Our first stop after leaving Moab was at a small national forest campground about ten miles south of Monticello. Devil’s Canyon campground is a very nice campground in the Manti-La Sal national forest. We arrived around mid-day on Tuesday to find only a handful of other campers at the campground. Lucky us, because the camp host said they were almost full over the weekend. Devil’s Canyon has two very different loops of sites. The first is smaller with a paved road and sites outfitted with concrete pads, cement fire rings, and metal grill stands. About half of the sites in this loop are huge pull-thrus, and the other half are equally huge back-ins.
The second loop has more sites with wider separation between them. The sites are dirt though, and lack the nice cement pads and fire pits. We chose the relative luxury offered in the first loop. We really don’t mind a dirt or gravel campsite, but sometimes it’s nice to not be constantly tracking dirt and sand in the trailer. I think the last time we stayed at a park with a paved or concrete RV pad was in Phoenix, which was wayyy back at the end of February.
Even though this campground appears to be in the middle of nowhere we have an excellent Verizon signal. We also get almost 90 TV stations! We don’t travel with a fancy schmancy satellite dish, and hardly ever stay anywhere with a cable hook-up, which means we rely solely on over the air stations that we can get with our roof top antenna. In Moab we didn’t get a single station so all this TV is quite thrilling. Of course, even with almost ninety channels we’re still reverting back to our old ways of streaming our favorite shows over the Internet. We can’t miss our Daily Show!
We suspect the influx of channels is due to our very high location. At nearly 7,500 feet we’re higher than most everything else around us. The high elevation has also ushered in colder temperatures and our first full day at the campground was chilly with temps only in the high 50s. The morning was spent inside and then we ventured out in the afternoon for a Geocaching adventure. First we walked down the road past the campground to a cache near the main road. Phineas approved of this afternoon activity.
Next we jumped in the truck and took a drive on the forest roads that make their way between the campground and the Abajo Mountains. It felt good to be among the tall trees again. We’ve really missed the forest.
After braving the cold wind to find a few caches we found our way back to the main road. As we exited the trees a gorgeous view opened up with tall mountains far in the distance.
Last night the temperatures dropped down into the low 30s and it never warmed up very much during the day, despite the persistent sun. We decided to stay close to home, getting some work stuff done. In the afternoon I took advantage of the cool temperatures to do some baking. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s never a good idea to use the oven in the airstream when it’s hot outside. Even with all the windows open and the fans on, it heat up in here like a…well, like an oven.
Last summer I experimented a bit with making baked goods, like these mini cherry pies, on our Weber grill using the cast iron griddle. Now that the weather is warming up I need to figure out how to successfully make more of our favorite baked items on the grill. Like these breakfast cookies that Leigh blogged about a few months ago. We’re officially hooked on this tasty, healthy breakfast treat — that really isn’t a cookie at all. I’ve been using her exact recipe, except I substitute dried apricots for the cranberries, and honey for the Agave.
Instead of baking them as individual cookies, which takes several batches to cook, I pack them into a 8×8-inch square baking dish, pop them into the oven for 25-30 minutes, and then cut them into squares. We eat these oat-filled squares alongside a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of chia seeds and cinnamon…yum!
I also made a batch of my homemade granola bars and tried out a new recipe for these Gluten-free Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Cakes. I didn’t have a cute mini-cake pan like she uses for the original recipe. I could have used a muffin tin, but it’s packed away in the back of the truck and I was too lazy to go looking for it. So I improvised and made one big cake in the same square baking dish I used for the breakfast cookies. My photos of the finished cake were pretty bad, so instead I’ ll just show you the mess I made in the kitchen.
The best thing about a small kitchen is how easy it is to clean. By the time the cake came out of the oven the kitchen was spotless again.
While I was inside baking, Tim was outside doing manly things. He replaced the rear brakes on the truck and then removed both of the airstream tires to check those brakes. The prognosis was not good. Looks like the airstream needs new brakes. Guess when we get to Durango new airstream brakes will be on the agenda. We want to make sure all our brakes are in good working order before we start rolling up and down the big mountains of Colorado.
Tomorrow we’ll move down the road to a boondocking spot in an area sometimes called Grand Gulch or Cedar Mesa. We’ve heard it’s a pretty spectacular area, and even got the down low from some fellow travelers on the best boondocking spots with a cell signal. If all works out as planned we’ll be sharing our new spot with you very soon.