One of my most treasured places is the family property up by Duchesne (doo-shane). We call it Back of Beyone Ranch, in honor of Edward Abby and his book “The Monkey Wrench Gang.”
It was either 1995 or 1996 that we bought the first 40 acre parcel and quickly set up camp close to dead center of the property.
It was very basic camping. One small tent trailer and the rest of us slept in tents on the ground.
But we were happy to have our piece of wilderness, where we didn’t have to compete for the prime campsites, or put up with people that had no respect for the others around them.
Below are my two brothers and myself at the top of what we named “Rossi Draw.”
The following year the parcel adjacent to ours on the west side came up for sale. The land was still pretty cheap, and we really liked the hillside that was right on the line of the two parcels, so we bought it and moved the campsite into the clump of trees on the hill, putting it pretty much smack in the middle of the two parcels of land. Below is the new road leading from the old campsite to the new one.
Since then we’ve brought up trailers to sleep in, built a couple of sheds to keep our stuff in and built a one-room cabin for eating and socializing. Here you see us taking a golf-break from building the cabin.
We also acquired a bath tub that sits out in a clearing and is gravity fed water from containers on the hill. Cold water only, which is great on those hot summer days.
Rossi Draw is on the first parcel of land, right along the border between the two. When we bought the second parcel we acquired what we had already named “Lost Draw.” We named it that because when we were first looking at the land, before buying any of it, the real estate agent walked us up to the southern corner of the property. I had headed back to the car a little before the rest, became disoriented and ended up coming down this draw, thinking it was the other one (Rossi Draw) where we parked the car. Completely lost, I started screaming out for my brothers hoping to get their attention. I had been screaming for about 10 minutes and just as I had resigned to walking down the 3 miles down the hill to the highway, and then 3 miles back up the dirt road to where the car was, my brothers found me. As a way to perpetually harass me for getting lost, they immediately dubbed it “Lost Draw’. Gotta love brothers.
My sister-in-law riding the ATV at sunset. Every time I see this picture the theme to M*A*S*H runs through my mind.
And finally – winter camp. Where the fires can get big, because everything is covered in snow and wild fires are unlikely.