Campground Life

campground-life-1Sunday, April 3

Sawtooth Campground is a busy place come the weekend. It should be no surprise, the weather is about perfect and this spot is within a reasonable driving distance from LA. Rock climbers and families from the city come out for a chance to get away and the campground fills to over capacity. Four vehicles pile into site #2 next to me and tents spring up along the side of the road, there is no camp host currently in residence and I don’t see a BLM vehicle all weekend so there’s no one to enforce the rules. The pit toilets that were more than fully stocked on Friday are depleted of toilet paper and in dire need of a cleaning by the afternoon.

Dogs bark, music blares, and a steady stream of people parade past my site to access the climb across the road. I survey the chaos from atop the pile of boulders in my campsite, a refuge just far enough from sites 4-6 to avoid the horde of children (six I think, though it’s hard to count as they don’t stay still long) currently in residence with their parents for some sort of reunion. They squeal and call to one another as they swarm over the rock piles nearby, one poor adult from their group tries to contain them as they scatter in all directions, it’s like herding cats.

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Taken after the children were gone

I don’t begrudge any of them. Their all entitled to their fun same as me, and even the people who are camping illegally I can understand to a point. If I drove two and a half hours after work just to come out here and climb for the weekend only to discover the place was full, I’d probably stay if I could get away with it too. So I read atop my tower and watch the show, grateful all over again that my time is my own as one by one the sites empty out and the crowd leaves to prepare for Monday and their regular lives.

Monday, April 4

Ahhh, the quiet feels good after the weekend. Today’s a kick back and relax kind of day. On my evening walk I take these pictures of the mostly empty campground. That’s really about all I do.

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Tuesday, April 5

After a peaceful day spent at camp yesterday, it’s time for a little more hiking. Today’s trail is labeled Predator Wall, it’s at the south end of the campground off of a parking area.

Like Saturday’s hike, it’s not marked at all, no distances or elevation changes are listed. Unlike Saturday’s hike, it follows a wash which makes it harder to get lost. Harder, but not impossible.

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At 9 am it’s already getting hot, good thing I didn’t wait any longer. There’s rain in the forecast Thursday and Friday and cooler temperatures, that will feel good. The trail winds up the canyon until the wash is shrunken to the point that it doesn’t really exist. Still, I can see a gap in the ridge ahead which I’m pretty sure is where the view will be, so I veer that way.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Nice! Roads make lines through the creosote-coated valley, there are a few buildings in sight but not many. If I was feeling ambitious, it looks as though a person could climb down from this little pass into that valley and explore more, but that would require climbing back up again.

The sunset this evening is subtle but pleasing. Crickets chirp an accompaniment as I watch it from start to finish.

campground-life-5

* * *

On Saturday I’m going to be camping in Acton, CA for a little while. May not have a lot of time there but if there’s something you think I should see, let me know! The campground I’m going to be in is right next to the Pacific Crest Trail and I’ll definitely be hiking a bit of that. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.

* * *

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

21 Comments

  1. Micky on April 11, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Sad that there are no camp hosts at Sawtooth any longer. Jim and Janet were great but even when I was there over a year ago I could tell they were getting burned out.

    That picture where you mention the children being gone…the “kissing stones” , 😀 that was my campsite when I was there.
    Micky recently posted..Homolovi State ParkMy Profile



    • Becky on April 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      The BLM lady who stocks the bathrooms says that the last camp host “retired”, but I don’t know how long ago that was.

      Fun! Such a neat place, I’ll definitely be back someday.



  2. Alvin Tosh on April 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for another great read. Look forward to all your updates.. Can’t wait to start my own solo fulltime journey soon. Lots differences but also a lot of similarities



    • Becky on April 9, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Glad you’re finding my blog helpful and informative Alvin. Best of luck to you, hope your transition to full-timing is smooth and painless!



  3. Diane Ely on April 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Another place you might want to check out while in the vicinity is Devil’s Punchbowl in Pearblossom. This area is somewhat similar to Vasquez Rocks, a geological wonder formed over eons by erosion and tectonic activity, and has a neat hike down to the “punchbowl”. It’s about 25 miles east of where you’ll be, so you’d obviously have to drive there (unlike Vasquez Rocks, to which you can hike on the PCT).



    • Becky on April 9, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for sharing Diane!



  4. Rosemary Rizzo on April 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    As always another great post. The desert has a magical quality…
    Do try to get to Vasquez Rocks, be as useful color and formations.



    • Becky on April 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      To the south of my campground I can see a red rock formation on the side of the hills, pretty cool looking! Lot of rain in the forecast so sadly hiking isn’t looking as likely, but I’ll see what I can do.



  5. Curt Welling on April 7, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey, you must read it now. Trust me.



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      You aren’t the first to mention it Curt, i’ts on my list. 🙂



  6. Bertie on April 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Beautiful pictures Becky. Vasquez Rocks is in Agua Dulce near Acton. You would recognize them from Star Trek – or maybe the Big Bang where they are going to a Star Trek convention.



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Cool Bertie, I’ll them them in mind, thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed the pictures, thanks for following along!



  7. Jodee Gravel on April 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

    The recycling of travelers has been crazy here in Wiliams, AZ, as folks arrive for a day or three to see the Canyon and then move on. More kids than most places we’ve been, but as you said – good for them to get out and play! Looks like a good hike, nice pics. Safe travels to Acton.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Enjoying the Beauty of Northern ArizonaMy Profile



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      I wonder if it’s still Spring Break time for some schools. But yeah, most of the people coming through the campground aren’t here more than two days, almost like I blink and they’re gone. Thanks, and enjoy Arizona.



  8. gayle maria on April 7, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Every time I go out that way to visit RV dealers, I get a hamburger at EZ Take Out Burger, 2211 Sierra Highway, Santiago Square Shopping Center. Best hamburgers ev-ah! (Excuse me if I have forgotten whether you are a vegan!)



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Not a vegetarian Gayle, haha. I’ll keep that place in mind, thanks for sharing. 🙂



  9. Kevin on April 7, 2016 at 4:45 am

    So…… when you sit back and think about it, are you liking the desert or loving the desert?



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Hmm, that’s a toughie Kevin. 🙂



  10. shawn on April 6, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    awesome!! very nice..
    tell me, where are all the girls like you hiding?..lol so cool what you do



    • Becky on April 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      There are several RV singles groups out there Shawn, I’m not a member of any of them because I am single by choice. But if you do a search on Google you’ll find them.



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