Sunday, December 6, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020, 42 years in a row camping for turkey

Thanksgiving 2020,  my wife and I have now camped on this weekend for 42 years straight. I personally started camping on Thanksgiving in 1973 at 19 years old when I discovered Anza Borrego Desert riding dirt bikes with Friends. Lynn and I started there as well, cooking game hens on coals buried in the sand for Thanksgiving dinner, driving our dune buggy and riding dirt bikes while sleeping in tents. Graduating to truck campers, motor home and in 2007 back to our current pop-up truck camper. We used to take our daughters out of school the whole week for camping at Anza Borrego and many other places in the Southwest including Baja, it's been a great tradition.  

It is about a nine hour boring as hell drive from Boise, passing Salt Lake City, to get to the general area of Utah we like to visit. Salt Lake is a rotten place to drive by, the freeway always torn up and traffic backed up for miles. Getting an early start from Boise is important to try to hit the Salt Lake area before afternoon traffic really hits the brakes. 

This year I had a fantastic idea to help pass the time, podcasts! Ok so I'm a bit behind the times but late is still good and yet finding a podcast to listen to is just another form of channel surfing, an hour later we had something to listen to. Now I'm waiting on the Verizon bill to see how much I went over our data plan. Next time I'll download ahead of time using our unlimited home wifi plan. See, I'm getting there 21st century, lookout!

I had picked out a few possible camp spots using Google Earth but getting to a place after dark limits a guy to being able to pick and choose. We were so lucky to find the turnoff to this place and the road so 4wheelish that I got out and walked maybe a mile to make sure it was drivable and desirable. A big yes to both. Pulling up I had to drop the trailer to be able to use the camper steps, still not being able to see the surroundings under night clouds and no moon coming through. Come morning I knew we had a great camp spot.



Camping the desert with a trailer for many years taught me to bring a flat piece of wood the drop the trailer on, helping to be able to move the tongue a few inches to get it back on the hitch. It also works if you need to put a jack on it to change a flat tire, something I know a little about. 



To make sure that this would be home for a few days we jumped in the Polaris Razor and took a ride around the neighborhood. What a beautiful neighborhood it was with Tombstone Butte in the distance.


We found a trail that took us to the Green River, I was still looking for that perfect shot of the Bowknot Bend on the Green.


These pictures were taken from this spot, one of several we've visited. The Bowknot is the 7 mile meander that brings the River back on itself. One day in the future the River will break through the narrow separation and the Bowknot will become another of many abandoned meanders, also called a rincon, in the southwest.


What follows are too many pictures of a gorgeous place. Is it possible to have too many pictures of scenery like this?




Searching for a new technique, I call this footography.




Lynn prepares for a glide



Ol Duke is less than impressed with the view, maybe it's the polarized googles, goggles sorry. And yes, when looking for them I had to google goggles.


Driving back to camp there was more scenery to stop for.


And a side trail that took us to a "secret spire." 







Then back to camp...put on your glasses to see the camper




"I smell gas Dad, is the propane leaking?"


Gas leak or not it was a nice afternoon snack. Freeze dried okra was tasty too while Duke was dogging me for a beer.


If we had a choice it would be to have a long view of the sunset, 4:30 was too early for shade in near freezing temps. Yet it was a good excuse to go for evening walks back into the sun.

You can notice pieces of old junipers on the right of the picture. Trees had been cut by people in the distant past and laid out in a large circle on the ground along with a smaller concentric circle. We couldn't think of any reason for this, it wouldn't have worked as any kind of corral. My thought was the Druids of Utah during some kind of ceremony, maybe called Thanksgiving.


Looking east to the La Sals with a bit of snow.



Waiting for dinner, isn't it obvious?




Come on Baby light my fire, by the out Doors


Caught at just the right second



I sometimes feel guilty for having the amenities we do in our camper. This was not one of those times, bring on breakfast Dear!


After breakfast we loaded up for another longer drive of close to 30 miles away. I had some sand dunes to check out. Sadly, we wouldn't be at the sand dunes very long.


We stopped at Dubinky Well for a quick pic. Last year I was here in deep snow and shared the scene with a little rabbit.


Sand twirlies, made by the wind spinning the tiny stick of brush in the sand.


Sometimes the road just up and disappears


And sometimes we share the road with the old west





We had made it to the dunes and had a few minutes of fun when not paying attention, ok driving and taking movies at the same time, I hit a rock giving us two small rock scrapes right through the sidewall of the tire. Oh crap. Since we take Duke with us I had to remove the storage box that would have carried a jack and air compressor. I did have a can of "Spare Tire" though which filled it back up and added some sealant, just enough to make it back to camp, without taking any pictures.

Can I say by the time we got to camp, 27 miles, I was just flat tired.
On the second day God invented spare tires, thank you God.


Evening was coming on, it was spectacular. Clouds came up and with it some afterglow.








Trying out the new decor


Next morning...
A 19Âș night makes for the need of a warm up walk before hitting the dirt trails.


Viewable in the center of the photo is the tree branch circle while the smaller attached circle is hard to pick out on the right side of the tree brach circle, huh? Like I say, Utah chapter of Druids.



Duke and I had crawled across this band of rock to get around the far corner. When Lynn called he took off running back, toenails scratching the rock as he ran faster and lower trying not to slide. It was amazing to watch but when I tried to get back over I had issues. It was cold, I am by nature very stiff and known to trip over a blade of grass. Looking down the pucker factor jumped into high gear and yes, I accidently kicked my one foot with the other. Lesson to self, just because your dog can do it doesn't mean you should.


At least if I fell it would be a short trip, back to the camper.



One of my gals was happy to see that I'd made it.



Back in the Razor and wheeling to another spot to see the Green River.






The next few pictures were taken from here...


Poor girl, she still follows me through the rocks and cliffs. Ok cliffs not so much anymore. It's not the fall that scares her she says, but the landing.



Where did you drop the keys Dear?


Looking at a side of the Bowknot, still not exactly where I wanted to be yet happy to be where I was.











Meanwhile back at the ranch







That night was Thanksgiving. 
We had dinner...



 and took a picture. 



In the morning we got up to leave, Thanksgiving #42 in the books.




Thanks for reading


PS. Most all of my pictures are taken with iPhone8 these days. Having never gotten great with a DSLR and always in a rush to gab a shot I've migrated to more of the iPhone. It probably takes better photos than I can.