Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Deer Weather

Through a screen, darkly. The iPhone I used to capture this seemed to think I wanted to focus on the window screen, but hey, it’s a photo.

I moved back to NF-493 in Cottonwood to better get through a cool spell and rainstorms, which is better than cold and snow. At the moment I write this, it’s just past noon, and the outside temperature is 44 degrees F. The predicted high today is 55, but that’s for the lower elevations of Cottonwood itself, and I don’t think I’ll top 50 right here.

I decided to hit that isolated spot further up on NF-493, a quarter mile past where I stayed before. It’s a fab spot, but I gotta tell ya, the entrance to it is a tricky devil. I made it in after adding a rock or two to the climb, both to ease the “bumpage” and to save the tires from sidewall threats. A narrower rig with less overhang would have a somewhat easier time of it. I hope to cover that and a true view of this campsite in a later post, if the opportunity presents itself. Yesterday and today are very rainy, keeping me from wanting to go out and then foot-track mud back into my mobile bachelor pad. The forecast is currently close to half an inch of rain, which would normally be a concern in this area. However, the water seems to be diverting elsewhere and this site shows no signs of having ever acted as a wash or water runoff. There’s enough grass and brush to absorb some of it, so if the occasional lightning strike can behave, there’s little risk of a grass fire to contend with. Whenever there’s only one way in or out of a campsite for one’s rig, that’s something that is one more thing to consider in one’s Risk Assessment plan when selecting where to stay. The trail out of here may be affected by the runoff, but that’s all part of the adventure. Getting back out of this site without bending the cargo box frame should be the bigger challenge. It’d be handy if I had an aluminum “bridge” available (acting as a ramp to ease the drop rate), but I don’t, so I may have to use those air bags in the rear to temporarily hoist the frame up higher for clearance. Are we having fun yet?

Yes, we are. I managed to pretty much level out the Intrepid using a well-placed rock under a tire, and the first night here was spooky at about midnight, when I awoke to hear something scratching at the ground next to the camper. After wondering and waiting for awhile, I looked out a window to see a couple of deer scratching at the ground not 15 feet away. Persistent little buggers! Actually, I seem to have set up camp in a deer hangout. Morning and evening, a small herd of them appears so they can get at something buried in the bare earth. They go to the same spots to dig some more and try to eat some mysterious substance in the ground. One might think they’re after gathered water, but they were doing this even when the ground was dry, and this is not a spot for a drink.

This is a first for me. Though they are wary and always on alert (mountain lions are purported to be in the general area), they are comfortable with the rig being here, and don’t shy away at the musical strains of Johnny Cash or even Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Tomorrow’s better weather may ruin that when I pop out the door and start walking around and filming the site, but for now, I’m actually trying not to spook them. In the meantime, the furnace and sufficient ground panels to keep the electrical system up are a welcome comfort.

The video below of said deer is a bad one, taken with the iPhone, but since the VIRB is in the cargo box and the Pentax is in the truck cab, you get what you get. It’s about 40 seconds long, so don’t expect much. Still…Enjoy! Ever had a “back to nature” campsite like this?

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