Apr 10th 2014
Last evening, we went deep into BLM land. We wanted to camp, once again, in a secluded area, but a safe area. I pulled over to the side of the road and was looking at the road map, just to get feel of the land. This dirt road, one on each side of the paved highway, was of interest. A couple of off road Jeeps came barreling down the hill. I pulled into the other dirt road, just to get a little bit off the highway. I noticed a sign that said “No Camping for Two Miles”. Well, this maybe just what I was looking for. The road was rough, but no worst than any logging road back home. The name of the game is go slow. The camper rocked and gently rolled back and fort. Helen was getting a little nervous about the road. We started to spot many more campers here and there. I stopped and talked to one guy and his wife. He said the BLM now is more strict on camping. You can only camp in designated areas. You need to see a blue marking stick. Some spots had two to six sites. Others were filled with small family groups. Now, I don’t mean bunched together. There is plenty of land to play in. We found a nice level spot, overlooking the La Sal Mountains in front of us and a large meadow to our left. Further out, kids were riding their four wheelers and Moto Cross bikes in the sand dunes. Our BLM adventure for the night!
This morning we broke camp and headed for the last item on this trips bucket list. That was to climb Fisher Towers…Ops, let me rephrase that. I wanted to climb to the base of Fisher Towers and watch the mountain climbers do their thing several hundred feet vertically up sheer cliffs.
Fisher Towers is located along the Colorado River in the Onion Creek area. It is 3-1/2 miles from the main highway. There is a six site camping area at the trail head. The trail to the base of the Towers is 2-1/2 miles of moderate climbing around ravines, with many switch backs. Our, two person, expedition arrived around 10:30am and we left on the climb at 10:45am. It is a very scenic climb, between looking up a the Towers and looking back at the Onion Creek Valley and the Colorado river. I could see that we would be stopping to take many pictures. Who cares, this is my last item on my bucket list for this trip! Everything here is in bloom. From trees to flowers and the colors are just music to my camera’s ears. The trail started to get a little hairy, with major drops, followed by major gains in elevation. In one section, a ladder was used to traverse a small canyon. I wasn’t going to push Helen, but she was a trooper and did very well. I was constantly worried that she might slip or something, but as I said, she did a good job of assuring me she was ok. We reached the submit (AKA known as the base) in about an hour and a half. It was gorgeous and to top it off, I got some good pictures and a couple of rock climbers going up and later coming down the shear cliff of the Fisher Towers. We were at 5,460 feet of elevation and it was fairly calm as far as wind goes. It was only windy when we would round one of the Towers pointed base. The afternoon became very hot, in the eighties, and as we headed for the beginning of the trailhead, we stopped and drank several times. It was a strenuous hike, even thou it was downhill. We were glad to be back at the camper.
Next on the agenda was to find a place for the night. When we drove in this morning, we noticed that all six sites had reserved tags on the site marker post. I said to Helen, “We should check to make sure they weren’t old reserved tickets”. Sure enough one of the best sites was vacant. I walked over to the next site to see if I could verify. The guy said, “sure it’s vacant, the couple left early this morning”. What a break! The site was one of the only level sites here. I drove down the hill and parked the camper.
You think that would be all of the blessings I could get? Wrong, I had two more golden opportunities! I had, in my mind, a setup for another “Truck Camper Magazine Calendar” contest entry. I needed a few elements. A campfire, truck camper, night fall, a background silhouette and of course us having a cup of coffee sitting at a picnic table. I had all the elements! We will see what the readers of TCM say when they do the voting!
The last golden opportunity was being able to get up at four am and set the camera on tripod, with the Fisher Towers, in the background and capture the mighty “Milky Way” and all of the stars around.
That is what we saw and did!
Move cursor over the pictures for captions