Tall Timber-Hobo Route (TTH) – Off again!

Well, we’re off again! It’s been triple-digit hot in Las Vegas (yup, we know … Mojave Desert in July … what can we expect, right?) and thus, no work can be accomplished on Blue or outside at all, for that matter. To avoid the heat of the day, we walk at 0500 each day and it’s still a humid 85-90F even then. During ‘monsoon season’ in the desert, it is NOT a dry heat. So, it only made sense to head out again in search of something ‘less heated’ than our desert.

The plan all along had been to leave in late July to visit friends in Minnesota. After researching the route and of course finding plenty to do along the way, we decided leaving a couple weeks earlier made sense. Major planned itinerary stops on what we’re calling the Tall Timber-Hobo Loop (TTH) include Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Tall Timber Days in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota and the 118th Annual Hobo Convention (yes, you read that right) in Britt, Iowa. Embellishments will be made as we go and after Iowa? No idea, but we need to be back in Las Vegas by the end of August.

 Thunder reverberated off the canyon walls at Little Cottonwood Campground.

Thunder reverberated off the canyon walls at Little Cottonwood Campground.

A rainy night in Beaver, Utah

We were off around 0730 after a morning walk. Mary and Paul were both around for morning coffee and hugs goodbye. Midst violent thunder and lightning storms, high winds and flash flood warnings, we made it to Little Cottonwood campground in Fishlake National Forest, about 6 miles east of Beaver, Utah.

We watched the temperature plummet from 100F to 65F in a few short hours. The wind gusted and debris whirled and twirled around us. Great sheets of rain pelted Blue and monstrous claps of thunder boomed and roared and reverberated off the canyon walls. We remained snug and dry and enjoyed the 3 Rs … readin, (w)ritin’ and restin’ … read that, we crawled in back, thought about writing for a minute or two, read for 5 minutes, then fell asleep. The rain continued through the night and although a campfire might have been nice, we were quite content.

 Philo T. Farnsworth statue, Beaver, UT - Father of Television

Philo T. Farnsworth statue, Beaver, UT - Father of Television

Thank you, Philo T. Farnsworth

A rainy, tumultuous night somehow spawned a calm, sunny, dry morning. We’d lost an hour transiting into Utah’s mountain time zone and we woke at 0600 instead of our usual 0500. It was a pleasure to dawdle over coffee rather than haul our butts out of bed to walk the golf course before the golfers and the heat made it impossible. Yes … we’re really in vacation mode.

It took an hour or so for the sun to rise above the canyon walls and after a quick morning loop walk around the campground, we were packed up and on our way. Beaver, UT certainly gets it share of laughs and guffaws for obvious reasons, but it also happens to be the birthplace of Philo T. Farnsworth and we couldn’t leave town without checking out the town’s tribute to the ‘Father of Television’. His statue and his log cabin birthplace are located in a small park in the center of town.

 Philo's humble birthplace

Philo's humble birthplace

I’m sure we knew this at some point in our lives, but we’d long forgotten about Philo. This guy was a true genius. While plowing a field in parallel rows at age 15, he realized that a similar process would allow him to dissect an image into parallel horizontal lines, electronically scan it and then reassemble it into the original image. What? In 1927, at the age of 21, he invented the television. Read more about Philo and his impressive list of inventions and accomplishments… all without the benefit of the Internet. Seems impossible … go figure.

After bidding Philo adieu, we hummed along boring I-15 at 70 mph heading north through Salt Lake City, making mileage … so unlike us. The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest offered campsites at the Box Elder Campground near Mantua. Did you know the US National Forests fell under the auspices of the Dept of Agriculture unlike the National Parks which are fall under the direction of the Dept of the Interior? Another revelation.

 Box Elder Campground

Box Elder Campground

The shady sites were surrounded in ash trees with a small brook running along side. We worried about mozzies, but saw none. We took a long enough walk to insure we had our 10,000 steps for the day. Dinner on the campfire was quiet and pleasant. I think Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with the quote ‘Learn something new everyday’. We learned something new today about Philo T. Farnsworth (or at least remembered something, we’d forgotten) and the US Forests ... and that makes it a good, productive day. Now if we can only remember.