We had a large 3-night group camp planned for Thursday July 22nd at Payson Lakes. The day before, we learned that there was an aggressive bear on the loose and they had closed the campground until it was caught.
Not wanting to lose our chance to go to Payson this summer, we looked into later dates and found an available window in the same campground in August. We called and discussed the change with people and reached the decision to postpone. There was only one family we couldn’t reach, Kathy’s brother Bill.
Early Thursday morning, we discovered that the bear had been killed and we were clear to go up. But after losing 24 hours of preparation time and since we had already told most people about August, we decided it would be better to stick with the plan to postpone.
Unfortunately we were still unable to reach Kathy’s brother. Late on Thursday morning, we went by Bill’s house. His motorhome and van were both gone. This trip was a long-planned memorial and ash-spreading for their father. Their brother also died last month and was added to the ceremony already planned. It was very important that Bill be there. Due to the time of day, our best guess was that he was already on his way to the campground.
We didn’t want him to be the only person to show up and wonder what was going on so we quickly called the other parties to figure out what we should do. We decided we would do something crazy — go to both this camp-out and the one in August. Nothing was ready, because until that moment we had assumed we weren’t going. We madly packed up and got to the campground late Thursday evening. But, to our surprise, Bill wasn’t there.
A little further craziness… the group sites at Payson Lakes were renumbered a couple of years ago. When Kathy’s mom went to reserve them, she had known the site that she wanted as Group Site A, but in the meantime, it had become Group Site C. She reserved site A, and that’s where we spent the first night. The people who did reserve site C had canceled because of the bear, so on Friday morning, the campground host let us move. The second pack/unpack was much easier, because we could make multiple trips. It was a very good move. Site A sucks for trailers, site C is wonderful and was what Kathy’s mom really wanted.
Bill finally showed up late Friday evening. He had spent a couple of nights at Bear Lake with his in-laws and got home Friday afternoon. This was all according to his plan, but the rest of us didn’t know anything about it. I imagine the sequence of voice mails they listened to were amusing.
The trip was a lot of fun, especially for the kids. We were dead when we got back, though. Kathy and I both got sunburned, despite spending most of our time in the shade. Aspen trees do not cast very dense shadows.