Leaving Bobcat

Nights: 5
Hikes: 1
Bikes: 1
Bug Bites: 6

We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent near Winthrop. Our spot at Upper Bobcat turned out to be a perfect jumping off point for exploring the area. We made a visit to Winthrop (about 12 miles away) where I learned I’m not much for shopping anymore. With limited space in the trailer every purchase has to be weighed carefully and there really isn’t much we need.

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Twist 4th of July Parade

We also made it into Twisp to enjoy their small 4th of July parade followed by the firefighters demonstrating how they cut apart a car to extract the injured. And of course we took advantage of being close to a grocery store and laundromat to stock up and clean up.

 

Besides our bike ride (see earlier post) we found a short hike across the street to Falls Creek Falls. The first 1/4 mile is paved and ends at a viewpoint of the lower falls. We wore our Keen Sandals thinking this was an easy jaunt, but alas a dirt trail continued on and we couldn’t resist so we learned another lesson.

Lesson #3: Always wear your hiking boots.

The trail climbed steeply and at points became a bit of a scramble as the loose sandy soil threatened to send us sliding back down. We persevered and made it all the way up to see a total of 4 beautiful waterfalls. Well worth the effort!

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Chuck at Falls Creek Falls

Afterwards we enjoyed some yummy fish tacos. I didn’t really measure anything (why dirty an extra spoon that will need washed) but here’s an approximation of the recipe.

Fish Tacos – makes about 6 tacos

Mix in a ziplock bag:

juice of 1/2 lime
1-2 T. olive oil
salt – 1/8 tsp
dash of pepper
dried cilantro 1/4 tsp
cumin – 1/8 tsp

Marinate about 3/4 pound white fish (cod, rockfish, mahi, halibut) 20-30 minutes. Grill until fish flakes easily.

Salsa:

1/2 kiwi
1/2 nectarine
1/8 red pepper
juice of 1/4 lime
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp dried cilantro or fresh
chili flakes (if you like a kick)

Dice fruit and pepper. Mix everything in a bowl. Let sit while fish marinates and cooks.

For tacos:

In warm corn tortilla put some fish, top with salsa, sour cream and sliced cabbage or coleslaw mix. Squeeze a lime over the top and enjoy!

It’s hard to leave this beautiful spot. I’m not sure we’ll be able to find another one that is as good. For our first time boondocking I think we hit a home run!

Getting our exercise and a cool treat!

Today’s activity was an 11 mile bike ride. Our boondocking site is just off a paved forest service road along the river. We keep seeing bikes and cars going by, but had no idea where the road would go. So we set off on our bikes with some water and trail mix to explore.

Immediately past our spot is a small forest service campground called Falls Creek. It has a giant water pump that looked like fun for kids to operate. The road crosses a small bridge over the creek here and we found cars parked by a trailhead to Fall Creek Falls (an adventure for another day). As we continued on, the road kept mostly near the river and the tall pines provided welcome shade. There were great views of the surrounding rocky hills covered in trees. The river, lazy in some spots and rushing in others, looked perfect for floating as it meandered along. The road provided a good workout with some ups and downs, and I’m sure our out-of-shape bodies will be feeling it tomorrow.

Along the way we found a number of primitive campsites for tents or RVs that were little areas cleared of underbrush. The forest service has set up simple log fencing to keep vehicles away from river’s edge and most had a rock fire pit though there is a burn ban in the area due to fire danger. Each felt like your own little private spot on the river.

We also found two more campgrounds. Chewuch was bigger with running water and spots for tents and bigger RVs. We stopped to talk with the campground host who spends his summers there. He told us our little camping spot was crammed with RVs over Memorial Day so he was surprised to hear that there are only about 6 or 7 camps set up here for the 4th of July.

Our turn around point was Camp 4. A primitive camp with a pit toilet and about 6 sites in the tress along the river. We munched our trail mix to restore our energy before heading back in the afternoon sun. By the time we returned we were ready for something refreshing so I concocted this in the blender from what we had in the fridge. It turned out to be the perfect refreshing drink!

Refreshing Watermelon Mint Slushy

1/2 kiwi
2” section of cucumber, chopped
5-6 mint leaves
1 cup frozen watermelon chunks
handful baby spinach
5-6 ice cubes
1/4 to 1/2 c. lemonade

Blend together until everything is well mixed. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy while sitting in a lounge chair staring at the puffy clouds dotting the blue sky and feeling the breeze roll through the tree covered hills outside Winthrop WA.

Boondocking Lessons

Our first foray into boondocking turned out to be a huge success. Chuck researched sites near Winthrop and we left Newhalem Friday morning. Since it was 4th of July weekend we weren’t sure what to expect as we headed down a paved forest service road. At the point where the first site should have been we found a dirt pullout with a path down to the river. We parked and walked down to find a couple of campsites occupied already and definitely not suitable for the trailer. Our first lesson of boondocking was driven home.

Lesson #1: Always walk the road in to make sure it is passable.

We continued on to an area called Upper Bobcat. Seeing a rather rough turn in we again parked and walked in. There was one tent but the rest of the lower area’s primitive sites among the pine trees were wide open. We decided we could handle the bumpy road and in we went. Being excited about having found a spot and a bit hungry, we immediately parked in a small clearning, leveled the trailer, unhitched the truck, extended our awning, laid down a rug, put out chairs and sat down for lunch. Having reenergized ourselves we decided to walk to rest of the campground which is when the next lesson came to pass.

Lesson #2: Always check out the whole campground before setting up.

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First site – Not bad, but not great.

Alas the north part of the area was much more to our liking. There was a wide open meadow with views of the surrounding hills, a few pine trees here and there and paths to the river. Knowing we would be here for several days we decided to move. So we quickly stowed everything, hitched back up and moved and we were glad we did. We had a fabulous spot with views all around, no neighbors nearby and plenty of sunshine for our solar panels. It turned out for the whole holiday weekend there were only 7 or 8 groups camping here. (We heard that over Memorial Day there were over 100 RVs wedged in.)

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Spot #2
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Great views!

All of this beauty for free as long as you have a Discover Pass. With the solitude, views, proximity to amenities, biking, hiking, and river this spot has quickly soared to the top of our favorite places to camp. I imagine we’ll be back someday.

Note: this area has was no fresh water and only a pit toilet but we brought our own. 🙂 Sites are little more than packed earth with a circle of rocks for a fire ring. No tables, no markers. For Chuck’s full review visit Campendium.com.