Tuesday, May 08, 2012

North to Idaho.

Saturday, May 05, 2012
We left the Green River campground about 8:30am and drove to Vernal, UT for grocery shopping. The Smith’s grocery store has a very nice selection of prepared salads. Then the obligatory Wal-Mart stop. Continued west towards Duchesne(pronounced Do-Shay). It was very windy; the weather guy said the winds were from the WNW at 20-25mph gusting to 30mph. That doesn’t sound like a strong wind but, at times, it was coming from the side and I was constantly getting blown around so I decided to get off the road for the day.  That’s one of the things we like about our no-plans, no-reservations, no-commitments style of travel.  We simply do as we see fit.

Tonight we’re “camped” in the parking lot of the county rodeo grounds in Duchesne, UT. It’s a nice place right on the Duchesne River.  Our view one way is the river and the hills behind it; the other way is the city park and ball fields.  You’re supposed to keep dogs leashed but it’s only us so I let Gopher sit outside by herself. A fellow was walking his border collie and a basic mutt type dog, along the trail. The three of them had a nice game of chase for a while. The guy lives in town and kind of wondered why someone would actually want to visit here. I told him mostly we just drifted around and just happened to drift into Duchesne today. 

There are two gazebos next to where we’re parked. Cliff Swallows have built their very elaborate nests from bits of mud in the rafters of the gazebos. When ever we get close to the gazebo they take off.  We’re sitting inside watching perhaps, a dozen sallows zipping around. Now and then, a hawk flies over and the swallows disappear under the gazebo.

We changed our travel plan today. Not that we really had much of a plan to begin with. Instead of swinging south through California, Nevada and New Mexico, we decided to stay in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and  Wyoming then head south through Colorado on the way to the Balloon Fest in ABQ in October.
A group of camping friends are meeting up in the Gros Ventre area, near Jackson, WY, in August. We'll be joining them. 

It’s back to long pants. Yesterday, and again this morning, I was finally able to wear shorts and sandals for the first time on this trip. Tonight the weather guessers are talking about a low of 37*.  The forecast low at home for tonight is 68*.  Where would we rather be?? Not in F.P.  While checking the weather, I noticed the elevation in Fort Pierce is 14’. Right here it’s 7,311’.  For a couple of flatlanders, we’re about acclimated to the elevations differences.  We don’t huff and puff so much anymore.

We awoke to 31*. I generally get up about 6:15, or so, and Gopher and I are sitting outside having our morning coffee by 6:30. (Water for Gopher). It’s just so peaceful early in the morning; that’s my favorite time of the day. The swallows and morning doves were  early risers as well.

About 8:30 we continued west to the Soldier Creek, USFS campground. Our campsite sits on a bluff with a panoramic view of the Soldier Creek Reservoir. The water level in the reservoir looks quite high to me.  Gopher and I took a nice walk, and a swim for her,  along the shore and saw muskrats, Western Grebes and American Coots. We’re not “birders” but do enjoy knowing what we’re looking at.  There are signs cautioning you to watch out for the badger holes.  The shoreline was littered with fisherman type trash. Empty bait containers, mono-filament line, cigarette packs, bottles and cans, on and on.  Why folks do that escapes me. I’ll bet their house looks about the same.

Don and Dorothy Malpas pulled in this afternoon. We always enjoy company; Lazy Daze company in particular.

Tomorrow we continue on


This mornings 6:30 coffee, and Gophers walk, saw us at 28*; the coldest day so far on this trip.  We headed out about 8:30 with a general destination of the Pineview Reservoir near Huntsville, UT.  We try to limit a days driving to two hours and Huntsville was one hour and 45 minutes away.  We’re camped at the Anderson Cove USFS campground. The campground just opened last Friday. In fact, when I called to inquire last week, I was told the campground wasn’t opened. Our initial plan was to find a disbursed camping site in the area. I stopped at the local USFS office to inquire and was told there was no disbursed camping on the reservoir but Anderson Cove had just opened.  It’s us and two other campers. Come Memorial Day, that will come to a screeching halt. We have a super site right on the shore of the reservoir. Took Gopher for a nice swim. $11/night. The campground has a dump and water fill station. 

We’re still kicking around ideas for next year.  We’ll likely head home after the Balloon Fest, take care of business, doctors, and such, then head out West again.  Carol has to get with her doctor every six months or so.
Tuesday. Spuds & Ruts

 We went into Ogden to stock up on groceries before heading to our next camping area in Idaho. My six year old laptop has been acting up so I went to Wal-Mart, and for $498 got a real nice Dell.  Nothing fancy, but neither are my computer needs. Now, at my leisure, I'll get the new one all set up and use the old one as backup. I've owned four other Dells and have always been pleased with them.
 Idaho spuds are well know. In the small town of Burley,near where we are, there are six potato processing companies so spuds, are clearly a big business around here. If you see a crop in this area if it's not potatoes it's alfalfa.
The Oregon and California Trails crisscrossed southern Idaho. Interstate 86 basically follows the path of the Oregon Trail from about Pocatello to Boise. We're camped at the Milner Historic Recreation Area west of Burley. This is a rustic BLM property comprised of four miles of river frontage and 2,055 acres. There are a handful of rustic camping areas spread along the river. The rack rate is $5/night; we pay $2.50!!  Pit toilets and trash dumpsters. What else do you really need??
The Oregon Trail ran right through this area. The pioneers were following the south side of the Snake River looking for a safe crossing. Around here, the river bank is rather steep and lined with boulders.

It's just us, once again. Just as we like it.

 And this is what we look at all day.

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

These are genuine ruts made by the wagon trains. Some of these ruts are 15" deep. I saw some flat rocks in the trail that were stained rust red from the iron oxide of the iron wheel rims. Fascinating after all those years. 

We'll be here for a while.
Right now it's 8:20, warm and sunny with a clear sky. Gopher is outside just hanging around. No one in sight.
This is our type of camping


Jimbo said...

I hope the gas prices there are better then out here in CA. I payed $4.99 a couple days ago in Walker, CA. I even saw it as high as $5.59.

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

The route you're taking looks very interesting. I would prefer it to going to CA, for sure. Next time you go over Soldier Summit (assuming you did), take a detour and go up to Scofield. A nice state park there. It's been chilly even here in Moab. :)

Russ Krecklow said...

You guys are enjoying a lot of nice places. Sure good to see your Westerly progress. Your new travel "plan" sounds like one we would enjoy. Thanks for sharing.