Friday, October 23
On the way to our next camp, the crew and I stop at Wal-Mart along Interstate 15 on the south side of St. George. Besides wanting to stock up, I need to buy drinking water.
“I’ll be back as fast as I can,” I promise the crew before hurrying inside to shop.
Over in produce I spy something interesting . . . I pick up a bottle of Bolthouse Farms Berry Smoothie.
I bet that’s really good. Kinda’ pricey though. Well, it is fruit. Oh, and there’s a blueberry one. Yeah, I’ll take that. And, what the heck, the Daily Greens, too. Maybe I can put some kale in me with little or no suffering. . .
All three go in the cart — I’ll give ’em a taste test!
I roll the cart to a check-out aisle.
Three people are ahead of me in line. After the groceries are paid for I scoot the cart over to Customer Service. In my palm I have the receipt for the battery I bought at Wal-Mart in Richfield. I intend to collect a refund of $12 for the core battery fee.
Two lines of customers change my mind.
Oh well, like I always say . . . another day, another Wal-Mart . . . .
“Hi, sweeties. I’m back!” I proceed to load the groceries on the floor in front of the passenger seat.
“No, you can’t have that now, Reggie,” I say as I tuck the rotisserie chicken where he can’t reach it. “We’ll have that at our new camp.”
Bridget knows better than to sniff grocery bags. Over the years she has developed the long perspective that’s a mark of maturity. She’s confident that eventually she will have some of that chicken so why grovel like a . . . a common dog. All in due time . . .
Back on the interstate and through Virgin River Gorge!
Many of you reading this are snowbirds and you’re familiar with Interstate 15 as it goes south out of St. George, Utah, and through the Virgin River Gorge. Oh, my. What a stretch of road, eh?
We float through the gorge like a bird riding air currents . . . No, we’re on a magic carpet in an enchanted land of sandstone castles with turrets touching the clouds. We glide downward and around mighty, rock fortresses carved over the ages.
I can only sneak glimpses as the road twists downward and out to where the gorge opens up.
“There’s our exit!”
The sign says Virgin River Recreation Area.
This BLM campground is perched above Cedar Pocket Wash, thus the name commonly used is Cedar PocketsCampground. The Perfect Tow Vehicle takes us and our home-on-wheels through joshua trees and creosote to the campground entrance. I stop at the self-pay station and read the sign. The camping fee is $8 regular or $4 with senior discount pass. I look up at the gorgeous rocks. Oh, I like this.
Reading further I’m pleasantly surprised to learn you can camp here for $90 a month. Three dollars a day. Nice!
I choose a pull-through campsite.
Everyone has a spectacular view!
Quickly I set up a minimum camp — the mat, camp chair, doggie beds . . . This being the weekend, we’ll bide our time and move to a better site when one is vacated.
Later, as the setting sun highlights the rocks around the campground, we take a walk together. Bridget and Reggie love a new place to explore!
I’ve got my eye on a primo campsite. It’s occupied by a diesel truck and a fifth wheel with slide. I notice the people haven’t unhitched and they don’t have stuff outside. Hmm. . . Looks like overnighters . . . .
Nonchalantly I sit in my camp chair, sipping morning coffee and keeping a sharp eye for any sign they might leave.
A woman comes out and climbs into the truck. The man fiddles around for a while, going in and out of the fifth wheel. Then the moment I’ve been waiting for . . . .
The slide goes in!
With lightning speed I throw the mat, the chair, the doggie beds, and the crew into the PTV, jump in, fire ‘er up, and we whip around the campground loop (well, actually we drive responsibly around the loop).
Out goes the fifth wheel and in goes US!
This is a close-up of our view!
“The Virgin River out our back door! Pretty nice, huh, guys?”
The original crew and I first saw the Virgin River in 2012 when we camped further upstream. The water was clear. That’s where the current caught Spike unawares and took him on a little float downstream!
This section of the Virgin is muddy with red sandstone silt.
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