Friday, August 28
“Guess what, crew? Today we go to town!”
Bridget, Reggie, and I have been camping on Badger Mountain in Manti La-Sal National Forest, Utah, for a week without contact with “civilization.”
I toss Bridget and Reggie into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
Tucked in my pants’ pocket is a list of things we need to accomplish in Ephraim. I unplug the Best Little Trailer’s solar cable from the PTV, climb into the driver’s seat, and away we go down the mountain!
It’s another beautiful day. The sky is the bluest ever!
I don’t think I’ve ever driven down this road without seeing wildlife, usually deer, always chipmunks.
This morning we come upon turkeys, about five of them. Quickly they scatter into the brush before I can grab a good photo of them.
Hunting season will start soon, poor things.
“Did your ears pop, honey?” Mine pop, too. Reggie doesn’t indicate anything. Maybe those cute ears of his don’t pop.
The green fields of Sanpete Valley come into view.
A truck pulling a livestock trailer comes around a curve in the road. Two guys are in the cab and two saddled horses are in the trailer. Hmm . . . . Maybe they’re going up the mountain to herd the sheep.
This is my favorite spot on the road.
I always stop here for a minute or two.
A few days ago I emailed Americas Mailbox, my mail forwarding service in South Dakota, to have my mail sent general delivery to Ephraim. I show the postal clerk my I.D. and he hands me a package.
Per usual the package is full of stuff from my insurance company, most of it unnecessary. Also from the University of Georgia Alumni Association. How many times do I have to tell them to stop sending me magazines!
I search for the registration stickers for the Best Little Trailer and the PTV.
I renewed the registrations online with Pennington County in South Dakota, paying by electronic transfer from my checking account ($135.10, including a small transaction fee).
Darn! They aren’t here. Must’ve scheduled the mailing too soon. Of course, this wouldn’t happen if I didn’t procrastinate with the renewal WHICH I DO EVERY YEAR!
Onward to Walmart!
I like the backdrop for this store.
Bridget and Reggie enjoy a walk-about, the usual preliminary before I hit the aisles of Walmart. They have a drink of water and I put them back into the PTV. I place the water dish where they can drink while I’m gone.
Before going inside the store, I stuff a large bag of trash into a can near the PTV.
Are you interested in what I buy?
Doesn’t matter because I’m going to tell you anyway.
I buy a 32 GB memory card for my photos (always want a spare), a little spiral book of ruled index cards (for notes when researching camps online), a pocket radio (impulse item, doesn’t work, of course, piece of junk, what was I thinking?), a plastic plate (to replace the one that I put too close to the burner — an unexpected foray into chemistry one recent morning), a pack of eighteen washcloths (can never have too many of those!), a blue, folding camp chair (only $9.99 which means I can put it in streams and not care), and, of course, groceries.
Aww . . . He would be so cute in that.
I see his big brown eyes, his floppy ears, that face. No! He doesn’t need another suit!
I steel myself and head over to the auto department.
I fiddle around with the little computer.
It gives me the number of the air filter for a 2005 Chevy Express 1500. I look on the shelf. About 50 different filters, not one that fits the PTV. Oh well, I’ll stop at the NAPA store in town.
At the register we encounter a problem.
My Amazon VISA card, the card that I use for almost all my purchases because it gives me reward points at Amazon, doesn’t work. In other words that word APPROVED does not appear on the scanner. The cashier tries different tricks, wraps the card in a plastic bag before scanning, punches in the numbers, calls her supervisor. Oh, great. Of course I get The Look when I answer the supervisor’s question with the word, “credit.”
Fortunately, one of the items that came in my mail was a box of new checks!
I leave my cart, go out to the PTV, grab a book of checks, apologize to the crew, go back inside, write the check, and leave.
By the way (that means BTW), it’s important to have checks when living full-time the way I do. There aren’t any ATMs or credit card/debit card scanners in the forest or desert and a self-pay station at a campground is not going to give you change. Camp hosts don’t need to be bothered with “Do you have change for a twenty?” Make sure you have checks.
“One more stop in town, guys, and then we can go home and have rotisserie chicken!”
A Tractor Supply is across the road from Walmart.
I go inside and buy a bag of dog food. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe. Not the best food on the planet for dogs (4 out of 5 stars) but it’s something the crew will eat and it’s one that’s possible to find when moving across states.
At the register I pull out my VISA card.
“Let’s see if this thing works. It wouldn’t at Walmart.”
I swipe the card and, bingo, we’re good to go!
“I hope you have a wonderful day,” the cashier says with a smile as she hands me the receipt.
“Thank you. It’s already wonderful!” I respond. “I don’t have to call VISA!”
I hurry to the PTV.
We won’t stop at NAPA today. It’s getting hot.
Halfway up the mountain I remember the empty water jugs.
The campground is small with short parking spaces. Two are occupied and I see another one is reserved for the weekend. It’s an okay campground, sites are somewhat close together.
Of course, I’m spoiled. I’d rather boondock.
“I lied. We have another stop to make.”
I park at the water spigot, let Bridget and Reggie out, and walk them a bit (not far because I don’t want groceries to warm up). With Reggie tethered to a tree near the spigot, I fill up the water jugs. I try to give him every opportunity to explore because he has a lot of energy and curiosity. Bridget is happy to wander around, too, sniffing this unfamiliar place.
By the time we rumble over the rutted road to our camp, it’s lunchtime.
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