Circling Wagons in Red Canyon

Packing Up

It was one of those clear, crisp mornings as the Sun came up over the mountains here at Whiting Campground in Maple Canyon. Jagger and I had a quick breakfast and then we stepped down, outside our Coach for one last walk about the campground

Our early morning ramble would include a stop at the trailhead at the end of the campground road. There I would explore the feasibility of turning our Coach around. The narrow trailhead parking area already had several cars and a truck with a white horse trailer attached. Turning around here would be tight.

It was 9:30 AM by the time we slowly moseyed out of our campsite moving towards the trailhead. I first pulled the Coach into the parking area in between two cars. Then I slowly backed up the Coach between vehicles on the opposite side of the parking area. Finally getting her turned around after a four-point turn. Then off we went back into the forest of cottonwood trees along the stream winding through the campground.

Arriving Red Canyon Campground

Today we are high tailing it South 200 miles down Interstate 15 to Red Canyon Campground, near the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. I don’t usually drive the Interstate, nor do I enjoy it, but I didn’t make reservations at Red Rock Campground and we need to arrive early to get a spot in this popular area.

At 3 pm we pulled into the entrance. It’s already way too late. Even though school is back in, there are a lot of visitors here. It appears to be full as we lead our Coach around Loop A. No camps are available.

The Coach hitched to our Workhorse on such a narrow campground road gave me an anxious feeling, as other campers arrive looking for a camp too. It felt similar to being at a roundup with a hundred head and only having a corral for a dozen.

We moved slowly over the narrow one-lane road to Loop B and drove most of the way around the loop. “Jagger, I think we are out of luck.” He looked back at me with hopeful eyes.

Turning back out on the main road, towards the exit, I spotted a place. Not Ideal, but we fit! “Someone was watching out for us,” I think to myself, as we squeezed into site #18. It’s not a very big campsite. At first, I didn’t think we would fit. Most of the campsites here are pretty tight, especially for a 32′ fifth wheel such as our Coach with its tow vehicle.

“Can you hear me now? How about now?”

I’m guessing that during our three-day stay here we’ll have about six hours of direct sun on just a portion of our site during the day. Our camp is next to a steep hill with many tall pine trees that shade our site. It looks like we’ll be using the generator every afternoon and evening again.

In the last few weeks, our batteries have really taken a beating. Just using the generator is not deep charging them, which I’ve read isn’t good for batteries. I need to do a little more research when I have the Internet again and find out what the solution is for my problem. In the past three weeks, it seems like all of the places we’ve stayed have weak or no cell signal and trees that hinder our solar charging capability.

After partially setting up I figured it was time for a break. I deserved it right?! After all of that commotion trying to find a hitching post for us, I at least deserve a little winding down time.

The View From Campsite

From my understanding, after getting the lowdown from our hosts, I claimed one of the last camps. I happened to run into them at the pay station while I paid for my stay.

While eating dinner I noticed Jagger napping, most likely out of boredom. Once I finished, I got his full attention, “It’s that time, Jagger!” jumping for joy while running to his place to get suited up. We then went on a short walk around the campground. Just as we came around the corner returning to our camp, we met a couple that happened to be walking by on their evening stroll.

We visited for a while and the man played with Jagger. Of course, Jagger was as excited as ever. I can’t really blame him. He is full of energy after sitting in the truck for over five hours on our drive here.

Just before they moved on, we formally introduced ourselves, then Pat and Patti invited me to come to sit by their campfire for a spell tonight. I gladly accepted and headed back to prepare the Coach for my absence, leaving Jagger behind.

Evening Visit with New Friends

I grabbed my chair, walking a short distance before arriving at their camp, nestled in the tall pine trees. Upon arrival, they were building the bonfire. Perfect timing.

Just then another couple arrived and introduced themselves. Pia and Valo (hopefully I spelled their names correctly) are from East Germany. They’re visiting our country for a camping vacation. Pia spoke good English and translated for Valo. He seemed to understand most of the conversation this evening but was quiet.

During our conversation, I learn that Pia is a Child Psychologist and Valo is an EMT. Our host Patti is a Dentist and Pat her husband has just retired from a Financial gig. They call Wisconsin their home and have traveled a little here in the USA and also in Italy and Germany.

As the night continued, the fire died down and we all grew tired. We eventually said our goodnights and goodbyes. I rose, realizing just then I didn’t bring my flashlight. “Darn!” I can’t believe I did that, it’s pitch black. Practically feeling my way back to camp, I was wondering if I could find my way without tripping over a log or, most importantly, a bear. We’re talking, did I say pitch black, no Moon!

Well, it took a while, was a little stressful, but I made it safely back to the Coach giving Jagger a big hug. Then after getting ready for bed I crawled in. Before going to sleep I reminisced about the day and the evening. It was a good time of sharing stories and learning about people from very different backgrounds. It was a pleasant surprise for my first night here at Red Canyon.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger

More Photos: Red Canyon Hike and Campground 

Campground Review: Red Canyon Campground

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