Camping in campgrounds is a mixed blessing. There is water. There is a pit toilet. There are also lots of people and rules and dogs and chipmunks being fed. I fell in love with Norm and Sue. They have been comping in the same spot for many years. The chipmunks and hummingbirds know them. The other campers know them. They were generous with their camping knowledge and extra goodies like pizza!!
I decided after 20 days in the West Fork campground that I should camp in a dispersed area. Surely it would be quieter, fewer people, just me and nature.
I found a great spot. Next to the West Fork of the river, no one near. Then two camper vans pulled up with 6 children under the age of 6 who loved to scream when they did or saw anything. Then a yoga teacher with 4 dogs and a bottle of tequila. I lasted two days. Then moved on to a campground down the road.
Everything was dripping and soggy so the first thing to do at the next spot was to clean out the chipmunk shit and sort through things I am not using. I had four dry days. The back of the truck clean out took one day. The next day was the front of the truck. That took only a half day.
The hint is that on dry days clean out. Another hint is not to expect quiet in a dispersed camping area.
There is a certain time of the year in southern Colorado that is called monsoon. Rain. Rain in the morning. Clearing, then rain in the afternoon, then clearing. Then rain in the night. It makes everything lush and drippy and beautiful.
A hammock was the best addition to truck camping I made this year. It is light, takes up little room and is so luxurious feeling. This is a big truck camper hint… buy a hammock. The new ones have a strap that sets up the hammock in seconds. If it gets wet, just wait for the sun. It takes only minutes to dry the hammock out. You will always be glad to have a hammock.
Another activity to do while truck camping, while not reading in your hammock, is cleaning up old messes. You get to feel so good afterwards. I found this site on a hike and came back the next day to clean it up. And felt good.
Another truck camping hint has to do with eating. Without refrigeration the pickings are slim, but fun. My latest go to meal is sardines. Lime, Siracha and a touch of salt all on a Ritz cracker. It is yummy.
I am camped next to the West Fork of the San Juan River. It is lush and exciting. There are mountains and huge trees and clear water streams. Heavenly.
Slowly, slowly I am making my way to New Mexico. Right now I am in a National Forest Campground called Bristol Head, just north of Creede, CO. There are several waterfalls, and this the first one that I found. Breathtaking. I never knew I was so nervous around heights.
There were cowboy/girls too. I found their lost heifer for them and was totally rewarded with beautiful working relationship between the riders, their horses and dog. The heifer had a problem with it’s feet. All well, now.
I am not too sure about this campground stuff. It is a luxury I may get too used to. I love having a pit toilet. I love having potable water. I could do without generators and diesel fumes and big rigs. Below is my view, so its hard to beat!
The weather is rain in the afternoon and evenings, days in the 70’s, nights in the 40’s. Sweet.
OMG y’all. These moose were all around me for the fourteen days in Deer Lake. This is a campground in the Gunnison National Forest. What? I am paying for camping? Yes. About 40 years ago I loaned a woman $2,500 for a down payment on a house. She paid it back last month. So, since my loan to her went for a house that $2,500 is now going to my luxurious camping. With well water. With bathrooms. I figure it will last about 2 years. What luxury, thanks to eartheyes!
I like this cool weather in the middle of summer. At 10,519′. It started off with frost covering the trucks in the mornings. Then warm up to 75 in the day. I stood on the lip of the lake and let the mountain air blow dry my hair. Yummy. I hiked and hiked and read books.
Off to another secret hidden spot.–
- Boondocking: Camping on federal property for free. No facilities, no water, few neighbors. BLM land or National Forest Service have the most area. I can usually stay in one spot for two weeks. Here are some examples:
- National Forest Campgrounds: They sometimes have water and vault toilets. I stay away from the ones with hot showers and 50 amp service. Those are usually full of very excited children and party goers. Here is one of my favorite spots in southern Colorado:
Below is another great spot in southern Utah: Hovenweep National Monument
- State Park Campgrounds: Below is the view from the back of Lilith in the Utah State Park called Goblin Valley . (They also have hot showers!):A New Mexico campground was perfect for two weeks:
There are too many perfect truck camping spots to post. The west is full of them! Maybe next I will head to Idaho. There are many National Forests and remote campgrounds there.
But I never really know where I am going until I get there.