Snowy Range, WY

I got kicked out of the Arapaho National Forest! The sign says you can stay for 14 days but the ranger came along (on my 13th day) and said the stay limit was 7 days. He also said they’d been “keeping an eye on me” and he talked about “squatting” and “residing”. He woke me up from a sound sleep and it wasn’t until after he left that I realized he thought I was homeless, and living in the forest. Wow, that’s never happened to me before! I’m pretty sure it’s because the car and camper look so bad, with that nasty oil on them. But still, I’m mad that homeless people don’t have the same rights as anyone else. Why do they make it even harder for them?  After he left I thought of a whole lot of things I SHOULD have said.

I also think it’s kinda crazy that they thought I was homeless. How many homeless people drive Toyota Highlanders and have solar panels?? Sigh. Well, it’s over and done with but I just might send some letters out to the Arapaho National Forest in protest of my shabby treatment.

By the way, I finally found a carwash and used the “engine cleaner” setting to wash the car. It did not even make a dent in that oil. I also tried baking soda, which worked on the lightly oiled places but not the heavy oil. WD-40 is working kinda-sorta on the heavy areas; it softens it and I can then scrape a lot of it off with a silicone scraper. It’s going to be a very long, labor-intensive process! 

On the way here a guy in a Jeep waved me over and told me that my camper door was open! The roof latch had come right off, probably on one of the bumps in the road, and the door had been swinging in the breeze. He said something had come out; he thought it looked like a bag of bagels (?) and I did have some hamburger buns and bread in a grocery bag, so I thought that’s what it was. But when I got here and set up the camper, I checked and that bag is still here, and the bag with potato chips is still here. I have NO idea what flew out but hopefully it wasn’t very important. The door was sprung and overlapped the door casing by about ¼” at the bottom. It wouldn’t close unless I gave it a good kick! And from the inside, I had to slam it really hard 3 or 4 times. I have a couple neighbors here and I didn’t think they’d appreciate hearing my door slam so much, so I got out my hammer and whacked the heck out of it, and now it’s fine. I can’t figure out why I didn’t see that in my side mirror….do I not ever check that right hand mirror?? Maybe not, if I’m on a two lane highway.

I’ve left Colorado and moved on to Wyoming, the beautiful Snowy Range area of Medicine Bow National Forest, west of Laramie. I was a little worried about finding a campsite in the middle of July 4 week, but I was able to get the same site I had last year. I have some  shade both morning and afternoon. I think the elevation is close to 10,000’ so it’s a bit cooler here. There are more mosquitoes here than I’d like. The other evening there were at least 30 of them bumbling against the window screen (on the outside). I’m sure they were saying “We zzzzee you! Let uzzz in; we are zzzzztarving!” and at least a dozen coming at me on the inside. I’ve got every crack that I know of stuffed with foam, so I guess they are getting in every time I open the door. Some days I only see a few mosquitoes, and some days they’re everywhere. Hate them!

On my second day here I went to town and when I came back, the neighbor across the way waved and yelled “I see you’re back again”!  What?? I don’t know this guy! So I walked over and it turns out, when I was here last August, he was in the big campsite across the road. I never talked to him then, but he remembered my camper.

Since there’s no cell signal at all here (or even in town!) I use the library’s wifi hotspot. When I was there yesterday, they were having a book sale and I overheard someone mention where to get good ice cream in town. So I went over there and it WAS good! They have a flavor called “Snowy Range Crunch” that’s peanut butter ice cream with fudge swirl and Heath toffee chips…very good!  And at the book sale I bought up a bunch of old Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books for $.50 each. It’s very weird reading a real book….I keep swiping at the book, expecting the page to turn like they do on my Kindle.

The neighbors offered to take me for a ride in their ATV to check out some other campsites near here! I can stay here 16 days, then have to move at least 3 miles away. We found some really nice ones, and one of them even had 2 bars of Verizon service! So I think I will move up there when my 16 days are up here. Maybe with my wifi booster I can even get a wifi signal!  We saw a couple pretty mule deer on the ride.

Sorry no photos this time; the library’s hotspot is soooo bad, I’m lucky to be able to send this or emails. It would take all day to download a photo! Next time, I promise.


6 replies on “Snowy Range, WY”

Try gasoline or kerosene to clean up the oil mess. You will need a roll or two of paper towels and soap and water after. Simple, cheap, quick. It will not damage the paint.

Liked by 1 person

Use gasoline or kerosene to clean up the oil mess. You will need a roll or two of paper towels, and soap and water after. But it is cheap, easy and quick. And it won’t damage the paint. Good luck.


I recently read the book “Nomadland” by Jessica Bruder. It sounds like there are quite a few “homeless” people living on public lands. I would have been insulted, too, to have someone assume I’m homeless.

I did an internet search of camping limits in national forests and from what I find, 14 days is the minimum limit. Not sure what that ranger was up to.

Liked by 1 person

I agree. Perhaps staying on till your 14th day and then clarifying that you are camping, not homeless, but then again sometimes moving on is the prudent thing to do. Yes, send in a complaint to the local FS office in that area.

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