“As soon as I finish with these dishes, we’ll go on an adventure.”
Bridget and Spike are antsy. Too many days at camp! I know what will make them happy. A ride up the mountain to a place where they can roam around.
Following the advice of readers, I drive slowly, breathe deeply, and make frequent stops. I get out to take a photo of where we just were. We continue winding our way up, up, up.
We pass a few campsites along the way.
Oh wow. . . snow!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow this close in June before.
I park the PTV in a pull-out next to this lovely alpine meadow.
What a pretty spot! And a good place to stretch our legs and look around. I let out the crew, and, while they’re making preliminary sniffs, I walk over to read the informational signs. Apparently these signs were put here for the benefit of people who have trouble keeping their facts straight.
People like me.
“You know, Delbert? I’m sick n’ tired of people coming up here and then running around givin’ out false information. We gotta’ put up a sign.”
I read the sign and learn that the little, creekside buildings I’ve been calling pump houses aren’t pump houses at all.
“And another thing, Delbert . . . If I hear one more fool call these here trees firs, I’m gonna’ jump right off this mountain.”
Okay! Okay! They’re spruce trees!
I can hear water across the meadow so that’s where we go.
See the snow?
Bridget and Spike love this kind of adventure!
I think this is a weather station.
Given my track record, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
We find a stream with bunches of white flowers hugging its banks.
Spike likes the look of this!
This is a good place for all of us to pause and rest. Walking at this altitude is tiring. I take some deep breaths.
Spike and I cross the stream.
Tag-along Bridget has no choice but to ford the stream, too.
“C’mon, Bridget! You can do it!”
Spike takes a moment to smell the flowers.
After exploring the other side of the creek, we go back to the PTV.
Bridget, as usual, hurries ahead of Spike and me. She’s proud to be the leader and the first one back to the PTV.
I slowly drive us up the road, keeping aware of any changes that might signal an adverse reaction to increased altitude.
Again I see the San Pitch Mountains across the valley.
Right before reaching the very top at about 10,000 feet, I start to feel strange.
I pull over. My hands and feet tingle. A flash of dizziness and nausea strikes. A weight bears down on my chest. Uh-oh. I turn the PTV around and slowly drive back down. Bridget starts to whine. Gee, maybe she’s not feeling right either. But, then again, she does whine a lot . . .
On the way down we come to a very short spur leading into a campsite.
I park and open up the side door.
“Jump out, guys. We need to move around.”
I want to show this campsite for those of you who wonder how to pick a boondocking site in a national forest. You want to find an established site like this one. It’s a clear, tamped area in which to park and there’s a fire ring.
This particular site is secluded and quite lovely.
A big rig would have plenty of room to park and to turn around. Of course, you’d need to have enough power to haul your rig up this far. It’s less than a mile further up the road from Camp Bluebell. If I come back to this part of the Manti-La Sal forest in the future and find Bluebell not available, then we’ll come up to this site.
Spike finds a tiny stream running next to the campsite.
(Yes, he takes another soak. I didn’t catch a good photo of the event.) Aspens and a few SPRUCE trees border the site. Bluebells grace a slope. It looks like a walk down the path would lead to an overlook of the valley and San Pitch Mountains, but we don’t have the energy to hike it. Other than lack of energy, I feel fine now.
I see that view again from the road.
Well, soon after returning to camp, Bridget and Spike crash on the bed. They’re both sleeping as I type this.
Reflecting on our excursion up the mountain, I rank Camp Bluebell as one of the best we’ve experienced so far. It’s great for the hot summer months. Up here it’s comfortably cool in the shade and just warm enough to make you feel good when in full sun. If it weren’t for the 14-day limit, I would camp here for several weeks, exploring the many trails with the crew and taking photographs of the creeks and wildflowers.
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