain stretches is actually too much!

Being more than 46 degrees north of the Equator has another interesting aspect – very long daylight in June! It starts getting light just after 4am and darkness does not arrive until well after 10pm. This leaves less than 6 hours of night! Note: I’m including twilight and dawn in the hours where there’s at least some light to the sky.

Of course, a few weeks after the Summer Solstice, this will all reverse quickly as Montana heads towards the long winter nights.

All for now. If you enjoy my content, please leave a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter to be notified of upcoming posts and stories.

Oh, upcoming stories – exploring Montana’s lakes (and kayaking); Can your RV serve as a bug-out vehicle?; More stories about RV quality (and lack thereof) and how to find the “good ones”, and growing food in your camper.

Lastly, if you want “tried and true” RV accessories from Generators to water hoses – here are my recommendations…

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Click the image to see my recommendations for important RV Accessories
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