2nd camping trip- Day 5-7, Sept 11-13, 2020 Helper, Utah
Kevin found a campground through the app called “Good Sam” and we thought the area would be a nice place to explore. We left on Friday right after Kevin got off work. We drove up Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon. The truck pulled the trailer with not a problem at all. Kevin is an excellent driver and very safe. Hwy 6 is a stretch of road that used to be the worst in the US. Thankfully, UDOT has added a lot of passing lanes and I know that has helped reduce so many accidents. We got to our campground and greeting us was a huge barn that is several stories tall. It looks new-ish and has the registration, store, and laundry for the campground. The people who built the campground said (on their website) that they traveled to Helper over the years for the Art Galleries, Christmas festivals, and other times throughout the year. They wished there was a campground there. So, they built one and it is charming. It is called, “Castle Gate RV Park”. The campsites have tiny, packed gravel with different colors so you know where to park.
Once we got set up, we had sandwiches and then just relaxed for the evening. Our evening walk-about was nice with just a few swarms of gnats. When searching the area for things to do, I came across a museum that sounded like something we would enjoy. However, it was closed due to Covid. That evening, I looked up the website again and it said closed, but opening in the Fall. Well, I exclaimed, THIS is Fall! HAHA
The next morning Kevin called the museum and yes, indeed, they had opened back up the day before. Wahoo! After I cooked eggs and hash browns in the kitchen, we ate, and then drove through the tiny town of Helper. So named for the trains that need to “help” the long trains up the incredibly steep grade.
Many of the houses are original to the coal mining days. The town has a small grocery store, several bars, a school, and a few other stores. We drove south of town because I thought I saw an old train water tower and building. As we got closer, we saw they weren’t ancient. 🙂 The railroad tracks led into an old repair building.
We followed a dirt road up the canyon and enjoyed beautiful mountains with layers of rocks. We were able to drive several miles before coming to the end of the road and a gate.
Then it was off to see the Western Mining and Railroad Museum. Masks were required, which we were thankful for. We were there almost 3 hours! We decided to walk down the old main street. Many of the buildings we read about in the museum, we now saw with our eyes. How cool is that! It was way past lunch time but there wasn’t a lot open. We walked to a gas station, got big drinks, packaged ice cream treats and sat at a nice picnic table they had outside.
Back to the campground for lunch. Then we took our chairs and walked behind our campsite where the rush water of Price River was flowing. We sat under the shade and read our books the rest of the afternoon.
Dinner was foil dinner (AKA Hobo Packets) with brats, peppers and onions. You put the pack right in the fire pit on the coals. It is done when I smell it. HAHA
Ate outside and enjoyed it. We sat around the campfire the rest of the evening. One thing I noticed about our trailer is that the smoke doesn’t get inside the trailer. That is nice: I like campfire smell outside, not in. HAHA
The next day it was time to pack up and head home. The campground was great; I think with the rocks it would be terribly hot in the summer, but when we were there, it was perfect.
If you want to learn more about Helper and the “help” the engines were to the railroad, read more here..
Next time I will share some tips and recipes for camping.