Instead of “Travels with a fox,” this blog could be renamed “Close to home with a fox,” although it’s a bit of a stretch, because we’re in our camper and have forgotten to invite any fox mascots. We figured you might be interested in our other way of camping.

We drove about an hour and a half from our house into the mountains. We knew a spot by a creek that would probably not be occupied, unless by cattle. And there were no other campers, but we did have to do some cow pad removal and gravel restoration of some specific sites.

Here’s a photo of our camp fully set up: bug tent beside the camper, portable solar panel connected, outside cooking area, and shower tent (out of view.) We also brought our quads along.

We camped right beside the creek. Here’s a view from the water just steps from our camper.

The next day, we used our quads to access a hiking trail we knew. We drove up the Forest Service Road, past Summer Lake and on to an old road. When we first discovered this road thirty-six years ago, we could drive up the four kilometres in our full-size pickup. Now most of the road is thick with alders, but there were a few views along the way.

We parked our quads near the top of a former skid road and followed a newly flagged trail for about half an hour to Ruault Lake. The lake was very high for the third week of July. Bear Lake is below the other side of the ridge that is shown in the photo below.

With plenty of time left in the day, we chose to make our way up to the ridge, sometimes following game trails and sometimes bushwacking. As we worked our way upwards, we had good views of Ruault Lake and Mount Ruault.

Soon we were walking along the ridge line.

The flowers were spectacular. There are close-ups of Silky phacelia and Indian paintbrush.

We reached the highest point on the ridge close to noon. From there, we had a great view of Bear Lake, and could even see Cranbrook, although it’s not visible in the photo below. We had an enjoyable lunch, without much wind, with the bonus of cellular coverage so we could send photos to family and friends.

We backtracked along the ridge and then headed down the avalanche path. In the avalanche path we were truly bushwhacking, with no evidence of a trail at all. We joined the Ruault trail about five minutes of walking above our quads. Our total hike was about four kilometres.

The next morning, we explored some newer (and now unused) logging roads around Goat Haven Mountain. We used to spend time in the area when it was thickly forested and intertwined with game trails. We had some great views of Goat Haven and the surrounding mountains.

In the afternoon, we drove our quads to a good fishing spot about five minutes down the road. Doug spent some time casting into likely “fish holding” spots without much success, so he headed downstream to look for more productive waters. As soon as Doug was out of view and earshot, Wendy, who had been struggling to remember how she casted in this kind of stream, caught a fish! And she caught (and released) one more before we left for our home-on-wheels.

We were leaving the next day, but there was no need to leave early, so after taking down most of camp, we headed up the road about two minutes to another fishing spot. This time Doug fished a deep pool and caught (and released) two cutthroat.

After lunch, we drove home in plenty of time for dinner. Over the next few days we got the camper cleaned and restocked; ready for our next adventure.

We put together this blog to record a typical local camping trip with our camper. Each trip is to a different location, so sometimes the activities change, but this account gives you an idea of what we do when we’re “off camping.”

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