Wednesday, June 18
The Wave 3 heater warmed the Best Little Trailer in the hours before bedtime. I turned it off before going to sleep. We were cozy all night.
After breakfast we walk around Tinney Flat Campground.
I hope we don’t encounter big limbs in the road on our way down the mountain.
The drop in altitude is obvious when we pass a grove of cherry trees on the outskirts of Santaquin.
It’s very busy this morning with people rushing to begin their workday. I find a place to park out of the way of vehicles coming and going. I bring down the windows of the Perfect Tow Vehicle, buzz my seat back, and open my laptop. My air card picks up a strong, steady connection and I go online.
A man talks briefly on a cellphone, and then, instead of going on his way, he gets out of the truck and walks over to me.
“Hi,” he greets me as he scans the PTV and BLT. “Where’d you pick up that snow?”
“Oh, hi,” I respond, looking up from the laptop. “I camped up at Tinney Flat last night.”
From there we engage in conversation as he stands next to my open window.
I learn his name is Roy.
Of course, he asks me where I’m going, curious about the travel trailer and so forth. After I give him a brief explanation of how I’m living and enjoying retirement, a wave of sadness rolls across his eyes.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to retire,” he says. “I’m 60 now.”
I note the sun-weathering of Roy’s tanned face.
I ask him what line of work he’s in.
“Farmer. I have a camper, but it’s hard to get away from the farm. Ties you down, you know. Always something needing to be done.”
“What kind of farming do you do?”
“Peaches and apples, but alfalfa mostly. No animals.”
I ask him where his farm is located and he points to a distant hill.
“Right over that hill, on the other side. Used to have 400 acres in peaches and apples. Can’t make money with fruit. Don’t make anything at all, and some years, less than that.”
He pauses and I wait for him to continue his story.
“Alfalfa is better. Can get four cuttings a year. Just finished a cutting and then it got rained on.”
“Oh, that’s terrible!”
“Well, I’ll be able to sell it. Instead of $7, I’ll get $5. It won’t be as green. Even so, alfalfa’s still better than fruit. I only have 20 acres in fruit now.”
The conversation returns to retirement.
I ask a bold question. “Ever think about selling the farm?”
“Aw, I don’t know. I suppose I could. . . in a few years.” Roy’s tone tells me that isn’t likely to happen.
We talk some more.
This man is tired and worn down. Tired of working and who knows what else. He wants to tell me something . . . .
Instead he says, “Well, I’d better get going. You travel safe. It was nice talking with you, Sue.”
“Same here, Roy. I wish you a good retirement.”
I finish the blog post, consult my map, and head north.
I take two-lane Highway 198 to Payson and then Spanish Fork.
Snow-capped peaks float like a mirage above green fields. I’m reminded of Roy and his alfalfa. Why did he start up a conversation with me? Why do I feel like something should have been said and wasn’t?
At Spanish Fork I stop at a Stokes store.
I pick up some groceries along with a few pieces of cooked chicken from the deli which I share with the crew.
I’m getting us away from all these people and traffic and developments . . .
I drive all the way to Price, bringing us full-circle. (Price is where I drove to Wal-Mart when we camped at Lower Grey Canyon Campground, the one with the beach, at Green River.)
I intended to stop at a campground about half the way to Price but it didn’t work out. I also wasted a good deal of energy and time investigating some BLM land along the way. That didn’t pan out either.
By the time we reach Price, I’m very tired.
On my Utah Benchmark atlas I see Mountain View RV Park. It’s in Wellington, only a few miles past Price. Mountain View is attached to a motel/restaurant operation. The grass — what grass there is — needs mowing, but overall it’s fine for $12 (“tent” site, no hookups) plus $5.00 for a shower. Total: $18.01 including tax. Only four other RVs are in the park.
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!