I’d like to stay at beautiful Ivie Creek Camp “until the cows come home.”
Well, the dadburn cows DID come home, so I guess it’s time for me and my crew to move on. A sleepy-eyed Spike bumbles out the front door this morning to take care of his business and look what he discovers! Bovine chaos on OUR lawn! Cows in OUR creek!
Spike raises his fur as well as a commotion until the intruders hoof it right out of here. Good job, Spike!
About a half-hour later I’m at the laptop with a cup of coffee and the crew is back in bed. I look out the window to see two turkey hens walking across the lawn the cows vacated. Several chicks trail behind them. Look closely at this photo. I count five chicks.
Okay, now I’ll finish telling you about Friday’s search for our next camp.
I’m at Lishy Lou’s Restaurant, remember? It’s the kind of eating place where you can get up from your table and walk into a convenience store under the same roof. I take my check to the register and meet Bruce, a burly gentleman of about my age, give or take.
I ask Bruce about camping nearby.
He comes out from behind the cash register and walks me over to a large map on the wall. It’s a map of the Manti – La Sal National Forest.
“Here we are, here in Mayfield,” he begins, pointing at a dot on the edge of the map. “You take this road to go up Twelve Mile Canyon. Look out the window. See that gray truck parked up the street? That’s where you turn to get on the canyon road. It’s beautiful up there. Lots of places to camp.”
I tell him about the Perfect Tow Vehicle and the Best Little Trailer.
“That looks pretty high up. Will I have any trouble towing up there? I don’t want to drive on a one-lane road with a sheer drop on one side. I hate that!”
Bruce reassures me that I can make it up there fine. “There are some switchbacks and a steep section, but you’ll be okay.” He tells me about a campground where you can look at the reservoir from your site. “Remember, this is Father’s Day weekend, so it might be filled up.”
We chat some more and then I excuse myself, saying I’ve got dogs waiting in my van.
Bruce’s description has me enthused. Fortified by the marinated turkey sandwich, I start up the PTV and proceed toward Twelve Mile Canyon on Forest Road 022. Bridget and Spike go back to sleep. Dang, those two sleep a lot!
This part of the story is condensed.
It’s a you-have-to-be-there situation in order to appreciate the vistas. Given that I don’t like looking down, especially way down, I’m not about to park the PTV on the edge to take a bloomin’ photograph.
I take a few pics from inside the PTV. This photo is misleading. It’s a very long way down! Clear Creek is at the bottom.
In short, the campground is very high up.
I realize before we get there that I don’t want to drag the BLT up this mountain. Mountain? I thought we were driving up Twelve Mile Canyon? Maybe they mean the canyon is twelve miles down? Anyway . . .
We get there and the reservoir has receded. It’s very small, surrounded by marsh, and quite a distance from the campsites. The fee is $5 regular/$2.50 for codgers and no one is here.
This is bear-and-rattlesnake country so there wouldn’t be much for me and the crew to do. At least not much to do that we can’t do at a more easily accessed camp. I didn’t take a pic of the campground. Imagine trees and picnic tables, okay? And some water beyond those reeds . . .
I drive down the mountain at a higher rate of speed than we went up.
We meet five vehicles — trucks and RVs — on their way up. Each one is hauling dirt bikes or ATVs or quads or whatever. I count 14 drive-all-over-the-place vehicles. Father’s Day weekend has begun! Have fun, guys. If you don’t mind, we won’t join you.
Back in Gunnison on Highway 89, I turn the PTV toward home.
Well, it looks like I’m not going to find our next camp today. That’s okay. It’s still a beautiful day. Now where were those horses I saw on the way up?
I love to take pictures of animals — as you may have noticed — and I love photographing horses most of all! Mornings are the best time. Now it’s the hottest part of the day so our equine subjects are languid. Nevertheless, it’s fun. Isn’t this a lovely family (below)?
Baby boy is dark like his dad. He takes a sip of water.
And then he goes back to get the good stuff!
I want to get a few shots of the blond foals in the first horse photo (above), but they go to the far end of the field and hide behind their mothers. Further down Highway 89, I stop at another field and find this lovely lady.
I set out in search of our next camp and instead I find a peaceful reservoir with gulls, cacti displaying beautiful yellow blooms, 540 wild burros in a field, colorful rock hills, a small-town restaurant, a helpful stranger, a mountain campground, expansive views of a canyon and beyond, and horses with foals.
Now it’s Sunday, June 16th, and if I followed the letter of the “law,” I would have left yesterday morning. Tonight will make sixteen nights camped next to Ivie Creek, two more than the limit.
I’d rather travel on Monday, especially since I’ll be “winging it” to our next camp, wherever that may be. I may need to stop at a ranger station for a map or for dispersed camping advice, so it’s better to move on a weekday when the stations are open. (RVSue tip of the day!)
Also, by staying one more day, maybe a ranger will stop by our campsite to give me a warning. Then I could ask him what the heck is that elusive creature that screeches from the trees!
P.S. Okay, that’s all. Now go shop Amazon!