Camel Camping Index  Sespe River Adventure   Camel Camping Part II

Camel wings
Join us on another fantastic camel camping adventure as we journeying deep down the Sespe River to the Willett Hot Springs with Gobi the Bactrian Camel and his two fearless horses friends, Creek and Sespe.
The Sespe River is a wield and scenic river located in the Southern California backcountry. We will be starting from the trailhead at Lyon Camp and be headed down river where the real beauty of this river awaits us.


The deeper we travel down this Wild and Scenic River the more beautiful it becomes with its sandy banks, deep pools and shad trees. This will be a short but fun trip that all will enjoy immensely as we take our time traveling slowly as we soak in the splendid wonders that life gives us!

Hi all, I got back from camping with my camel Gobi and my two horses, Creek and Sespe. When we arrived at the trailhead we were the only ones there so I turned Gobi and my young packhorse (Sespe) loose as we got started down the trail. They were sure enjoying themselves running up and down the trail, Gobi thought it was extremely fun as he jumped on large clumps of brush.

camel running On the way in about the only view I had of Gobi was his rump, and occasionally his head when he looked back waiting for me to catch up. About half way in Gobi decided it was time for a good sand bath as he rolled in the sand getting his pack to flip over. Now his pack was hanging under his belly, but he though it just fine there dragging between his legs. I finally got him to stop long enough so that I could fix it.

I had just gotten settled into my base camp when some old friends showed up on their horses and pack mules. Gobi started going over to the mules in hope of making some new friends, but I stopped him just short of getting there. The mules didn't seem to think a camel was anything unusual, but I went ahead and put my animals away in a large fenced in meadow as they high lined their animals nearby.

That night we sat by the camp fire and told stories as they cooked up some fine grub, we had home made white tail deer sausage, grilled onions on a bread roll with mustard and pickles, not to be forgotten was the Gentlemen Jack over the rocks. They took off early the next morning, now me and my animals had the place all to ourselves.

The weather was perfect, in the upper sixties. I sat there using Gobi as a backrests and pillow watching my horses far out in the meadow, eating the short green grass of the early winter season. There was a gentle breeze blowing through the cottonwood trees. The sound of the river and a bird off in the distance singing away. camel foot check Gobi had gone to sleep and was dreaming, I'm wondering what a camel would be dreaming about. Gobi woke up and rolled over on his side, I scoot back to and rest against his belly as i put his front feet on my lap, checking them out and doing a little probing with a small twig. After about 20 minutes Gobi sat back up and I laid down on my back using one of his front legs as a headrest, looking up at the quarter moon and some high clouds blowing by in the deep blue sky.

After being out in the backcountry for two days I had gotten a bit grubby and decided it was time to go up and visit the hot springs where there is a nice size pool to soak away the dirt and relax. After enjoying a long relaxing soak in the hot spring, I went back to sitting with Gobi in the meadow as evening started closing in around us. The wind had been gentility picking up and off to the left of us a whirlwind picked up a load of sycamore leaves spinning them up high into the sky. I sat there with a smile on my face as I watched the golden brown leaves dancing and spinning ever higher into the blie sky, then slowly falling back to earth. As night fell around us the stars were shining in the clear night sky. The wind had continued to pick up and the temperature was falling fast. I had just finished having a simpler dinner, nothing nearly as fancy as the night before and was back sitting with Gobi again.

I got behind Gobi using him as a wind break and laid on my back using Gobi's front leg as a headrest. As I laid there looking up at the grand beauty of the stars, I watched as a shooting star went streaking across the sky. The quarter moon was slowly dropping down below the high mountain tops as the night drew on. The temperature had dropped fast as it often does in the mountains. The left side of my face was getting cold from the strong night wind that had come up but the other side was protected by the warmth of Gobi's shoulder. As it was getting a bit to cold outside I decided to retire to the cabin for the night. Sleep did not come easy this night with the sound of the wind blowing and rattling the old tin on the cabins roof. The temperature had dropped down to 20 degrees as night wore on. I was glad to have the shelter and warmth of this little old cabin with it's wood burning stove.

camel unpacking supplies

Late that night the wind settled down and the sun brought on another beautiful day. This morning it was time to pack up and get going, I tied the horses up near the cabin getting ready to depart. Gobi went over to the gear and started unpacking things. I think his trying to tell me something as none of us wanted to leave, but once we get headed down the trail we were all happy to be heading home.

Taking a camel camping is kind of like taking a comedian and entertainer with you. When Gobi started unpacking the gear, I had to take him and tie him up by the horses. It didn't take him long to find something else to entertain himself with, he started chewing on the back of my young pack horse, Sespe. Well, Sespe wasn't in the mood for a back massage this morning so I had to move her over a few feet, out of the range of Gobi. All packed up we got started out but did not even get out of camp before we ran across a hiker that was just coming into camp. I rode by him, my packhorse was up in front and Gobi was following behind us. Well, Gobi just couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a new friend, so he veered off going over to play with this guy. Hey this guy had all kinds of neat toys that any camel would be very impressed with. He was carrying a big backpack with equipment hanging all over it, and had a big black guitar case, he also had long black hair and a large beard, of course Gobi also thinks beards are grate too. Well while Gobi was entertaining his new friend and getting a bit pushy I tied up Creek and went back to save the hiker from a 940 lb. 6 1/2 foot tall camel that thinks he's a big puppy dog. I got Gobi's lead rope and rapped it around the saddle horn two times then tucked it under my leg so if we got in to trouble I could release it quietly. Gobi and my pack horse Sespe crossing the Sespe river

We were on are way again and had just cross the river two times on the way out from camp and were heading up a hill leaving the river, when across the river up on the far side of the canyon a pack of coyotes started singing to us. We were all looking across the canyon but I never saw them. Looking over there the air was so clear on this winters day all of the colors were bright and clear. The far off mountains look like you could reach out and touch them. I untied Gobi and threw the lead rope between his humps so I could reach over and grab it if need be. The ride out was even more beautiful than it had been on the way in, crossing the river with it's deep blue pools, beautiful rock formations and side canyons flowing into it. The air was crisp yet the sun was warm on such a gorgeous winters day, as I got closer to the trailhead I started running into a few day hikers so I grabbed Gobi's lead rope and pony him to keep him out of trouble, of corse he had to give every one that we ran into kisses. Well we made it back to the trailer and headed home.

Once we got home his zebra buddy Dandy was very happy to see him, they ran around playing and Gobi just had to play with my truck jumping on the hood with his neck and grabbing the windshield wipers. Yes my truck is also one of Gobi toys, he's kind of hard on it and if I turn on the windshield wipers he chases them back and forth trying to grab them.

Roger and Gobi