July 2012

July is an exciting month full of new experiences!

We camp at Cottonwood Campground (COE, $7 regular/$3.50 senior pass) through Independence Day, visiting Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  On the fifth we move to South Dakota’s Bear Butte State Park ($10) and stay there two nights.   In pursuit of a Verizon battery, we enter Wyoming and pass Devil’s Tower. Three one-night camps follow: Flying J (free) in Gillette, a park in Sheridan (free), and the Casper shopping mall parking lot (free).

July 10th we discover the beauty of Brooks Lake at over 9,000 feet!

We camp at the Pinnacles Campground (NFS, $15 regular/$7.50 senior pass) from July 10 – July 17.  It’s here I see my first grizzly bears, moose with baby, and bald eagle.  On the 18th we break camp and drive toward the Grand Tetons.  For three nights we camp along the Snake River at Grassy Lake Road (NFS, free).

After visiting Yellowstone National Park we backtrack eastward to The Falls Campground (NFS, $15 regular/$7.50 senior pass), staying six nights.  As we leave, another, much larger grizzly with two cubs crosses the road in front of us and looks me square in the eyes!

Heading back to the south entrance of Yellowstone, we camp again at Grassy Lake Road for one night.  Next we enter Montana and camp at the north end of Hebgen Lake at Beaver Creek Campground  (NFS, $14 regular/$7 senior pass).

The following day we discover the Madison River!

Red Mountain Campground (BLM, $8 regular/$4 senior pass) gives campers river frontage at the campsites.  The crew and I swim, float in our inflatable canoe, and enjoy frequent jaunts into Bozeman.  We stay through the end of July.

Most notable in the budget this month is the purchase of a new laptop and a higher than usual total for camp fees.  We manage to keep the outgo less than the income, but just barely!

Click to read July adventures.

Financial Summary (Avg. daily expenditures: $48.88):

Camping fees:  $162.00 — Avg. daily camping fee (31 days):  $5.23, “Zero fee” days: 5

Dump/water fees:  $0

Gas:  $229.73 — Avg. daily gas expenditure:  $7.41

Propane:  $14.14

PTV and BLT Maintenance/Repair:  $0

Equipment/Household furnishings:  $534.49 ($398 laptop, $136.49 air card w/upgrade)

Groceries:  $227.78

Sundries:  $18.43 (includes $10.25 laundromat)

Clothing:  $14 (souvenir hat)

The Crew:  $19.86

Entertainment:  $10 Crazy Horse Memorial

Out-of-Pocket Expenditures:  $1,230.43

Recurring Expenditures:  $284.77

Total Expenditures:  $1515.20

Total Income:  $1,523.45

Savings:  $8.25 (.54% of income)