canyon rims area, bored?!, rockland,
cowpie fires, and a new bed

Well, a couple days turned into a couple weeks. I love this lifestyle—it’s so unpredictable.

I hear many fulltimers say stuff like if they go off and dry camp, they are ready to bag it after two or three days. They don’t have anything to do, miss other people (in only three days!), and they get bored. Unreal. These are the same people who state that their grandkids need to be constantly entertained. Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black? I don’t know if I could get enough of being out in the sticks for weeks at a time. I love steppin’ out the door in the morning in a place that demands to be noticed. I love it out here.
I drove about 30 miles south of Moab, turned off rt191, and headed west. After 8 or 10 miles I turned onto a dirt road heading north and came across the spot in the first photo to camp. I do like solitude. The next day I went out for a mountain bike ride and came across another place to camp so I moved the following morning after a nice run checking out land to the west. As luck would have it, while out running the next morning, yep, I found a camping spot I liked even better. When I got back to my camper, I had breakfast, made a fire in the feed pan, drank a mug of coffee and read a bit, gathered up Meadow and Onyx, packed up, and drove down this double track to the site on a rim. Marked down the GPS coordinates so I can find it again if I want. In cold weather, I like to position the casita with the large back window facing the rising sun so the rays help warm up the camper. Pack a compass if you are camping off the grid and thus have this option.

There were plenty of places to explore from the third site and it had warmed up so I decided to hang out for a bit. In a few days I made a run back to Moab for propane, wine, web access, a loaf of stone-baked Ecce Panis olive batard, and to get a map and fill up the Reliance water jugs at Gearheads. Shortly after leaving my site, I went the wrong way at a fork in the road. Since I was more or less going in the right direction, I kept going. After 22 miles, I finally got back to pavement. No big thing, it’s not like I’m on any schedule and I saw some neat stuff like this cave shack in 8 Mile Rock. If you ever find yourself on Looking Glass Road, just a bit south of rt46 (to La Sal), there is a strange community a few miles in from rt191. You’ll see a large rock jutting up from the flats and on the west side there are a number of caves. People have boarded up the openings, put in doors and windows, and made the caves into homes, some with two stories and extensions. While back in Moab, I asked someone about it and he heard it might be a polygamist community. In Utah!? Who would have thought? I need to email Glen to see what he knows about this place. Listened to a ‘Wait, wait’ podcast on the way back to camp. Sure do get some laughs out of that program.
I emailed Glen about what he knew about the rock and was not the least bit surprised that he knew all about it. They should have a local Moab game—Stump Glen. He wrote, “The rock you saw is called Rockland. It's where Bob Foster had his polygamist community. He died recently and I heard that things were in sort of disarray out there. Under that rock are thousands of feet of tunnels with rooms where people have food stored for when the "end" comes. He made his money by renting out the "rooms."

Note the comment posted to this link.
Thanks dixonge!

Most days I hiked along the rim until I came to a drainage and scrambled down to the bottom. After exploring for a couple hours, I looked for another drainage where I could climb back up to the rim. Never had to repeat the same climb. Not bad. The first photo is looking back to where the casita is parked up on the rim. If I knew how to insert an arrow into the jpg, I could point to it. It’s sitting up there in the middle of the shot. Some places just had an easy climb back to the top like the second photo shows and the third one shows I’m almost back up to the top. One drainage in particular widened quite a bit towards the bottom with steep sidewalls, a number of small caves and overhangs, shade, and standing water. I start to think cougar. I climbed up to some of the pockets looking for sign of recent use. Possibly not too smart. I would really prefer to not have my throat ripped out. No fresh sign although I came across some old scat a bit farther down the drainage. I started sending out strong vibes that I truly like cats.

Other days I did some mountain biking or went out for a morning run. Spent time working on my MacBook, reading, tried my hand again at throwing a boomerang (wish it did not generally fly like a Frisbee), worked on some silver pieces, and this-and-that. I was definitely maxed by the time to turn in each night. There was two pair of ravens who came by from time to time riding the updrafts along the rim. Something I do not see ravens do all that often. Way cool. Got back to taking sun-showers. Not bad unless it is November and a breeze comes up. Meadow, Onyx, and I went for a walk at the end of each day, a couple times for nearly an hour. Sure is entertaining. There is flint EVERYWHERE. Should learn how to knap and hit the rendezvous circuit and set up a booth. We were here for the weeks around the full moon, which is always a treat while out dry camping off the grid. I noticed a sign stating no collecting of wood in this area. Wood, along with water, is something I won’t buy. So each day I snagged my black rubber bucket and went out in the sage collecting ‘firewood’. I did use a couple finger-size juniper sticks for some flames to get the cowpies burning well in the feed pan. Reminds me of burning cattails when I was a kid. I dumped the ashes into the bucket each morning and went off to bury them.

Have not seen another person or vehicle the whole time I have been out here. Sure did need this dose of solitude.

I had a cat bed in my fifth wheel but got rid of it when I moved into the casita. There is not a whole lot of space. I recently broke down and bought a small dog bed for Meadow and Onyx. A cat bed was way too small for the two of them. They sure have been enjoying it.

I wonder if I will get any strange looks or see people sniffing the air—the next time I go into a laundromat and take my clothes out of the bag—after two weeks of burning cow sh*t.

‘This is the beginning of a new day.
You have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it or use it for good.
What you do today is important because
you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever;
in its place is something that you have left behind…
let it be something good.’
forgot where I came across this

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


Emily said…
Good reading Sebastian, while sipping my ginger tea and eating some home made oatmeal cookies. Liked your cut out idea in the fresh water tank, hmmmmm
Anonymous said…
Sorry... no cow pie fuel at the Bisbee campgrounds. But I DO have a large collection of pine cones that are supposed to be pleasantly fragrant when they burn...
Pete said…
Sebastian, Thanks for the great photos, sense of adventure, sense of humor, and a view into the art of living simply in a LARGE way!
Chris Dunphy said…
Sebastian - I've loved reading your blog, we are of a very like mind.

I've been RV traveling around the country for over 3.5 years. I started out solo in a clamshell Tab, and now I am traveling with my partner Cherie in our geeked-out Oliver.

You can check out our travel blog and articles at

It would be great to rendezvous on the road sometime.


- Chris
Glenn said…
Rockland Ranch looks like a very interesting place to visit!

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