When Bridget and I pull out of our Slate Creek Camp in the mountains of the Wind River Range on the morning of Sunday, September 14th, I’m not sure where we will spend the night. It’s the time of year when we begin our journey southward to the warm winter boondocks in Arizona.
I do intend to camp somewhere on the east side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
You may recall that when we camped in the Field of Flowers Camp near the Gorge in July that the crew and I took a look at Antelope Flat Campground. You can read about that day and see photos of this area in the post, “A big rock aflame at Antelope Flat.“
While on the peninsula where the campground is located, I looked north and saw another peninsula across a bay.
That tweaked my curiosity.
Checking my Utah Benchmark atlas (which I always carry on the Perfect Tow Vehicle), I discovered one long road goes all the way to the point of this intriguing peninsula, starting from Route 191 (the route that extends north-south from Rock Springs to Dutch John all the way south to Vernal, Utah).
Hmm . . . I saw that road from the kiosk at Antelope Flat Overlook on Route 191 . . .
At that time I made a note to look for a camp on that peninsula whenever we travel the east side of the Reservoir.
Well, that’s one option for today’s camp!
My research also revealed a campground about midway along the length of the Reservoir — Firehole Canyon Campground. That will make a good alternative if I run out of energy before reaching the peninsula further on. Less likely to have internet in a canyon though.
The early start has us breezing by the turn to the campground.
I turn onto Forest Road #319. The road has a firmly packed, dirt surface in fairly smooth condition. It cuts through dusty sagebrush, dry prairie grass, and the mustard color of rabbitbrush in bloom. I like an unappealing entrance. It keeps people away!
About four miles in, the road turns to washboard and Bridget and I jounce along in the PTV. Bridget has learned when the PTV vibrates, we’re almost at our new home!
Another mile or so I drive over a knoll and this is what appears.
“Oh, this looks good, Bridge. Very good indeed!” My anticipation increases with each turn of the PTV’s wheels.
I survey the area for boondocking suitability. That’s when I spy a patch of white through the tamarisk trees.
Oh, darn it! Someone is camped on the beach! I hear the rumble of a truck’s diesel engine. What luck! They must have arrived a few minutes ago . . .
I let Bridget out to run off her excitement and to take care of any business. Just then the truck appears from behind the trees. It’s hauling a big fifth wheel. Three men are in the truck.
I head toward the driver.
“Hi! Are you leaving because something’s wrong here or are you just leaving?” (Never pass up an opportunity to gain good info.)
“We’re going,” he replies amiably. “It’s a good spot. We’ve been here all weekend and haven’t seen anyone.”
“Nobody at all? That’s great!”
He grins and with an “Enjoy!” off they go.
I toss Bridget into the PTV and pull the Best Little Trailer out onto the beach.
Gosh, it’s hot here! Here it is an overcast day and these white stones are giving off so much heat! No breeze at all. Too much rock . . . . It may be pretty but this is an oven . . .
I wander around, continuing my investigation.
I come upon scattered garbage. From those three men. Rotten tomatoes, corn cobs, bones . . . . Well, isn’t that nice. A rotting smell draws me to the water’s edge. Oh, great! They killed a rabbit, partially skinned it, and left the carcass to rot in the sun. What else did they do?
I imagine three men in an isolated place. I bet they urinated wherever they happened to be standing when the urge hit . . . “Yuck!”
I climb back into the PTV and start the engine.
“We’re outta’ here!”
I backtrack about a quarter-mile and take Forest Road #619 (There’s a post with the number on it.) The road forks. I don’t know why I choose the left fork. It curves around a lagoon and leads us to the prettiest spot on the peninsula, a spit of land that makes a perfect campsite!
Bridget and I have been camped on the little peninsula for four days as I write this. Here are a few more photos from those days.
NOTE: In the last post I stated this campsite is free which is misleading. Our site is within Flaming Gorge Recreation Area. Daily passes are $5. A pass for seven consecutive days is $15. A pass for one calendar year is $35. However, if you have a Senior Pass, as I do, there is no fee!
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Camco Mini Dish Pan
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