Thursday, September 5, 2013

Camping at Flaming Gorge - Mustang Ridge Campground

Josh's work schedule is always changing. Some weeks, he works Monday - Friday. Other times, they have him on a 8 day on.- 5 day off schedule. He worked that schedule at the beginning of summer, but then they switched to the 5 days instead.
When they suddenly decided to put him back on the 8 day schedule, we realized he would be off over Labor Day Weekend. I had Monday off, but I decided to take the previous Thursday off and we took an extended camping trip for 4-1/2 days.
We wanted to try somewhere new. We were thinking about going to Strawberry Reservoir, but in the end, we decided to try Flaming Gorge. We've both been there, but never camped there.
We arrived early Thursday afternoon to a nearly empty campground. The host told us we could choose any spot that wasn't posted reserved. The campground was huge, with like 70 spaces, so we drove the entire thing and then went back through again a second time to look at our favorites.
We really liked this one that had a lake view. It was gorgeous. We parked the cars and Josh went to go fill the water jug.
We had walked up about two spaces, then we got a better look at this one on the other side of the road. It didn't have the lake view, but it had shades. LOTS of shade. We wanted the lake view, but we figured since we would be fishing on it, a shady spot would be better. Saturday ended up being a HOT day, and we were glad we had chosen that spot instead. The down side was, the trees were so close around the table, we couldn't put our new canopy we had bought just before we left.  

We did most of our fishing right out of the campground. There was a path, behind the group site, that led down to the water. The campground was packed all weekend, but that spot was never occupied so we never had to walk through some one's camp.

Sage LOVES camping. She loves the constant attention we give her. The scraps of food. And the "adventuring" as Josh calls eat. True to her nature, she drug us every where we went. 
Friday morning, Josh got up early and went fishing. When I woke up, I found that some birds had stolen all of Sage's food. Also, the day before, a chipmunk chewed a hole through the zipper of my extra large cooler bag. 

Friday, it rained just enough to keep everything cool. Saturday, was blazing hot and we missed the rain. 

A chipmunk trying to get in our coolers. 

Saturday afternoon, we decided to take a drive just so we could enjoy the air conditioner of the truck. We headed towards Red Canyon Lodge and saw some big horn sheep. 

We found a trail and decided to walk it so Sage could stretch her feet. 

Then on the way back to camp, we saw several does and fawns. 

On Sunday, we decided to do some more exploring. We had gotten a free map from the Visitor Center. It showed a geographical loop that had a lake by it. We decided to head that way and try that lake.
It felt like it was way out there, but when we got to the lake, it was crowded! We hiked up one side of the lake and fished for a few hours, but never caught anything. But it was still pretty. 

Then as we headed back, I asked Josh to try and drive to the fire tower. The map said it was the last one in Utah. But there was a sign at the beginning of the loop that said it was closed. I just wanted to try to get close enough for a picture.
So we found the right road and headed up the mountain. I thought it would be really tall and we would see it a while before we got to it. But we didn't see it until the last bend at the top of the mountain. It looks like they are trying to restore it, so hopefully we can go again some day and get a closer look. 

Then we headed back down. At the turning point, we decided to drive the rest of the geographical loop instead of going back the way we came in. We drove. And drove. And drove. And finally decided, we weren't on the map anymore. After an hour, we saw a sign that made us realize, we were in Wyoming. So we headed towards Manila to find our way back to camp. 
We got back to camp in time to start dinner. Then we headed to another over look point to watch the sunset. It had a beautiful view of the lake, the bridge and the dam. 

In the left corner, on the shore line, you can see a group of rocks that stick out in the lake. That is the area we fished in. 

We had so much fun and can't wait to go again. We loved camping somewhere new and are thinking about making that a yearly Labor Day Weekend Tradition.


KT said...

We have been to Flaming Gorge before, but just as a day trip...not camping. Loved if we lived out west to have some nice spots like this within driving distance. Lovely photos - thanks for sharing your trip!

Jessica said...

Pretty pictures...and sounds like some fun adventures too!