TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

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TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:43 pm

We just got back from 4 days/3 nights of some very diverse camping across Utah.

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Yeah, this was on our last night (at Forsyth Reservoir) and not at the beginning of our trip, but I had to make this photo front and center. What a spot!

Mrs. Admin's aunt and uncle, from near Quebec City, are visiting us in the midst of a multi-month Harley trip across North America. They've been busy seeing the National Parks and everything else in their tourist guide, so we decided to take them with us and show them a bit of what's off the beaten path that makes Utah so special.

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Hooked up to the new tow vehicle and ready to go.

Uncle and I headed out Thursday morning ahead of Mrs. Admin and aunt riding separately in Mrs. Admin's car. We encountered some heavy thunderstorms shortly after we left pavement near Huntington, and by the time we arrived at the Lower Wedge in the San Rafael Swell the trailer and my new truck were both heavily encased in mud. To add insult to injury, as we were backing into a tight spot on the rim of the canyon, with uncle spotting we were both watching what we anticipated to be the difficult side, and were caught ignoring what we thought would be the easy side. Before we knew it a stray branch of a juniper tree ripped the dump valves to my black water tank and one of my grey water tanks right off the trailer. We'd have to complete the trip without the benefit of a toilet.

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Upon arrival at the Little Grand Canyon in The Wedge area of the San Rafael Swell

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My trailer is visible along the rim at The Wedge, one of my favorite places to camp.

From there we went to Wild Horse Road outside of Goblin Valley (with a 30-mile detour to Green River to wash the now dried mud off the vehicles), and while camped for our second night at the foot of Wild Horse Butte we hiked Little Wild Horse Canyon and visited Goblin Valley.

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Mrs. Admin, uncle and aunt hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon.

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Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon

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My girls in Little Wild Horse Canyon.

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Camped beneath Wild Horse Butte.

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The view from our campsite at Wild Horse Butte.

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Goblin Valley

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Sunset at Goblin Valley.

For night #3 we took a chance. Google Earth reconnaissance looked good for Forsyth Reservoir, at 8,000 feet in Fishlake National Forest north of Loa. That turned out to be my new favorite campsite, and we got to enjoy the spectacular UT-24 through Capitol Reef National Park and the sleepy town of Torrey en route. We were the only overnighters at the entire lake.

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Zoe swims at Forsyth Reservoir.

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Our campsite at Forsyth Reservoir.

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Our campsite at Forsyth Reservoir.

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Hangin' in camp at Forsyth Reservoir.

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Sunset over Forsyth Reservoir from camp.

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Looking across Forsyth Reservoir at our camp.

A few observations from this trip:
1. Damn, I'm paying to get something else fixed on the trailer. This sucks. Rookie mistakes to be sure, and I'll eventually learn to not make them, but...damn. Just damn.
2. The new truck tows like a champ, even on steep, unimproved dirt roads.
3. The new truck drinks like a sailor on shore leave -- average 8.5 mpg towing. Maybe if I kept it below 75-80 mph...
4. Forsyth Reservoir is ~15 miles from Loa, the location of the nearest store. It's a straight shot on UT-72. Nevertheless, Mrs. Admin and aunt still found a way to get lost for nearly 3 hours on a quick run to the store. There's no cell service in that neck of the woods and I had to go find them. Sheesh.
5. In the span of 4 days we had thunderstorms, unusually hot mid-90s sunshine for early June in the desert, and a night in the upper 40s. We had a canyon rim, barren desert, a slot canyon and a refreshing mountain lake surrounded by spring greenery, all in one quick long weekend trip. #utahisrad
6. Did I mention that I broke the trailer again? Damn.

Addendum: Well, the estimate is in for the repairs: $800-1000. Not cheap by any means, but a far cry from the $4733 I did on our second trip. It looks like I should be flushing the head again by this weekend.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby BobMc » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:21 pm

Nice! Never been to Forsyth, I'll have to check it out. What the heck did you do at East Canyon that cost $4733??
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby mrgskier » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:37 pm

Marc, looks like a blast! Some really nice camping spots. I did take note of Forsyth on a trip down to Capital Reef in March. Seems like a very very nice spot. New trailer looks like plush living. Very glad you are enjoying summer in Utah!
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:19 pm

Thanks, guys.

Bob: Where I had it at my house was a ridiculously tight spot between the house on one side and a dying aspen tree on the other, much less than a foot of clearance available on each side. I took down half of that tree last year and it was rotten inside (it was a double trunk) and I'd been meaning to take down the rest of it. On top of that, I have to pull out at a slight angle to miss an electrical box at the curb. Well, I took that angle a little too sharply and caught the back left corner of the trailer on the tree. It really doesn't look that bad, but that was the insurance estimate. Those repairs were already scheduled for next week.

Of course, afterwards the tree paid the ultimate price (and yes, the second trunk was swiss cheese inside thanks to rot and carpenter ants).
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby BobMc » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:47 pm

Bonus, camping firewood!
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:17 pm

Indeed, it's now cut up in the wood pile drying out.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby EMSC » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:12 pm

I don;t know why, but i find it hard to envision Admin sitting in an RV watching TV and then calling it camping. :-k
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:43 pm

EMSC wrote:I don;t know why, but i find it hard to envision Admin sitting in an RV watching TV and then calling it camping. :-k


I'm getting old. And yeah, I installed a Dish Network dome. ;-) But the good news is that I still hate campgrounds.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:59 pm

Admin wrote:I'm getting old.

We got that from the hammock pic with the Crocs.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:03 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Admin wrote:I'm getting old.

We got that from the hammock pic with the Crocs.


Folks, he'll be here all week. Try the veal!
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Marc_C » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:34 am

Admin wrote:
EMSC wrote:I don;t know why, but i find it hard to envision Admin sitting in an RV watching TV and then calling it camping. :-k


I'm getting old. And yeah, I installed a Dish Network dome. ;-) But the good news is that I still hate campgrounds.

Yet you have a thing that basically doesn't like being outside of a campground that has paved pads and hook-ups.

If you really hate campgrounds, then you should be towing one of these or something similar:
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:07 pm

Marc_C wrote:
Admin wrote:But the good news is that I still hate campgrounds.

Yet you have a thing that basically doesn't like being outside of a campground that has paved pads and hook-ups.


Bull$hit. See above - no campgrounds, no paved pads, no hookups. Precisely how much experience do you have with towing travel trailers? Oh, that's right... Zero. I can get this into far more places than you think. With my trailer axles flipped I have more ground clearance on the trailer than my truck has (which itself has more than the Tacoma had). I'd bet that I have the same clearance as that novelty toy trailer you posted. And with two 12V deep cycle batteries, a generator to top them off when necessary, and a 65-gallon fresh water tank, two 25-gallon grey tanks and a 25-gallon black tank, I can easily stay off the grid for a week or longer. You'd have to pull that toy into town every other day just to get water.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Marc_C » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:37 pm

Admin wrote:Bull$hit. See above - no campgrounds, no paved pads, no hookups. Precisely how much experience do you have with towing travel trailers? Oh, that's right... Zero. I can get this into far more places than you think. With my trailer axles flipped I have more ground clearance on the trailer than my truck has (which itself has more than the Tacoma had). I'd bet that I have the same clearance as that novelty toy trailer you posted. And with two 12V deep cycle batteries, a generator to top them off when necessary, and a 65-gallon fresh water tank, two 25-gallon grey tanks and a 25-gallon black tank, I can easily stay off the grid for a week or longer. You'd have to pull that toy into town every other day just to get water.

It's still happiest in a campground.
Off the grid? Dude, the ISS can see that thing!
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Admin » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:08 pm

That's just plain not true either. It's equally adept in a campground or dry camping.
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Re: TR (non-skiing): Utah camping 6/1-4/2017

Postby Marc_C » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:55 pm

Admin wrote:It's equally adept in a campground or dry camping.

And getting it's owner teased. :-D
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