Sunday, September 20
This post takes us back to the time leading up to the camp shown in the previous post.
The Perfect Tow Vehicle rumbles down Oak Ridge Road, towing the Best Little Trailer, and carrying me and my crew on a search for our next camp.
At Gooseberry Road I brake at the stop sign.
Gooseberry Road takes us to Interstate 70.
The highway cuts through dramatic scenery on its way west to Salina. The crew settles down, realizing this isn’t a short trip into town. Reggie curls up in his bed between the front seats and Bridget stretches out on the quilt on the bench seat.
We don’t take the Salina exit.
Instead we continue on I-70 to the next exit. Vermillion cliffs come into view at the aptly-named village of Vermillion, followed by Sigurd.
Looking at a map (or perhaps you can recall) there are three main routes south from Salina. One could drive Interstate 70 (ugh). Another way would be Route 89 through Sevier Valley and Richfield. This is a pleasant drive, one we’ve taken before, and the allure of Fresh Market Grocery in Richfield is strong.
However, this trip the crew and I head south on Route 24.
The drive is two-lane,very scenic and with little traffic as it passes the Rainbow Hills and traverses Kings Meadow Canyon. I slow at Koosharem Reservoir, briefly consider camping there overnight, but decide against it when I see six or seven campers along the shoreline.
Shortly thereafter Bridget and Reggie wake up. Time for a potty break . . .
Instead of going to Fish Lake, the popular destination, we turn onto Route 62.
The landscape gradually changes from the bucolic to empty sage plain bordered by stark mountains, specifically the Tushar Mountains on the west and the Sevier Plateau on the east. Just as I’m thinking . . .
Well, I’ve seen enough sagebrush to last me for a good long time . . .
The blue of Otter Creek Reservoir appears!
As I drive along the western shoreline, I’m surprised to see campers boondocking!
It’s been my experience that a reservoir that is claimed as state park territory is not available for camping.
A gravel road parallels the western shore and from that road, spur roads run perpendicularly to free campsites! Being a dyed-in-the-wool boondocker, I can’t resist checking them out.
This one is a beauty!
Look closely at the campsite in the photo above and you’ll see a fire ring in the center. This makes the spot an “established campsite,” indicating that you can camp here.
We’ve camped in this kind of heat before and been perfectly happy with all the windows open, the Fantastic fan in the ceiling going, and the awning extended.
Hmm . . . maybe we should quit for the day and spend the night here. It will be cool in a few hours. I could watch the pelicans and coots on the water . . . . This site, though very nice, is not for us. I don’t want to camp near that severe drop-off. I’d keep imagining the crew falling . . . .
Here’s another nice site, at the end of a point where one can launch a kayak or small boat.
I drive down another spur and discover someone is holding the campsite by the lone tree. An unoccupied travel trailer is tucked in the shade.
We could camp on the beach — the ground is firm enough — No, it’s too hot for that.
There are four shelters over picnic tables, as well as a vault toilet. Two campers are here, one with soft-sided “wings” and the other a fifth wheel. The sight of four dirt bikes and a humongous generator has us pulling away. (Words of warning: Otter Creek Reservoir is on the Paiute ATV Trail.)
Tamarisk Beach is set up with two wheelchair accessible picnic sites.
With the crew resting in the shade under the picnic table, I eat a light lunch of pepper jack cheese, saltines, and orange juice. The crew had a big breakfast this morning and neither Bridget or Reggie are hungry.
Should we camp here or keep going?
Reggie jumps up with a start! Ants!
“Oh, baby, that’s not very nice. C’mon . . . Let’s get back into the PTV.”
“Okay, crew, do you want to spend the rest of the day and overnight here?
The crew has spoken. We won’t camp at Otter Creek Reservoir. I agree. I’m not in the mood for summer. My senses have become attuned to autumn and I’m wanting more cool mountain air right now.
Why did I go into detail about this place?
Because there are several nice, free boondocks where one can enjoy bird-watching and fishing from the shore or from a boat . . . at a different, cooler time of year and hopefully when the water level of the reservoir is higher. . . . Driving with care, one could bring a fairly big rig to the shore. Stock up on supplies first because there aren’t any good-sized grocery stores nearby.
Next post: Through Kingston Canyon on our way to the mountains!
NOTE: I’m publishing this post shortly after several new, important comments came in under the previous post. You may want to take a look. I’d love to participate in the discussions there and under this post, but I’ve kept the crew patiently waiting a long time in the PTV while I blog. We’re parked at a gas station where there is internet signal. Bye for now! Sue
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!