Category Archives: Camping

and We Didn’t Take Any Photos!


Upper Bear Creek Trail, Payette NF … hiked to snow line and we were stopped at crossing 5 of the raging creek.

Wanderingkeri isn’t lost … and I’ll stop talking about myself in the the third person … this summer so far is Awesome! Between friends and family our guest rooms are full and what is summer without parties and road trips? There’ve been some garden days and more than a few wish it would actually spring up days and quit with the rain and wind. The youngest grandson MK and I were washed and snowed off the mountain on our camping & hiking trip last week and it hasn’t been truly warm since we parked the micro mini in the yard. It’s June 13th and there is a fire in the stove … really!

I really hope the winter run off starts to slow a little, the rivers are too fast for my fishing skill level.  Our fishing gear has been cleaned and ready  for months … and so are the golf clubs, and the bicycles too. I’m still in the find some new hiking trekkers ’cause just in case you’re wondering … my new Asolo’s are relegated to winter (no gor-tex for summer for me). I’m back to wearing older pair 2 until I can find a suitable replacement …

2017 American Fork High School Graduates; Bryson Taylor & Kaylee Quinn Taylor … Go Cavemen!!

I love summer! And I’ve come to realize my mantra so far is “we didn’t take any photos”!!

Just because this makes my mama heart sing!


Catchin’ Up & Road Trips


I’m still wearing a jacket going outside … it’s supposed to be spring, isn’t it? It’s rained so much in Boise I haven’t gotten my peas in the ground, and I’ve given up on the whole lettuce thing. I haven’t pruned my grape vines and they are running amok already, just like the blackberry bush. I guess you could say I’m being a lazy gardener … or rather, I’m a blue sky gardener just like I’m a blue sky skier.  Then I remember my grade school rhymes: April showers bring May flowers. There must be a reason it’s in a rhyme, rain in spring isn’t a punishment, it’s anticipation of reward later. Patience Keri patience.

With no patience,  I am going into avoidance mode … no gardens, lawns, or dirty windows and so I’m tweaking the little campbox on wheels. The designers of the campbox table didn’t really think it through very well. When you decide the mitigation to a lousy design is to add a tie down strap over the table to keep it from falling over don’t you think someone would say, let’s not put that idea into production? Well, someone didn’t make that decision … duh.   First there is a 1 inch gap between the table and the wall, and the table wobbles on 2 aluminum pipe legs. When you place a plate on the table, or lean on it, it tips your food onto your lap.   So last week Sweetie & I took on the table stability issue, building a frame that is screwed onto the floor plate, and is built with a lip the table sits on.

Hey Winnebago … rethink your table design in the Micro Minnie Winnie. Something like this will work! 🙂

A bit of formica, a couple of screws, a few pieces of industrial strength hook tape and the table doesn’t wobble like a Weeble.  Score One for us!

Always one for a party, daughter #2 and I did a down and dirty trip to Utah for Girl’s Night at the Community Theater with the mom, the sisters, Aunts and cousins … and blasted back the following morning.  We did take a quick side trip off of exit 182 on I-84 to oooh and aaaahh over Shoshone Falls on the Snake River. With snow pack melt and lots of rain the falls were booming.  It was worth the detour. 

Tomorrow I’m hitching up and heading south to Boise for final preparation for the 10# in a 1# sack trip to southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  Shopping for, preparing & freezing dinners for those easy to thaw, heat & eat at the end of exploration day meals.  Wouldn’t you like to come back to Creamy Chicken Enchiladas? How about Red Rice & Beans? Of course, one night will be grilled steak … you can’t camp if you don’t have great steak at least once while you’re on the road. Or at least, I can’t.

Just catchin’ ya up on Wanderingkeri … May is already booked out and you CANNOT imagine how EXCITED I am to connect with friends and family from all over the country.  Idaho, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington, & PA … and it’s ONLY MAY!!



10 Pounds in a 1 Pound Sack


For more than 30 years Sweetie’s cousins fly from Pennsylvania to Idaho, to fish and hunt. Since I met them I’ve waxed poetic of red rocks, ponderosa and piñon pines, petroglyphs, and pictographs, the spirit and ancientness of southern Utah, and northern Arizona. Almost my FAVORITE place on earth …. so far.  We’ve encouraged, begged, wheedled, teased, and guilted them to come and experience another part of the west … and this year, in fact in 4 weeks, a couple of them are taking us up on our invitation to come face to face with God’s watercolor box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnticipation! Planning for an extended road trip is always exciting, don’t you think? Sweetie warns me that I always try to put 10 pounds in a 1 pound sack when I’m planning … I admit, I generally do. Though I am getting better … well, at least I’m trying.

This is exactly a road trip … to taste, to feel spirit and solitude, to breathe ancientness so that it plants seeds so deep they will have to come again and again.

We’re packing the Micro Minnie Winnie campbox  that we acquired last fall … it’ll be it’s long distance break in trip. Which reminds me we have to give it a name, maybe on this trip it’ll let us know what it is.  The cousins are renting a Cruise America RV (little) and we’re hitting the highway for this 10 day road trip.


Camp-Box Supreme Everything we need … nothing more, nothing less

In a nutshell: Boise to Salt Lake City where we’ll meet up with the cousins, then down to Moab (Arches & Canyonland National Parks), then Bluff  (Cedar Mesa and Hovenweep National Monument). We’ll drive through Monument Valley (yeah John Wayne and John Ford!) on our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After the enormous expanse of that canyon we’ll head north and walk, hike, climb and work ourselves down through Wire Pass (a coooool small, slot canyon which connects to the longer Buckskin Gulch canyon). We’ll work our way west through Kanab (stopping always at Houston’s Trail’s End for chicken fried steak) then on toward Zion National Park.  To complete the circle we’ll wend our way through small towns Utah to I-15 and head north for an evening and a morning in SLC before sliding home to Boise.

It makes me breathless just thinking about it …  10 pounds in a 1 pound sack? What do you think?


*Links are for your convenience if you want to know more about the places I’m wandering to. I receive no compensation for any links I put in my posts.

Rattle, Rattle … do ya wanna hear a Snake Story?


snake1I was bored driving home the other day and I started thinking about snakes.; specifically rattlesnakes and how many snakes I’ve “encountered” in my life. So, how many snakes does a person encounter in their lives?

If you’re an outdoor kinda person, like me, and live in what was once the wild west then you might run into one “occasionally”.  So I started thinking of all of my snake stories … then I started counting my snake stories … and I realized that I have had a heck of a lot of “encounters” (near & far) with rattlesnakes!

Disclaimer to this rattlesnake story: Back in the day … before hyper-parenting became the norm … I actually let my kids be kids. They hiked without me, they swam without me, they rode motorcycles without me, oh! they had lives without me. And! They didn’t die … this rattlesnake story is theirs … my interaction was limited to screaming from the camp below, hugging them when they returned and reassured them guardian angels are real.

In American Fork canyon after an afternoon picnic …   I was studying, lying in the sun … the kids started hiking up a rock scree above the camp spot. Laughter and screams and rock slides were echoing across the canyon when I heard, “HOLD STILL”!  “SNAKES”!

The screams became intense and I heard Clayton encouraging Angie to jump sideways and run, or something like that. I saw a cloud of dust and Angie slide to the bottom,  screaming, “snakes, snakes”!

Then Clayton yelled, “I can’t move, they’re everywhere”!  Anyway, I heard a scream and more rocks and dust billowed out of the trees as Clayton panted towards us. “Snakes! They were all around us!  I just jumped! I don’t know how we got away from them”!

I know how they got away unharmed.  I taught them of their guardian angels.  images3

Shiver! Snake dens.

Then there was this time when my son Steve and I, were making our way along a path through a ponderosa forest in the dark. We had ran a couple of miles at dusk to catch a spectacular sunset from the Observation Point which over looks Zion National Park.  Oh! You have to see a night in a ponderosa forest  … it takes your breath away.

We had our flashlights kind of ahead on the trail, but flitted their pale lights over the trees, across the flats and into the canyon below; mostly we relied on a bit of moon light to make our way.  All at once, Steve whipped around and shone his light on our back trail … one of the biggest rattlesnakes I’d seen was coiled RIGHT in the MIDDLE of the path we had just crossed .. it was less than 10 feet behind us!

CReeeeepy!! We grabbed one another’s hands and sprinted back to the truck, flashlights flipping back and forth in front of us; back and forth to the sides of us until we jumped into the truck and slammed the doors.  I asked him what made him turn around?  He whispered, “I felt something evil”.

Deep breath! Snakes on a path.

Then there was this time coming down from Mount Graham in Arizona in the middle of the day; the traffic was stopped. At least 10 cars or so and people were out all bunched up in front of the cars … I thought, car wreak? road construction? Nope! The biggest, most GINOURMOUS rattlesnake I’d ever seen was taking the sun across a full lane of traffic!  From its tail laying on the dirt at the edge of the asphalt to it’s head almost touching the painted center line … it was just laying there, not a twitch.  No one would drive over it, or get close enough to prod it along … I don’t recall how long it took before traffic started moving again. That snake was HUMONGOUS, it could have eaten a coyote!

Eyes wide! Snakes on a road.

And then there was this time that  Sweetie and I were wading through a red rock slot canyon rain-filled pool  when two snakes slithered down the rocks, into the water, and swam across the pool. I screamed, and tried to climb the rock wall … it was more than CRrrrreeeepy!images-1

Dripping and shaking! Snakes in a pool!

Wow! I really do have a lot of snake stories!  I have a lot more, but then you’d just think I was bragging.

Here’s a thought . Although snakes creep me out and danger is always a possibility … I’ve never been bitten by a rattlesnake, not even close.  I was bitten by a garter snake I’d taken away from one of the kids. Like most everything that could be threatening … just be smart. Back away is always a good strategy … antagonizing a snake is never a smart thing to do.

So I’ve seen snakes on rocks, snakes on paths, and snakes under bushes. I’ve seen snakes stretched across roads, snakes hanging out by the front door or chilling in the garage, and yes, only once in a pool …  but I’ve never, ever, no never seen snakes on a plane.



*Disclosure. These aren’t my snake pictures …






Camp-in-a-Box – Easy Peasy


I’m waxing nostalgic this morning, summer is winding down; morning has that time to go to school, put on a jacket feel and I am missing the mountains and deserts. Guess I’ll make the most out of our last camping/fishing trips of the season next week.

Towering Pines ... ahhhh

Towering Pines … ahhhh

CAMPING!! I love camping. I have from the first camping trip I remember with my folks … where? I don’t remember or how old ? I don’t remember, but I do remember snugged in a sleeping bag, on a cot, beneath towering pine trees and gazing up at a billion and one stars breaking through the canopy. Love starts early.

Go ahead! Ask me to go camping on an over-nighter and I can be ready in under 30 minutes (that includes putting food in the cooler, clothes in my backpack, and fishing gear inventoried).  I will open the back of the Escape toss in my pop-up tent, foldable mattress, sleeping bag, my camp-box, collapsible chair and the tiny cooler.

Kirkham Springbar .... THE BEST Tent Ever!

Kirkham Springbar …. THE BEST Tent Ever!

Ask me for a week and I can be ready in less than an hour. I will open the back of the Escape toss in the Kirkham’s Springbar, folding mattress, sleeping bag, my camp-box, the larger cooler, collapsible chair, a couple of tables, propane stove and a cot. OK, I admit, I take my pillow too.

Camp-Box Perfection Exactly what I need ... nothing more, nothing less

Camp-Box Perfection
Exactly what I need … nothing more, nothing less

My camp-box is indispensable! I love my camp-box! It’s my ‘camp-in-a-box’   … everything we need and nothing more. Mine is setup for two people and  the contents and container have evolved to my utter perfection. Would you like to see?

Would you believe that  this little Rubbermaid 20 quart tub with lid (water-proof & fairly bug proof) holds, a Jet-boil (with pot stand and butane), 8″ frying pan, 6″ pot, utensil box, 4 plates, 3 cups, 4 glasses, trash bags, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, moist wipes, propane lantern (with extra mantels & propane), lighter/matches, salt/pepper, tea/coffee, bandages, sandwich bags, TP, 2 collapsible roaster sticks, bug spray and sunscreen?

Simplicity. Less is More. Easy Peasy. Just Enough. These are apt descriptions of my camping style … too much stuff = confusion; and just more ‘stuff’ to mess with and put away when we get home.

Camp-Box Supreme Everything we need ... nothing more, nothing less ... except the microwave

Camp-Box Supreme Everything we need … nothing more, nothing less

So … Confession time … we decided to simplify one more time. We now have a camp-box on wheels. Yesterday we brought home a 17′ Winnebago Micro Minnie … it is exactly Simplicity, Just Enough and Nothing More. (well, except for the microwave) …

P.S.  I’m keeping my camp-box stocked and ready, ’cause, who knows when the urge to sleep under the stars will hit?