life in south willow canyon, UT
rattlesnakes, pack goats, didgeridoo, prayer flags,
connect-the-campers, and Rizzlo

Well, been here a month and its been okay. A lot of rattlesnakes, though. After seeing and hearing about over twenty, I stopped keeping track. Maybe I should learn how to milk venom to pick up some extra pocket change. There has not been any problems with them so most campers just leave them alone. Never thought I would be shooing rattlesnakes off the road with a broom so they would not get run over. Can one carry ahimsa too far? Don’t really think so.

Fewer rowdy groups coming up. Most notable was probably the two groups up one Saturday night. Starting dealing with that situation at 12:30 when a camper drove down and gave me a heads up. Got back to bed at 2:30 am. Needless to say, when the alarm went off at 5:00 am, I did not get up and go out for a run. Had a fabulous hour the next morning going around talking with the campers in the other five sites affected by these lowlifes.

Been getting a nice 3 1/2 to 4 hour hike in each week on my day off. Generally nice and quiet during the week.

Have only seen one other fiberglass trailer up here. A couple had just picked up a Trillium in California and were bringing it back here to Utah. They found it on They were pretty excited with it and were already planning on some restoration projects. Hope to see more fiberglass RVs. Plenty of small stick and tent trailers.

Saw some people camping down in one of the disperse sites with a utility trailer with the boy scout symbol on the side. All the kids were wearing face shields and holding paintball guns. Didn’t think I would ever see that. Should have taken a picture.

A local ranger keeps three horses up in the pasture here and when I walk up there in the evenings to spend a few minutes with them, Meadow frequently tags along. She’s been going right up to them lately. It seems too far a walk for Onyx, and besides, he might be putting on weight. The cicadas are out and he’s always munching on them. Nice and crunchy.

When Meadow and I walked up to the horse pasture the other morning, there was a doe and two fawns grazing by the spring. Beautiful. Don’t think I could ever go back to living mostly indoors.
Lately I’ve been bringing carrots up to the horses in the evenings. If I don’t, they usually come down to the gate right behind the camper, looking for a treat.

When sitting outside and working with silver, it can seem like one is in the middle of an old world war I dogfight. Hummingbirds are frequently zooming right past my head—sometimes three in a row, chasing each other. One time the feeder right by my bench ran out of sugar water and one bird stopped and hovered right in front of me. Probably just a coincidence but it sure seemed like she was saying, get your butt up and fill the feeder! I mean with six other feeders to go to, it seemed kind of picky.

A raccoon found the open-top trailer where I load all the trash to take to the landfill each week. What a mess each morning!!!!!!! I picked up some ‘Critter Ridder’ (oil of black pepper, piperine, and capsaicin) and sprinkle it over the bags each night and that seems to help quite a bit.

At the mouth of the canyon is a wild turkey with all her little ones tagging along after her. They are out and about quite a bit. Real cute.

Earlier in the week, two guys hiked up to Deseret Peak for an overnight. They had two pack-goats to carry their stuff. Big goats—nearly 200 lbs. It was like a breakdown cruise—working out the kinks for a week long trek up in the Uintahs.
The other day a dad and his son came up and did the same trip with two llamas.

Some hikers stretched the Tibetan prayer flags across one of the chutes just below Deseret Peak. I thought they looked pretty impressive up there.

A didjeridoo maker ( camped here a couple nights. Will definitely have to try to make one when I get back down to the desert. Marko said one can even make one out of 1 ¼” (ID) PVC pipe. If I can’t figure out circular breathing, I’ll get a lesson from him when I come back up next summer. The sound sure sounds nice out in nature.

Had a great group of campers staying for a couple nights and I stopped in from time to time to talk with them and wished I could have pitched a tent there with them. The day they were leaving, however, one of their dogs ran away. I wrote down phone numbers and told them I would give them a call when I came across Rizzlo. It rained the proverbial cats-and-dogs that night along with substantial lightning. Not good. I saw Rizzlo twice the first week but could not get close to him, called the owners, they drove up from Salt Lake, but were not able to find him. They brought up some flyers to post in the canyon, though, so I was getting reports of sightings for other campers which I related to the owners. I suggested bringing up an old shirt or sweatshirt to leave at the site the next time they came up. It seemed to help in that it looked like Rizzlo was going back there at night and sleeping on the shirt. I was also leaving out some of M/O’s food. Some other animals were probably eating the food but, hopefully, Rizzlo was getting some of it. The owners came back up the next weekend to camp and I had put out a reservation sign so they could have the same site (not suppose to do that). It got worse. About 10:00 one night, Tony was knocking on my door. A camp stove exploded and his son had some bad burns. I remembered that a SWAT medic was camping in the canyon so I jumped in the back of their car and directed them over to medic. The burns were so bad that I could smell skin burning. Eric calmly took over and covered all the bases. What a professional! The ambulance got up there much quicker than it would have taken for the campers to drive over to Tooele. And still no Rizzlo when they left to go home.

I ordered a 50watt solar panel kit but it’s on backorder. I don’t really need it but it should prove useful in the winter months. Besides, it gives me something else to learn about. This month’s living expenses should only be about $300 so might as well go for it.

I’ve always preferred the mountains over the desert but lately I’ve been missing the desert. Strange. Already looking forward to spending the winter camping through eastern and southern New Mexico.

Oh well, we’ll see what the next month brings. Sure do like living in the Outdoors.

God made the country, and man made the town.
William Cowper



Ron said…
Great to keep up with you! You're having fun!


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