We’re hitched up and ready for our next adventure!
We leave Virgin and head west to Hurricane. Right at the intersection of Highway 9 and State Road 17, sits a Maverick gas station. First I pull up to the air pump and inflate the BLT’s tires. A man stops and rolls down his car window. “Excuse me. How much does one of those trailers cost?”
“Oh, between fifteen and eighteen thousand bought new. Depends on what extras you get.” He smiles and tells me it’s a nice trailer before driving off.
Next I move us over to the dump station around by the side of the convenience store.
I leave the crew and go inside to get the key for the padlock on the dump cover.
“Are you local?” the man asks. I tell him I’m not.
“That’ll be five dollars then.” I hand him the cash and he hands me the key.
“Is that your Casita out there?” I tell him it is. “Cute little trailer. I’d like to have one of those.”
Once the tanks are empty and the sewer hose put away, I disinfect the fresh water spigot and fill up the water tank. Great! We’ve got gas, the tires are evenly inflated, the tanks are emptied, the fresh water tank is full, and the fridge is stocked. The only thing else we need is propane. I’ll get that at the other end of our drive today.
State Road 17 takes us the few miles to Interstate 15 North.
I don’t have any idea where we’ll camp tonight. We approach the hustle-bustle of Cedar City with its three exits. The crew is asleep and the horizon of mountains with patches of snow at their peaks lures me further north. Oh, what the heck. I want to keep going. Another hour or so and we’ll be in Beaver City.
Immediately after leaving the interstate at Beaver City, I can’t believe what I see.
The Fishlake National Forest office! Just what I need! I park in front and let Bridget and Spike out. They’re yipping with excitement. I slowly walk them around the parking lot. I want them happy. It’s awful to try to concentrate on finding a new campsite with the two of them whining and yapping.
Two young ladies load me up with maps and brochures.
One of the maps shows Route 153 east going up Circleville Mountain (11,331 feet). On the way up there are three campgrounds and three lakes. The last lake, Upper Kent Lake, doesn’t have a campground. It’s for dispersed camping! I ask them where I should get propane in the town of Beaver City, and before long, I have two full propane tanks. We’re all set!
Turns out the gravel road up that mountain is very, very steep.
Hairpin turns, of course. At some points it’s a 9% uphill grade. There’s no way to turn back. The PTV is straining in second gear and I’m wishing I hadn’t taken on all that water. At one point I have to drop the PTV down into first gear and still we’re only creeping along. “C’mon, baby! You can do it!” The engine is getting hot. Dear God, let there be a place to turn off and park. Mile after mile we creep upward.
Finally we come to an opening in the forest.
I park, put up the hood, and wince at the sound of the coolant gurgling. The crew and I walk up a short lane into the forest. Bridget and Spike are in canine heaven, sniffing the animal scents in the grass. I’m sniffing the pine scent and letting my nerves settle down.
“Hey, let’s have some lunch, guys.” We go back down the lane. I put out a water dish for the crew and grab a drink out of the fridge for myself, plus three hard-boiled eggs for us to share.
Tomorrow’s post will tell the rest of the story . . .
I’ll explain how we managed to continue up the mountain to a pretty, little alpine lake by the name of Upper Kent Lake. The slideshow photos were taken as the light was fading so I didn’t take very many. I think they’ll show you enough to agree that our new camp location is absolutely gorgeous. It’s cool up here and . . . there’s internet![slideshow]