Day 3: Sept 12, 2023
Lamoille Canyon, NV →
Ophir Canyon, UT
The first in a series of today’s “mishaps” begins this morning. Barb, our four-pound Chihuahua, starts to whine inside our tent. We’re both occupied and can’t tend to her immediately, so by the time I get to her, I find that she’s already relieved herself. Her tiny body has a big bladder.
Fired up into immediate action, we first get the massive Hoverquilt out, which fortunately suffers little damage. But our brand-new fitted sheet isn’t so lucky.
Jen looks at these events with superstition: Small setbacks like these mean we’re avoiding some larger consequence. We’re meant to be where we’re meant to be.
Once we’re back in cell service, we google laundromats, and Jet Coin Laundry in Elko, Nevada, comes highly rated. (Because everything needs a rating these days.)
I haven’t been in a laundromat in almost two decades. The last time I did a load, it cost a buck. The machines here range from $3.25–$5.00. I shouldn’t be surprised, given how long it’s been and inflation. But, damn.
Hot springs are next on our agenda. We visited a particular spot last year, which remains one of our best finds from that trip. However, Google markedly derails those plans, with a detour and a mismatched pin. Almost three hours later, we are en route to a national forest area near the Deseret Peak Wilderness outside Salt Lake City.
The washboard roads into the national forest quickly give way to a scene we typically don’t look for when recreating: boondockers. Residents, if you will. There are children out here, and pleasantries are exchanged in the form of a wave. But the area is trashed in certain places and is now home to some. Vibe check: pass.
The day had its fair share of “adventure.” The stuff you don’t always see or hear about is the frustration and fatigue when things don’t pan out and you’re chasing daylight. But you learn adaptability and resilience.
We skip the $200+ dog-friendly hotels that are available as an option for the night’s lodging. Instead, we opt to investigate one more area about 45 minutes away. We roll through a small mountain town called Ophir. It’s promising. It’s cute. There are some nice houses.
It reveals itself. A well-kept fee campground with 18 numbered sites, a creek winding throughout, a fire pit, a grill, and picnic tables at each site. A vault toilet, even! Though not our normal set-up for camping, this was worth every bit of that $15 nightly fee.
No one else is here. It’s a Tuesday in the fall. We take our time and look at each spot until we find a nice grassy tucked-away corner.
This will do, this will do. Thanks, destiny.