Tag Archives: wasatch mountains

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?

4th of July Parade at Lodgepole Campground, UT

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).

Lodgepole Parade Float - with marching band music
Lodgepole Parade Float - with marching band music

 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?

Lodgepole Parade Flag Team
Lodgepole Parade Flag Team

 We even had a rodeo queen on her horse!

Lodgepole Parade - Rodeo Queen
Lodgepole Parade - Rodeo Queen

As we started in Loop A, everyone started to join in.

Lodgepole Parade - just starting
Lodgepole Parade - just starting

 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’   🙂

Lodgepole Parade - Gaining Momentum
Lodgepole Parade - Gaining Momentum

 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.

Lodgepole Parade - Strollers
Lodgepole Parade - Strollers

There was even a nice spectator who passed out candy to the participants!  And look at the great decorations on this bike!

Lodgepole Parade - Bike Decorations
Lodgepole Parade - Bike Decorations

 These cousins look like twins on their matching trikes.  Awesome decorations!  They even have baskets for the candy they picked up!

Lodgepole Parade - Trike Decorations
Lodgepole Parade - Trike Decorations

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!

Happy 4th of July!

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!

Chipmunk Drowning
New Campground Toilet Feature - Mishap

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!

Wildflower Fireworks - Red
Wildflower Fireworks - Red
Wildflower Fireworks - Yellow Cluster
Wildflower Fireworks - Yellow Cluster
Wildflower Fireworks - Pink
Wildflower Fireworks - Pink
Wildflower Fireworks - White
Wildflower Fireworks - White
Wildflower Fireworks - Yellow
Wildflower Fireworks - Yellow
Wildflower Fireworks - Blue
Wildflower Fireworks - Blue

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.

Campground Weekends

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.

Blue Wildflower
Blue Wildflower

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

Fuzzy Purple Wildflowers
Fuzzy Purple Wildflowers

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.

Little Bluebells
Little Bluebells

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!

Father’s Day

The Unified Fire Crew came in, pulled down the broken tree and had it cut up in an hour!  Then Don and I loaded it in the truck and unloaded it to our site where we can keep an eye on it.  If we don’t do that, the campers will put a whole round in the fire pit and smoke it.  Most campers don’t bring an axe or a saw anymore.  Besides, it’s too green to catch fire.  It will just smoke.  Where’s that ibuprophen bottle?

Unified Fire Crew
Unified Fire Crew

Great Father’s Day!  We got to spend time with 2/3rds of our children and 1/3rd of our grandchildren.  The others were greatly missed!  I marinated and pre-cooked flank steak and re-warmed it in foil packs today after I baked the potatoes in the oven. Grilled the marinated pineapples so they were warm to eat. Used Mom’s Flank Steak marinade for the meat and pineapple – Everybody Loved It!  I’m grateful for all the loving Fathers in my life: my dad, Don and his 2 sons and 1 son-in-law-to-be.

Our view of Aspens
Our view of Aspens

50-person group arrived – wished I had the foresight to give them the bigger group area (which is further away from us) instead of the one they reserved (in our back yard). Of course, it would have been my luck that I’d get a reservation in for the bigger site and then I’d be in a real pickle!  There are lots of young families; maybe 10 infants in the group!  So far, they are a good group; no loud music and no ATVs.  I tried to sneak in the bathroom last night to clean it.  I propped the door open, as usual, and before I made any progress there was a young girl standing behind me who got startled with the loud noise of the toilet flushing.  It was dark so I had a flashlight.  She said, ‘Wow, that’s a loud toilet!’  She startled me and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just trying to get it cleaned up a little so you can use it.’  She looked at me with one of those looks, that I’ve seen from children at family reunions, that seems to say ‘I should know your name because we must be related since you are at my reunion but I have no clue who you are’.  She didn’t notice that I was wearing my Campground Manager sweat shirt and name badge.  I wondered how disappointed she was that I took the flashlight with me and closed the door behind me. :-}  I decided, this morning, how I would have to clean that bathroom.  I’m going to lock myself in.

Flowering Tree
Flowering Tree

This is the small tree in our front “yard”. 

A person came into the campground to tell us he saw a bear about ½ mile down the road. Not sure to believe him since he went back down the canyon the way he came. However, we do live in black bear country so we let the campers know to make sure their food and garbage is properly stored.

Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Triplets
Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Triplets

I’ve been focused on the baby robins but Don found the baby potguts!

We went to collect from a camper in site 14. The site was reserved for tonight (by the people in the adjacent site; we’ll call them the Snyders) but had been vacated early. The gentleman said Mr. Snyder told him he could have it for the night for Father’s Day. So I told him ‘Happy Father’s Day’ too.  Later, another camper asked me if we had any openings for one night. I told him to go to Loop A and pick a site that says ‘Open for next 4 days’.  When we drove around to collect, he was in another of the Snyder’s vacated sites. He said the gentleman in 14 told him it was paid for and he should take advantage of the free site.  We explained to him that he did not have the authority to do that since he was not the one who paid for it.  Mr. Snyder might have had a medical emergency and might request a refund for the site and would be mad if we told him it was occupied and couldn’t give it to him.  He understood and said he’d pay.

Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Family
Potgut (Uinta Ground Squirrel) Family

It’s so nice to have time to observe the wildlife.  Mama potgut showed up while we were watching her little ones.  She laid over the hole to nurse them.  We are eating rainbow trout tonight (caught from Strawberry Reservoir)!  A camper caught more than his wife wanted so he gave us 2 really nice ones last night!  Don bought his fishing license today…probably because the pressure is off?  Since I usually have to beg him to keep the fish he catches.