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Old 06-18-2018, 02:20 AM   #15
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The dream for me is to become a backpacker. I'm still working out the kinks: testing out equipment and most of all, trying to convince the wife to go along with me. Getting down the eating and sleeping parts were successful but we'll have to work on the carrying/hiking part.

We ventured back out into the Dixie National Forest and Boulder Mountain off Scenic Byway 12. Before presenting my first Mountain House dinner to Coffee, I treated her to lunch at Burr Trail Grill, located at the intersection of Burr Trail and Highway 12. They have the best tasting hamburger we've ever eaten - local and grass-fed; you can taste the difference.

I hadn't set up our Half Dome 2 tent in almost a year but its design is so superior, even a city slicker like me could set it up. Coffee hammered in the stakes while I fired up our cheapo Chinese camp stove - it fired up like a champ and we had dinner in the darkness. The last time Coffee and I slept in a tent was back in summer of 2014 before hitting the road full-time. Back then when we looked up, there was nothing in the stars that offered an inkling of trailer life on the road...but they have been kind to us. We felt like kids again.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:29 AM   #16
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We took a detour from coming down off Boulder Mountain and took Burr Trail Road to check out its switchbacks. This is the incredible breadth in topography in and around the Staircase. The Burr Trail was carved out 20 to 100 feet at a time back in the late 1800s to drive cattle from the town of Boulder down to the Colorado River. The incredible route is testament to the wonder of geology and the stubbornness and grit of man.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:49 AM   #17
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We drove up and camped above Escalante in the Dixie National Forest and then drove up Hell's Backbone Road. I work with a young relative of the man who volunteered to pull a compressor with a bulldozer across two tree logs above the chasm. We are now used to canyon country, so to finally realize a beautiful alpine climate just outside the Grand Staircase is an incredible juxtaposition of terrain - further proof of the wonder of southern Utah.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:02 AM   #18
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We decided to go back to Boulder Mountain and try a different campground: Pleasant Creek. Sleeping in a tent is good for me: I go to bed, er...bag earlier and wake up to the birds singing. Going from living in 200 sf to 32 sf and waking up among the trees can be further evidence of the movement toward minimalism.

But then a nice hot shower in the Airstream back home reminds me I'm not a survivalist.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:05 AM   #19
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My giant friends...Populus tremuloides, the quaking aspens.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:26 AM   #20
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Beautiful pictures!

And, backpacking! Wow!

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Old 06-18-2018, 10:54 AM   #21
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Hi Maggie! To be clear, we haven't "backpacked" yet...just truck camping so far. We have backpacked a total of 150 feet at one campground from the truck to the picnic table, with an elevation drop of about 12 feet.

Baby steps for us.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:12 AM   #22
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Still, youíre in a tent, and Iím very impressed!

Maggie
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:50 PM   #23
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Great photos!!
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:16 AM   #24
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Great photos, thanks for sharing. I love Utah, it is so beautiful. A new discovery around every corner. Hell's Backbone is cool. Wish we had driven the entire HWY 12 to Capital Reef but had competing interests. I look forward to going back for more exploring. Utah really captured my heart. Enjoy!
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:08 PM   #25
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Twisted, gnarly, burnt tree ghosts one of my favorite pictures to take.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:22 AM   #26
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I agree, Hittenstiehl. I remember while boondocking in the Sawtooths and just outside Ketchum, I would remark to the locals what a wonderful area they live in and how carefree it must be. More than one said they had one great fear: fire. Later in our visit we came across a patch of burnt out forest. When I took the accompanying photographs, it was a clear blue day but I swear the wind picked up and I thought I heard the moans of the dead trees - it was one of the spookiest sounds I'd ever heard. Who knows?
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:09 AM   #27
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If ever on the Burr Trail again, thereís a short hike off of Upper Muley Twist to the Strike Valley Overlook. The overlook yields a spectacular view of the Waterpocket Fold.

https://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvis...ist-canyon.htm
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:58 PM   #28
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We have a couple weeks left of employment outside Bryce Canyon National Park now before hitting the road again. I've said it many times about living on the road - if you stay in one spot long enough, you can make some lifelong friends. My friend here was a working cowboy since he was a young boy on the Arizona Strip and is a heckuva hunter in southern Utah. We don't agree on certain things politically but we both love sports and trash talking. He took me hiking up to his favorite secret hunting grounds last Fall and this year I finally got to ride one of his horses. I last rode a horse 46 years ago but at some point you just have to get back in the saddle again...even if it's for laughs. For some reason, open country looks even better from atop a horse.

And yes, the Airstream facilitates all my dreams.

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