Cedar Mountain is Craig’s own sleepy hollow | CraigDailyPress.com
Elwood Shelton

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Cedar Mountain is Craig’s own sleepy hollow

I try to consider myself an outdoor enthusiast, though many times my love for the outdoors gets put on the back burner for one reason or another.
Sometimes it’s work that takes me away from enjoying the region’s mountains and rivers. Sometimes it’s just plain apathy.
On rare occasions, it’s because of an outside influence.
Cedar Mountain, which I tried to summit once each week earlier this summer, has fallen into the third category of why I don’t indulge in scrub-brush lined trails.
In my trips to the mountain, I noticed a disturbing trend, one which I’m sure is harmless, but nonetheless disturbing the amount of people who have decided to use the parking lot at the mountain’s foot for a napping spot.
Now almost everyone, at one time or another, has used a public park or a stop on a trail as a place to rest, and even on occasion, a spot to sleep.
On the other hand, most of us don’t make a habit of sleeping in public.
When I was taking my weekly trip up Cedar Mountain, it was an even money bet that there would be a primer-colored or rusted Duster, Nova or Skylark parked in the lot with all windows down, and a flannel- and jeans-clad man sleeping the afternoon away.
I have never recognized any of the anonymous napers who make their bed at Cedar Mountain, and in many cases, was extremely glad I didn’t.
Most Cedar Mountain sleepers, alone in a car on a 90-degree-plus day, take on the stereotypical look of a rapist crouched behind a girl’s dormitory bush. The beat up car and flannel shirt don’t help to shape a good opinion either, mainly because the amount of sweat produced by a late fall outfit in summer.
It’s not that I’m particularly worried about being assaulted by the sleepers, but at the same time the sleepers give the region a “Deliverance” feel that is, without the banjos.
The main question I have, if the sleepers are out there, is: Why Cedar Mountain?
Good Lord, the whole area around the mountain has to be at least 20 degrees hotter than the city of Craig. There is no shade, and I can’t imagine that a car cools down in direct sun light.
Not to mention the mountain is close to nothing.
Yes, there are ranches and farms that surround the area, but there are few people I know of in the field of agriculture who commonly make a parking lot a sleeping spot.
Now, if the sleepers could explain to me that Cedar Mountain is in closer proximity for a nap than their homes, that is if they live here, I’m willing to listen. But, their explanation can not consist of the words “just passing through,” or “I’ll buy a cigarette off you.”
This goes for the people who have decided to make the parking lot on the Yampa River, which is behind the golf course, their temporary home as well.
If you’re stuck in town, and can not afford a hotel, motel or what not, my God, pay the $3 a day fee and stay at a national forest campground.
First of all, there is plenty of shade created by the trees. Most of the time the campgrounds are in areas cooler than Craig, and with all the flannel you find on campers, you’ll fit right in.
Now if you live here and sleep at Cedar, for crying out loud, go home to take your nap. You’re only hurting yourself if you find public parking lots more suitable than your own bed.
Or a better idea, try and stay awake during the workday – if I can do it, anyone can.