Wednesday, April 12
We passed the 15-day camping limit on the Sand Mine Road mesa. Reggie and I pack up, hitch up, and pull out. It’s just as well we leave now because the waste tanks need dumping.
A few miles south on Route 95, we turn into Valley of Fire State Park.
It’s about 9:30 a.m. and a sign declares the campgrounds are full. I stop the Perfect Tow Vehicle at the entrance booth.
“I’m not interested in camping, but I would like to use the dump station.”
Entrance Booth Guy takes my $10 for the dump fee and shows me a map of the park, pointing out that the dump station is near the entrance to the campgrounds.
I only take these few photos of the park.
Not that there aren’t plenty of great shots! Signs prohibit pulling off the roadway, except at places designated for photos. Also, stopping in the roadway is a no-no.
This morning I’m on a mission to move camp, it’s going to be a scorcher of a day, and there’s no time for stopping for photos or traipsing around rocks. Already the heat is building.
I find the dump station and set about the task.
I recall the first time I dumped tanks. What a big challenge for me! My original crew and I were camped at Brantley Lake State Park in New Mexico, having recently picked up the Best Little Trailer from the factory in Rice, Texas.
On the way out of the state park, I pulled into the dump station. (See the post about it here.)
I was glad no one was around to see me make what I figured would be a horrible, embarrassing, stinking mess.
Turns out the dumping went perfectly that day, giving me, a newbie, a boost of confidence going forward. Now I dump tanks as methodically as any other routine task.
Funny how stuff seems daunting — like hitching up a trailer — until one learns how.
I also dump a bag of trash into a receptacle before we leave Valley of Fire.
April to May is the toughest time of year to plan camp moves.
Of course, any moves depend upon weather. Right now places to the north of us are experiencing overnight lows in the 30s and 40s, even though daytime temperatures are pleasant.
If Reggie and I were the type to sleep until ten in the morning or so, those lows wouldn’t be a deterrent. However, I’m a morning person and Reg is a morning dog. We’re usually out from under the covers by 6 a.m. That means about four hours of shivering or we stay inside with the heater on.
We like to be outside!
I’m antsy to move toward our summer travels. It’s tempting to take off with a whole lot of enthusiasm and not much caution. No, we will stay in southeastern Nevada a little while longer, where the elevation is low and the days and nights are warm.
Our new camp will be Stewart’s Point.
A few days ago, when I felt in the mood for a drive, Reggie and I explored Stewart’s Point for the second time. A previous exploration was cut short because it was so dang hot.
After making the decision to camp there, I stock up on groceries and water in Overton because Stewart’s Point is about 17 miles away from town.
Anyway . . .
In short, here’s what happens . . . .
Well, maybe not so short.
I don’t want to be at the water’s edge because day people will walk through our camp or an RVer will park close. Up on a bluff is better for Verizon signal anyway.
I look and I look. This being Easter Week, all the good spots are taken.
I jerk around for two hours or more trying to find and set up a pleasant camp.
I walk a road with Reggie. After that he’s hot and tired, so I leave him in the PTV with his water dish while I walk another road. I maneuver the BLT into a campsite. The ground isn’t really ground; it’s white rock.
Man, the heat coming off this rock . . .
I try another spot on red dirt.
I position the BLT and get out, imagining us camping in this spot.
Not as hot, but UG-LEEEE. We don’t camp in ugly!
A third spot seems promising, although unlevel. The heat is wearing me down and I’m losing patience so I don’t inspect the site the way I usually do. I seesaw back and forth in order to position the BLT so the door/refrigerator side is shaded in the afternoon and we’re not facing neighbors when in our outdoor room.
I get out to check the levels. That’s when I notice the broken glass, dog poop, cigarette butts, and other trash all over the place.
Damn! I’m in no mood to rake an entire campsite and bury dog poops!
I slide behind the wheel of the PTV and turn to Reggie.
“Ya’ know, Reg? This is stupid. I had a feeling when we came down that washboard road that this wasn’t going to be a good camp. I should’ve listened. And you know what else? The views are gorgeous but this place doesn’t feel right. If it takes this much trouble to set up camp, it’s not meant to be. Let’s go!”
We rumble out of Stewart’s Point . . .
. . . and return to Poverty Flats!
In the past few days many RVers have left the area, and the upper mesa, which I prefer, has plenty of open spots. My spirits rise as I pull into a site we enjoyed previously. Even though today’s temperatures are 90 degrees and above, a breeze wafts across our campsite.
What a difference!
I set up our outdoor room and, wouldn’t you know, here comes somebody! It’s the guy I told you about, the one whose truck and fifth wheel crashed and burned coming down a mountain.
“Welcome, back!” he calls out to me with a big grin. “I thought that was you pulling in here!”
I set up an extra chair and we sit together in the outdoor room.
Reggie jumps into his lap and lies down contentedly while we catch up on our news and share a few laughs in the cool, late-afternoon breeze.
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