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Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, MT

It's a fine day here in southern Montana. This really is a beautiful state and worthy of many weeks of exploration, if not months. I'm sorry we aren't taking more time here, but we will just need to come back again later.

Lewis Clark Caverns SP.jpg
Us, and Rich C, parked in the otherwise empty campground

Our drive today has taken us to Lewis and Creek Caverns State Park ($18, no hookups), which was once a National Monument. It was transferred to the state of Montana in 1932 when Congress was looking for ways to pare down the National Parks budget. The caves are three miles up a twisting road from the campground. The area is very scenic and remarkably quiet.

We've decided to skip the cavern tour, even though Adam and Susan reported it to be a good one, because it is two hours long. Emma's attention span in a cave is not quite that long, and we've seen a lot of caves in the past six months, including Oregon Caves, Mammoth Cave, Lehman Cave, and Kartchner Cavern. Instead, we're taking a quiet afternoon around the Airstream.

I've been meaning to share a small tip for camping this time of year: be careful for wasps at your campsite. Last week at the Corps of Engineers campground in Pasco, WA, I opened the cover to the electrical hookup in campsite #46, and was immediately stung twice by wasps. We retreated to another site.

Even though the stings hurt, I was sort of happy to be the recipient of them. Rich C is allergic to insect stings and it would have been much worse for him. I didn't want to have to inject him with an Epi-Pen. Carol gave me some topical pain reliever (benzocaine or something similar) and it worked very quickly.

This experience actually paid off just a couple of days later when Rich C opened another electrical hookup cover at another campground. Just before opening it, he thought, "Hmmm.... maybe there are wasps in here, too." So he opened it cautiously, and sure enough, there were unhappy wasps. He ran fast and was lucky not to be stung.

Photo by Scott Fassett


Re: bees and wasps
We have found those pesky varmints in those covers too. I am allergic too. I have started to taking along a stick to open them, or send Larry! LOL If you get stung, remove the stinger by scraping a credit card over the area, make a paste of a plain ol' Bayer aspirin and a bit of water (spit works in a pinch) and apply to the sting. It will take the swelling down and then you can put on a pain relief/itch cream. Thanks for the tips!

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