We stayed an extra day at the Transfer Campground, northeast of Mancos, Colorado, because of the good people camping around us and we wanted to get to know them a little better.
In the campsite to our right was James Francis, a gentle guy from east Texas, and his faithful sidekick, 10-year-old Smokey (rumored to be part-wolf). They were waiting for James’ brother to join them for a few days camping and “catching-up.”
James, a semi-retired automotive mechanic, and Smokey have been traveling for most of a year in his vintage “canned ham” 1959 travel trailer. “It’s the same year as me,” he smiled. When we sat around the campfire, James loved talking about fishing, fixing things, and how proud he is of his grown daughter.
Laurie, a retired supervisor of juvenile probation officers and H., a former manager with IBM, are both Montana “kids” who love the outdoors–“Camping is life.”
One of their favorite camping experiences, was seven days in the Beartooth Wilderness in Montana. “We were the only people out there at Mystic Lake,” said Laurie. “We fished our hearts out.”
In their retirement, Laurie is researching and writing a non-fiction book about everyday miracles; and, H. spends some of this time dabbling in the stock market.
Photos: (Top) James Francis and Smokey. (Bottom) Laurie and H. Walsh from Phoenix, Ariz., and their two pet companions, Bully (left) and Chu Chu. (Julianne G. Crane)