Camping with Suzi

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Back home

In some ways it feels like we have been gone for years.  But on the other hand, didn’t we just leave?

We didn’t do as much this year as in the past but it was a full and busy five months.  There were an unusual number of problems.  From flat tires and broken starters to a bout of tick fever and swarms of blood thirsty mosquitoes.  And than there was some wonderful time with our grandchildren, amazing sights discovered, and we met lots of great people.

In future blogs I’ll tell you about some of our adventures but for now let me mention one of my favorite campgrounds – Colter in the Gallatin National Forest.  Located on the east side of Yellowstone National Park about three miles from Cooke City, MT, Colter is your basic Forest Service campground – no hookups and no water during our time there (results of a bad water test).  If you use a little imagination you can see from this photo that the views from the campground are breath-taking.


Colter campground must have the fanciest fee board in all of the Forest Service.


However, being so close to Yellowstone National Park and the Beartooth Wilderness, visits from bears are not uncommon.  I thought the bear paw prints in cement outside vault toilets and at the fee board were a subtle reminder.


Not such a secret – Blue Springs


Well-known to locals, this peaceful but very cold little spring is a short walk from North Fork campground in Mark Twain National Forest.

What makes a “good” concessionaire?

Allie and Rob are the new concessionaire for Red Bluff campground in Mark Twain National Forest.  They are, in our opinion, better than your average concessionaire.  See June 30’s (last week’s) blog.  So what do you think makes a “better-than-average” concessionaire?


Campground artwork



A young camper’s artwork at Red Bluff campground.  I agree with the thought.

New concessionaire at Red Bluff campground



Red Bluff campground in Mark Twain NF (MO) has new managers.  Rob and Allie bring some new ideas to job.  Our favorites: the lending library and nightly ice cream bicycle.


In their office, campers will find the lending library along with a rock museum, a couple of kayaks for rent, and a computer to access the camper’s email accountant.

Facebook rating

Our facebook presence has topped 9,200 as I write this!  Amazing.  But what I find even more satisfying is 4-plus stars “public rating” you all have given our page. Thank you.

DCF 1.0

What’s your idea of a perfect campsite?



My idea of the perfect campsites:  A creek to sing me a lullaby at night and the racket of a dozen birds to wake me.

Find yours at US National Forest Campground Guide

Exploding Rocks

Speaking of signs (see 5/7/14 Blog), here’s one from the ladies bathroom at Mesa Campground in the Gila National Forest. And yes, rocks collected from around nearby Lake Roberts will explode when “cooked” a campfire. Why? Unknown, need to research further. Could rocks from other location explode? Maybe, and until I know the “why,” I’m not dropping any rocks in to a campfire.


Another week on the road


Dani’s mode of travel. Note she does have on a harness so if, there are any sudden movement, she is safe.


Gas prices continue to increase.  $3.49 in Arizona and $3.89 in New Mexico.


One must be always be alert when traveling on a rural roads.


Our campsite at Mesa campground in the Gila National Forest. Located north of Silver City, NM and overlooks the little 72 acre Lake Roberts.


Here is a sign in Mesa campground’s bathroom.  Note the second line.  It is true!  The rocks you can collect around the lake will explode if heated in a campfire.  And the rock projectiles can do serious damage to anyone or thing in its way.


Butch Cassidy’s haunts near Hwy 191

Robert LeRoy, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy, of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid fame, may have been Utah’s first wilderness guide.  His outlaw life as a rustler and bank robber kept him on the move and spending time in a number of magnificent, isolated wilderness locations throughout national forest in Utah.

Castle Gate, near Price, is now a ghost town but when Butch and his partners pull a brazen, daytime payroll robbery of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, it was a busy mining town. The Castle Gate robbery provides some important insight to Butch’s thought process. Castle Gate was mining town, coal mining to be specific. Cowboys were a rare sight in Castle Gate but horse racing was a huge pastime in the community. To avoid attracting much attention Butch and his partner rode into town appearing be to horse racers. They rode saddleless horse and racing riggings with the plan of telling anyone who ask they were conditioning the horses for match races in Salt Lake City. The tall-tell was successful. Butch and his gang were able to get away with almost $10,000 from the town’s bank.

The escape route from this robbery took Butch and his gang around Price and back into the Robber’s Roost area. Price and nearby Helper become the center of efforts to apprehend Butch and his gang. Even with the concentrated efforts of the two communities, Butch avoided capture. While there is little in Price or Helper to remind us that Butch Cassidy was a major thorn in the sides of the residents, the area’s landscape testifies to the impossible challenge of finding the outlaw band.

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