Red Cliff Campground, Utah

On Wednesday November 22, 2017 we left home for an undetermined location south of our home where we could enjoy a warm Thanksgiving holiday camping. We have gone camping nearly every Thanksgiving for twenty or so years. Most often we end up at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, but on warmer years we consider Snow Canyon State Park in Utah or Zion National Park. This year we couldn’t decide so we decided to decide on the way.

While heading south we noticed signs indicating long delays getting to Zion and decided not to risk that this year. Just before Saint George, Utah we noticed a sign for Red Cliff Campground and, after conversing with our son and his family via cell phone, pulled off to give it a try. This little campground has ten sites, but on our way through we found site number 5 available. In a stroke of good luck those in the neighboring site were pulling out, so we claimed it for our son’s family who pulled in just a few minutes later.

After getting settled in we spent the remainder of the day playing on the red sandstone hills near our site. The sandstone made it very easy for the younger children to climb and hike around. It was amazing where they could get to on their own. The views from our trailer windows were stunning; everywhere you looked there was red rock.

On Thanksgiving day we had breakfast and then began the preparation of our feast. We don’t go without while camping on Thanksgiving. We prepared the turkey in a dutch oven on a stove and added briquettes later in the day to brown the bird.

With the turkey we had mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, beans with bacon,  rolls with honey butter, stuffing and for desert pecan, chocolate and apple pie. My wife prepared the beautiful apple pie from scratch and cooked it in another dutch oven.

All of the food was cooked to perfection and very delicious. We weren’t hungry again until late into the evening when turkey sandwiches hit the spot.

On Friday we hiked up the river trail to a waterfall. However, this time of the year the river is dry and the pool at the bottom of the waterfall is something you wouldn’t want to fall into. The hike was still beautiful with plenty of huge boulders for the kids to climb and an endless supply of red canyon walls and blue sky. There are some huge trees and stumps along the trail that gave the kids an alternative medium to climb.

On Saturday we took a trip to the Silver Reef Museum to learn about the mining of silver from this area in the 1800’s. The museum is situated in a bit of a ghost town with a jail and a few other ruins. The street through the ghost town starts at the museum, passes the jail and the ruins and continues into a neighborhood of new homes, strange. At 1pm we watched a show where several bank robbers dressed in realistic attire had a shootout with law enforcement. I think all of us were amazed at how loud the revolvers were. They were shooting blanks, but the sound alone would stop you in your tracks.

On Sunday we packed up and headed home. Once we arrived we emptied the trailer and took it to its winter resting spot where we won’t see it again until March. During 2017 we camped for 43 nights in 6 states and enjoyed every minute. We have owned our trailer since August of 2016 and have camped for 57 nights. I can’t wait until March 2018 when our journeys will continue. Until then …

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Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada

On October 19, 2017 we travelled to Cathedral Gorge State Park in Nevada. The campground is approximately two and a half hours north east of Las Vegas and about an hour and a half west of Cedar City, Utah. I am sure this is a very hot and uncomfortable place in the summer months, but this time of the year it was perfect.

We took site number 5 which was flat and long enough to accommodate our trailer and the truck parked sideways across the entrance. The site had 30A and 50A electric hookups, but no water or sewer. While we used the electric, it would be much more appreciated in the summer when the AC would likely run day and night. The site also had a nice table, shade from the sun and a fire pit. The only strange thing about the site is that it is surrounded by posts. We learned through experience that if you park to close to the posts to make room for the truck, the pop outs will run into the posts. We only had to move the trailer once.

To the rear of our trailer the view was simply flat desert with distant cliffs. However, this provided great views of the stars and an occasional glimpse of wildlife.

One night I was grilling hamburgers and had three slices of cheese at the ready. I wasn’t using any light source as the glow from the trailer and natural light provided just enough to get around. I stepped into the doorway of the trailer to ask my wife a question and then immediately returned to the grill. When I went to place the cheese on the burgers, it wasn’t where I left it, it was gone. I don’t know what took it, but it was kind of creepy thinking something was paying enough attention to me to notice when I left and what I had left behind. Perhaps it was one of these little rabbits? I was just grateful that whatever it was it wasn’t a meat eater. I had more cheese, I didn’t have more burgers.

Over the next few days my wife and I along with our son and his friend hiked around Cathedral Gorge. Most of the hikes are short and pretty easy. There is one four mile hike that we never got around to doing because my wife severely sprained her ankle. We were all enjoying the Caves, which are really super narrow canyons, when the kids came to get me because my wife had heard her ankle make a terrible noise and she was in severe pain. I thought at first they were pulling my leg, pun intended, but sure enough I found her in real agony. We walked very slowly back to the trailer, got her seated, the ankle wrapped and put on ice. She took the next couple of days off while I cooked, cleaned and entertained the children. I am still not sure she really hurt her ankle 🙂

On October 23rd we headed home. We enjoyed Cathedral Gorge and will come back to hike the trails we missed.

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