Slowing Down

The days of 750-mile marathon drives from the start of this trip in early May are behind me. Meandering towards Colorado allows for many more possibilities. I hadn’t paid for camping for nearly 4 weeks, so after a few hours on the road, I looked for some dispersed camping in Eastern Oregon.

What’s open? What’s not? Conditions were changing daily.

It was hot, and down a rutted gravel road, but this spot next to the Burnt River fit the bill perfectly.

I was a little worried about being on the greener, river-adjacent side of the road in this narrow canyon. Thunderstorms were in the forecast for later that night, but this site seems to have been used a lot. Especially by bighorn sheep, judging by the generous piles of dung scattered around the little meadow. Wind whipped plumes of dust down the canyon regularly.

That evening, I took a walk further up the canyon, passing a marked prospector’s claim, and other old mines. (For what, I wondered?)

It did rain, but the main event that night was lightning as fast-paced as a strobe light at a high school dance. The worry of a rising river kept me from sleeping my best, but I got off to an early start.

Today, I decided to treat myself to a campground with water, electric, sewer, and WiFi access, so I could regroup and plan out the next part of the trip. The Brigham, Utah KOA had that – and a POOL. An open pool.

I had never been to Utah so early in the summer, and wanted to see their national parks with a little green and flowers still around. But who was open, or about to open? Arches NP’s campground was closed. As well as Bryce. But Zion’s had just opened, as well as Capitol Reef. So recently, that somehow there were a few open sites at both.

So, onward.

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