Rio De Las Vacas F. S. Camp Ground

The steady climb up Hwy 126 takes us up to over 7000 feet so it’s nice and cool compared to the valley below.  The Chiweenie Brothers, heads out the window, give our new temporary home the once over.

I back in, then begin getting The Boys’ cabled run set up.  I like them to have as much freedom as possible and the 25ft coated cable allows them some wandering room while still being in compliance with the ‘dogs must be leashed rule’.  Once the cable is looped around two trees and secured I get the two wiggle worms on their leashes and the leashes attached to the cable.  I begin setting up camp.

DSC_0081Campsite Lucky 13 in Rio de las Vacas FS CG

This camp ground consists of a small loop that contains 15 or so campsites.  There is a vault toilet and water.  Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and paved parking. We get lucky 13, a nice shaded site in the afternoon.

DSC_0091On Site Workout Machine. Rio de Las Vacas CG - Copy

The water pump also serves as a good upper body workout device!

The campground loop itself serves well as a good cardio walk as it is not level, but there is also a trail that goes back into the forest.  Wildflowers are abloom, too.

The view out our backdoors DSC_0056Looking Out Our Back Door Rio de las Vacas CG - Copy

The Boys spend time digging for squirrels and chasing lizards,

and these cute little golden mantle squirrels abound!

We thoroughly enjoy our almost two weeks here in the mountains near Cuba NM.

 

We Made it to Cuba

Last night’s temps in Farmington NM made it all the way down to 70.  A hot and sticky night.  We’re outta here!

Still heading east we get very close to the beautiful little town of Aztec again. If I had known at this point that my photos of  the Aztec Ruins were gone forever I would have gone back and taken the tour again. But I didn’t know, and we continue on oblivious to what we are letting go.

At Bloomfield we catch Hwy 550 heading south.  It’s a long, hot drive. I don’t  run the air conditioner in the van.  Sounds stupid, I know, but it seems to make the oppressive heat even worse when we stop so I keep it off.

There isn’t much out along this piece of New Mexico, but there are gas stations and a few tiny towns.  The Chaco Canyon and more ruins are along this stretch of highway, BUT, as much as I would like to take that in I am not wanting to bump along 20 miles of washboard dirt road to get there in this heat. Another time—in the dead of winter—would be good time to see it.

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550 goes from blah flat desert with nothing but greasewood to these interesting sandstone bluffs and rock formations.  What starts out as a boring, hot drive, turns into an interesting hot drive.  It actually goes back and forth between the two landscapes.

We eventually make it to Cuba.  Not THAT Cuba. Cuba, New Mexico, a tiny little town with all the basics: Family Dollar, gas stations, a grocer, laundromat, AND a small library. I get the chores done.

A search on freecampsites.net yields a review of Hwy 126 to Fenton Lake State Park, the place we are looking for.  It’s a shortcut that takes 70 miles off the trip to the park. The reviewer says the last six miles are rugged.  Slow and steady would make six miles okay, but I also ask the tattooed, earring wearing clerk at Family Dollar about this Hwy 126.  Is it good road? “Sure is, as far I know.  Good road all the way, but it climbs and is a twisty turny mountain road,” he says. We can deal with that!!

Supplied up, things on ice, and plenty of gas in  MissAdventure  we head back to the beginning of Hwy 126.  That clerk wasn’t kidding.  The road begins to climb almost immediately and we are soon twisting and turning our way into heavy timber.  The air is getting cooler. Oh my, I love this!!

About 18 miles in, and this is just a guess, we come to the dirt part of the road. There is a sign that says ’26 miles of dirt road, not maintained’.  WHAT??? That reviewer on freecampsites must have made a typo, or was being a smart alec.  Six miles is one thing, 26 is another. Ain’t happening.

I get the van turned around just in time to get out of the way of a small white car barreling down the dirt road enveloped in a cloud of dust.  Some days I am just so happy with the decisions I make, and I pat myself on the back to just saying NO to this road.

We explore a few of the roads leading back into the National Forest where we could easily boondock, but nothing appeals to me.  I am tired from the drive in the heat along Hwy 550. I remember a Forest Service campground back a ways, and I decide to check into that.

DSC_0054Searching for a Camp Site in the Sante Fe National Forest Hwy 126 out of Cuba NM

The Rio De las Vacas campground in the Santa Fe National Forest is $5 per night with senior pass.  We pull into a spot that will give us afternoon shade and set up camp.  It’s a wonderful 78 degrees here, and here we will stay at least through the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

 

Edson Creek Campground, Sixes Oregon

 

It’s almost the end of September. We are about 10 miles inland from the coast, and the nights are cool and the days pleasant. Sparse traffic makes for a peaceful camp, and The Chiweenie Brothers and I enjoy lots of long, leisurely walks along paved road.

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I had not planned on staying so long here, although it’s a lovely campground, but an order I placed with Amazon is taking its sweet time to arrive. Part of the order has been delivered,  but the other half is napping in Salt Lake City ….

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My phone doesn’t work here, but I can text. My Mobely hotspot signal comes and goes, but at least it works sometimes.  It’s all good.  The boys and I deal with what’s handed to us and make do, happily.  Most times. Ha!

Beside the walks, I read and crochet and check Amazon  a dozen times a day to see where the other half of my order is languishing. We drive into Port Orford to purchase ice and a few supplies and drive down to the harbor. The view of the bay provides a gorilla’s profile in the large rock in front of us. Do you see it?

DSC_0012Bay at Port Orford ORHow about a cow’s face in a tree at our camp site? DSC_0001

Back at camp I fill out another tag and write out another check for three more days then take the boys for a walk where we discover Mr. Wooly Bear caterpillar. Next spring he will become a tiger moth.  Folklore says you can predict the weather by how much black is on the coat of the wooly bear. The more black on their coat the colder and wetter the winter will be. Looks to me like it’s almost a tossup this year.
DSC_0008We continue to bide our time over the weekend, and finally, FINALLY, on Tuesday the package is delivered. Amazon’s Prime 2-day delivery only took a week :), but you gotta love UPS! Those dudes will deliver anywhere; right up to our campsite at Edson Creek Campground in Sixes, Oregon.

It’s late in the afternoon by the time my Amazon order arrives so we will stay another night here then head south early tomorrow morning on the last leg of our Oregon Coast summer trip. Getting so excited to see family and friends.

Thanks for stopping by!!!  Hugs, Shawna and The Boys

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  Yes. I spigot near Host’s site    Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms:  Yes, vault                            Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                                                Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes                                              BBQ: Grate on fire pit, but is non-adjustable
# of Sites: 20                                              Fee: $8 per night, seniors with pass $4
Other:

 

 

 

Wetmore Campground, Hwy 26, Oregon

As we leave the valley floor behind after our visit to Unity, Oregon and the history of the fight for water from the Burnt River, we begin to climb in elevation. I am very happy about this as it will mean a respite from the building heat.

Amongst the tall pines we find the Forest Service campground, Wetmore, and it’s totally empty. I choose a nice shaded site and we settle in. The breeze floating through the pine boughs murmurs a sweet welcome.

After lunch the boys and I take a nap. A few people drive through but no one stays; perhaps because it’s right by the highway? I do not find the sparse traffic annoying, and here we will stay for five days. Tomorrow we will explore the walking trail.

There is a lovely walking trail between Wetmore and the next campground, Yellow Pine, and only a half mile hike.  It does have a couple of switchbacks to gain some elevation, but it’s an easy walk. The Chiweenie Brothers and I walk this every morning.

DSC_0027 (1)Bridge to the Wetmore CG trail

DSC_0030 (1)Chweenies on Wetmore CG TrailDSC_0022 (1)Huge Rock along trail in Wetmore CampDSC_0031 (1)Wetmore trail to Yellow Pine CG

We hate to leave this camp, but supplies are

running low. Time to move on.  Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel.com  Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES

Water:  Yes            Garbage: No

Bathrooms:  Vault Toilet at upper tier    Electricity: No

Tables: Yes             Shower: No

Fire Pit:  Yes           BBQ: No

# of Sites:   !2         Fee: $5/$2.50 

Other:  Don’t leave your doors open at night.  Lots of mice. Ask me how I know this.  😦 — But it’s okay. The Chiweenie Brothers are perfecting their eradication skills. 

DSC_0032 (1)Wetmore to Yellow Pine trail

Scooteney Reservoir

June 29, 2018. We leave Moses Lake after our morning routine is taken care of; The boys are fed, I’ve had coffee, and The Chiweenie Brothers get another romp in the dog park.  

As the sun climbs higher and the day gets warmer, we take Hwy 17 south scouting for places to call home for the night.  Sometimes that has worked out better than planning too far ahead or travelling too far in one day to reach a certain point. . . sometimes it doesn’t. Today it works out.

Seeing a sign for a Bureau of Reclamation reservoir called Scooteney,  I make a right turn into the area and we drive down to the lake to check things out.  Nice campground!  A bit higher than we would pay in a national forest camp, but the heat has been building and I am already hating it. Just looking at the large shade trees and that blue, cool water makes me feel better.

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The picnic area at Scooteney

 

I find a spot to my liking–site number 18–that has a good shrubbery fence that will at least keep the ice chest side of the van shaded.  Even block ice isn’t lasting long in this heat.  There is also enough privacy  to allow me to keep the side doors (with lace curtains drawn) open and the back doors cracked open letting in enough air to keep it a bit cooler

in the green beast than it otherwise would be.

The boys are beyond excited to check out our new digs. I leash them up,  and in their eagerness to check things out I am practically dragged along on the way to the pay station.  WHOA!  Settle down you little hooligans! I pay half (it’s that senior thing again!) at $7.50. Getting a little wild with my money 🙂  Checkout time isn’t until 2:00 p.m.  Unusual, but nice! We can lollygag  all we want tomorrow morning.

It’s a busy campground, but not an inconsiderate bunch in the lot.

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Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES
Water:  Yes                                 Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms:  Yes                        Electricity: No
Tables:  Yes                                Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes, with grate          BBQ: No
# of Sites:  20+     Fee: $15, $7.50 with senior discount

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Other:  Lots of lush green grass, huge shade trees in the expansive picnic area, a boat launch, observation decks in several places overlooking the lake. Paved road, paved parking at each site, tent pads, water spigots strategically placed between campsites as well as garbage cans.
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Sloway and Cabin City in the Lolo National Forest

When we leave the Big Pine Fishing Access campground and continue our westward journey on I-90 I keep my eyes open for an improved campground, meaning one with pavement, water, garbage, tables, firepits.  We don’t need electricity or sewer so I’m not looking for THAT level of improvement, but we need something out of the mud.

It isn’t long before I spot a sign advertising a forest service campground called Sloway.  Sloway is in the Lolo National Forest and it is indeed an improved campground.  Being a national agency we will get half off the going rate.  Considering the retired, white-haired old lady I have become, that suits me fine!

I pull in, sign us up for a night just to see how it goes before committing to anything longer than one night.  We are in campsite 15.

This campground is chockfull of offerings. It has a picnic area, a launching area for canoes, kayaks, and rafts, a horse camp (which has it’s own entrance up the road), a section for large RVs with 7 pull-thru sites, 20 tent/car sites all with tables and fire rings. There are several vault toilets, 2 garbage collection sites, a recycling area, water spigots, and a camp host.  $10 per night, half that with senior pass. It’s right off the freeway, but traffic isn’t bothersome.  There is also a train that rolls through several times a day/night across the river, but I am either getting used to those sounds or going deaf. Not sure which it is.  What’s that, you say?  🙂  Lots of pines for shade.

We end up staying three days total, and you know what? I didn’t take any photos!  The old lady is losing it I guess!A

Before we get out of Montana we stay one night in another USFS campground called Cabin City. Much smaller than Sloway in the way of offerings, but has the basics: 2 loops of 12 sites each, tables, firepits, water, garbage, vault toilets.  It’s a pretty campground, but not so pretty getting there.  We drive past some drop-dead gorgeous homes and then at the turn to get to Cabin City, some pretty darn dumpy places.  All is well though, once you are in the campground. We saw a wild turkey sneaking through the undergrowth on one of our walks.  As in all of Montana, it’s bear country so keep your food inside your vehicle.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Still reading Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons … Good one!

Life is short 

 

 

 

 

Anaconda, Montana

June 15th. From Butte we take Hwy 1, the scenic route, toward the town of Anaconda which comes up in short order.  We get “the rest of the story” about copper mining when we discover The Stack, a park in Anaconda dedicated to the miners who worked the mines in Butte and the workers who ran the smelter here in Anaconda refining the copper.

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The copper smelter

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Anaconda has some beautiful old brick buildings. I thoroughly enjoy driving through this town stopping where I can whether it be an actual parking spot I snag or just stopping in the middle of the street if no one is coming to grab a photo.

We continue the scenic loop drive on Highway 1. The campground I am looking for along this highway is closed for repairs. My guess would be because of flooding.

Several miles up the road I discover a forest service road on the right, and I take it in hopes of finding a camp.  While I don’t find a camp, I do find these lovely carpets of lupine.

Moving on we eventually end our tour of Hwy 1,  and glide into the little town of Drummond.  Thankfully they have a small park with about 12 camp sites.  I pay the $10 fee and get parked. A walk for the Chiweenie Brothers and we can finally rest our weary heads. It is once again raining.

CAMP AMENITIES
Water: Yes                        Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms: Vault toilet 

Electricity: Available for $25 per night and you have to make a phone call to have some one unlock the box

Tables: Yes                         Shower: No
Fire Pit: Yes                        BBQ: No
# of Sites: 12 or so.            Fee:  $10 for a tent site. $25 if you want electricity 

Other: Right by the river, has a day use area for fisherman, and you are allowed to use the baseball diamond if you want.  It’s also next to the rodeo grounds. Nothing going on while I am here, but might be a problem getting a site at certain times.