A group of mule deer wandered through the campground this morning as we were packing up to leave.
Man, those things have big ears.
We had a long drive today across southern Utah, which is much prettier than you might think, especially once you get past the town of Delta, where we stopped for gas and groceries, mostly stuff I had forgotten to pack. We followed Highway 50 and then Highway 70 before turning off towards Moab. Moab, as far too few of you will know, is the setting of the first of Peter Greenaway’s movies in the Tulse Luper Suitcases series. I’m not sure if he actually filmed any of in Utah, however, as the whole series was made with a budget of about thruppence ha’penny. The location shooting was probably a package trip to Spain.
If you haven’t seen the Suitcases (and I think only about two dozen of us have) you should probably start with some of Greenaway’s more accessible works, such as Vertical Features Remake and The Falls. Drowning by Numbers actually has a plot, but it’s too easy to get distracted by trying to spot all the numbers from one to a hundred that appear sequentially in the movie.
Just like Peter Greenaway, we didn’t go to Moab.
We turned off again, towards Canyonlands National Park. The rangers at the gate and in the visitor center thought there were still spaces in the campground six miles away, but it turned out to be full by the time we got there, so we left the park and set up camp at a BLM campground called Horsethief. I’m sure there’s a story there, but these blog posts get a lot less factually complete when I don’t have an Internet connection.
The campsite is on a high plateau, with stunted juniper trees. It was very windy when we were setting up the tent. It almost blew away the groundsheet from under the tent, which is neat trick, like pulling out the tablecloth and leaving the place settings there. (Hint: Use a tablecloth without a hem.) We decided to abandon the pad, and move the tent to the shelter of a stunted juniper tree. By the time we had the tent staked out in the new sopt, the wind was dying down.
Some of the local bird life stopped by. Sorry, no identification yet, because Internet. If you are a birder, there is a phone app called Merlin which identifies birds for you, and saves a lot of time leafing through Roger Tory Peterson. Anyhow, these little buggers soon made it clear they were dying for a drink by attacking our water carrier…
and plaintively pecking at the spot where it had dripped.
I put down a plate of water for them, and it was a big hit.
Three or four of them took it in turns to slurp up some drops.
The guy at the next campsite had been trying to lure them with Cheetos but they were not interested. Apparently they know better than to eat salty food in this climate.