We’re back in our summer home! We’re at Strawberry Reservoir, east of Heber City, Utah. The fishing is great this time of year. We got here on UEA weekend and the place was hopping with fishermen! Of course, our truck is in the shop so we’re in a rental van.
Do you think putting the camper on the van would void our rental agreement? 🙂
We are camped in the Overflow area in Strawberry Bay Campground, overlooking Haws Point, a popular fishing access towards Renegade Campground. Sure it’s a little frosty on this morning but it has warmed up since. When we finally got to our camper – after the fiasco with our broken down truck – we remembered that the thermostat was broken before we left it. So we snuggled a little closer that night 🙂
Can’t beat the dawn at Strawberry Reservoir. I was never too impressed with Strawberry…until this year. I think you have to spend some time here to really appreciate the beauty. I tend to like treed areas. But this is impressive!
All the campgrounds around Strawberry were open (Soldier Creek, Aspen Grove, Lodgepole, Renegade, even Currant Creek) through UEA weekend. They had a good crowd for the great weather! They’ll keep the campgrounds open as long as there are customers.
Well, since we’re leaving Lodgepole, we have to show some of the unique and fun things we’ve seen while we were here.
We really enjoyed the campers at Lodgepole – lots of friendly families, no rowdys. We loved the participation in the July 4th Bike Parade!
Don tells the kids about his ‘Name the Squirrel Program’. You see when those silly squirrels wake up in the spring, after hibernating all winter, they have forgotten their names! So, if you can get a squirrel or chipmunk to stare at you for 3 seconds, you can name them. He writes the name in the book and tells the next kids their names. Here are some of the names: Alvin, Porkchop, Adam, Mrs. Chippy, Hammy, Bosco, Bonkers, Freckles (my favorite), Cherryelle, Squirt – there are too many to list them all. I named this chipmunk Pogo because he didn’t just run, he bounced. Although, if he eats anymore that will probably stop.
Lots of deer wander through the campground. We’d usually see them alone or in pairs but was pleasantly surprised to see 4 of them this morning. We haven’t seen any bucks though.
The Young Women’s Camps have been fun. Don offers to give them a Safety Briefing when they first get here. He tells them about the local wildlife (squirrels, deer, moose and black bear) and how to keep safe around them.
This is a prank another YW’s group played on their leaders. They did it in the middle of the night. I’m glad I wasn’t awake to watch! Maybe Don needs to update his Safety Briefing?
Some parents feel like they need to bring crafts for their kids to enjoy the outdoors and we end up with paint on the cement and tables to spoil the next camper’s experience (or mine). Then there are others who encourage their children’s creativity using nature without destroying it. This pretty girl, Summer, built a Fairy House out of a log, bark, rocks, sticks and pine cones. I had never heard of a Fairy House so she showed it to me. Isn’t it gorgeous?!! It’s almost as tall as Summer. The Fairies visited it too, and left her some rings and bracelets!
Of course we will miss the new wildflowers each week and the moose!
Up towards the Canadian border, though, there will be more wildlife to enjoy including grizzly, lynx and wolves. We are looking forward to new opportunities!
Moose are such incredible animals! They are enormous and odd. So we’re riding around the campground on Friday evening, checking bathrooms and talking to campers. One of them says, ‘So do you see the moose everyday?’ We tell them the last time we saw a moose was about 2 or 3 weeks ago. They said, ‘Oh, we just saw one in site 2.’ Well, shoot! We missed him! So, we kept going through the campground, thinking for sure he was long gone by now. Then we stopped to talk to some other campers walking down the road. They said, ‘Yeah, we were just watching the moose over there.’ That happened a couple more times that evening. Hhhmmm – is that moose hiding from us? Oh well, maybe I’ll get to see him on my morning walk.
That still, small voice told me to get the camera, but I wasn’t real hopeful so I just grabbed by phone. With all these people around, I figured he was long gone! I saw 2 deer as soon as I walked away from our site. Then I saw another pretty wildflower that I just had to get a picture of. Then I turned around and there was another camper walking up to me. She said she’d just seen a moose around the corner here. I got excited and walked faster, although cautiously, with her around the corner. She was asking about the dangers of moose viewing and I tried to educate her a little. And, there he was!!! Of course, I was ill-equipped for photography and didn’t get a good picture. But at least I got to see him!
We had a lot of running around to do, outside the campground, and when we came back, we got the same story about watching the moose ‘all afternoon’. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that moose is a myth!
Okay, this morning I listened and took my camera. I didn’t get very far from our site when I spotted the big bull. If Site 33 has one redeeming quality it’s the wildlife viewing. There are no trees close to the site and the parking area is very small. These campers found a place for a huge tent. They slept right through the moose eating in their back yard though.
I watched him for a good half hour this morning. Our camera is still on Texas time so it was really around 7:30am. He finally got annoyed enough that he walked away through the willows. We went to church in Heber and had a lunch out on the picnic table today. Lots of people use the dump on Sundays. So our main job on Sunday is to be visible to keep people honest. It’s no charge for campers in the American Land & Leisure campgrounds in the Strawberry area. But we get a lot of campers, who stay in dispersed areas around Strawberry, that can dump for $7. All was going well today until a gentleman flagged me down with a disgusted look on his face. I asked what the problem was and he said, as soon as he and his wife got out of the truck, his dog jumped on the door lock button and locked them out. (They’ll laugh about it next month.) The Sheriff got them back in business before the 2 in line behind him turned and left. I was thinking about charging him for the business we lost – hahaha – but it all worked out and, hopefully, his day didn’t get any worse.
The bull moose wandered back into view a couple more times this afternoon and evening. Don rushed around the campground to tell everyone to come look. They all came and the moose was playing hide-and-seek. But Don found him again and everyone was thrilled. What a fun day!
I wonder what these cute little berries are? Anyone know? Can we eat them?
This campground parade was inspired by the 4th of July parades at Rocky Point Campground (Lake Almanor, California), and Ponderosa Campground (Butt Lake, CA). In typical Utah tradition, though, we had the parade on the 3rd to avoid conflict of Sabbath Day activities. The weather was perfect yesterday and it is raining today. Don called all the reservations last week to invite them to join in on the parade. We decorated the golf cart and found a music CD with appropriate music (John Phillip Sousa, military marching bands, etc).
We also had a siren noise maker. We used that and our horn to signal the start of the parade. As you can see, Grizzly Adams was our grand marshall. We drove around Loop B to gather people. The flag team from the smaller group joined us first. These kids were die-hards! They probably walked 4 miles today! Before we headed down the hill, some of their younger cousins had joined them. We had to slow down as we climbed the first hill because they were straggling a little. Don said, ‘throw some candy out’. So I did and they made it up that hill with no problem. hahaha – I was thinking they were already getting tired but maybe they were just losing focus?
We even had a rodeo queen on her horse!
As we started in Loop A, everyone started to join in.
Trying to go slow enough that the walkers could keep up was challenging because the ones on scooters were right on our tail. Of course, we’d throw candy on the upside of every hill to help them ‘stay focused’ 🙂
They don’t ‘really’ look like they’re having fun, do they? Maybe they are too focused on when the next candy bomb is coming? Helmets are good.
There was even a nice spectator who passed out candy to the participants! And look at the great decorations on this bike!
These cousins look like twins on their matching trikes. Awesome decorations! They even have baskets for the candy they picked up!
I can’t remember if we went around Loop A 2 or 3 times but I think they would have gone around again if we hadn’t given up. I was running out of candy, though, and wanted to make sure everyone got some. So we stopped at the top of the hill and passed out the rest of the candy. We passed out Thank You toys (frizbee’s, bubbles and light sticks) to the kids later in the day. We all had a fun time!
So, here’s the story. We hired this local guy (Mr. Chippy) to clean our toilets for us. He said he had this great technique, he didn’t need any supervision, yadda, yadda, yadda. Everything seemed to be going fine. Then our boss runs into the restroom in a hurry one day. She nearly peed in her pants!
Well, let's put that disaster behind us…. We are getting ready for a great weekend at Lodgepole Campground. Lots of families are coming in. Don is organizing a bike parade on Saturday morning for the kids. Here are some pix of the kind of fireworks allowed in our campground…the kind our Heavenly Father created for us!
And to end the night on a funny note. We went out on the golf cart to do our late rounds around the campground – just to make sure the campground is quiet – and one of our tires sprung a leak. We walked home. Murphey’s Campground Law #42: The golf cart will always die at the further point away from your home.
Fridays are the busiest day of the week here. Usually the 50 and 100 person groups are rented for Friday nights. Today we had 2 Fathers and Sons outings. The 50-person group site is the closest to us and they had more show up than they planned. There might have been 80?? Just guessing. Anyway, lots of boys between the ages of 6 and 10 who were not well supervised by Fathers. We were guessing that, if they didn’t get those boys in their tents before the full moon came over the mountain, it would be a long night. They weren’t up too late though.
We ran out of gas, in the golf cart, at site 16 (the furthest away from our site). We’d stopped to give a car pass to a camper in a 5th wheel. He was joking with us and his brother-in-law next door and then went back to unloading his trailer. I guess he’d gotten distracted. Because he forgot to put his jacks down before he pulled out from under the hitch. (OUCH!) I heard the awful sound behind me and knew it was something bad. He had a bed liner in his truck so it minimized the scratching. However, we could see that both the bed and the trailer were buckled where they hit. Everybody felt awful about it. That’s when things happen, though, when you get distracted. His brother-in-law lent us enough gas to get us home. We were kinda dumbfounded though. Don kept saying, “I just put gas in!” I guess we’ve been busier than we thought? hahaha
We made a round at about 11pm. One of the sites has a big family in it (1 trailer and 2 or 3 tents, 3 extra vehicles); mostly adults. Apparently there was some kind of family argument because there were a couple groups of them huddled together outside their campsite and consoling each other. We didn’t hear any loud arguments though by that time and no complaints yet. As we drove around the loop, 2 small aspen trees had been pushed down onto the road. Don was able to push them back off the road and catch them on another tree. No sign of who did it or why. Can you imagine if everyone did this? We literally wouldn’t have any trees left to enjoy.