Trip Report: Retro Ramble III

PART 1 of 3

Trip report for the 8th annual Relic Run and 3rd annual Retro Ramble.

These events are a unique opportunity to take a step back in time and camp and explore the way our fathers did decades ago. All the 4x4’s are 1989 and older and all the camping is done in the spirit of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
June 16: We met at the Silver Sage in near Vernon, UT early in the morning. After a quick fill-up with gas, some brief introductions and instructions we were on our way. Who knew it would be 3 days before we would pass a car again.

Now that we all had our CB’s on the same channel we were on our way. For the first day we followed a path along the Historic Pony Express Trail in Utah’s west desert. Our first stop was at the pet cemetery. The rather obscure cemetery was established by the brother of the famous gunman Porter Rockwell. As with most years, my oldest daughter Clara becomes a surrogate older sister for the many young kids on the trip.


For lunch we stopped at the popular Simpson Springs. Simpson Spring was an important pony express station because it had ample amounts of water, which is rare in this part of Utah.


After lunch we set out for Fish Springs. On our way we had to dodge wild horses and antelope. When we got to Fish Springs the kids got an opportunity to call all the friends on the local pay phone. Fish Springs itself was surreal to say the least. The miles and miles of blue lagoons of water in the middle of the desert are a welcome site to all the migrating birds that make this place the temporary home.



Next we were off to see something a little more out of this world. We made a short drive over to Wilson Springs. Wilson Spring are a bunch of hot springs located about 5 miles north of Fish Springs. Much like other hot springs like those found in Yellowstone, they develop colorful mats, but be careful where you step because it is very soft and the mud is very stinky. Our fearless leader, Kurt Williams, found out the hard way when he sunk up to his knee after stepping off a pallet. Over the years hippies have hauled in old buses, tubs and much more.



Stinky feet and all we moved on to our next stop which was an old abandon mine. At one time this was a major operation but times have changed. It also provided a great opportunity for a lineup shot of most of this years participants vehicles.



Finally we made our way to one of the most remote cities in the lower 48 states, Callao, UT. We setup camp just outside of town at the CCC camp. This campground was built by the civilian conservation corps back during the great depression. This campground if free to the public, has a couple dozen camp spots and includes a few picnic tables and fire pits but the biggest luxuries are the trees and small creek. The trees provided much needed shade and a place to put a hammock while the creek provided a place to rinse off after spending all day in the dirt.The one downside is the lack of a outhouse or port a potty.
For dinner we had classic hors devours from the 70’s and shared stories late into the night. Day one was considered a major success. Not only did all the classic 4x4’s preform like they did decades ago, the weather was fantastic, it was partly cloudy and around 80F. That’s a huge relief because most of the rigs did not have air conditioning.
I got a chance to try out my vintage camp kitchen and 40 year old Eureka tent. I love this tent. It was handed down to me from my father and I have spent many memorable nights in it.




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EU Contributor
OSC Alumni
Love that CCC camp outside Callao. That stream is so refreshing. Anybody do some fishing there?