Tag Archives: moose

We will miss Lodgepole Campground, UT

Well, since we’re leaving Lodgepole, we have to show some of the unique and fun things we’ve seen while we were here.

Bike Parade at Lodgepole Campground
Bike Parade at Lodgepole Campground

We really enjoyed the campers at Lodgepole – lots of friendly families, no rowdys.  We loved the participation in the July 4th Bike Parade!

Pogo - the bouncing chipmunk
Pogo - the bouncing chipmunk

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.

Loop A Deer Herd
Loop A Deer Herd

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.

Safety Briefing for Young Women's Camp
Safety Briefing for Young Women's Camp

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.

Chair Prank at Young Women's Camp
Chair Prank at Young Women's Camp

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?

Summer's Fairy House
Summer's Fairy House

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!

Lodgepole Bull Moose
Lodgepole Bull Moose

Of course we will miss the new wildflowers each week and the moose!

Pink Wildflowers
Pink Wildflowers

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!

Lodgepole Moosey

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.
Moose and Deer
Moose and Deer

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!

Bull Moose
Bull Moose

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!

Lodgepole Site 33 Moose
Lodgepole Site 33 Moose

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.

Lodgepole Bull Moose
Lodgepole Bull Moose

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!

Wild Berries
Wild Berries

I wonder what these cute little berries are?  Anyone know?  Can we eat them?

Gettin’ Busy at Lodgepole Campground

What a way to start the day!  I opened the blinds, this morning, and saw two young bull moose eating in my backyard.  I got some good pix before the people next door ran toward them with their cameras.  I waited a little while and walked up to the next group site to see if the moose would follow the fence line.  Sure enough, there they were.  So I pointed them out to a motorcycle camper and we stood there in awe and taking pix as they slowly walked past us.
Young Bull Moose in Lodgepole Campground
Young Bull Moose in Lodgepole Campground

I haven’t seen these giant columbines (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) since we were in Albion Basin in Little Cottonwood Canyon, east of Salt Lake City.  There are less than a dozen here in our campground.

Giant Columbine
Giant ColumbineThere aren't too many mushrooms here but here is a puffball; an edible mushroom. I have never seen one this big! I put my garbage picker next to it to show the size. We ate a couple smaller ones, sauteed in butter and garlic, a week ago. It gave us gas so we won't try this one.Puffball Mushroom

 We have regular tree squirrels here too but they are not as prevalent as the ground squirrels.  This one was making a racket as I walked by so I pointed my camera at him and shot!  Doesn’t he look like he’s hanging on for dear life!  He was very still as long as I was looking at him.

Tree Squirrel
Tree Squirrel

These baby robins are only 12 days old!  You think our children grow fast!  I think I know how they learn to fly.  One wrong move and sister gets pushed out of the nest.

Robins - 12 days old
Robins - 12 days old
A camper, pulling a 5’er, broke his emergency brake release cable before he backed into a campsite.  That campsite is reserved for Friday and he was worried he wouldn’t be able to get the truck fixed by then.  Another camper volunteered to pull his rig into site 50 (a double), since it was the only FCFS site that he’d fit in.  When the tow truck came, the driver showed him how to release the brake so he could drive it in to get it replaced.
Fishing License, Pontoon, what else do ya need?
Fishing License, Pontoon, what else do ya need?

 Uh oh – the pontoon boat is loaded, fishing gear is gathered, fishing license is purchased.  If I look out tomorrow and the truck is gone, I may not know when he’ll be back but I’ll know where he is!

Wildlife in Lodgepole and on Strawberry Res

Pelicans on Strawberry Res
Pelicans on Strawberry Res

White pelicans stopover at Strawberry Reservoir as they migrate to their Canadian summer home.  Their feathers are a little ruffled from the wind today.  Lots of grebes are also on the lake, doing their mating dance as they walk across the water in pairs.  They’re so fun to watch!

Mtn Bluebird Boxes
Mtn Bluebird Boxes

There are probably a hundred of these bluebird nesting boxes mounted along Hwy 40 and the road to Strawberry Bay Campground/Marina.  It is surprising to us that they are mounted so close to the ground; about 3 feet.  It is an educated guess that they are for Mountain Bluebirds.  They look a lot like the bluebird boxes in Texas that are for Eastern Bluebirds.  And we have seen several Mtn Bluebirds in the area.  I’ll keep trying to get a better picture of one.  But here’s what I managed to get yesterday:

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird

The only big wildlife we’d seen was a single, small deer.  Don saw it a couple of days ago.  Then, today, I got to see her!  She was in the upper group area.  She and I watched each other for a few minutes (me without camera of course) and then she wandered off.  A while later, I had to go back up there.  No sense in bringing a camera, as she was long gone, right?  Well, there were 3 more deer.  Oh well, maybe another time?  Then, the coup-de-grass, as we were relaxing this evening, looking out our back window, guess who came to visit!

Backyard view of Moose Cow and Calf
Backyard view of Moose Cow and Calf

Lighting is bad trying to take the picture out our back window.  But I wanted to get one before they heard the door open and got scared off.  Don grabbed the camera and quietly went outside the 5th wheel on the opposite side from them.  They quickened their step to run up the road.  But they stopped and watched him.

Moose Cow and Calf in Lodgepole Campground Group 1
Moose Cow and Calf in Lodgepole Campground Group 1

The calf even got more curious, as Don stood down the road with his camera, making occasional large movements with his arms and legs.  He (she?) started making his way toward Don and his mother wandered off into the woods.  He probably got about 25/30 feet from Don, just watching carefully.  Then Don asked him how curious he was.  As soon as he heard Don’s voice he startled and ran off.

Moose Calf
Moose Calf

Doesn’t that look just remind you of a curious child, who is excited, and ready to bolt at any moment if things get too scarey?!  hahaha

Entry for October 2006

Our Summer 2006 Challenges

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, east of Salt Lake City, UT

It’s good to remember challenges – we learn from them!� As Area Managers we deal with challenges in several campgrounds, but as Campground Managers you only need to worry about your own campground. We met many, many wonderful campers and without the great Campground Managers we had, we would not have survived!

  • We had a Host quit before they got to the Host Site.
  • We had to use the Kubota to move snow in 3 campgrounds in order to get them opened by Memorial Day weekend.
  • We had to clean up damage, in 2 campgrounds, by a microburst storm the previous Fall (over 100 trees down); including picnic tables, tree debris, re-stringing 100’ of electrical wire from power pole to Host Site.
  • I don’t know how many toilet valves we had to replace due to winter freezing.
  • Power went out twice in one campground for a week, causing us to bring in a generator to run the water pump to ensure toilets work for opening weekend.
  • A rain storm caused a flash flood that removed the water source for the 4 lower Day Use areas. They were out of water for 2 weeks causing us to bring in porta-potties.
  • Vandals threw a porta-potty in the creek. (This is a protected watershed creek. People aren’t even allowed to wade in this creek.)
  • After the FS reworked the water source for the lower Day Use areas, everytime another storm caused the stream to rise the dirt/sand would clog one or more of the valves in the toilets. This would cause the toilets to free-flow all night and by morning the water tank would be empty.� This usually happened on or just prior to a weekend.
  • Vandals tagged 2 Days Use areas twice; painting wood and brick structures as well as rocks.
  • We had a helicopter come in to replace a power pole.
  • Life-Flight picked up a boy who had fallen backwards into a firepit.
  • One wedding party left several of their drunk guests to wreak havoc all night. The Hosts called the Sheriff when they couldn’t quiet them down.
  • 3 teenage hikers fell into the raging spring runoff river. One girl died.
  • A naked man was seen, by a group of ladies, bathing in the “watershed” creek. By the time they had reported him, he was dressed and gone.
  • A camper punctured a water line by driving a tent stake into the ground within the tent pad area. A geyser ensued.
  • The area manager went blind in one eye, due to a stroke, but was able to adjust and complete the season.
  • We had a fire in the back of a golf cart while parked at the Host Site. The FS representative just happened to be walking by and put it out.
  • A large church group reserved over 30 single sites by manipulating the reservation system. There was a FS investigation. The culprit was confronted, confessed and charges were brought.