My First Boon Dock aka Cow Pie Camp

It just felt right. Today would be the day for my first boon dock.

I have a few places in mind because I’ve studied the Benchmark map book of this area of Utah.  Driving hwy 191 is a treat.



My first boon dock

My first boon dock

I pull off of hwy 191 at Red Cloud Loop. This is a senic byway,  which turns out to be a dirt road that is only one comfortable lane.  I drive slowly and here and there I see an RV tucked into a little hideaway.  Eventually I come to a spot that feels like it could be comfortable for me.  I pull over on the narrow road as far as I can and explore on foot. The last thing I want to do is to get into an area that I can’t easily get out of.  All is well and we have our first camp on a meadow like area surrounded with pine and golden Aspen.

There  is another camper away off so I feel ok to let Joy and Shiloh off leash.  I busy myself setting up camp while they scamper off running and playing…and rolling.  Wait. Shiloh is rolling, and …there are cows…big beautiful black cows….and Shiloh is rolling and he likes to roll in…smells….oh dear.. (That isn’t exactly what I said at the time) 🙂

My little boy returns covered and I do mean COVERED in fresh cow pies. It’s caked and matted onto him and his collar and he is so proud!

joy loves to roll but she likes to roll for the Joy of it and she has NOT chosen cow pie perf

Clean dog.  Somewhat embarrassed.

Clean dog. Somewhat embarrassed.

ume today, for which I’m very thankful!

Now normally I’d just give Shiloh a bath but I’m boon docking  and the water I have with me is all the water that is available to me.  Still I have to clean him and quick before it starts drying so out comes some gloves a few jugs of water and the shampoo and I must say I did a good job, but not good enough…

so we set off in search of a natural water supply, which isn’t far…a little stream in the tall grass. I wish Shiloh would lie in it but he just doesn’t do that so I scoop water over and over. Joy, who likes her soaks and lies in water every chance she gets, totally enjoys herself.

Did I get pictures, no.  Too busy scooping…

We return to camp and I pour one more jug of water over Shiloh for good measure.

Now I need a glass of wine.  Gosh I never thought my post for my first boon dock would be about this!!

So today I got the pictures into the text but all in the wrong places.  Yikes.

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36 Responses to My First Boon Dock aka Cow Pie Camp

  1. John says:

    Congratulations! Looks like you’ve picked a great spot and Shiloh made sure you’d have lots of memories.

  2. Marcia GB in MA says:

    A glass of wine is a good treat for someone who has had to wash down a cow pie scented dog with limited water. Good thing you found a little stream. And hooray for your first boondocking experience! You’ll be a pro before long 🙂

  3. Reine says:

    Oh my goodness, my side is hurting from laughing. Now you know what to watch for in the future. I suggest that in the weeks to come you add a few more gallons to your water supply…you may need them again.

  4. Ego says:

    laughed so hard, sorry LJ, but picturing your ‘oh dear’, I couldn’t help myself. Tuck in tight tonight and have sweet dreams.

  5. ZenOnWheels says:

    Oh, too funny about the cow pies! Not so much fun for you, I know, but it made me laugh. Reminds me of a day I took my beagle to the beach. She’d run down the beach and was rolling around like crazy in one spot. When I got up to her it turned out she was rolling around on top of an expired seal! Oh, the smell! She was so proud.

    Great boondock site! I love the fall colors on the trees.

    • Oh my gosh yes the dead animal smell is awful! My neighbors dog did that once at the beach. What’s really hard is getting them in the car to drive home!
      I have to say the ‘pies’ didn’t smell all that bad…only digested grass. Just the idea of it,and there was so much of it!
      So glad I get to see the Aspen turn gold!

  6. Lee J says:

    That will no doubt be a memorable first boondock experience! Nutty dogs anyway. I am really getting hooked on reading your blog, great job! Love your photos, where to next?

  7. You wanted nature. You got it. Too funny!!
    And you’re doing great learning about inserting pictures and all that goes with your blog. You’ll get it!

  8. caroline says:

    Probably not the lesson you planned to share, but for us dog-owners, it’s a valuable one! When you’re on public land I guess there’s always a good chance of finding pies and most dogs are drawn to those stinky smells. Lesson learned …. keep the dogs tethered or inside while you set up camp. Thanks !
    Looks like you found a lovely site.

  9. Monica says:

    Too funny! Pretty location for your first boondocking! My dog loves cow pies. I once tried to get her to drink water from a cow trough since we didn’t have any more water for her. She only wanted to roll in the cow pies. Luckily for me, I had her on leash. So, I quickly pulled her away from one pie that she was eyeing to roll in.

  10. rambler2b says:

    Oh Micky, you made me laugh! Amazing how they are drawn to the stinky things! What a handful that baby is. Hey, is your trailer level? Looks a little crooked in the picture. It might be hard on your refrigerator if it’s not level. Anyway, thanks for the pictures and the laugh. Really needed that!🐸

    • I’m glad it made you laugh Mary! I’m actually still chuckling too. He was so contrite the rest of the day.
      I thought that about the picture too…not level. But I guess it was the way I was holding the camera (that wine!)’ because the trailer really is level.

  11. BadgerRickInwis says:

    Ah the sweet smell of boondocking success. Great story and probably way down on that list of fears of the unknown when you started thinking about boondocking. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    I have not used this before but it gets good reviews. Might be worth checkiing out.

  12. Else says:

    I guess I am just ignorant , or maybe cause I am a swede born in the Philippines and now an American citizen…but what the heck is boon docking? Finding a spot in the middle of nowhere and setting up camp?

  13. Hi Else,
    Well I know you aren’t ignorant! Glad you asked the question. But yes, you already answered it. The term ‘boon dock’ generally means away from development and modern conveniences. So it’s camping without electricity, water and other conveniences which might mean trash cans, a place to dump the tanks, or pit toilets. Other terms used for the same thing are ‘dry camping’ and ‘dispersed camping’.
    The Bureau Of Land Management controls a huge amount of land in the western US and on much of it allows this type of camping at no charge. Other areas where it is often allowed is on National Forests and some wildlife sanctuaries. You can also go to campgrounds at National Forests and pay a fee. But the less frequently advertised special is that there are also the free areas.

    Finding these areas can be tricky. They are off the beaten path and you need to know where to look. There are resources for that and one good one are the Benchmark map books. There is one book for each of the western states and they designate BLM, National Parks, State Parks, Military land, etc.

    Then there are rules too, about how far from the road you can camp and how long you can stay, etc. it does take research but it’s so cool to be able to camp in some really beautiful places…cow pies and all…at little to no charge. Not a lot of folks are into camping this way so you have a good chance at peace and quiet too!

  14. Cat Lady on the road in Bradyville, TN says:

    Micky, next time let the “foreign object” dry completely. Then, using a dog brush, brush out the dried object. When removed, gently sprinkle on the dry shampoo (or baby powder for Dollar Tree) so pup doesn’t breathe the dust powder. Rub into coat. Brush out. Now you’ve got a clean, sweet smelling fur baby.

    Cat Lady

  15. rvsueandcrew says:

    Congratulations, Micky! Your first boondock — I am so happy for you! Great job!

    You picked a great location for your first — Red Cloud Loop Road. It’s beautiful and there’s a Wal-Mart in Vernal. (You can see what my priorities are!).

    Actually I found your post not only entertaining but helpful. I’m on my way south from Flaming Gorge and my next camp will be in the Ashley National Forest. I’ve been wondering if the aspen leaves have turned yet and your lovely photo gave me the answer.

    Have you heard any gunshots in the area? In a few days colder weather will arrive. How cold is it at night right now?

    Look at me… full of questions. Now YOU’re the one with the answers!

    • Hi Sue! Wow happy to see you here!

      Good to know about that Walmart, because I’ll be needing one of those when I leave here.

      I was in Ashley the night before I came here, at the Dear Run campground. Only 5 of the 19 sites were used. There are two pull throughs, site 7 and 11. I used 11 and it was nice. The showers there were great…huge and private and hot. Electric outlets in the main bathroom if you need them. $11.50 with senior pass. If you stay somewhere else and just want use of the shower it’s $3.00. (You probably knew all that:-))

      I have not heard gun shots here though the lady at the Dutch John post office told me there is some kind of hunting season going on. I was going to head over towards Brownie Lake or Spirit Lake but she did say hunters like to go there., so that’s one reason I came this way instead.

      The weather here is about perfect right now. Probably 65-70 at 11am. Last night the window was open and we didn’t need heat, maybe 45-50.

      If our paths happen to meet be prepared for a big hug!

  16. Shirlene says:

    Hello Micky,
    I followed RV Sue over here….enjoyed your post and when I have more time I will go back and read your journey from the beginning, since I will be doing the same thing in 1 and 1/2 years and counting…Safe travels to you and your lovely dogs.

  17. Hi Shirlene,
    Welcome! I’m so glad you are coming along for the ride and that is so great to hear about your plans for the near future! I know it doesn’t seem like it but that 1.5 years will FLY by so I hope your preparations are in full swing. Besides, at least in my case it was all the preparations that kept me sane!
    Please keep us updated on your plans!

  18. DeAnne in TN says:

    Congratulations on your first boondocks site. I can’t wait until I get to write about mine. Looking forward to following your blog.

  19. Cari in North Texas says:

    Hi, Micky, another new reader courtesy of RVSue. I don’t like starting things in the middle, so I went back this afternoon and read your blog posts from the beginning. Sounds like you are already have some adventures, both good and not so good, and it was fun reading.

    I will hopefully be retiring at the end of this year, I’m only working part time now, and RV travel is definitely on my list for the future. I don’t see myself fulltiming at first, but I look forward to being able to travel for more than the week or so that corporate America allowed me. I went to the Casita factory today and did some serious shopping. I really like the 16′ Spirit Deluxe model. Now it’s a matter of running the numbers and seeing if (no, when) I can afford to get it and a tow vehicle. My Corolla won’t do the job 🙂

    Looking forward to traveling with you on your journey!

  20. Hi Cari,
    So nice to have you along for the ride!
    That must have been really fun going to the Casita factory! Your mind must be racing at this point! So much to think about. I went back and forth between the different models so many times in my mind…then ended up buying a used 2011 Freedom Deluxe and it is working out perfectly for me.
    Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. :-). I am excited for you…I know how good that feels.

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