In search of a boondock in central Utah

Friday, June 14

Before taking off this morning to search for our next camp, I take a look under the PTV’s hood.  Hmm . . . oil looks good, one of the air cleaner’s clamps isn’t clamped, coolant looks okay . . .

Once everything’s in order, the crew settles on the bench seat and off we go!

Round Valley comes into view.  See the ranch house in the center?  Sometimes their horses run and jump as I drive by.  I’d love to grab a photo of that, but no luck so far.


Once on Highway 50 it’s a short trip to Salina past fields being mowed.  I can’t resist taking this picture of a horse grazing.


1-P1050281-001I pause again to photograph a “gingerbread” house that sits proudly on Salina’s main street.

I turn at the four-way stop and park at the NAPA auto parts store.  I run in and purchase a container of pre-mixed coolant.  I feel better having this on board in case I need it.  The NAPA guy says it keeps indefinitely.

Back on the road we head out of town on Highway 89 North. 

1-P1050282The first place I want to check in my search for a good boondock is Willow Creek Road which runs eastward from the highway at Redmond.

I make the turn and as I drive toward Manti – La Sal National Forest we cross landscape too barren and unappealing for camping.

Another mile and Utah’s red rock appears.


Apparently these low hills were popular with off-road enthusiasts.  Most are scarred.  Now signs prohibit driving vehicles off the roads in this area.


1-P1050290Spur roads offer camping possibilities, but I’m not interested in a dusty camp next to rock.

According to my Utah Benchmark Atlas (page 67), Willow Creek Reservoir is an “intermittent lake” located a few miles further up the road.  Patches of green encourage me to continue.

When the tops of cottonwood trees come into view beyond a rise, I know the reservoir is close.  “Gulls!”  Great!  There’s water!

I park the PTV and the crew and I walk a side road that goes up a knoll.  I’m anxious to see what’s on the other side!


1-P1050296Oh, this is lovely.  So peaceful.  I’d love to camp here and watch the birds.

We walk through the cottonwoods.  The ground is marked with cow tracks and cow pies.

Once again Spike immediately knows what he wants to do!


As much as I’d like to make this our home for a few days, I can’t find a suitable campsite! Next to those trees on the opposite bank would be great but there’s no way to get over there.


1-P1050295Access to the reservoir is only on this one side.  We’d have to camp in full sun.  The cottonwood area, the only shady and level site, is not accessible and is too poopy anyway.

Darn!  There’s internet signal here!  Oh well . . . Sometimes you have to accept realities and move on.

Bridget, Spike, and I enjoy a walk along the shore and then go back to the PTV.


1-P1050337On the return to Highway 89 a flash of yellow against the brown, dried-up grass has me applying the brakes.  Can’t resist cactus blooms!  As I get out of the PTV a guy in a pick-up truck stops.  He’s the first person I’ve seen out this way.  He asks if I’m okay.  “Oh I’m fine!  I’m one of those fools who can’t pass up taking a picture of a cactus in bloom.”


1-P1050364Our next stop is the field of burros you saw in the previous post.  What?  You missed it?

YOU MUST GO BACK!  You’ll see more varieties of burros than you can possibly imagine!


At the town of Gunnison, we turn eastward.  It’s a beautiful drive past farms and colorful rock.


Maybe when we re-enter Manti – La Sal National Forest beyond the village of Mayfield, I’ll find our next camp.


By the time we arrive at Mayfield, I want lunch!  Well, this looks interesting.  Looks like it’s the only restaurant in town . . .

1-P1050405I leave the crew in the PTV (It’s not hot), go inside, and order “Sanpete Marinated Turkey Sandwich” with a side order of potato salad and a glass of iced raspberry tea.

The sandwich is great!  The potato salad, not so much.  I should never order potato salad in a restaurant.

Nobody makes potato salad as good as mine!

1-P1050404Well, I promised I’d tell you about the rest of this fun-filled day in today’s post.  Look how long this post is already and there’s still much more!

I’ll close with a photo of the interior of Lishey Lou’s.

Gee, all these photos and not one of the Bridge!


Will RVSue find the camp she seeks?  Find out in the next episode of rvsue and her canine crew!


Canine Corner:  “I’m prettier than Spike” by Bridget

I don’t know why everybody fusses over Spike.  “Oh, look at Spike in the water!” “Spike is soaking again!”  “Look at Spike bark at cows!”  “Oh, Spikey!  You’re a dirty mess!”  On and on it goes, every post.  Spike this.  Spike that.  C’mon!   He’s not THAT great.

Do I have to flatten my ears and bug my eyes out of my head in order to get a little attention?  I don’t get it.  I’m prettier than Spike.  Just to prove it, here’s a photo of ME!



 Happy Fathers Day!


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50 Responses to In search of a boondock in central Utah

  1. EmilyO of KS says:

    Ohhhh Bridget, that is a good picture of you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That pic was taken during a rest on our last walk up and down the creek. She was very relaxed and happy.

  2. cinandjules (NY) says:

    The California Gull is Utah’s state bird. Apparently back in the day…they ate the locust and save the crops….something like that!

    Oh Bridget………yes dear you are Sue’s little precious girl. What a pretty smile! Spike gets all the attention because he is always……………….well you know how he is. He’s got that oh oh I got caught look.

    Enjoy your day!

    PS: shhhh read to yourself. Spike is absolutely adorable when he soaks. Hmmm..soaking wet Spike and mounds of cow puckies……..glad you kept going!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The “cow puckies” were in one area. The rest was very nice. I hated to pass that one up!

  3. Geri says:

    Bridget, you are indeed beautiful! Spikey can’t hold a candle to the sparkle in your eyes. the hint of a smile on your Madonna-like lips, the perky-ness of your ears! And you are so squeeky clean compared to Spike! LOL You are BOTH beautiful pups with quirky personalities! Now you need to help you mom find a new camp spot! Has it been 2 weeks at Ivie Creek already???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yep, it’s been two weeks. It seems shorter to you because the crew and I were camped for six days before I posted about it. Thanks on behalf of Bridget for the compliments. 🙂

  4. Guess you have to make her jealous in order to get her to pose.

  5. Dedra says:

    I always look forward to your blog. It brightens my day!
    I wear my RVSUE icon out from going there all the time.
    Bridget is the greatest, but then again Spike is unique.
    Thank you for all the time you put in on making this an Awesome blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dedra. It’s worth it when I receive a comment such as yours.

  6. Jeff says:

    I’m on the edge of my seat to find out what happens in the next episode. It reminds me of watching The Perils of Penelope Pitstop!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Jeff, hang on to your seat! I really did want to finish the day in this post but again it was too much. I’m not trying to be mean. 🙂

  7. Chris says:

    Looking on Google Maps for Willow Creek Reservoir UT, it appears there is a road going around the N side to those lovely trees on the other side. However, you were there and had a real-time view.

    Chris H

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Chris . . . I drove that road which was practically sideways in some places. I thought the PTV would tip over!

      It was near the reservoir for a short distance, went past a campsite only good for tenters because it was down an embankment, and then the road went away from the reservoir. Another road forks off the road we were on but the lake is dried up into marsh at that end and again, no place to pull off the road.

      There’s another road (and I think that’s the one you see going to the trees) that is too deeply rutted to be passable.

  8. John fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue, Read your post this morning, enjoyed as I do all of your posts.
    and just to let you know here it is 3:15 pm in ca. and I have stopped watching the
    “US OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP” to again read rvsue..
    Just goes to show what is more important in my life.. Safe travel’s

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! My blog is better than GOLF? I’m stunned! Seriously, I’m so glad you’ve got your priorities in proper order, John.

  9. mary ann (pontotoc ms) says:

    the photo of the cottonwoods and water looked like an oasis. now bridget is a real beauty~she would outshine a pile of pampered poodles!

  10. CT says:

    I totally agree with you, Bridget, you are MUCH prettier & cleaner than Spike. And I must say the green grass you’re posing in really sets off your lovely dark eyes! 🙂

  11. AZ Jim says:

    Don’t minimize the merits of the lowly cow chip. They make a wonderful little fire. Bridget is a little lady

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Jim, Bridget is a lady. I think she went to finishing school before she came to me.

  12. mockturtle says:

    I make a pretty good potato salad, too, Sue, and I agree that restaurants are notoriously bad at it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I can’t stand potato salad where the potatoes are hard chunks because they weren’t cooked long enough. And no offense if you make yours this way, but who in the world ever thought to put green relish in potato salad! Bleagh! It ruins it and almost all deli salad has relish in it.

      • mockturtle says:

        Undercooked potatoes are the worst! I use small red potatoes and leave the skins on. Real mayo, Dijon mustard, no green relish but sometimes green onions.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The secret to mine is apple cider vinegar along with mayo and mustard. A few sprinkles of sugar to counteract the tartness of the vinegar. Finely chopped green pepper and onions. Also I don’t scrimp on the hard-boiled eggs. It’s out of this world good!

          • Pauline says:

            That is the way I make mine!!! Have you ever had it with MASHED potatoes? Not bad.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yes! You made it and I ate it at your house! LOL It’s good, but I’d rather have it the way Mother used to make it.

  13. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hello Beautiful Bridget…such a lovely shot of you. Tell Sue I enjoyed the pics from all the recent posts. Can’t wait to see your next campsite and read about your adventures.

  14. Reine in Plano says:

    Just an FYI to the notifications. They work but they’re not as instantaneous as the WordPress ones. I just got the notification a few minutes ago (11:20pm CDT) and I notice that you had comments posted at 1:52 pm. I was checking your blog and read the post probably an hour or two ago.

    Checking back, it looks like I’m getting notifications once a day around 11:15 pm. I need to check the Feedback page and see if there are settings I can change

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, that’s crummy. I notice from my point of view that the sitemeter doesn’t add numbers as quickly as it used to. I don’t know if that’s because I lost some readers during the recent fiasco or if it’s because of the delay you experience. Thanks for the feedback, Reine.

  15. Dominick Bundy says:

    Now I’m hungry for potato salad. Checked the cupboard and have most of the ingredients. Except Spanish olives. with pimentos . that is the kicker that makes potato salad . well tomorrow is another day . I’ll have to go to the store then… almost 1 am here. time for bed .. good night . Dominick

  16. Cari in North Texas says:

    Oh, Miss Bridget, you are so photogenic when you want to be! Spike is just being a boy when he soaks in the water, so let’s just bear with him and let him have his fun.

    Sue, I’m noticing that I don’t get the email notification as much in real time as I used to. I agree with Reine (who lives in my town, BTW) that they seem to come in late at night. It’s not a big deal, I’m usually up at that time, but I thought you might want to know, in case your readers comment about it.

    I’m enjoying the continuing saga of finding your next campsite. I’ve never been to Utah, so it has been interesting and educational to see the places you’ve been there. And I agree with the sign in the restaurant. I’ve lived in small towns, and everyone is famous there! No place to hide when there are only 1500 of you LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was too good to be true — the email notification thingy, I mean. Thanks for letting me know, Cari.

  17. Gayle says:

    Love the photo of the burros! Must say, now that I’m retired and “they” can’t get me, that burro photo reminds me of some of the offices I used to work in — plenty of jack asses standing around doing nothing! :))))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve worked in those offices, too. Usually the jack asses standing around doing nothing were paid a lot more than I was!

  18. Jean wheatley says:

    I am on here to let you know that they are filming a remake of the Lone Ranger in or near the Monument Valley, with Johhny Depp as one of the stars, be still my heart, maybe they can use desert Sue as an extra, ad you can post it on your blog, you are such a character, I’m sure they’ll notice you. Extra money, it’s hourly pay, I’d love to se you on JDs fan page!! tell our Lady Bridey that she was center last summer when she had an owwy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maybe I could play Johnny Depp’s mama? He could use some mothering, dontcha think? 🙂

      I know what Bridget would reply…. “What do I have to do to get some attention? Break my leg?”

  19. DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

    RVSue and Crew, you guys are certainly having an Adventure. And are so Good at finding great boondocking sites. I’m confident you have found an even better one before nightfall.

    When you have mentioned Round Valley in your posts always reminds me of Circleville, UT. We did drive through it one time & nothing really happen in doing so. What I remember about Circleville is Robert Leroy Parker grew up near there on his families ranch. He was the eldest of 13 children.

    Robert Leroy Parker left home during his early teens, and while working at a dairy farm, looked up to, and was mentored by Mike Cassidy, a horse thief and cattle rustler. He subsequently worked at several ranches, in addition to a brief stint as a butcher in Rock Springs, Wyoming, when he acquired the nickname “Butch”, to which he soon appended the surname Cassidy in honor of his old friend and mentor.

    Yep, that Butch Cassidy as in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Always liked that movie.

    Many claimed Butch did not die in Bolivia. Cassidy’s sister, Lula Parker Betenson, claimed he returned alive to the United States and lived in anonymity for years. In her biography “Butch Cassidy, My Brother”, Betenson cites several instances of people familiar with Cassidy who encountered him long after 1908, and she relates a detailed impromptu “family reunion” of Butch, their brother Mark, their father Maxi, and Lula, in 1925. Cassidy’s physician had continued to treat Cassidy for many years after he supposedly was killed in Bolivia. In one interview with locals of Cassidy’s hometown of Circleville, there were claims of Cassidy working in Nevada until his death.

    Seems Circleville is about 70 miles south of Round Valley on US 89. Circleville is also a kind of round valley. Must have gone through Circleville twice, back in the ’90s & in 2010.

    Wishing You Continued Success in Finding Such Great Sites.

    • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

      The first time through Circleville was on our way to Fish Lake from Panguitch Lake.

      In 2010, we also went through Salina. But no memories of the homes, etc. Pretty country through that whole area.

      Robert Leroy was born on the other side of the mountain (West) from Circleville in Beaver (now close to I-15).

      Northwest of Silver City, on the way to the town of Reserve, is Whitewater Creek. Geronimo and Butch Cassidy used to hide out in the steep canyons along its banks. Today, this is where you can find a national treasure, the Catwalk.

      I remember reading in “New Mexico Magazine”, there is a carving (in rock or maybe wood) of Butch when he was working on a ranch in that area while ‘laying low’ from being hunted. He was a good hand it was said.

      Butch was part of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, which took its name from the Hole-in-the-Wall Pass in Johnson County, Wyoming, where several outlaw gangs had their hideouts.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if old Butch had also camped near or at your last campsite on Ivie Creek & drank from it’s waters. Ha!

      • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

        Must have gone through Gunnison. Don’t Remember seeing any Burros. Those are certainly Handsome Animals. Should remember something like that.

        Our Grandson (and Granddaughters) would love to see a sight like that. Our Grandson was with us on the 2010 trip (separate vehicles), but he hadn’t turned one yet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very interesting, DesertHawk! I didn’t realize this was where Cassidy roamed.

  20. Dave Burdick says:

    Okay Sue, how do you clean up the mess that Spike brings into the BLT? Skruffy and Bubba don’t lay down in muddy waters, and they bring in a bunch of stuff…sure keeps us busy. I figure you must call in a heavy duty cleaning person to help you….lol

    Can’t wait to see where you ended up this time. We will be in Salt Lake Sunday to spend Father’s Day with my daughter, wish we had time to visit more of Utah again (I use to live in Utah some 25 years ago and enjoyed all the places we were able to visit, that’s for sure.)

    Take care. Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      When the floor of your house is a smaller area than the area of most halls in conventional homes, cleaning the floor is not a big deal. Sweeping removes most of the dirt. Usually I take a damp rag and a spray bottle, get on my hands and knees, and wipe it down. I am soooo glad I don’t have carpet!

      Happy Father’s Day, Dave. Enjoy your daughter’s company today.

  21. Cherie from OH says:

    Looks like Bridget might finally be getting used to that camera. Beautiful picture of her!

    It was nice of that guy to stop and see if you needed help, Sue. I’ve had to pull over a couple of times out here in Ohio with car troubles, and no one ever stopped to offer assistance. I had a CB radio the first time and a cell phone the last time, thankfully. Are people out west just nicer or what?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know if people in the West are nicer than the people in the East. I’ve certainly been treated well since traveling the roads west of the Mississippi.

      I suspect that rural people are nicer than city people. Living in a city or suburb puts you in proximity with people who don’t share your values, who are in a lower socioeconomic group, and who have lost or never developed a sense of connectedness with the human race. As long as I’m generalizing… urban people carry more fear and are more defensive, thus less likely to help a stranger.

      Now if your two experiences having car trouble in Ohio were in rural areas, then there goes my theory!

  22. Pauline says:

    Bridget is such a sweet lady and she is beautiful, modest, prim and proper. BUT…Spike is also a sweetie and you know the old saying…Boys will be boys.

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