Wednesday, May 28
I want to take a look at Gooseberry Road. We go down the ramp and then about a quarter-mile further east on the frontage road to a national forest campground.
I discover it’s pretty basic — picnic tables and a vault toilet — and not very attractive.
This condition, however, does not deter Spike!
The dreaded foxtail grass is prevalent. Also the dreaded OHV activity is to be expected, as this is a trailhead for the so-called Great Western Trail.
We head up Gooseberry Road.
Del told me about a few places to camp off this road. Immediately we encounter a “road closed” sign which stops our research. (Later, I learn from Del that the sign refers to the snow areas of the upper road.)
It turns hot in the afternoon.
I don’t feel like doing anything productive. The crew and I stay cool in the shade of the Best Little Trailer’s awning and down by the creek. The cold water feels great!
Delivered! Yay! The UPS Customer Center in Salina opens at 4:30 p.m. The crew and I arrive shortly thereafter. The cheerful lady-clerk hands me two boxes. In the PTV I try on my new Keen sandals and they fit!
Next we motor through Salina to Del’s house.
Del had invited me to visit and to see his koi pond. I park along the sidewalk and come across the pond before knocking on Del’s door. The pond is right beside the front steps.
He tells me he read my blog posts (the comments, too!), including the one about his brother-in-law’s cattle drive.
“I talked with my daughter in Rochester on the phone and I told her to look at your blog.” He laughs.
“I told her — We’re famous!”
Del introduces me to more members of his family, as we stand in front of a display of framed photos on the wall over the couch. He points to a group of several smiling adults and children. Del and his late wife are positioned proudly in the center.
“That was taken a month before my wife passed.”
He points to grandchildren grown tall. “My daughter had twin girls and then within a year she had a son,” Del tells me, smiling at the recollection.
It’s time to say goodbye.
I thank him for inviting me to his home, for being a good neighbor, for giving me a tour of the cabin . . . .
We stand next to the koi pond by the front steps.
Del tosses a handful of food into the pond and a humongous fish rushes to the surface, too quickly for me to grab a good photo.
As I turn to go with a promise to return to my favorite campsite, Del blurts out, “I’ll know where you are!” referring to this blog.
I’ve learned a lot since taking to a life on the road. One thing I’ve learned is, dang, turkeys can run fast!
I wake to turkeys clucking.
Without disturbing the crew, I grab the camera, slip into my new slide sandals, and in my nightshirt and with a head of bed-hair sticking out like turkey feathers, I sneak outside, closing the door behind me.
Six hens! They sprint down the lane at top speed, across the road, and into the sage and rabbit brush. Gosh, I couldn’t even zoom the lens. A moment later I do catch a photo of a hesitant hen. Then out of the brush appears Big Tom in slow, but determined pursuit!
I zoom my camera’s lens and take these photos before the turkeys disappear across the road.
Walking back to the BLT . . .
The lush, green valley, the graceful slopes of the juniper-dotted mountains beyond, the red cliffs towering over the campground, the dainty yellow flowers among the sage along the lane, the squirrel on the rock flitting his tail, the constant rush of the creek’s waterfalls, the birds, the morning light through the leaves. . .
Gee, here I am again, reluctant to leave another beautiful camp!
AS ALWAYS, I THANK YOU
FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!