When Jeff made his rounds in the morning, I called to him, "Hey, Jeff" but he kept on
driving. I walked out to the campground road and called again, but by this time he
was talking to a man in the campsite next to mine. I started walking towards him so
that I didn't have to yell at him... and by then he turned his golf cart around and headed
"Do you know a good thrift store where I can drop some things off at?"
He replied, "There's a thrift store in Mancos, just six miles west of here."
He came by later and said that he was making a trip to Mancos that afternoon, and
invited me to make the trip with him. "I can show you around town so you can get
oriented." I didn't accept right off, but walked around a little later and told him that
I thought it was a great idea. He said he'd pick me up after an hour or so.
Jeff has this pickup truck that is so high that a person really needs a stair to get into
it. I had a heck of a time... twisting this way or that in order to swing myself up and
onto the seat. It is a monster of a truck... and meant to perform when hauling such
things as cows or trailers, I suppose. I didn't want to see the look on his face... the
dumb-looking female that I must have appeared to be... incapable of entering a
dang pickup truck.
But, Jeff was great. We stopped at the little grocery store where he bought filtered water.
I looked at the prices... $1.65 for a can of corn caught my eye. I didn't take a lot of time
looking and left with the impression that it was... over-priced and likely outdated stock.
(It was only after another trip to the store that I realized that for some things the prices
were generally reasonable. There is also a wonderful butcher counter with
excellent quality meats and a deli selection.)
He showed me where Mancos Thrift Store was... the library... the gas station... the
restaurants... and then we headed back to the campground. Through our conversations
he knew that I was looking for "dispersed" free camping, and thus offered to show me
some forest camps he knew of.
We turned off onto a well-traveled gravel road and after a mile or so came to an
intersection of roads. To the left was a natural gas pipeline transfer station... to the right
was a dirt road... and straight ahead was more gravel road. He followed the dirt road
for a bit and then we turned around. There were several people camping, including an
Airstream trailer that had a very good spot with a view.
He headed back and turned down the gravel road. We saw several people camping along
here... some were way back in the trees... and he kept on driving. We passed under some
high-powered electrical lines and then passed two people who looked like they worked for
the Dept. of Agriculture... with field hats and a pickup carrying a large tank of black liquid.
Jeff kept going and the road became "4-wheel-drive terrain only", and began winding.
I noticed the ledge dropping off on my side of the truck and said, "No, I won't be camping
this far up. Where are the pine trees?? My camping dream includes pine trees." We laughed.
A little more ways up and the road was genuinely and sincerely mountain driving.
I had watched videos of Jeep clubs that do this kind of thing for a thrill... and I knew
that some people really enjoyed taking adventures like this on steep mountain roads...
I screamed to him, "Don't you dare go off the ledge !!!"
He answered, "There's a handrail over there to your right. I'm not gonna go over the ledge.
This truck can go anywhere."
He didn't go much further and turned around and headed back down the mountain.