Camping makes me happy.  Being outdoors for long periods of time, and a lot of that time is with my feet up under a shade tree.  Depending on the trip, activities will include fishing, hiking, cooking, and sitting around telling stories.

This year, camping has been very popular.  With many places closed due to the virus outbreak, persons across the Front Range, and nearby states, have hit the mountains for relief from the heat, getting away from urban stress, and just all around killing time.  Walking or driving through downtown Steamboat Springs, there are numerous RV’s going through town.  Several of which it is easy to tell that the driver has little experience with towing, let alone something as large as a camper trailer.

This weekend we went to North Routt to camp.  Like, way north.  North of Steamboat Lake is a small spot named Columbine.  Here we took County Road 550 and travelled some really great terrain.  We saw many peaks and large, wide open pastures.  Except for a few bucks, we didn’t see any wildlife.  Then again we were traveling in the afternoon.  In the afternoons, I’m laying low from the Summer heat.

We drove about 15 miles from Columbine to an area known as Whiskey Park and camped on the Middle Fork of the Snake River.  It was a quiet spot, as many along this drive were.  We felt pretty lucky finding a spot, especially with water.  Every campsite along our drive was taken, except for two.  

Our tent was surrounded by white pine and Sarvis Berry bushes.  The Snake River made enough sound that we slept really well.  Overall, it was a great spot to kick back for awhile, out of cell phone range.

Stage 1 fire restrictions started last weekend.  Which means no fires outside of campgrounds, and no fireworks, and a few other things.  It toned down the evenings and made bugs more cantankerous when a little smoke goes long way to chase them off.  Everyone was being cautious with fires.  Even though there had been afternoon rains, the terrain was dry.

On our return, we stopped at Steamboat Lake for some kayaking.  The lake was fairly busy with day use visitors.  Overall, there was plenty of parking and folks were spread out.  Blue skies and a slight breeze made the day brilliant.  It was good to get out on the water, get in the water, and be away from my desk.