Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's 3:30 in the morning

And here I am posting. Our group is in the Bryce National Park area. I am in a public/commercial RV park and the other 3 are in Red Canyon Park about 10 miles west of here. The reason I am here, plugged into electricity and water, is that my trailer battery needed some long-term juice. That's my excuse. I wanted to be able to turn a light on and leave it on for a while! I knew I wasn't an avid boondocker but wanted to learn some basics for those times when I wanted to go somewhere to see something and there wasn't electricity/water available and for those nights I just couldn't find anything.

Ya, the campground is crowded and neighbors are in close proximity to each other, but I have already met Cathy and Rusty, Cathy's father-in-law and his cat Charlie, and Linda. We also happen to meet at the laundry mat. It's quiet, there are pine trees to smell and the temperature outside is hovering in the upper 30's right now. I just turned my little heater on and I am snug as a bug in a rug. This is our first really cold night.

Sunday morning we left Capital Reef and headed for Escalante State Park located in the northern part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park on UT 12. I stopped in Torrey to use a WIFI signal from a motel, to check emails as we are communicating with several Casita owners in the Kanab area and send out emails to family, send another blog out, get some ice and a few groceries. The others went on ahead of me. I enjoyed being by myself but did catch up with them later near Escalante.

I drove thru mountain country with pine trees and loaded with aspen. The aspen groves are just like in pictures you see - the white trunks, beautiful. The leaves are just starting to lose their green color and will be covering the sides of the mountains with their gorgeous golden color before long. I did encounter a Miata car club from the Salt Lake Valley and we played leap frog for quite a while. At a view point, before reaching the summit of Boulder Mountain at 9600 ft, we met each other again. Some of them wanted to see the inside of the trailer.

It is also open range and cattle are still in the mountains, and on the highway. I rounded one curve going up hill about 40 mph and met a calf crossing the highway with his mama. I managed to brake in time but still lightly bumped him. He is okay and was showing no sign of injury, nor any to the truck. But mama wasn't very happy. She came back up on the road and gave me a look that only mom's understand.

On the other side of Boulder Mountain the environment changed and became more high desert like. The colors were still there but the geography was changing. At one point, we traveled across what I would call a "goat trail". Again, the sides of the road dropped off down the sides for many, many feet (it seemed more like miles) and no guard rails. They probably wouldn't have done much good anyway. This was my first encounter driving with a trailer down 14% grades. Weeeeeeeeeeeee.

We arrived at Escalante SP around noon, set up, had lunch and discussed what to do that afternoon. Kathie and Don went exploring back up near Boulder UT and the 3 of us stayed in camp, took showers, I worked on the computer. On Monday morning we headed to Devil's Garden on a terrible washboard road. Ann was getting sick and so she and John turned back. The Devil's Garden area has a lot of interesting rock formations. Don told me to speed up on the washboard road and it wouldn't be so bad. Boy, did my springs get a true workout as I barreled down that road for camp. Think I scared a very slow moving car at the crest of a hill!

We left Escalante SP, after spending one night there and headed over to the Bryce area. It was a short drive but as you got closer to Bryce we were treated to "Bryce teasers" I call them. The beautiful pinks, creams, and salmon colors in the pillars and spires. Tomorrow (errrr, today) Kathie and I get together and take the shuttle bus around to the various view points in Bryce and then go over to Kodachrome Canyon, south of Canyonville on UT 12. Ann and John are tending to some household (er, trailerhold) chores and then do some touring themselves. Don is going to stay in camp and work on his notes for the May 2008 trip others will be taking.

I will be leaving the group here and heading for the Kanab UT area for a few days. Haven't decided what to do or see yet, but that's the fun of this trip. The others are suppose to come thru Kanab, from Zion National Park, on their way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. So maybe I will see them. It's been fun being with them and have enjoyed the companionship, laughs, and getting acquainted with some fellow Casita owners. I learned some things too - I enjoyed traveling more by myself from point A to point B, when with a group, I really do like my comforts, I can cook a meal on the stove, it is a bit tiring to me to move every 1 or 2 days, I can master those 14% downhill grades and narrow roadways, and the pine trees still smell good.

Until next time.
PS. Will work on some more photos tomorrow night.

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