Travel Day & Dry Camping Weekend

Posted by on May 17, 2016

Friday, May 13th.

How absolutely cool is that!?!?!

How absolutely cool is that!?!?!

We had just 180ish miles to drive on Friday – from Rock Springs, Wyoming to the Huntsville, Utah area where we were meeting Zack, Kelsea and the kids.

The scenery was ever changing...from rocky, to hilly, to mountainous, to flat...awesome!

The scenery was ever changing…from rocky, to hilly, to mountainous, to flat…awesome!

The drive through southwestern Wyoming and northeastern Utah was absolutely gorgeous, mountainous with rolling green hills and rocky bluffs.

Kelly's Kitchen - Evanston, WY

Kelly’s Kitchen – Evanston, WY

We stopped in Evanston, Wyoming to take on fuel and then went across the highway to Kelly’s Kitchen.  This location was located next to a state park and even had bison roaming around.  Although today they were lounging off in the distance….but still a cool thing to find at Kelly’s Kitchen!

Lounging bison

Lounging bison

This particular rest area also had a dump station so we dumped our black tank and filled up with potable water in preparation for our dry camping weekend.

Back on the road we continued our drive through the gorgeous countryside pulling into Chris’s Restaurant about 2:00 pm.  We went inside and each ordered a shake to enjoy while we waited for ZnK to arrive.

It won't be hard to get used to this setting...

It won’t be hard to get used to this setting…

After enjoying part of our shake (and putting the rest in our freezer for later) we walked across the street to Jefferson Hunt Campground where we’ll be camp hosting this summer.  We’d been told that it was still pretty wet and that they’re hoping to open it around the 27th for Memorial Day weekend so we wanted to check it out.

What will eventually be our site

What will eventually be our site

The campground is pretty darned wet…with standing water in the road and in between several of the sites.  There are also a lot of big trees that have been cut down and are lying all over the place.  On top of all that the grass is in need of being cut, which will be our first big job when we get in there.  We have a hard time seeing how that campground can actually  open for Memorial Day weekend but maybe we’ll be surprised.

Paityn & Cam set up at Nana's doing some coloring while the adults set up camp.

Paityn & Cam set up at Nana’s doing some coloring while the adults set up camp.

ZnK got to Chris’ about 3:30 pm while we were still wandering the campground so we cut our walkabout short and hustled back over to meet them.  Paityn and Cameron were surprised to see us walking toward them but the hugs had to wait as they were in their car seats.

Camp for the weekend!

Camp for the weekend!

We followed them about 16 miles north to our weekend destination…a snowmobile parking lot!  Getting there about 4:00 pm we got set up and then waited for ZnK’s friends and their parents to arrive a couple of hours later.  It was almost a little Heartland rally as 3 of the 4 rigs were Heartland products.

Our chef for the weekend!

Our chef for the weekend!

Zack grilled some awesome ribs for dinner and we had pasta salad, fried potatoes and asparagus to go with them.  A delicious way to start our camping weekend.  Just as we were sitting down to eat someone spotted a baby moose wondering around in the parking lot…no mama to be seen.  He wandered off once he realized he wasn’t ‘alone’.

Our baby moose visitor

Our baby moose visitor

We sat around a campfire for a short while but went inside around 10:30 or so while everyone else stayed out for a while longer.

Saturday May 14th.

Zack started our day by making breakfast for our group…eggs, left over fried potatoes, and bacon.  Once again, an excellent meal and certainly one that filled our tummy’s and prepared us for the days adventure!

Hittin' the road!

Hittin’ the road!

About 10:30 am we loaded up 3 Rangers/ATV’s…whatever you wanna call ’em.  We had 6 in our vehicle, there was 6 in another vehicle and then 4 in the third.

Our group.  Taking a break while watching the dogs play.

Our group. Taking a break while watching the dogs play.

We ended up driving around in the mountains for about 5 hours!  Thankfully, we packed snacks and sandwiches to enjoy on the run.  We made several stops along the way for potty breaks, stretch breaks and even a break for the dogs to get out and play in a stream….oh I forgot to mention…we also had 5 dogs with us!  LOL

The goal of the trip was to visit Ephraim’s Grave….the grave of the last grizzly bear in Utah.  Ephraim was a terror to the local sheepherders and was finally killed in 1923.  When he was killed he stood 10 feet tall and weighed 1100 pounds!  That’s one big bear!  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to his grave as the road was still closed due to snow.

This could have been a lot worse...but now it's just a good story to tell!

This could have been a lot worse…but now it’s just a good story to tell!

With that road closed it was decided to take a different route to an area that Zack and Kelsea and their friends normally camp.  It’s a beautiful area surrounded in mountains.  We started getting higher and higher in the mountains and the temperature dropped considerably…so much so that we started seeing more and more snow on the side of the road.  Then the snow started covering the road more and more.  Then…the inevitable happened…  We were the third vehicle in our group and we watched as the 2 in front of us ventured into a pretty snowy area…the first didn’t seem to have any issues but the 2nd vehicle got stuck but after a little rocking they were able to get moving again.  Us?  Not so much.  We were stuck big time!  The 4 adults got out and tried to push the ranger but it didn’t move an millimeter.  Thankfully, another ATV came along and they had a winch and pulled us out.  Just about that time the other 2 vehicles with us came back saying that there was a big tree down over the road ahead and we couldn’t go on anyway.

At this point it was evident our ride was coming to an end since we’d come to two dead ends!  We had a good ways to ride to get back to the campsite and after being out in the fresh air all day Paityn and Cameron both fell asleep on the way back.

Target practice!?

Target practice!?

Once back at camp several people took the opportunity to shoot some guns…Michael being one of them.  He shot his pistol as well as Zack’s 7mm rifle and a 20 gauge that was Michael’s 30+ years ago and Michael has since handed down to Zack.

Filthy dirty from all the dust flying around on our ride everyone took showers when we got back and then started working on getting dinner started.  ZnK’s friends and their parents brought 3 beef roasts that they put in dutch ovens and then cooked over hot coals for several hours.  Kelsea and I brought potatoes & carrots to add to the roasts.  It was an excellent way to top off an already awesome day.

Zack decided it was finally time to say goodbye to this very holey pair of jeans he'd had since high school.

Zack decided it was finally time to say goodbye to this very holey pair of jeans he’d had since high school.

Once again we had a fire going but nobody stayed up very late as it was pretty chilly and I think everyone was pretty tired after our journey on the Rangers.

Sunday 5/15

Once again, Zack cooked breakfast for our group (Pancakes & bacon) outside…but we ate in our coach as it was raining off and on and had been since about midnight or so.

A little down time while watching Monsters Inc. on a cold and rainy morning

A little down time while watching Monsters Inc. on a cold and rainy morning

Paityn and Cameron watched Monsters Inc. while we cooked breakfast and cleaned up…and I guess I’d have to say that some of us adults might have joined in watching too!

It didn’t take us much to get packed up to leave but we had to wait for the other campers to pull out so that we could get hitched up and pull out.  We ended up pulling out around 1:00 pm and then followed Zack and Kelsea back down the mountain, through Huntsville, through Ogden Canyon and then back into civilization.

We turned off on the exit to Hill Air Force Base while ZnK went a bit further south to their exit to home.  We’ll be staying at the FamCamp at Hill for at least a week.  We’re just kinda spinning our wheels until Jefferson Hunt is able to be opened.

Squeezed into an overflow site #30.

Squeezed into an overflow site #30.

After getting into our site (#30) and getting settled in we met the Utah Barnett’s at Red Robin for dinner.  We were all so tired that even preparing the leftover ribs from our camping weekend seemed like too much work!  We visited over dinner and then called it a night about 8:00 pm and went our separate ways…about a 2.5 mile drive for both of us to get to our respective homes.

We were here at Hill AFB FamCamp back in 2013.  We stayed here a week from April 10 – April 17 in site 15 and did quite a bit of sight seeing while we were here.  You can click HERE to start reading about our last visit with our coach to this area.  Zack & Kelsea didn’t live here yet.

Monday 5/16

A glorious day, indeed!  Michael and I enjoyed a down day…thank heavens!  I stayed in my jammies until 5:00 pm and Michael never got out of his!  We watched a bunch of shows from the DVR as our DVR is getting pretty darn full.

Cam & Pnut mixing up batches of Lemon Bars & Brownies

Cam & Pnut mixing up batches of Lemon Bars & Brownies

The only reason I got dressed is because we took the leftovers (ribs, baked beans & asparagus) over to ZnKs house and enjoyed another meal with our favorite Utahans.  We also watched the kids play in the backyard, checked out the various plants growing (apples, pears, plums, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, asparagus, potatoes, etc) in the backyard, checked out the newly finished basement and played with Cameron in his bedroom.

We got home around 9:00 pm and Michael went to bed and watched some TV while I stayed in the living room and watched a couple of my shows before going to bed.


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