A New Camp at Thompson’s Bluff

You won’t believe it—We moved camp!


We thought it couldn’t get any better at our last camp, but we found an incredible site high on a bluff across the lake.

Here’s the story behind the move…


Lower Thompson Lake, a quiet oasis

It was a beautiful evening, so we hopped in the canoes (with the dogs, of course) and set off on Lower Thompson Lake for an evening paddle.

I wanted to see the group campsite across the lake so we headed to the other side, then began paddling down to the base of the lake where we could see a pair of loons in the distance.


View from the group campsite

It was much quieter here. We paddled close to the bank. A deer paused and looked at us through the trees.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, we heard thunder directly overhead.

We looked up at the giant thunderhead looming above us.  How in the world had we missed a thundercloud when we set out?

Sugar, of course, started shaking as we headed to the nearest bank.

We paddled over to a clearing and pulled the boats ashore. Sugar huddled under a bush as  Rob grabbed Chula’s leash and they headed up the bank to a bluff 50 ft above the lake.  I coaxed Sugar to follow me and we climbed up after Rob.


View from Thompson’s Bluff

At the top, he found a campsite with 270-degree views looking out through the pines over the lake. It was quiet, beautiful, very empty and very private. Our first camp was closer to Route 2 and there was some traffic noise during the daytime. You could always hear the mild hum of a generator and people drove on the nearby road, raising dust that settled over the camp.

Rob and I both looked at each other. “Wanna move?”

 “Can we do it tonight?”

It was 7 pm as we paddled back to our campsite. Chula, the wild banshee that she is, fell into the lake twice, then raced around the campsite when we got to shore, turning herself into a crazed muddy mess. Rob dunked her again to rinse her off, then clipped her into the truck to keep her out of trouble as we broke down camp.

Rob visited the camp host to make sure we could move without penalty and got directions to this new camp, which is difficult to find.   Even though it’s just across the lake from our other site, it’s unmarked and miles away down several private roads, which explains why no one was here.

We hooked up the Airstream and drove a mile down the US 2 to the Logan State Park to dump and take on fresh water. I looked around. Such a different experience. This campground is on the shore of Middle Thompson Lake with full hookups, paved pads and a large parking lot for motor boats.  Sites were so close, you could hear your neighbor’s conversations and the air was saturated with campfire smoke.  This kind of camping is not for me.

I’ve learned that “Camping” has many definitions.  

We headed up US 2, turning at the mile 80 marker onto Lang Creek Road at the Lincoln/Flathead County line.  We wound along on a dirt road past ranches and homes for several miles before turning right at a Y intersection.  Another mile and we reached our camp drive.


There were a few tight turns!

I hopped out of the truck and helped Rob negotiate the drive. We both wonder how we will get out of here when (if) we ever get tired of this camp. We tried to position the Airstream to make it easier to get out.

Rob set up camp as I made our dinner and we were settled in by 9 pm!


I woke this morning and took the pups on a long walk to explore the empty camps on this side of the lake. It’s clear that people use them, but only on the weekends when the camps across the lake fill up.  Our old campsite filled almost as soon as we left it.


Our site across the lake.  “Hope you enjoy it!”

I cleaned up broken glass from several beer bottles at the crest of the bluff.  I sure don’t want to have to try to find a vet if the dogs get injured.  Someone had a ‘good time’ at the expense of others.  Whoo Hoo!


Sugar was happy to sit by and watch me work.


“You missed that piece over there, Mama.”

Chula was a bit irritated that she got left at camp while I cleaned up the glass.  Knowing my little whirling dervish, she’d want to help and end up getting cut.


“How come Sugar gets to have all the fun?  It’s not fair!!”

I spent several hours working on Peter and Sarah’s wedding quilt, enjoying the incredible view of the lake, bear spray at my side.


Later in the day, we got another big storm, this one with hail!


No dents in the Airstream please!

Now it’s another day, the sky is clear and we are enjoying peaceful solitude at Thompson’s Bluff.


  1. Pamilla L Brant | 27th Sep 16

    I enjoy York blog! So glad I had a chance to meet u and ur daughter!

    • Stella | 27th Sep 16

      Hi Pam! I enjoyed meeting you and am so glad you were able to check out the blog 🙂

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply