Moving camp and facing a boondocking challenge

Monday, July 21

“Ready to find our next home?”

I slide behind the wheel of the Perfect Tow Vehicle. 

Spike lies on the bench seat.  He knows we’re moving camp and is set for a nap.  Bridget sits in her bed next to my seat, looking at me expectantly, .

“Let’s see what’s up the road.  Okay, sweetie?”

Gosh, this has been an outstanding camp.  I’d love to stay longer.  Oh well, the field of flowers has faded, the grass has dried to gold.  It’s time for us to go.

1-DSC05722Sunset the night before leaving “Field of Flowers Camp”

Our route today takes us around the southwest portion of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

We motor northward on Highway 191 and follow Highway 44 west.  My thoughts are on possible destinations and I forget all about dumping the black and grey tanks.  By the time I remember, we’re past the dump stations.  I do look for a dump station at Canyon Rim Campground to no avail.  Not a wasted detour because I see Bighorn Sheep again.



“Well, Bridgie baby, it looks like I’m hauling my sh*t down the mountains,” I remark sardonically.


1-DSC05819(If you’re a good blogorino and you have your Benchmark atlas open before you, follow Highway 44 around until you get to the part that looks like spaghetti.  That’s where the road becomes a serious of switchbacks on a 8% downward grade for five miles.)

1-DSC05818I laugh at switchbacks!  Ha!  Bring it on!

We float downward in second gear, curving to the left and to the right several times.  The roads below us look like ant trails.

1-DSC05816 I gasp as spectacular scenery comes into view.  When no one is behind me, I hastily snap a few pics.

1-DSC05817The photos cannot contain the enormity and grandeur of the red cliffs rising dramatically from the blue reservoir.

1-DSC05815Further along we pass two rustic campgrounds.

Mann’s Campground is nearly full with tenters and small RVs.  Willows Campground, a short distance away, is empty.  Neither appeal to me because I have my heart set on a waterside camp.

Highway 44 turns, northward and crosses South Valley and Lucerne Valley.


At the little town of Manila, I stop at a National Forest Service office and am greeted by a friendly female ranger behind the counter.  Between fielding incessant phone calls, taking messages to call back, she spreads out a Motor Vehicle Usage Map and shows me where to look for dispersed camping.

She suggests Anvil Draw.

She warns that I may encounter lots of campers all up and down the east side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  Pioneer Day, otherwise known as Utah Day, is this weekend and traditionally the campgrounds and dispersed sites fill up during the preceding week.

I thank her and leave, carrying the free map . . . all the while kicking myself for choosing Pioneer Day Week to move camp!

After a picnic with the crew in the shady, grassy park next to the forest service office (turkey breast sandwich for me with half the turkey pulled out for you-know-whom), I gas up the PTV and take Highway 43 in search of our new home.

I drive out the peninsula to Lucerne Valley Campground.

I have to take care of the tanks before setting up a new camp.

Oh, for twenty-six dollars a day ($13 Senior Pass) one can camp shoulder-to-shoulder baking between other RVers with their boats and jet skis and generators and children running around and follow all the campground rules.  No thank you.

For ten dollars paid via credit card fed into a machine at the “sanitation station,” I dump tanks and take on water.

It’s hot!

We left camp later than usual, around noon.  This puts us in mid-afternoon and temperatures in the 90s.  (I don’t run the air conditioning when climbing and descending mountains.  I keep the windows down instead.  Neither do I turn on the a/c in the valley because the a/c is not cooling well.)

At the Utah-Wyoming line, I pull over, let the crew out, and post a not-to-worry message on this blog.   Between the heat and the holiday, I’m concerned about finding a good, quiet camp within range of internet signal.

To be continued .  . .


NOTE:  I’m sorry to stop the story here.  It has become too warm to sit at my laptop in the Best Little Trailer.  I can hear the waves lapping at the shore, calling me and the crew for a swim!  I probably will resume writing later this evening, when the air is cool.


1-DSC05825A preview of Spike enjoying the beach bum lifestyle

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