I found a quiet and empty campground last night, where I quickly set up Half Moon. I had household and garden things to attend to yesterday, so this is a quick trip on my remaining day off. I am closer to home this time, at the sprawling Glendo State Park, which is situated around an immense reservoir. Boaters come up all summer, even from Colorado, to catch Walleye. However, at this time of year the water line is low, in some areas closing down the boat ramps. Fishermen move over to sites near a boat ramp. The result: empty campgrounds on the low water side, where I am snuggled in. I sit in a dense stand of cottonwoods and am happy that my Internet hot spot is working! I love being able to write “from the field” instead of waiting to get home.
I wonder, will the enchantment of sleeping in a pop-up camper ever cease? I sleep in a comfortable bed with warm, heavy blankets and can look out into the moonlit night through all the screens. Each time, setting up and taking down Half Moon gets easier, In the heat of the day I can be inside, away from flies, yet still see all the birds and other creatures. I am sure this was the right decision for me.
I have streamlined packing and unpacking food and clothes. Because of mice, I do not leave food in the camper when it is closed up. As for clothes, they have to go inside the house and into the washer after a trip. So, I found 2 small, square laundry baskets to make transport easier. I put food in one and clothes in the other. They each have a place in the camper, then I can take them back inside when I get home. .
Everything else (except computer and camera) stays in the camper or van while not camping. It helps when I can remember which seat something is stored under. I will probably spend some time reorganizing on this trip in Half Moon, now that I know where I want stuff.
Last night, in that half hour before dark, I see small deer creep through the bushes, probably thinking I could not see them. Tango is periodically staring off in the other direction, and at one point, I look where his eyes were transfixed and see bushes moving from something more than the wind. I do not see anything, but Tango repeatedly and nervously look isn that direction. We don’t have even black bears around here; however, I have heard that wherever you see deer, you will also find mountain lions. Hmmmm is one out there looking for a venison snack? The bushes shudder. Tango stares into the night, hovering close to me. And then, in the remaining sliver of light that clings to the horizon, another group of small deer emerges from the shuddering bushes and tiptoes across the campground. Tango has learned that some animals are more” bad ass” than he is, so he does not bark or chase the deer. We just sit around the campfire and watch until the deer went up and over the hill.
The first West Nile victim in Wyoming is from our little town; so I have been dousing myself in bug spray. I hate that stuff, but I have talked with two survivors of West Nile and decided that is worse than the spray. I have not seen or heard a mosquito out here, but I know they are nearby. It is a real threat in SE Wyoming. Public health officials report a second case in Cheyenne.
Despite the worries about mosquitoes and mountain lions I had a lovely evening. The peace and joy of the night was capped off with a lovely, nearly full moon, which kept the area bathed in soft, night light; I do not know if it every got truly dark last night. Tonight is a Blue Moon or Green Corn moon. Good thing I unwittingly cooked up some ears to eat out here tonight. It must be good luck.
- Blue Moon from dusk until dawn night of August 20, 2013 (earthsky.org)
- Wyoming records 2nd human West Nile case this year (billingsgazette.com)