Wednesday, June 11
The crew and I break camp and wind our way down Badger Mountain. On the way we come upon Ted standing by the road in a cloud of dust. He’s directing another guy operating a road grader.
I stop and bring down the passenger window.
“Where ya’ headed?” he asks in a loud voice over the grader noise.
“I don’t really know. Somewhere north of here,” I reply. “Did you read about yourself?”
“Yes, I did! I opened up your blog last night!” Ted smiles broadly.
I realize he needs to get back to work.
“Goodbye, Ted!” I shout over the noise of the grader.
“Be careful!” he shouts back with a wave. “See ya’ next year!”
In Ephraim I pull into Splish-Splash Car Wash.
The photo below is the last photo of that old, spare tire cover. Immediately I take it off the spare wheel and dump it into the trash barrel.
The wheel wells are especially bad, caked with dried mud. I insert several quarters (another reason, besides laundromats, to obtain a stash of quarters from the bank) and give a high-pressure rinse to both vehicles ($7.50 total).
On the road again, the crew and I go north on Route 89.
A few miles and we turn onto Route 132 which goes to the small town of Wales. My map shows a road going from Wales into the San Pitch Mountains of Manti-La Sal Forest. I want to check it out!
The long, low structures of commercial chicken houses appear. The closer we get to Wales, the less optimistic I become of finding a good boondock.
Although there are some well-kept properties in and around Wales, I sense an atmosphere of financial struggle and neglect.
Many of the modern homes have old pioneer structures next to them. Maybe the land was passed down from generation to generation.
We continue northward on Westside Road toward Fountain Green.
We pass several chicken houses and the homes of those who earn their living from cattle, sheep, or poultry.
I turn right onto Nebo Loop Road.
Last year the crew and I drove up this road in a downpour. We pulled off the road and shared some rotisserie chicken inside the PTV as we waited for the deluge to abate. At that time I noticed campers parked along the creek, but, due to the rain, we went up to Ponderosa Campground and spent the night there.
Ponderosa is a pleasant campground. However, I’m not in the mood for camping on pavement, putting the crew in their pen, and saying hello to people walking by our site.
RVs cling to the creek all along Nebo Loop Road.
Gee, I hope there’s a private place for us. We pass two parking lots with vault toilets. More RVs. I park on one of the lanes going down to the river.
Bridget and Spike scramble out of the PTV. All but one of the RVs look as if they haven’t been occupied recently. The grass isn’t trampled around the rigs. No “stuff” outside. Hmm…. This looks like people drop off the RV and use it like a summer home, coming here on weekends maybe.
This one might be an exception. What a lovely view they have!
Salt Creek runs next to the site and is delightful, in spite of its unattractive name.
I begin to recognize drawbacks to this site.
Red mud will be tracked into the BLT several times a day. The “beach” along the river is littered with paper plates and cups. Heavily trampled paths lead to and from this area. These are signs of foot traffic through here. Other RVs are within radio or partying hearing distance. Too bad. The crew love these little streams.
Viewed from the road, it looks ordinary. I check it out anyway. Gee, the creek is close and there’s a little pool for soaking. This will do us fine.
I back the BLT onto a level spot and set up camp.
Of course, Spike has to test the water at our new camp!
(Actually the next two photos were taken a little further downstream when we went for a late afternoon walk.)
Even Bridget dips her toes in the creek!
Once we’re settled with the mat down, the chairs out, and the awning overhead, I become aware what a great camp this is. I relax in my lounger while the crew explores their new home. A gentle breeze flows up the canyon, whooshing the willows while songbirds serenade.
NOTE: No internet at our camp. I’m posting this in a shady spot along the road at Nephi, about an 8-mile drive from camp. I’m sorry I’m not keeping up with comments. I read every one.
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