Our Cup of Tea

Say the words “Let’s go camping,” and each person will conjure up a different scene in their head. When I was younger with small children, camping meant pulling out the tent, sleeping bags, coolers full of ice and goodies and of course, lots of bug spray. Not any more. I’m too old for sleeping on the ground and then there’s that whole, shhhh, toilet thing!

Camping comes in many forms. What is pleasant for one is not for others. We’ve seen people camp from a tiny tent hauled on the back of their motorcycle to massive motor homes pulling utility trailers, boats and a car behind them (yikes). I’ll admit we are somewhere in the middle. Betty Deux is a 33ft pull behind trailer. She has a bunkhouse for our 12 year old son and, you guessed it, she definitely has a bathroom. It’s not huge, but it’s perfect for us.

Now, most people would assume we would prefer always staying at campgrounds or RV resorts. After all, we are equipped for full hook-ups. But, not so. Not us. We are also fully equipped for dispersed camping (camping on federal or BLM land with no services.)

Betty Deux at Grouse Mountain Dispersed Camping near Buffalo, Wy

Recently I wrote about our experiences with HipCamp and our attempt to boondock (out in the wild with no hook-ups for you newbies) in Colorado. It was a disaster that could have cost us our trailer. (Read my blog HipCamp Craziness for that story.) After that disaster you would think we would be turned off to the experience, but not us. We just spent a week in a quiet, beautiful setting that was perfect for boondockers. This spot was Grouse Mountain Dispersed Camping near Buffalo, Wy off Hwy 16. I’ll discuss this spot more in a future blog. The experience? Truthfully, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

This is what boondocking is supposed to be like. Peaceful, quiet, full of beauty, but also easy enough to get to and safe. Road was only slightly bumpy as any dirt road would be. We’ve truly had worse luck with highway roads. Ground was level and hard packed, even after several days of rain. Air was clean and temperatures were cool, if not downright chilly.  We are after all chasing seventies!  The sun kept our solar panels well charged even on the rainy days.  Jim did a great job with the set up.  It was a beautiful week. 

One of the best things about camping is the unexpected.  You never know what’s going to happen.  Just like when we tried to the Hipcamp site, we had no clue that the site would be awful and almost impossible to get to.  You never know what you’ll see, do or experience.

Sleeping Camel Rock. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

Our first morning there and we are soundly sleeping.  Wind had blown often through the night gently rocking the camper ever so often.  You learn to ignore it up to a certain point.  But not when the camper goes, “THUMP!”  Five o’clock in the morning we are awakened by thumps against the camper.  After realizing it wasn’t the boy Jim looked out the window and said sleepily, “There’s horses out there.”  I’m thinking he means further on in the filed and what the heck is causing the camper to rock?  No, he means there are horses out there thumping up against the camper.  They were using the camper to scratch their backsides and for some reason trying to open our generator box (thought it was feed?  Out of bed we sprang ang the next several yours would become some of my most favorite memories of all camping time.  (We did find out that the horses belonged to a private owner that lived in the valley behind the federal land we were on. And, this is another whole story.) Again, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This was also perhaps our healthiest week this summer.  We relaxed, ate at “home” instead of eating out and took many walks.  I walked and took pictures of flowers and landscapes, while Jim and Kaelin climbed the mountain across from us.  These activities I will leave for my next blog, Boondocking Activities, How to Keep Entertained.  It’s surprising how full a week of just relaxing can be.  It’s often much needed for the long-term camper.  Travel can make one tired and grumpy and a week like this can do much for the soul. 

There is more to this story and the tale will continue, but next time.  Even a blogger needs to rest her words occasionally or the reader will become weary.  Join me for the next chapter, won’t you?

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