Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah – October 2018

Thursday October 25: I take photos as soon as I get up, watching the play of sunlight on the desert scene. This is our last morning here on Mineral Point Road outside Canyonlands National Park. After breakfast, we begin packing up for our move to nearby Dead Horse Point State Park, where we are meeting Colorado Friends.

Desert view from Mineral Point Road
Beneficial soil microbe colonies

The spot reserved for us at the state park is small, and although not quite as challenging as our set-up on Mineral Point Road, it is tricky because of a culvert that does not allow for an adequate turning radius to back into the small site. But eventually we are set up and have 110 electricity for the first time since leaving Monticello in July. That certainly is a convenience! And we did save some time and trouble not having to set up the solar panel.

Our site at Dead Horse Point State Park

Now the odd thing about being here is that, while the electricity and the nearby flush toilets are quite the treat, we have gone from being surround by acres and acres of sage brush with seldom another camper or person in sight to being in a fishbowl surrounded by campers and people in every direction. I guess that is fine; it just sort of feels weird to me.

Our friends arrive and set up in the site next to us, which makes it easy to visit. We haven’t seen them for awhile and enjoy their company, so end up going to bed quite late.

Friday October 26: Frost on the grass this morning. Looks like fall is upon us.

This morning, I walk to the new campground, which is not far way, to check it out for future reference. It is flat and much more suited to RV’s, but not nearly as pretty.

Walking to the new campground

Back at camp, Clifford is up, but still in his pj’s. I sit outside in the sunshine to write in the journal with my little thermos of French press coffee.

Clifford in his pj’s

A half-mile trail takes me from the campground to the Visitor Center where I look at the displays and follow the nearby Nature Trail. There is no cell service at the campground, but I can send texts to kids and siblings from the Visitor Center.

A view of the La Sal Mountains from the trail to the Visitor Center
Walking on the Nature Trail at the Visitor Center
Nature Trail as seen from the Visitor Center

Back at camp, after lunch, I do more editing of Emperors and Exiles, my daughter Ang’s epic fantasy. Clifford works on his projects, also. When our friends return from their Moab outing, we all walk down to the Visitor Center again before dinner and more visiting.

Views from the Dead Horse Point State Park Visitor Center
Views from the Dead Horse Point State Park Visitor Center

Later, by time I finish my bedtime routine, it is nearly midnight – way past my bedtime.

Last Days on Mineral Point Road – October 2018

Tuesday October 23: I walk in the fog again this morning at our camping spot on Mineral Point Road outside Canyonlands National Park. So strange to see the fog in the desert when there is not even a river nearby.

Fog on Mineral Point Road

After breakfast, I play viola and write in my journal in turns so as to get more out of each, send texts with pics to my kids, finish the blog I started yesterday, and do some editing on the next book of the Novels of Shannon series, Emperors and Exiles. Clifford is working on the next animation video for the CI website, introducing some aspects of the research in a way that is easy for folks to understand.

Looking west after sunset on Mineral Point Road

Wednesday October 24: Today features many of the same activities as yesterday, but no day is exactly the same. More fog, but not the same fog; more editing and journal writing, but different words; check texts and FB, sending and receiving messages different than yesterday’s messages; and play viola for awhile, but different vibrations than yesterday. Like the wind, never the same wind from one moment to the next, so it is with the stream of activities that are not necessarily noteworthy, but have value anyway.

Another morning and different fog
Boondocking on Mineral Point Road

Today is our last day here. Tomorrow we will be moving to nearby Dead Horse State Park to meet up with friends from Colorado. We have liked being here, but life on the road means moving where the weather and the situation takes one.

Boondocking on Mineral Point Road

A Trip to Canyonlands National Park – October 2018

Sunday October 21: Clifford and I are boondocking with Cougar on Mineral Point Road outside Canyonlands National Park. Even though our original intention was to find a spot in Horsethief Campground, we are liking the view and the quiet of being further out on the road away from the busyness of the campground.

Morning View from Mineral Point Road

Today is spent at camp taking care of things that we need or want to do. I take photos, post photos for friends and family, and finish editing the revised Princes and Priests for my daughter, Ang. This is a big deal, as we are preparing her novel to be presented to a literary agent.

It is nice enough that I am able to play viola outside in the afternoon, alternating it with writing in the journal so as to play longer.

Clifford works on the animation video for CI for a good part of the day, but we also walk up the road to explore a campsite, now vacant, that we had seen from the road. It does, indeed, look like a good spot for a future trip.

The night time view from Mineral Point Road

Monday October 22: It is a pleasant temperature outdoors in the sunshine this morning, so after breakfast, I play viola and write in the journal on the sunny side of Cougar.

Warm enough to sit outside

Clifford is working on the animation video for the CI website, but in the afternoon he takes a break and we go for a drive to nearby Canyonlands National Park. Even though it was nice outdoors earlier, by time we leave for the park, it is windy and jet trails mar the sky. But we go anyway, visiting the Visitor Center and then walking to the viewing point across the road from the Visitor Center. The view of the canyons with the La Sal Mountains in the background is quite spectacular.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Back at camp, we get the Suburban in place to tow Cougar out, as thunderheads are forming and the weather forecast shows the possibility of rain. The set up here was awkward and challenging, and getting out will have its own set of problems, particularly if it rains. Getting Suburban situated while the ground is still dry is a smart move under the circumstances. And indeed, there is rain in the evening hours.

Mineral Point Road – October 2018

Wednesday October 17: It is cloudy and rainy today and we spend the day at our campsite on Mineral Point Road near Canyonland National Park.

Cloudy and rainy day – can’t even see the La Sal Mountains

I take photos, send texts with photos to family and friends, play viola, and edit Princes and Priests. Clifford is working on preparing his CI lab notebooks for digital copying. While none of this sounds super exciting, it actually is what we want to do.

Clifford working on projects

Thursday October 18: This morning I walk about taking photos of the fog. It is not often in these desert regions that I get to see such.

Trees lost in the fog
Cougar like a ghost ship on a sea of sage

Taking photos, making business calls, writing in the journal, editing, playing viola, and blog writing fill my day, a good day for indoor activities with the high only 45 degrees. I start reading “Anatomy of the Spirit” by the medical intuitive, Caroline Myss. Clifford is working on video animations for the CI website, an interesting way to introduce certain papers.

Friday October 19: Frost on the ground this morning! Today is a Moab town day and off we go after making tea and coffee. We have breakfast at Denny’s, then run errands. We also spend time at the library with free power and wifi, which allows for downloading of bigger files, necessary for some of the work that Clifford is doing.

Trip to Moab

Back at camp, we find new neighbors in the spot right next to us; we are glad they found a place to camp. We have learned that it is fall break and thousands of people flock to the scenic camping areas of the country, like the national parks of southern Utah. We are happy to have found a niche to call home for a couple of weeks.

Painterly view of evening light on La Sal Mountains

Saturday October 20: Another coolish morning, but after tea and coffee we go for a drive further out the road to look at other possible camping spots. There is a good one not far from us, should it be available at some future time. We are fine with staying where we are for the time being, however.

Exploring for future campsites

After a late breakfast, I edit photos, edit Princes and Priests, then sit outside to write the next blog (Sedona in March). Later I put the text and the edited photos together and publish the blog. We are lucky to have that much cell service when camped out in the boonies like this.

Boondocking with cell service via La Sal Mountains

Clifford continues with his projects, mostly the animation, but also plays his dulcimer, and works with his ham radio. After dinner, reading and playing viola finish out the day for me.

Winter Journey – Arrival Horsethief BLM – April 2017 (11-15)

Tuesday April 11th is a travel day, as we are leaving Green River, Utah, and heading to Horsethief BLM Campground near Canyonland National Park, about a 60-mile drive. We are surprised to see how full it is here on a Tuesday morning and it is only on the far end of the last loop that we find a spot that will work for us. Terry is close to the road, but provides privacy within the site. Juniper trees offer a sweet zen-like space to relax, and the trailhead to nearby trails is right beside our campsite.

Camped at Horsethief BLM Campground

After getting set up, I do some editing and write a blog while Clifford sets up his ham radio gear and antennas. It is too breezy for cello today, but other than that, it is a good full day and we are happy to be here for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday April 12th – I explore the trail nearest to our end of the campground. This will be a great place to go for a run, as it is both peaceful and scenic, making it a good way to start the day.

Rowdy Trail

Today is an errand day and we head to Moab, about 25 miles away, to take care of business. Free wifi at the Information Center allows for email and blog-posting. Errands include getting a new battery for Terry, as well as groceries and sundries, before going to lunch at the Moab Brewery (recommended if you are ever in Moab). We see from a poster that there is a bluegrass band performing outdoors this evening, so we stay in Moab and go to the performance. The band was quite good and we thoroughly enjoyed listening to them play. It was dark by time we drove back to camp, so no photos and no cello today.

Thursday April 13th is a very windy day. I go for a run on the Rowdy Trail and then sit outside with a cup of tea, feeling the sun and the wind, while focusing on the feel of the cup in my hands as a meditation. Too windy to be out long, so no cello (again!), but enough sun to keep laptop charged and I get quite a lot of editing and blog writing done. Good conversation with Becka when she calls.

Clifford is studying and doing experiments with biofilm, as this will be an important area of research.

Sunset at Horsethief

Friday April 14th – Running on the Rowdy Trail, I find a large outcropping of red rock that is a great place for quiet sitting. Back at camp, I call my daughter Merri to wish her happy birthday. Being mid-April and warmer temps, I pack up my winter coats and most of the hats, gloves, and scarves. In a small RV, space is at a premium, so it is good to get these bulky items packed away. Too windy to spend time outdoors, so I do a lot of editing today, while Clifford continues his studies.

Saturday April 15th – Lots going on at an international level: Missiles on Syria, bombs on Afghanistan, and serious North Korea issues – it is all absolutely crazy. Why can’t humans coexist peacefully?

Run on both the Rowdy and Wrangler trails today, taking time on my way back to sit on the outcropping of rock to send joyful thoughts and energy to all of my kids. We all could use more joy in our lives!

In the afternoon, with mild temperatures and only a slight breeze, the herbs go out to the picnic table and I play cello – hooray!  Then we go for a drive on the Mineral Point Road beyond the campground, looking for dispersed camping areas.

Driving on Mineral Point Road

Frowning rock on Mineral Point Road

Rock formations on Mineral Point Road

 We find a spot about a mile out, so will keep that in mind as a backup if the campground is full at some future time. More exploring takes us out on sketchy roads, very scenic, but best left to jeeps!