They call it the Beaver Dam Mountain Wilderness. The road slices through the Virgin River Gorge to get there. Brrrrrummmp. Brrrrummmmp. Brrrrummmmp. “Eyes on the road, Nicole!” The five to six hundred foot height of the surrounding walls was both dizzying and beautiful. We couldn’t stop looking. Brrrrrummmp. Brrrrummmmp. Brrrrummmmp. “Eyes on the road, Nicole!”
Just the other side of the gorge, around dusk, we arrived at our destination for the week. Although we saw a few familiar friends…
the terrain was definitely beginning to change into a whole new scene. For one, everywhere you looked the ground was covered with green or purple grass.
The Indian Paintbrush
and other vibrant flowers dotted the hillsides.
Speaking of the hillsides, they started taking on a more rugged quality.
It didn’t hurt that they were also covered in…
Lots of them!
We found this, the mother of all Joshua Trees, on a hike one day.
Check out the size of that trunk!
We couldn’t even get our arms around it.
The area is reportedly home to a large number of Big Horn Sheep so we kept our eyes peeled at all hours hoping to spot one.
This photo on a sign is the closest we got but we know they are out there because they treat the whole area like a bank, making deposit after deposit after deposit!
A rose by any other name…
(Suppose this guy thought his didn’t stink! A bit of an artist, this one was.)
It was nice to be settled in one place again for bit. The weather was beautiful so we set up camp which involved experimenting with some new ideas. The high winds at Government Wash had destroyed someone’s tent. They tossed it into the dumpster. We promptly retrieved it and sorted out the portions that were still good while visions of creative uses bounced around inside our heads.
This is THE SHADE TARP, PHASE 1. The rain-fly and poles are used as a means of shading our two back windows. Without it we have to block the windows with foil during most of the day or the sun will have the van smoldering by 10 a.m.
It worked! A few more tweaks, a few more phases and it’ll be perfect.
Nicole’s already working on NEW WINDOW SCREENS, PHASE 1 which involves removing all of the screening from the rest of the damaged tent.
Our camp was at 2000 foot elevation but the road we were on and the surrounding mountains rose quite a bit higher than that. While walking UP the road one day, a guy on an ATV stopped just so he could tell us that we must “really like punishment and pain”. The entire two plus miles were all uphill but if it meant views like this…
it was worth it!
It was nice to have a flowing river nearby again. We sure have missed the water so we visited it a few times to dip our toes and enjoy the scenery.
A while back Darlene began experimenting with solar cooking. She started off easy enough with heating our bath water and making sun-tea. This time around she pushed the solar envelope and attempted to cook some beans with seasoning.
They got off to a good start but the next day an unexpected rain sent them to the stove to be finished. Next time.
Seems like we’ve found yet another place we could comfortably stay for a while. Alas, it was time for us to move on down the road though.
It’s all just a blur now. As mentioned previously, we have an actual destination. So, staying in one place too long means long stretches of driving two months from now. We don’t do long stretches too well so our stays will be shorter instead. Although we’ll still rely on the wind to determine the actual course our journey will take, the general direction of our travel is set.
One thing is for sure, we will enjoy every inch of the 800 miles it takes to get there and will see and experience everything we possibly can along the way.Like the beautiful Orange Mallow and this cute little fellow...
who is NOT a beaver.
P.S. We saw a lot of things but we never did see a beaver in the Beaver Dam Mountain Wilderness Area.