Just got our 2nd covid shots, and are heading to camp host in Moab,Utah. If you recall we did a camp hosting job there in 2019 but covid put a stop to that in 2020. Originally we had planned to take 3 weeks to travel to Moab but vaccine scheduling placed us in the “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans” situation.
I’m not complaining, I would rather have the vaccine and am very grateful to live in a small rural community that made accessibility less challenging than other places.
When we left Greenbank it was sunny skies as we crossed the Deception Pass Bridge. By the time we hit Snoqualmie Pass it was slush and snow. And once over the pass and heading south east through Washington we were back into blue skies and sunshine.
This year we won’t be hosting at Big Bend but we will be at Hittle Bottom. It’s about 25 miles outside of town and it’s one of those “last chance campgrounds”. You know, the campers have stopped at every single campground along the Colorado River and they hope and pray that Hittle Bottom has a space. Hittle Bottom has 15 sites and 1 group site along with a boat launch. It’s a popular river raft launch so we expect to see a lot of river activity while we host.
We will also be responsible for Upper Onion Creek Campground with 14 sites , 2 group sites and a corral for 8 horses for the horse campers. Fisher Towers is the 3rd campground that falls under our responsibility -mainly used by Fisher Tower rock climbers and only has 5 sites. The 4th campground that we are responsible for is Dewey Bridge Campground-7 sites and 3 group sites-this is another popular boat launch site for river rafting. And Lower Onion Creek Campground is our 5th campground we are resposible for with 21 sites and 3 group sites.
Hittle Bottom is our main responsibility- with the other 4, we are expected to check a minimum of 3 times during our work week. In reality what happens is we usually check them every other day to meet the minimum requirement. When campgrounds begin to fill up quickly we revert to daily checks for fee payment and tag pulling,litter pick up and stocking toilet paper-exciting right ? It’s such a beautiful area to work in and we meet the such wonderful campers, young and old. Our experience from 2019 should hold true for this year- spring break campers from March thru mid April and then family campers mid April through Memorial Day. A round trip checking all campgrounds would be about 25-28 miles .
These campgrounds are all first come first serve,no water and no electricity are available at the campgrounds. Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables and trash service are provided at all campgrounds. The group sites are reservable up to 6 months in advance and up to 8 days prior to the arrival date.
We don’t mind the driving from campground to campground-it really is such a gorgeous area. And I’m looking forward to lots of different photo opportunities afforded by these “new to us campgrounds.”
I’m writing this blog from Moab Laundry Express. We have been here since Feb 26th. We got acclimated to our campsite, set up our “Clam Shelter”. Thank goodness for that, since it gives us room to sit and cook without us being jammed up in the van. Kitkat loves the Clam, we leave a little portion of the dirt floor uncovered and she likes to dig herself a little pocket and lay there all day when it’s hot. Believe it or not we’ve had temperatures in the low 70’s already. Nights can range from low 30’s to high 40’s and in looking at this weeks weather report snow is coming Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately we held of de-winterizing our rig so we don’t have to worry about freezing water pipes.
Our trip down to Moab was pretty uneventful-we didn’t sight see and we stayed at “convenient to the highway” overnight spots-one rest stop,one Cracker Barrel and one Walmart . I really dislike traveling that way-having to meet a schedule-but now that we are in Moab we are relaxing and even when we are on the clock we are off the clock.
The BLM office expects record crowds this season , so we are getting into our ZEN ZONE to deal with all the personalities we can and probably will encounter for the 3 months that we are here. We’ve noticed a lot of “new to camping” people, who aren’t sure how to set up a tent, where to park there RV in the campsite or sometimes even how to park it. And if I had a dollar for every camper who said “oh we got in really late and didn’t pay yet” I could fly to the South Pacific and find a sunny beach somewhere there to relax! We just chuckle because we see that they had plenty of time to set up camp, pull out the grill, build a fire and do some damage to some beer, but somehow it was too late to pay-lol.
People are pretty conscientious about social distancing and masking. On BLM land masks are required (mandated) if you can’t social distance. Fortunately we have plenty of open space to social distance and when we go around to chat with the campers and pull tags from the campsites we keep our masks on. I’m so glad we were able to complete our Covid vaccinations before we left-it just gives us another layer of safety, along with social distancing and masking.
It’s such a great feeling to be camping in wide open spaces and the star filled sky at night is breathtaking. Our campground is about 25 miles outside of town so it’s very quiet and we don’t get a lot of traffic just driving through looking for a campsite-since we are the next to the last one along the river folks tend to settle in to the first site they find. We’ve met a great deal of folks from Colorado who came over to the high desert to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures and escape the snow and cold of Colorado.
Did I tell you our boat launching area is one the busiest along the Colorado River. We’ve had about 1/2 dozen rafters this past week. When the commercial season starts (which is just around the corner) folks line up to launch their rafts.
We’ve met so many friendly folks so far. It’s a strange feeling, after being locked away for almost a year with very little social contact outside of zoom calls or talking to neighbors over the fence, to be meeting and greeting strangers . It’s heartening to feel the joy everyone is experiencing being outside and enjoying each other’s company.
I hope you are experiencing some joy in you life right now after the “lifetime” we had in 2020. And I hope and pray that we all continue on the road to health and happiness and enjoying the outdoors wherever each of us may be. Safe travels, social distance , mask up and stay healthy my friends until we meet again. Happy Trails