Thursday, August 20 (continued)
“Nephi! We finally made it!”
The crew and I scramble out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle which is parked next to a vacant lot. Bridget and Reggie are hysterical, wanting out NOW for a potty break. There was no stopping while crossing Salt Lake City on the interstate!
“Okay, okay . . . .” Suited up, on leash, they hit the grass and do their business.
I walk them up and down a side street of Nephi.
Then I make my own potty run to the Best Little Trailer.
Gee, I’m starving!
I spy an Arby’s and pull up to the menu at the drive-through.
I order a chicken with swiss cheese sandwich for me and a junior roast beef sandwich for the crew to share (after tossing the bun).
I move the PTV to a shady spot, we eat our lunch, and I check the blog online.
“Now to find a place to camp for the rest of the day.”
Route 132 takes us east to the Nebo Loop Road.
I don’t want to camp in an RV park. I’m familiar with the area because the crew and I boondocked along a creek by this road and also camped at Ponderosa Campground.
Ponderosa Campground is shady which makes it my first choice.
I drive in and a woman comes out to greet me. I don’t remember if it was in her first breath or second when she speaks the words I hate to hear and that I’m hearing more and more often.
“Do you have a reservation?”
Long story short, I drive the two loops and find that the first come, first serve sites are the crappy ones. This irritates me.
I drive out of the campground.
No thank you!
Okay, it’s hot and it’s going to stay hot all afternoon. We’ll be okay. In the morning we’ll continue our trek away from smoke.
Several boondock sites are claimed with unoccupied rigs. I keep looking.
I find a boondock with no neighbors and set up camp.
I put out the awning, open all the windows, turn on the ceiling vent fan, and grab my rake out of the back of the PTV. There’s evidence that cows have been through here. I clean up the area and put down the blue mat. A camp chair and a bottle of water and I’m done! Whew!
With the awning out and the fan blowing air out of the BLT, the interior is bearable. The crew, however, wants to be outside. I can’t blame them after all the time they’ve been in the PTV.
I sit in my camp chair with a bottle of water and relax.
I’m too tired and punchy from driving and it’s too hot to do anything more!
Reggie is stunned.
“You’ve never heard anything like that before, have you, Reg?”
At dusk when the air is cooler, I push Bridget in her stroller on the paved road as Reggie trots along with us. I roll up the awning. By bedtime the temperature has dropped significantly and the three of us sleep well.
Friday, August 21
We sleep late. Three young guys on bicycles come by while I’m sitting outside drinking coffee and trying to drum up some ambition.
“Do you have any water?”
As I set them up with ice and water in their plastic sip-containers, Reggie barks furiously.
“It’s your black suits,” I explain. “You look menacing to him.” (Those bicycle suits look menacing to me, too, but I hold my tongue.)
On the road to our next camp!
We take Nebo Loop Road to Route 132.
Route 132 is a pleasant drive and takes us through Fountain Green and Moroni.
In spite of road construction, it’s less than an hour when we arrive at Ephraim. I run into Wal-Mart for some water and groceries. We cruise through town, turn left at the sign for access to Manti-La Sal Forest, and start the climb.
We return to Badger Mountain!
If you’ve read old posts on this blog, you know the crew and I camped on Badger Mountain twice at a boondock I refer to as Bluebell Camp (dandelions, bluebells, and columbine!) and another I dubbed Aspen Camp (where my lounger hit the dirt with me in it!). Those camps were in spring and early summer.
Bluebell doesn’t have much shade and Aspen Camp presently has an unoccupied fifth wheel in it. I remember from our explorations of the forest in previous years that there’s a forest road with campsites not far from Bluebell!
I back the BLT between the aspens so its right tire drops into that low spot.
I check the level, side-to-side. Perfect!
Later I unhitch so that the BLT is level, front-to-back, as well. I move the PTV forward to put her solar panel in the sun.
The air is fresh and the breeze that’s twinkling the aspen leaves is delightfully cool. I’m so tickled to have finally found a nice, cool place to camp that’s out of the smoke that I giggle as I set up camp. Bridget and Reggie catch my enthusiasm and are obviously happy with our new camp.
Together we walk further up the forest road.
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