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Old 03-17-2015, 06:21 PM   #1
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westcoastas's Avatar
2005 28' Safari
formerly of Tustin, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 231
Finally ... getting our disperse camping on!

Last week we left the comfort zone in the St. George area and made our way into canyon country via Scenic Byway 12 - first stop: Escalante. I picked up a BLM map for the Escalante area and we stayed the first night on a large road cut about five miles south of Escalante and then two nights at the wonderfully empty Escalante Petrified Forest campground for $22/night and electric/water hookup and a campground sewage dump. The site was adjacent to a quiet reservoir complete with the requisite fowl - we even spotted our first bald eagles in the wild - a pair perched a mere couple hundred feet away in a tall dead oak. Magnificent birds!

While scouting out the small town I made conversation with the local postwoman and she gave me a local tip about a great dry camping spot off Scenic Byway 12. While our AS sat safely in the campground we scouted out some potential spots for dry camping on the backroads and found the recommended spot to be spectacular! One thing though - while it was only a couple miles off Byway 12, the dirt road had a short but steep section that I was worried about, being a newbie tower. We were wanting to pull our 28-footer AS fully loaded with water along with 21 gallons of extra water in the truck bed, so I was worried we were pushing the limits. But we wanted this spot soooo badly! I didn't want to mess with having to shift from Hi to Lo, so I put our Tundra in 4WD Lo (a shout out to those members who recommended to me to get 4WD for instances exactly like these) and slowly made it up the S-curve with I guess not too much trouble.

The site has a nice turn-around big enough for our trailer and we left it parked about 15' away from the edge of the mesa. We have a beautiful rock garden to our right, complete with twisting Utah Junipers and sharp yuccas. We noticed an intrepid tenter about a mile away but other than he or she, we were alone.

The Waterpocket Fold to the east and The Straight Cliffs to the west nearly come together and pinch us off far off in the distance to the south while Capitol Reef National Park beckons out of the north. But first we're just enjoying our little spot here away from most everybody else - with a nice cafe (Outfitters - don't pass this eatery up; you can justify the great tasting carbs with plenty of hiking), grocery store, laundromat, post office, Wells Fargo, water and fuel only 12.5 miles away, there's no reason to rush.

While exploring Byway 12 up to Boulder, we hiked out to the Lower Calf Creek Falls (about 7 mi RT), then scouted out the tiny town and decided we like the area we're in better. Coincidentally I picked up Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire in Snow Canyon Campground's bookstore (with the former camp host's discount - thank you very much!) and he is now my favorite writer. Like a great jazz musician, Abbey conjures up a multitude of riffs to describe desert life over and over, enough so to convert this once ignorant desert observer into becoming a lover of the canyon lands. Back in the 60s he was a park ranger at Arches before there was an asphalt road and he managed to get closely acquainted with the canyon lands that pretty much spreads out to where we are currently. Just about every notion he describes is in full evidence in front of me - it's like reading a picture book with really huge pages!

We spent our first two days just re-nesting our AS. I had two projects: create a makeshift cubbyhole to act as a bookended library out of a discarded Amazon box and fix a kitchen drawer catch. Not much I know when compared to veteran full-timers but baby steps for me. As it turned out, I had time for a morning walk before breakfast, a mid-day walk, and a post-dinner walk - 3-1/2 hours in all interspersed with lying on our couch or the bed, reading Abbey's colorful rants, and listening to music chosen from my various favorite documentaries/movies (Mile...Mile and a Half, 180 Degrees South, Into the Wild, Motorcycle Diaries) that have become the soundtrack of our life (we're so grateful for iPod and Bose speaker battery life!). Not since our first two weeks on the road unpacking had we spent the whole day just around the immediate vicinity of our AS. Time has stopped for us ... at least for a week or so.

Best wishes to all.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:32 PM   #2
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westcoastas's Avatar
2005 28' Safari
formerly of Tustin, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 231
Scenes from Scenic Byway 12 and Lower Calf Creek Falls

The Escalante area is a haven for hikers and lovers of canyon country.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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1990 25' Excella
Sisters , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Awesome thread, thank you. Owning an Airstream is liking having an E ticket. I guess that dates me - I went to Disneyland the first year it opened (my wife was Snow White there for a while). Anyway (I digress a lot), an Airstream opens up so much. There are many different ways to enjoy it. Leaving for California wine country in a couple of days and will be spending a couple of weeks staying overnight at vineyards.

Can't wait to go boondocking! It seems like a natural progression. We started out staying mostly in commercial parks, which didn't last very long. Now we spend most our time in State Parks and NFS and BLM campgrounds and go to a commercial park only when we need to recharge, dump and refill.

Threads like this are inspiring as boondocking is next.

John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

Grown men don't need leaders. ~ Edward Abbey
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:26 AM   #4
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Normal , Illinois
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And what it's all about.


🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:10 AM   #5
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
And what it's all about.
Amen to that!
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:17 AM   #6
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Currently Looking...
z , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Thank you for the photos. Stunning to say the least. We can't wait to get out there. Soon...very soon! It's very obvious that you two are having the time of your lives. Your detailed descriptions of your surroundings gives us the impression you have found some peace in your life that is very much deserved after years of busting your butt working.
We look forward to seeing your posts. Serenity is the first word that comes to mind.
Maybe one of these days our paths will cross. We can meet at the pizza place you spoke of in your last post, and WE'RE BUYING you guys dinner. Please post more photos. Gorgeous!
All the best to you & your wife,
Gavin & Kay
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:55 AM   #7
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Panama City , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2015
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My company lets me expense my airstream like a hotel stay on my travels in region. It is a welcome improvement over a hotel room. My own sheets.
Tinbox and junk hunter wife.

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