Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Campsites”

Out for a Walk

A good part of the slope down here where I’m standing is solid rock.

The glorified name for this post is a photo essay, but really, it’s just a bunch of snaps I took as I walked a half mile further down, and returned to camp. The walk at the trailhead is fine, but passing vehicles made me wonder what was down there. My camp is at a spot that’s difficult enough and sloped enough to slow down even ATVers out for the weekend. After a day or two here, I noticed that I was seeing some vehicles going one way or the other and not returning, indicating that my trail connected to something meaningful at both ends, and so was not a dead end spur. A look at an MVUM showed that it does indeed connect and, if passable by my rig, would be a shorter overall route to resupply at Buena Vista.

The small amount of passing traffic is not the nuisance it usually is elsewhere. If I were to perch out by the road clear of the bushes, there would be entertainment value in Read more…

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Lenhardy Cutoff

The view from my first camping spot. Not too shabby!

When I decided to vacate the premises along Peru Creek Road near Dillon, Colorado, I had it in mind to head south and drop elevation, if possible. That was for both temperature and health effects reasons. I have plenty of 10,000-foot campsite on my Travel Itinerary, but elevation is not one of those things that are noted on some “find a campsite” websites. To get lower meant that I’d have to forego Leadville, which is a primo town with a few camping possibilities, but at the same elevation.  All along the trip down I was impressed by the number of side roads marked as reaching one mountain peak or another, all of them exceeding 14,000 feet. My earlier errands in Frisco had taken way too long, owing to destination location errors in both my GPS and iPhone nav system, and the absolutely congested “five pounds in a three-pound bag” nature of touristy and uber-stylish Frisco itself. No worries though – the Hollywood carrier and Evelo e-bike up front tend to act as a cow-catcher for pedestrians.

I settled on a mystery stop further south called Arkansas River, just north of Buena Vista. Buena Vista itself is at 7,943′ elevation, and this BLM campsite is just a very few miles away. How bad could it be? I’d followed the Arkansas River beside the highway for much of the trip down, and there are many vantage points for Read more…

Peru Creek Climb

Out for a foot-drag at 10,000 feet elevation, this is the view!

This post is a follow-up to the initial one on the Peru Creek camping area near Dillon, Colorado. Because of a problematic cellular signal, the only way to do that was to leave there. Not a unique situation in Colorado. But ahhh, the scenery as you drive along!

This very rough trailhead is officially adaptable for vehicles as well as people and mountain bikes. As I walked past, this Toyota SUV that had money poured into it gave it a go. It returned maybe a half-hour later, while a stock Jeep that preceded it stayed in for quite a while. I could not handle the climb rate on foot, so I could not gauge the degree of mechanical challenge. Some big rocks at center maybe a hundred feet in promised some adventure, however.

A low temperature front about to move in just as supplies were starting to run low made it a Read more…

Heading for Peru Creek

The current view out my “kitchen” window as I prepped my morning coffee. Not difficult to adapt to, in my opinion!

When leaving Wheatland, Wyoming for Dillon, Colorado, the fastest and shortest route was to take the Interstate to and through Denver. Considering that I poke along at a mere 65 MPH instead of the 70-80 MPH limit, that limits the theoretical time advantage of such a route. Having in the past swung into battle in Denver with the Defiant travel trailer, I decided that the more pleasant option was to instead add just a few miles and take a two-lane to Laramie, Wyoming in order to better take in the sights onroute. From there, more two-lane would take me to Dillon, Colorado. That worked out wonderfully.

Southern Wyoming is a treat. On long, lonely stretches that connect ranch entrances to the nearest distant town, I passed two pickups by the side of the road and two ranchers dressed in Western gear standing at the bed of one truck. By his arm gestures, one seemed to be describing something to the other as they conversed. Time to catch up on stories. A large wildlife area came up as I went on, and with it low mountains that the road twisted to stay between. These mountains were rugged and had an odd sandpaper surface, along with a deep tan color that through my amber sunglasses looked chocolate brown. I should have Read more…

Lewis Park, Wheatland Wyoming

Resting at the end of a long day.

First, some tedious detail. After completing the first day’s errands and overnighting at Cabela’s in Rapid City, South Dakota, I got a second day’s errands done by 1 PM. That included a much needed haircut so I would stop scaring small children.

I’ve also been dressing a little better since yesterday, and chucked my oldest pair of jeans that were beginning to get wear holes in them. Why? At the start of day one, on my way into Rapid City from Hanna Campground, I stopped at a restaurant-slash-tourist-trap for breakfast due to having run out of my own stuff. It’s a decent place, kind of rustic, always busy, and the food is good. I read an ebook from Project Gutenberg as I ate, and some time after I finished, the waitress showed up and said that my tab had already been paid. Huh? Yep, paid by Read more…

Life is Hard Dept.

Hanna Campground in the Black Hills National Forest.

[I’ve found that I can get a marginal cell signal at points during the day, so after enough unsuccessful tries, I was able to assemble and publish this.]

Can life be hard? It most surely can. But this is certainly not one of those times. Open only from Memorial Day through one week after Labor Day (for RVs, anyway), Hanna Campground is run by a concessionaire for the Forest Service. Normally $18/night to stay plus $2 for each yapping mutt on board, an America the Beautiful Pass chops this rate down to a base of $9/night. I can hack that for a week. A very tenuous cellular signal is the only reason I can think of why Hanna Campground is cheaper than the others in the general area. It’s very highly rated, and there’s a reason for that. I’ll let you figure that out from Read more…

Spearfish Trail Exploration

Overlooking Spearfish, SD from many miles away.

This is mainly a video post, and the video presented is not for entertainment purposes since, if it were, it would be just 5-8 minutes long. Instead, it’s a punishing 42 minutes in length – all of it dashcam – which means that few will watch it all the way through. That’s okay. What this is for is to show anyone who is interested just what I typically do to hunt for undocumented boondocking campsites along relatively easy trails that do not require 4WD. (Token high clearance is needed here.) This particular hunt is unusual because it happens to be quite successful. Two campsites on two trails, and not all that far from each other!

Why bother watching? Well, if you live vicariously through this blog and dream of getting out there to the kinds of places I do, this video may kick an assumption or two out of place. It might make you want to stick to published and popular campsites, or to RV parks. Or it may add to your wanderlust – I don’t know.  I find the ever-changing scenery quite Read more…

Scouting for Campsites

After overnighting at the Cabela’s store in Rapid City, South Dakota and listening to the subtle strains of reggae music blasting across the way from a gathering at a nearby parking lot all evening, I set off to visit the South Dakota Air & Space Museum the following morning. After that, I had all afternoon to locate a campsite suitable for a week’s stay.

Truth to tell, I was somewhat intimidated. The Black Hills National Forest is huge, being comprised of four districts. With another heat wave rolling in, my task was to find a workable site at somewhere above 5,000’ elevation. I made my way to the Mystic District Ranger Station for any advice they might have on what areas are highest. They were nice, gave me two MVUM’s and a sheet with a list of rules (like how far to stay from developed areas and water sources, and the maximum distance from roads), but they had no advice about where elevations were generally higher. After I downloaded those MVUMs onto my old iPad to help me know where on the map I was at any given time, and headed in, I soon found out why the lack of Read more…

Camping on the Rim

This is, in point of fact, where the antelope play.

This is an optimal camping site. A little intimidating at times, but pretty much great. The views are something else, and the nearest neighbors are at least a half-mile away. It’s a toodle to get to the highway leading to Wall, but the trip is quite convenient overall.

The weather here is the conundrum since, so far, it’s either/or. It’s been either sunny and peaceful with a slight breeze, or it shows off just what a thunderstorm can be all about. With the Mighty Furd’s nose pointed westward, that’s usually just a little off of facing the wind. The weather warning yesterday was for a thunderstorm with high winds, and it delivered.

Despite being just a little off in orientation, well, I’ve never yet seen the clear vinyl window flaps bulge inward like they did. Fortunately, the Velcro strips keeping them in place held well, but Velcro is not really airtight. As a result, both roof vent covers seemed determined to jitter their way open to let the air pressure out. Didn’t matter how tight the mechanism was cranked. I finally got the bright idea to Read more…

Wall, South Dakota

Ugh! The view out my screen window was like an RV park just for tenters. And this is after some had already moved out!

My second night at the Sage Creek Campground was much like the first: crowded, with lots of chattering going on until all hours. It obviously appeals to many, but it’s not my favorite camping experience.

The window view out the other side was better, except for more vehicles packed in close beside the Intrepid.

After a mediocre night’s sleep, what’s a budding hermit to do? Move out. I headed for greater metropolitan Wall. Despite a cloudless sky, I had to go to an alternate location on my list but do it in a timely manner, since storms were predicted to arrive about 2 PM. In sufficient quantities, rain can make trail passage difficult, and my alternate location is known for mud in wet weather. Downtown Wall offers Read more…

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