Upper Kent Lake, Utah!

We’re hitched up and ready for our next adventure!

We leave Virgin and head west to Hurricane.  Right at the intersection of Highway 9 and State Road 17, sits a Maverick gas station.  First I pull up to the air pump and inflate the BLT’s tires.  A man stops and rolls down his car window.  “Excuse me.  How much does one of those trailers cost?”

“Oh, between fifteen and eighteen thousand bought new.  Depends on what extras you get.”  He smiles and tells me it’s a nice trailer before driving off.

Next I move us over to the dump station around by the side of the convenience store. 

I leave the crew and go inside to get the key for the padlock on the dump cover. 

“Are you local?” the man asks.  I tell him I’m not.

“That’ll be five dollars then.”  I hand him the cash and he hands me the key.

“Is that your Casita out there?”  I tell him it is.  “Cute little trailer.  I’d like to have one of those.”

Once the tanks are empty and the sewer hose put away, I disinfect the fresh water spigot and fill up the water tank.  Great!  We’ve got gas, the tires are evenly inflated, the tanks are emptied, the fresh water tank is full, and the fridge is stocked.  The only thing else we need is propane.  I’ll get that at the other end of our drive today.

State Road 17 takes us the few miles to Interstate 15 North.

I don’t have any idea where we’ll camp tonight.  We approach the hustle-bustle of Cedar City with its three exits.  The crew is asleep and the horizon of mountains with patches of snow at their peaks lures me further north.  Oh, what the heck.  I want to keep going.  Another hour or so and we’ll be in Beaver City.

Immediately after leaving the interstate at Beaver City, I can’t believe what I see.

The Fishlake National Forest office!  Just what I need!  I park in front and let Bridget and Spike out.  They’re yipping with excitement.  I slowly walk them around the parking lot.  I want them happy.  It’s awful to try to concentrate on finding a new campsite with the two of them whining and yapping.

Two young ladies load me up with maps and brochures.

One of the maps shows Route 153 east going up Circleville Mountain (11,331 feet).  On the way up there are three campgrounds and three lakes.  The last lake, Upper Kent Lake,  doesn’t have a campground.  It’s for dispersed camping!  I ask them where I should get propane in the town of Beaver City, and before long, I have two full propane tanks.  We’re all set!

Turns out the gravel road up that mountain is very, very steep.

Hairpin turns, of course.  At some points it’s a 9% uphill grade.  There’s no way to turn back.  The PTV is straining in second gear and I’m wishing I hadn’t taken on all that water.  At one point I have to drop the PTV down into first gear and still we’re only creeping along.  “C’mon, baby!  You can do it!”  The engine is getting hot.  Dear God, let there be a place to turn off and park.   Mile after mile we creep upward.

Finally we come to an opening in the forest.

I park, put up the hood, and wince at the sound of the coolant gurgling.  The crew and I walk up a short lane into the forest.  Bridget and Spike are in canine heaven, sniffing the animal scents in the grass.  I’m sniffing the pine scent and letting my nerves settle down.

“Hey, let’s have some lunch, guys.” We go back down the lane.  I put out a water dish for the crew and grab a drink out of the fridge for myself, plus three hard-boiled eggs for us to share.

Tomorrow’s post will tell the rest of the story . . . 

I’ll explain how we managed to continue up the mountain to a pretty, little alpine lake by the name of Upper Kent Lake.  The slideshow photos were taken as the light was fading so I didn’t take very many.  I think they’ll show you enough to agree that our new camp location is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s cool up here and  . . .  there’s internet!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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72 Responses to Upper Kent Lake, Utah!

  1. Chuck says:

    W O W !!!! Beautiful ! Spike, look at ALL that WATER!!!!!!!!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    WOW, what a pretty spot….looks like you have some neighbors!! And even internet!!! Glad you made it there…sounds scary…I hate HOT engines!! I suppose it will be hot brakes coming down…do go slow!! Have fun!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is pretty here. Yeah, no fun watching the temp. rise while pushing the PTV for all she’s worth. Add to that the joy of watching my broken oil pressure gauge jump from zero to eighty and back again like a metronome while the “check engine” light flashes! I’ HAVE to get that cluster assembly problem resolved!

      • Chuck says:

        And YES, you have several suggestions, excellent ideas and you, SUE have done NOTHING……………..

        • A scolding from Chuck! LOL He worries about you hon, that’s all! We both do! He is right though, several of your readers have given you some really valid solutions to this problem with your cluster assembly…. maybe you need to go back to those posts (coming to and leaving Ashfork area) when this problem became a worry!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            What you both don’t know is I’ve been asking and looking for a digital scanner to replace the cluster assembly ever since a reader suggested it. The scanner on the Readers’ RVing Resources page is good, but, as best I can tell, it monitors mpg and other things. I couldn’t see where it monitors oil pressure. I’ve been researching online. The NAPA guy in Hurricane couldn’t help me. I stopped at a repair shop in Williams, and at an auto parts store in Flagstaff, again no help. I really would rather have the digital scanner than go through the cluster assembly replacement.

            It isn’t as simple as driving into an auto repair shop and sitting in a waiting room while the cluster assembly is replaced. Because the odometer is involved, you have to set up the replacement and then wait while it’s sent off and a new mileage thingy is verified or some such and then go back and have the cluster installed. This could take weeks. Look how long it took for the BAL leveler to arrive.

            Other issues come into play, like the 14-day limit . . .

            In other words, if I had decided to have the cluster assembly replaced, I could be tied to one place for who knows how long with summer bearing down on me.

            I know you write out of concern for me . . . I’ll git ‘er done, I promise.

  3. geogypsy2u says:

    Spike must be in heaven. Of course you and Bridget too. Such an extreme to go from desert to high mountains in a day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Seeing the landscape change from desert to high mountains in one day is what I love about road travel. I never cared for the airplane experience. I’m not talking about the hassle. I don’t like being dropped into a place. I like travel to be a journey. When I arrive I want a real awareness of the distance I’ve gone.

  4. Bob says:

    I don’t think I’d ever have the nerve to ask someone how much their trailer is worth, although maybe in this case it was in a “third party” kind of way. Just the same, I might ask what it’s called, and then do a search on line?
    Just seems odd to me that someone would ask that question.

    • Chinle says:

      When I had my Casita I always had people asking such Qs. I think maybe out here in the West folks are more relaxed and open that way. Never bothered me a bit.

      • Elizabeth says:

        You are correct Chinle, it is not considered improper to ask such things out west. (Heh, having lived in the West until a few years ago). When a person asks what something is worth, they are leaving OPEN how you answer the question. If one does not want to tell the stranger how much they spent, then one says what it is thought it would cost in general. If you feel comfortable enough with the person, you can add what you payed. If not, that is left out.

        • Marcia says:

          Even back East people often ask us how much we spent on our Casita and if they can take a look – even at rest areas. Most of the time we tell ’em and let ’em look 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bob . . . nice to hear from you …

      I wonder if people are bolder when talking to strangers? He wouldn’t have asked if he weren’t admiring the Best Little Trailer, and I love compliments (as is apparent from this blog).

  5. HatMan says:

    Just in case you may not have known, one way to help with cooling the engine down while it’s running is to cut the van’s heater on and put the fan on HIGH. Counterintuitive and sorta uncomfortable to do especially if the outside temp is pretty high, but it serves to add an extra source of cooling to the coolant. Enjoy following the blog and wow, what a campsite.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, HatMan! I have a feeling that info is going to come in handy! I wish I’d known that while chugging up this mountain.

      Nice to know you’re enjoying our escapades. . .

      • Wayne says:

        On the cooling it down…… You probably already know this, but in addition to what hatman says, when you park it, let it run fir a bit to allow the thermostat to cycle and the radiator and heater coil/fan to heat sink the entire system load of coolant. Better than shutting down while it is trapped in the engine block.

        • Wayne says:

          That SHB FOR not FIR, ‘tho it does ad an element of,,,,, well iI was going to say, cowboy, out wet, flavor, but no, maybe just hillbilly! Haha
          No spell checkon the IPad

  6. cathieok says:

    One thing about the road on the way up, you had to continue as there was no turning around! Do you ever get that feeling of “what in the heck have I done and how am I going to get out of this”?
    Glad to see you have some neighbors. There is alone, and then there is ALONE! Never know when a friend will come in handy. Since I broke my ankle, I have realized how vulnerable I can be. It was a rude awakening.
    Enjoy that beautiful scenery, I know we all are through your pictures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh yes, I OFTEN get the feeling “what have I gotten us into.” When there’s no choice but to keep going, I keep going and so far, I haven’t been disappointed.

      You know me . . . I’d rather have no neighbors .. ha! These people are pretty quiet and I parked so my door opens away from them. I hardly know they’re next to me. I’ll probably go over and sit by the lake instead of by the BLT when wanting to relax outdoors.

  7. CJ says:

    WOW you have no fear…I feel like such a baby. Can’t wait to hit the road next year and I so hope I gain half the courage you have! Such a gorgeous spot…and me too, glad you have at least one neighbor in case of emergency!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t think it’s courage. I was tethered to a small world of my home and work for most of my life due to job commitment and family responsibilities and lack of money that now I have an attitude of . . . Obstacles, get outta my way! I’m gonna LIVE, dag gone it!

  8. Chinle says:

    Looks like you’re up in the Tushers. Volcanic stuff and usually not many people, lots of folks have never even heard of the Tushers, even in Utah. You’re technically (geologically) at the edge of the Basin and Range country and the Colorado Plateau. There was a really big fire up there a few years ago. We got the smoke bad in Moab and it burned for a long time. It’s funny to hear it called Beaver City, which is, of course, its real name, but everyone in Utah calls it Beaver since it’s such a small town. Lots of tiny towns in Utah have “city” affixed to their name – maybe so you’ll stop there for the “amenities,” though Beaver’s not bad that way. You’re in a great spot for hiding out from the summer heat.

    • Chinle says:

      PS Sue, now that you’re coming through Utah, don’t forget that they have some really nice state parks. I’m a boondocker myself and yet will stay in them. They’re usually very nice and have water for a moderate fee. You can get a senior pass for around $30 if you want that’s good for a year and allows free access, though you still have to pay a moderate fee if camping overnight. It’s worth it just for the water. If you’re ever on I-70 through Green River, that park is an oasis in the heat along the banks of the river, big cottonwoods and lots of birds.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting information about this area. Yes, Tusher Lake is up this way. I’ve been confused about the name of Beaver or Beaver City…. signs and maps are different. Now I know what’s going on, thanks to Chinle!

      You’re right. This is a great summer place. Fresh and cool. Had to get our other quilt that I had stored in the PTV for summer before going to bed last night. All this travel from desert to mtns to desert to mtns has me losing track of the seasons!

  9. Ron says:

    Now your getting into my kind of country, a kayak and a fly rod I could stay there till they ran me off or the snow went to flying.
    I am sure you know this but kill the ac will let you run cooler and add power to your engine also the heater trick works well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      This is a heaven for fishermen, only I don’t see many here. Not only are there three lakes within a mile or two, there’s also a small, rushing river that I bet holds some nice trout. I was surprised though not to see anyone fishing at “our” lake late yesterday afternoon. Maybe they go to Kent Lake nearby. It’s a lot bigger.

      I used to fish a lot . . . saltwater fishing in FL. That was fun. You never know what you’re going to get!

      I did keep the AC off, but, of course, I didn’t know the heater trick.

  10. Hi Sue,
    Two weeks ago I had the same experience climbing a grade from Bishop California to a campground in the eastern Sierra. We climbed over 4,000 feet in 10 miles with the grade reaching 10% and all of it was up with no downs to cool off the engine. We tow a 3,000 pound cargo trailer with our class c motorhome and at one point we were down to 18 mph in first gear with the temperature half way to overheating and nowhere to turn around. It was a real nail biter for me until I finally got to the campground turnoff. Sure wish these motorhomes had a granny gear like the old 49 Chevy pickup I had, Jeff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, I can honestly say I know how you felt. We were in the same fix . . . I had visions of us rolling backward! it’s the ups with no downs that make it super scary. plus not knowing how much worse it’s going to get . . .

  11. Hooray! You have arrived in another beautiful spot! I was already in bed asleep when Chuck rushes in to tell me “Sue has just posted, she’s in another beautiful spot and she’s happy!” LOL
    It loosk beautiful there. We used to camp on an other area of FishLake…. up above Loa Utah. Thisck with quaking aspen everywhere! Glad you have landed my friend!

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Sue,

    So glad you made it to dumping that black tank of yours without any complications! 😉

    You had me on the edge of my seat again! Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad, too. It was close! I could make a silly comment having to do with sitting on the edge of the seat, but in the interest of good taste,, I’ll move on . . .

  13. Harriet says:

    This place is so beautiful. That lake looks so inviting. I’m with Spike, cold or not I would like to be in it. Sue do you ever fish when you park by these lakes? Seems like it would be a good source of some healthly protien for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I used to enjoy fishing, and, looking at the lake, I get the urge to pick up a rod again. I got to the point where I didn’t like the part where you injure or kill a living thing. (I know, I eat fish and chickens . . . I just can’t do the killing.) I don’t begrudge anyone else fishing. In fact, I wish I didn’t get the guilt. I love fishing.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Suppose it is something to do with age? Hubby and I feel the same way…guess we would be vegetarians if it was up to us to kill what we are eating!! I used to clean fish with no problem and I have not killed a chicken, but I have done everything else after someone else has!! But they have nothing to fear from me…I am so klutzy I would hack into my own hand (a friend of that did that and ended up with a bunch of stitches between her thumb and fingers…her hubby took over after that and she was banished from ever wielding an ax again…heh, like she cared!!)

      • Chinle says:

        Sue, as a vegetarian, I feel the same way. 🙂

  14. Dave Reed says:

    If the turning on of the heater doesn’t help enough with the overheating problem you can do what I did years ago. I threw a small bucket of water into the radiator right through the grill. I didn’t even open the hood. Worked for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good to know, Dave. Thanks for the tip. Now if I could figure out how to do that while driving uphill at a 9% grade in first gear . . . . Just kidding.

      • Mark says:

        I’ve got the answer to that. I had trouble with our van radiator when it was almost new. Removed the thermostat at the grand canyon then drove to LA and removed the radiator and had it cleaned. Finally replaced the radiator before the next big trip. I was always worried I would have trouble again so I took several of the mister nozzle you see in flower beds, connected then together with small plastic tubing like is used for the windshield washer and tied them up to the front of the radiator. I left the end of the hose next to the windshield washer resevoir. When I go through mountain passes I just connect the tube to the windshield washer and hit the washer buttom to spray water on the radiator. Works like a charm.

        Salina Ks

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Mark . . . That is so clever! I love your ingenuity! Too bad the van manufacturer didn’t set that up in the first place.. I’d rather have that than a windshield washer.

  15. Emily says:

    Oh boy, do you have the place again. Love the spruce trees. Hey, question off the travel log grid, but do you just have original Medicare; or have you added a supplemental/Advantage program to Medicare? If you added onto Medicare, did you use the available programs in your resident state of SD?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Um, I’m hurt. I’m not old enough for Medicare. LOL Good questions, though.

      • Emily says:

        Okay very, very sorry, thought since you were “retired” traveling full-time and “sixty-something” . . . . Please forgive me. Though maybe someone who is way older than rvsue, has some suggestions for me and for Sue when she reaches that magical age in a long time from now.

  16. Jerry says:

    Sue, You may already know this, but I did not see it mentioned. . .
    If you have to pull over when engine is overheating or nearly so, yes, open the hood, but DO NOT shut the engine off. The fan will help cool it down. You can also pour water on the radiator, but NOT any other part of the engine. I crossed the desert in August many times with no air conditioning with only water in the radiator. Don’t recommend it, though.
    Love your adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I got it, Jerry. I’ll try to remember that. One good thing about the hot engine episode… It was a cool day up here in the heavens so the coolant stopped gurgling right away. I took the cap off, don’t know if that makes any difference.

      • Jerry says:

        Not a good idea to take the cap off until the radiator is very cool to the touch. One, you may get burned by steam. (I have had a cap explode out of my hand!) Two, the coolant/water may bubble/boil out and need to be replaced.
        I also had an experience of boiling gasoline. Strange but true. I had a black “undercoating” put on a car to prevent rust. But driving uphill on black pavement in 100 degrees caused a strange buzzing sound to come from the gas cap. Being the uninformed curious type, I unscrewed the gas cap and”POP”! It almost hit me in the head! I could hear the gas “bubbling” and couldn’t believe it. Waited for it to stop and drove without a cap for awhile. Dumb. Asked a mechanic later and he said, yes he knew gasoline could boil without exploding!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good idea not to take the radiator cap off! The cap I took off was the one to the coolant reservoir. That’s why I doubted it would help any. I couldn’t bear the sound of it gurgling. There’s still plenty of coolant (pink) in the reservoir. It’s up to the fill line.

          Very weird experience with the gas! I’m glad you didn’t have an explosion. You might not be around to share all this good information!

  17. Jerry says:

    P.S. Patience will protect your brakes on the way down. Creep along in lowest gear. Tap brakes if necessary, but don’t hold down the pedal.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, believe me, Jerry, I’m a creeper going up and a creeper going down. Of course I always have some idiot up behind me pressuring me to hurry up. Usually I pull over but I’m not going to be able to do that down this big hill with no shoulders on the road. Thanks for the advice.

  18. Ron says:

    I guess I am still in the caveman mode lol I have no more problem dressing a fish or a deer or elk than I do a squash. Now I will say I do my job swiftly and humanly . I think wild fish and meat is much healther than what I get in the store.
    Ok I am going to go hide and yall can throw your rocks.lol

  19. Marcia says:

    Well, you’ve had another adventure and found another great campsite in a whole new terrain. Another thought about fishing: I like to ask before I cast that only the fish who offers itself as my dinner will land on my hook and I always give thanks for it. An old native American custom but it works for anyone. At home we eat humanely raised heritage beef and pork, which means we don’t eat too much meat because it’s quite expensive. I applaud those who are vegetarians. I have tried to be one several times in the past but I’m allergic to soy, so getting enough protein is always a problem. Anyhow, each to his/her own conscience.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I admire your respect for wildlife, Marsha.
      Being a carbohydrate addict, this diet I’m on has taught me the value of protein. I now know I require a lot of protein to stave off carb cravings. I tried going vegetarian, too, but couldn’t sustain it. I do avoid red meat. You’re right. . . To each his own.

  20. Robert says:

    You probably already have more than enough suggestions about camping places as you travel through Utah. I would like to add one more. There is a lake and dam in the High Unitas that is east to get to and has beautiful scenic country all around. It is called “Upper Stilwater Reservoir”. It supposedly has one of the highest water drops in the west when water is coming over the spillway. I have camped there several times, elevation is just over 8100 ft so nice and cool. Good roads and very good camp grounds for tents and rv’s

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Never too many camping suggestions, Robert! This Upper Stillwater Reservoir sounds very appealing. I’m going to look it up as soon as I get a post done today. By good roads, I hope you mean roads with a gradual ascent. Thanks for the tip.

  21. Ron says:

    Never ever take off a radiator cap unless it is completely cool.Please
    You really make the water boil worse. For every lb of pressure you have on a radiator if my memory is correct you go up six degrees before the water boils., so releasing the pressure even if its not boiling it can instantly turn to boiling spraying water.
    This is coming from someone who owned a radiator shop for 40 years plus.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the important reminder, Ron. (The cap I mentioned in my post was the coolant reservoir cap. I wouldn’t mess with a hot radiator.)

      I usually have trouble removing the radiator cap when it’s cool! I have to take a mallet and a screw driver and gently tap it to the side until it turns enough for me to loosen it. Sometimes I have this problem with the propane tanks and have to do the same thing. I’m learning to tell the propane person to tighten it closed but not so tight I can’t open the tank. I have small hands without much strength in them, something I’ve had to compensate for (tools, leverage, asking for help) all my life.

  22. Pam says:

    I keep forgetting to say I’m glad you have your blog set up so I can look at the slideshow or not as I choose. Not that I don’t like the photos – I really do, but sometimes I must wait until I have free wifi so to save my monthly allotment on my aircard. Seems you move every few days to a new spot. What do you think your average stay is? ~Pam P

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting feedback, Pam. Does a slideshow use up a lot?

      Also an interesting question about length of stay, at least to me! I stayed several weeks at Darby Well in southern AZ (with a break in the middle) and only two nights at Lee’s Ferry. I’ll figure out my average some time and let you know. I do tend to sit in one place for a while, especially in winter.

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