I’m at the Sanpete Ranger Office of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
Having received permission to stay another fourteen days on the mountain east of Ephraim, Utah, my conversation with the lady ranger (wish I had asked her name!) and Ranger Mike drifts to related topics.
(The photos in this post are from this morning as the crew and I walk the meadow behind our campsite.)
Lady Ranger asks me if I know about the pageant.
“Oh, you mean the Mormon pageant in Manti?” I ask.
“Yes. That’s a very big event around here,” she explains. “You don’t want to come down off the mountain this weekend. The streets will be packed.” (I later learn today is the last day of the pageant which runs June 20-22 and June 25-29 this year.)
“All the campgrounds are full right now,” reports Ranger Mike.
Lady Ranger continues, “We get about 7,500 people a day.”
“You mean visitors? But I thought the pageant’s in Manti?”
“It is, but they come here, too. From all over the state and a lot of them camp in the forest.”
Ranger Mike reassures me.
“They’ll be gone by Sunday afternoon. You’ll be okay.”
Mindful that the crew is waiting in the PTV, I’m about to thank them both again and excuse myself when I remember the question I want to ask. One of my recent blog posts raised discussion on whether or not it is okay to fish with a net in the state of Utah.
I direct my question to Ranger Mike.
Ranger Mike does not hesitate.
“There is absolutely no fishing with a net in the Manti-La Sal, not anywhere in the state of Utah, for that matter,” he states flatly.
“Except for cisco at Bear Lake, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. What he was doing is not allowed. He’d get a ticket for that.”
“What does that mean? . . . He’d get a ticket,” I ask.
“Well,” Ranger Mike continues, “If he had a good attitude, and, you know, said he didn’t know, that sort of thing, he’d probably just get a ticket with a $75 fine.”
I want to settle this question once and for all so I pursue the question further.
“And what’s the worst that could happen to him?”
“If the guy is belligerent or if he’s received a ticket before, he could be fined $1,500 and spend 30 days in jail.”
“Whoa!” I exclaim. “I had a feeling what he was doing wasn’t right. I come from New York. You mess with a trout stream in New York and you’ll be . . . . ”
” . . . shot,” Ranger Mike finishes for me with a wry smile.
Lady Ranger gives me instructions.
It sounds like she’s said these words more than once before. “If you ever see anything like that, contact us or the Fish & Game. Don’t confront the person, but if you can get the license plate number, that helps.”
“Then the Fish guy would pay him a visit at his house,” Ranger Mike adds.
I nod as Lady Ranger firmly points out, “We can’t be everywhere and that’s a public resource that needs protection.”
Tomorrow we break camp!
I’ll have to wait until afternoon to give time for the weekenders to leave. I usually don’t have a lot of energy in the afternoon — and even less so at this altitude — so it will be a challenge for me to break camp and move us up there at that time. I’ll count on my anticipation to give me motivation. I love new camps, even if only up the road!
Speaking of the road . . .
The road from here to the other campsites is very steep. It’s going to be one of the hardest pulls so far for the Perfect Tow Vehicle. She’ll do fine, I’m sure. Buying the PTV for $8,500 in the spring of 2011 was one of my better decisions. No matter what I ask of the PTV, she always comes through!
Tonight is our last night at Camp Bluebell.
I think Camp Bluebell is a better name than Badger Mountain Camp, now that we will camp at two sites on this mountain. I’ll go through recent posts and change the name.
About the sunset photo . . .
The sunset photo fits for a goodbye to lovely Camp Bluebell. This has been a great camp!
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