Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

300 Camper Nights

Lurch in the Kaibab Forest, AZ

It took me a bit longer to get to the third 100 camper nights than it did the first and second.  Between the upheaval of building a house and moving and COVID, there’s just been less time for camping.  This last trip, for Autumn color, put Lurch over the mark, though.


I’ll admit I do these posts mostly for myself; the retrospective is fun, and the opportunity to reflect is precious.  Perhaps the addition of a few pretty pictures will add some interest.


So, in these last 100, I’ve been in 22 Campgrounds (a number I try to minimize), alone 54 nights, and in 25 new places.  The pull to familiar and loved campsites is strong, so I make a conscious effort to look for new spots as well.


Lurch in the Mojave, California

I’d like to give kudos to my 4-Wheel Camper, which has held up really well to 75,000 miles and some significantly bumpy roads.  True, everything that could be shaken loose has been, but once we tweaked things to our liking, Lurch has been impressively reliable.  There’s a learning curve to driving, operating, and maintaining the systems.  It all seems rather automatic now, though.


I’m struck by (and grateful for) the lack of horrendous weather (wind!) in this set.  As far as I can remember, I’ve only been chased off a North Rim viewpoint by wind once.


So, some superlatives:


Snowy Death Valley Sunrise

Most spectacular morning:  I love sunrises; the solitude and the particular quality of hush.  We spent a second night at Lee Flat (#264, Death Valley) for the snowfall forecast overnight, and woke up to cold clear inspiration.


Harquahala Mountains

COVID Heaven:  I was nervous to go anywhere in the spring and got over that with multiple trips to the Harquahala Mountains, just an hour or so from home.  I never saw another soul. It occurred to me then that dispersed camping is actually quite safe.  The location also wins for most difficult to spell.


White Tanks Park

I had my first (and still the only) electrical hook up on night 206 in the White Tanks Regional Park.  I didn’t really need it, but what the heck.


The most pathetic spot was what we came to call “beer camping,” in the forest just a 5-minute walk from Barnstar Brewing Company, in the Prescott National Forest.  It's not as bad as it sounds: they are rather in the middle of nowhere. This spot was not so photogenic.


Above Old Lime Creek Rd, Colorado

Best new discovery:  Well, this is a tough call, but I’m going to go with night #300, Old Lime Creek Road in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado.  It was stumbled upon, full of aspens, and we saw a Moose.  Full disclosure:  the road is a little rough.


The best, no doubt, is yet to come.

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