The crew and I drive Forest Road #639, searching for a boondock.
The dirt road carries us up Trail Ridge which is due west from our previous camp by Williams Creek at Bridge Campground (see previous post).
It’s pretty here, but this doesn’t look promising. Goes up steep on the right side of the road and drops down on the left side.
Here’s how the area looks in the Colorado Benchmark Atlas:
An opening between the trees reveals how high we are on the ridge.
“Wait a minute, guys,” I tell Bridget and Reggie. “I want to take pictures. You can get out later. This isn’t a good place for you to run around.”
I point the camera at the mountains, slightly to the left . . .
And, slightly to the right, at the valley below . . .
At the top of the ridge we come upon a very large campsite.
Tanks and a holding pen for cattle are off to one side. Campers and vehicles are parked on grass near the trees.
“I don’t want to go further. I don’t know about this road . . . .”
I turn the PTV around and we head down the ridge.
“There’s a pretty, grassy area along here somewhere. It’ll be a good place for you to get out . . . Here it is!”
Gee, I wish this were a campsite. What a great camp this would make.
I let out the crew and they scamper across the grass.
“A fire ring! A fire ring! We CAN camp here! Isn’t that great, crew? In the morning we’ll move here!”
Sunday, June 12
Our camp on Trail Ridge, Forest Road #639, San Juan National Forest, Colorado
In order to put the Best Little Trailer where I want her, I must back in between two patches of wildflowers. I don’t want to crush them.
I place my wheel chocks along the borders of the flowers.
I can’t see the flowers in my side mirrors as I back in, but the bright yellow chocks are clearly visible.
This photo shows the fire ring that I couldn’t see from the road.
Across the road is a forest of aspens. When the light is right, they present a luminous view from the door side of the BLT.
After recent camps with fees, I’m happy to be boondocking again!
I love free camps! Since we will stay here several days, I set up the folding table on the forest side of the BLT.
Later I wash dishes in a basin.
Doing dishes in a forest is much better than in a kitchen! Clean dishes sparkle in the sunshine . . . .
Reggie finds a boulder to climb on and a pine tree to sniff.
He can do a lot of exploring on his 50 feet of tether.
I estimate we’re at approximately 8,200 feet at this camp.
The trees are a mix of gambel oak, pine (some are Ponderosas, others Lodgepole maybe?), aspen, and spruce (as best I can identify!).
I’d call the aroma “woodsy with a scent of pine.”
Temperatures at night are comfortable with windows closed. During the day they’re in the 80s, moderated by breezes coming up the ridge.
(Jumping ahead to real time a week later, the afternoons are hot. I run the ceiling fan. We sit in the shade. We wait until late in the day for our walk when it is cooler.)
Tiny birds flit among the tree tops and sing. These are the “singiest” birds ever!
They sing well before dawn and all through the day. I’ve yet to identify them.
An owl hoots at night, adding charm to the crew’s nocturnal potty run.
We see no wild animals other than ground squirrels or chipmunks which Reggie tries unsuccessfully to catch.
We do come upon a path of tall grass pressed down. Bridget and Reggie go nuts sniffing it. Bear maybe?
Next post . . . Excitement comes to Trail Ridge Camp!
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