Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bad movies; good hiking

For 8 years every July, we’ve made a trek to Torrey and Bicknell, Utah for the BIFF – the Bicknell International Film Festival.  The BIFF’s motto is “Better Living through Bad Cinema” and we’ve seen a heck of a lot of bad movies over the years, and even a few moderately good ones. Each BIFF has a theme—vegetables, beach movies, disco, Christmas, the circus. This year’s theme was outer space. There’s always a parade before the first movie, and people in themed clothing drive theme-decorated vehicles. Sounds crazy, but it’s fun even for quasi-introverts like me and Jim.  After the movies there are parties with great food and live music. We’ve become fans of one of the bands, the Sister Wives. And of course, we hike at nearby Capitol Reef National Park, which is a hidden gem of a national park. It’s never crowded when we visit, the scenery is amazing and the park is always full of foreign visitors, especially Germans, French and Dutch, which is interesting.

This was our first BIFF with the motor home, so we wanted to stay at the Capitol Reef campground and hike some trails near there. We got a wonderful spot – site 29, which I highly recommend. We were next to the Fremont River, which runs through the park and had a wonderful view of the red rocks. The campground was full Friday night but not the rest of the time – good luck finding that at Zion or Bryce.

We did 3 hikes, including one of our favorites, Cohab Canyon, which starts out steep then enters a cathedral-like (but much flatter) canyon of high red rocks. We also hiked the Fremont Gorge Overlook trail; I thought it was the toughest hike we’ve ever done at Capitol Reef and it included three steep sections.

We also had our first real rig problem. Lights wouldn’t work; the fridge wouldn’t stay on; the generator kicked off; the electric step made a clicking noise, etc. We suspected the “house batteries” --  the 2 sets of batteries that provide electrical to the living area of the coach -- were dead or dying, and a later trip to Camping World confirmed our hunch. It was an easy albeit expensive (welcome to the RV world) fix.  Luckily we had some good flashlights and battery-operated reading lights that look like “deely boppers” and clip on to our books.

We also had a run in with other campers, which was upsetting. We were at the campground dumpsite just before the trip home, and a family with a travel trailer pulled up behind us.  Our routine is to dump the black water, then the gray, then fill the black tank with water and dump it again, per the instructions in our owner’s manual. The adults from the trailer thought we were taking too long, called Jim a “glass bowl”,  threatened to “bump up” our rig to get us out of his way, and I think I heard the f-bomb get tossed our way. We want to be good camping neighbors, so I want to use this as a learning experience and find out if it ‘s OK to just “dump and run” and these folks seemed to think we should do. Or were they just jerks? When we were at Flaming Gorge a rig in front of us took a long time as they not only dumped both tanks and rinsed, but then filled up their culinary water. Anyway, we’ll have to do  “dump site” etiquette research.

But that’s a distant memory. Overall it was a very good trip and I’m looking forward to the next BIFF/camping extravaganza.

Some photos:

View out the back window of our rig.

That's our motorhome in the campground.   Looks like we're the only ones there.

View at the end of the Fremont River Gorge Overlook Trail.

Red rocks and blue sky.

Capital Reef is full of views that appear to be from cowboy movies.