Oh, what can be found while looking for something else

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.

1-P1050410Sure there are switchbacks.  And there are steep parts.  The obligatory SCARY CLIFF appears, but I get past that okay by squeezing the steering wheel very hard.

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.


1-P1050424Well, that was Friday!

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!

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35 Responses to Oh, what can be found while looking for something else

  1. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy rvsue & crew,

    Thanks, for the great pics and the trip up the mountain…

    Hope y’all have a very HAPPY DAY !!!!!!!

  2. Marsha says:

    When we were out East a couple years ago we went up Mt. Washington and I couldn’t look down the whole way up there. I just looked at the floor of the truck and waited for it to be over. Can’t imagine driving up with drop-offs.

    Love the pictures of the wildlife. I was out chasing wrens today, trying to get a picture. They’re quite elusive, but they sure can sing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The only way I’ve seen wrens up close is when they try to build a nest under an eave or in the roof of a porch. Good luck with your photography, Marsha.

  3. Donna in CT says:

    I usually get turkey mamas and babies coming through my yard but not this year for some reason. Looks like your group has two different broods. I love the sound the mothers make as they are leading the way and trying to keep their babies with them.

    I keep looking at class A rigs but seeing all the places you can tuck into makes me look at smaller trailers also. Then again, I know I would not be happy in such a small one as yours. I’ve discovered I don’t need a lot of living “stuff” but I do need my craft supplies. lol I also have yet to find a floor plan in a trailer that I like. Pros and cons.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another idea would be to have a tow vehicle that could store your craft supplies. I don’t know what your craft is. Maybe you could “craft” outside with a folding table.

      You’ll know what’s right for you when you see it. In the act of searching you find what you want and don’t want. I wish you the best, Donna.

  4. I love the horses too. I got the same feeling about heights years ago when driving up to the Tioga Pass in Yosemite. I got out of the car to take a picture of my little daughter and found I couldn’t let go of the car. I had to be touching it or I think I would have dropped over the edge in dizziness.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I much prefer looking up! I think I feel that way because of the difficulty in falling up.

  5. BuckeyePatti says:

    I’m a white knuckled driver when it comes to steep dropoffs, too. One time I rode in an outside elevator with windows and had to turn & face the wall until we got off. Yikes! Those mountains sure are purdy, but…

    How long do you have to be away from a campsite to “technically” be able to go back? I could see myself in a permanent loop, wanting to stay at Ivie Creek for a very loooong time.

    Beautiful pics of the horses, thanks for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have to be away 14 days and away, I think, is at least 25 miles. In other words you can’t camp in the same spot more than 14 days in any 28-day period of time.

  6. cinandjules (NY) says:

    I too hate heights…..or rather roads with sheer cliffs. No thank you very much!

    Adorable horse family.

  7. EmilyO in KS says:

    Looks like, with those ears, you got a couple mules – or could be camera angle.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      They did look like mules. You have a keen eye, Emily.

      • EmilyO in KS says:

        Just recognized those big ears! Use to work with those critters way back in high school days. Sure haven’t changed in all those years!

  8. rvwayoflife by Lindadeeza says:

    I just shopped at Amazon. I love helping you make money because I love buying stuff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the encouraging message, Linda. My blog being suspended and all the related problems of transferring it to self-hosting has hurt my fledgling Amazon business. I appreciate you remembering to use my links!

  9. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    ‘Nothing seceeds like success’, I’ll bet Spikes chest was pushed way out after driving off a whole herd of trespassing critters with his bravado. “Good boy Spikey”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Poor Spike has been chasing cattle almost all day. He chases them off and then when he tries to relax, they come back. This has happened five or six times today. The grass of our “lawn” next to the creek must be tender and tasty.

  10. gingerda says:

    I wonder how often the ranger comes by to check.
    I really love seeing the pictures of the horses and the cows are pretty cute too. lol.
    Ginger Las Vegas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I haven’t seen a ranger or a forest service truck since we’ve been here. I expect that someone would drive past here regularly to check on the campground. Good to hear I didn’t bore at least one reader with more animal pics!

  11. Varmint says:

    From your description, I’d have to wonder if that screeching sound is an owl of the same name. The weirdest screeching sound we have up here in Ohio is the occasional peacock or guinea hens. As usual, I love your posts. Enjoy!

  12. Dave says:

    I see Tioga George is back.

  13. Gaelyn says:

    I love those kinds of curvy mountain roads, but not necessarily when I’m towing.

    Could your screamers be cicadas?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t think so, Gaelyn. They aren’t in groups. Good try though… small, not easily seen. BTW I haven’t heard them in a few days. I wonder if the sound was a sound of alarm.

  14. Trip and Lisa says:

    Well,At least we now know where the combined BLM/Forest Service Swat Teams will be on Monday morning,lol.
    Cause they’ll be at RV Sue’s making certain she adhere’s to the letter of the law concerning over-stays,LOL.Tell em you’ll leave two days early next time Sue.
    Sorry Sue,couldn’t help myself.
    So you do the tight grip on the steering wheel too huh?.Kinda reminds one of that baby blanket they gave up years ago doesn’t it?,lol.
    Have a great week Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a great week, too.

      I’d better get out of here before the helicopter comes and the guy dressed in black rappels down the rope to the roof of the PTV . . . Gee, sounds like a Tom Cruise movie . . .

  15. Cheryl Ann says:

    Sue, I LOVED your photos of the horses. I got my first horse when I was 53…I now have 5…all rescues! Believe me, they live the life of luxury! One off the track thoroughbred, a great-great-grandson of Secretariat, a mustang, a PMU gelding, a thoroughbred mare who never raced, and a half Tennessee Walker, half draft mare who is rideable and gaited! 🙂 At my age, I don’t want to be bouncing up and down.

    Speaking of the Tioga Pass, we’ll be heading up there either Wednesday or Thursday for the day. Yes, I know the feeling of not wanting to let go of one’s car while driving that road!

    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How fortunate you are, Cheryl Ann! You found what you love and are able to enjoy your love. Good for you for choosing rescues.

      Have fun at the Pass… Hang on tight!

  16. Cari in North Texas says:

    Please don’t stop posting your animal pics – I for one really enjoy them! Especially the close-ups, it’s fascinating the see the expressions on their faces. And the pictures of the scenery are beautiful, too!

    I can relate to the white knuckle driving. Many years ago my mother and I decided to drive the entire San Juan Skyway in Colorado, and the route a “helpful” visitor center guy gave us took us up the outside of the mountains (back story – my brother told us to go one way, this guy said the other, I acquiesced to Mom who listened to the wrong person LOL). Anyway, while Mom drove I had to lean into the middle of the car – sheer dropoff with no guard rails. While I drove, new ripples appeared in the steering wheel! Beautiful view, I was told, I couldn’t look.

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