Friday, September 18
After a morning of playing around camp, the crew and I ride the Perfect Tow Vehicle down the mountain into town. Salina is hopping this afternoon with trucks hauling horse trailers to Blackhawk Arena for a rodeo.
Our first stop is the post office.
The postal clerk hands me the mailer from my forwarding service, Americas Mailbox. Inside I find the usual, unnecessary paper about nothing I need to know from my insurance provider and an envelope from the Department of Motor Vehicles in South Dakota. Yay! I put the registration renewal sticker on the PTV before leaving the post office parking lot.
Our next errand is picking up packages at the UPS customer center.
It’s way too early for that. The center doesn’t open until 4:30.
“Let’s go see Maple Grove Campground.”
The crew and I have camped outside the campground a couple of times, in late spring and in fall. Route 50 from Salina to Maple Grove is very scenic. We cross Round Valley on a road that slices through a very large ranch.
Longtime readers may remember the ranch’s roundup.
“Daddy’s Little Cowgirl” from “Life in a Utah Valley,” May 2014
On the way across the ranch I have to stop the PTV to admire these youngsters. I know, I know, more horse photos. I’ll quit. I promise! You must admit — These are a pair of beauties.
By the time we reach a former campsite next to Ivey Creek, it’s apparent the beauty I marveled about previously has faded. Lots of wear from people and cattle. The grass around the campsite is worn or gone; cow pies are plentiful.
Well, it is the end of summer . . . and the fall color hasn’t appeared yet.
Here’s what Maple Grove looked like last fall.
“Autumn Campsite” from “Photo Essay: Maple Grove Campground in Full Color,” October 2014
I park the PTV in the spot where we camped.
Reggie and Bridget hop out, happy for the chance to explore. We walk along Ivey Creek.
“Spike with Butterfly” from “Good, Clean Fun with the Crew!” — June 2013
I try to shake off sad feelings. Then Reggie walks into the mud and comes out wearing “boots.” Oh, gosh. That does it. I’ve had enough. We’re outta’ here.
I walk the crew back to the PTV.
We ride up to the campground and I fill a few water jugs. We return to Salina.
Gee, I’m hungry. I haven’t had lunch.
We eat like we mean it at Carl’s Jr. A turkey burger for me and a hamburger patty for the crew to share. Nothing quite like fast food to lift one’s spirits!
The crew and I motor over to UPS and I pick up the packages. Before leaving the parking lot, I open up the boxes and check that everything I ordered is inside.
“Oh, Reggie! Your new vest is perfect! I love the color!”
Saturday, September 19
We wake to a cold morning. There’s no canceling morning potty run.
“Well, Reggie, my man. This is a good time to try out your new vest.”
Out we go!
Brrrr! Bridget doesn’t seem to care about the cold. There are advantages to being — how shall I say it — to being a bit . . . plump.
Notice how weird the grass looks? That’s frost! (Our camp is over 8,500 feet in altitude.)
Reggie has a less-than-happy morning.
Someone is shooting a gun and the sound, although distant, terrifies him. I pick him up and hold him close while sitting in the lounger. I wrap the throw around him and talk reassuringly. He continues to tremble and look about with a frightened face. Maybe we should go inside . . . . Reggie hides under the covers until long after the shooting stops. Poor guy.
It’s a joy this afternoon to see him play outside, back to normal.
The pink piggy receives his daily punishment. I notice Reggie’s tail is curled upward again.
I spend the day tidying and cleaning the interior of the Best Little Trailer, as well as studying my new Utah Benchmark atlas. I find a few possibilities for boondocks.
Tomorrow morning we move camp!
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