Last Days at Glacier National Park

Bridge at Glacier National Park

Wednesday 07/21/21 We drove into the park early so we could get a parking spot at McDonald Lake. There were just two spots available.

The rain forest at Sperry Chalet Trailhead in Glacier National Park

We went on a hike called Sperry Chalet Trailhead. The sign said it was a rainforest. It all looked the same, every turn around the path all looked the same. It ended at a bridge over water.

Glacier-cold river at Glacier National Park

Kevin got his feet wet and said it was glacier-cold.

Cabins and houses line the shores of Glacier National Park

We had purchased Lake McDonald boat ride tickets months ago. It was a nice ride around the lake. We had thought it went up a river but nope. One interesting thing we saw was some houses and cabins across the lake. That land was purchased by individuals before the national park. The national park can’t take away their ownership so the park actually goes out and around them. If they ever sell, the national park has first dibs to buy it.We stopped at the visitors center on the way out. In the parking lot we saw the Oscar Myer Wiener-mobile. It was getting a lot of attention and pictures taken.

Huckleberry scones for dessert

For dinner that night, we decided to eat in West Glacier. We found an old building with Belton Grill & Dining Room & Tap Room. We were told we needed reservations or we could eat at the bar. The bar was fine. Kevin enjoyed visiting with the bartender who kept up a lively conversation. I had a Huckleberry Mojo and it was delicious. For dessert we had Huckleberry scones. Yum! We asked the bartender if huckleberries are usually sweet. He retrieved out of his stash and put some in a bowl for us. Nope, they are not sweet. He said sometimes they might be a little sweet but sweetener is added.

Our evening walk-about gave us a smoky sunset

Smoky skies still prevailed. It does make beautiful sunsets.

Moonbeam through the window

Next time, on our blog, our favorite place to visit…and we didn’t even know about it before a campground host recommended it!

Glacier National Park

22nd trip – days 105-122 July 16-Aug 1, 2021 VACATION Glacier National Park, Montana, Idaho, and Washington

Sign off a little road on the northwest side of the park.

Sunday 07/18/21 We sure didn’t want to leave Jim & Mary’s RV Park. So far, it is our favorite campground. The tall pine trees made a nice canopy all around. Kevin spoke with a gardner this morning and he said they water every flower and plant every single day. We headed north on Hwy 93. We drove through several Native American Reservations. At one point, I looked up the elevation on my app. It should 3200 and I didn’t believe it. I looked at Kevin’s phone and it said the same thing. I said Apple must be messed up so Kevin asked Siri. Sure enough! This is very low. We looked up West Glacier and it is only 3300 and the highest road in Glacier NP as 6100! What?! The funny thing is, Kevin said from the time we left home that he thought we were continually climbing. Goes to show how parents say they went up hill, both ways, in the snow, going to school. HAHAHA  We saw Flathead Lake and it is very big. Lots of nice areas to boat with several marinas all around. There are quite a few little towns and shopping areas and campgrounds. The whole way up this road, we can’t tell if there are mountains around us. This is due to smoke from the Oregon fire.Next we drove to our campground in West Glacier. West Glacier is a tiny “town” with a gas station, bar, gift store, and a deli. There are a few more buildings but not many.

West Glacier RV Park

We got to our campground where at check in we were told there is no water. But they are working to fix it. Oh boy. This campground has no tall trees, dry grass but it all nice long pull through 60 ft sites. We are on the end and have a “back yard” and a “front yard”. HAHA Kevin would later say, “meet me in the back yard” because there was shade from HOWE (our Home On WhEels), or “meet me in the front yard, at the table, for card game.”

West Glacier RV Park

The campground is surrounded by thick forest. We got set up, drove to West Glacier to use the bathroom (since campground didn’t have water) and then drove into the park. The road goes through very thick forest and you can’t see anything.

Getting his National Park Passport stamped. It is set outside, due to Covid.

We stopped at Apgar Visitor Center. Sadly, there isn’t a place to learn about the park. I think it is due to covid. There were Rangers behind shields outside where you could ask them questions. We have seen this at other national parks.

Looking through the smoke. View of river and road below.

From there we drove more into the park. We could get tiny glimpses of Lake McDonald. We drove through Apgar, a tiny “town” in the park. No places to park so we kept going.

Sign for church at Glacier National Park.

We saw the amphitheater and there was a sign saying “worship service” tonight at 5:30. Other days they have Ranger talks and star information at night. After driving around but only seeing trees, we went back for the worship service.

Church service. What a glorious setting!

It is ministry called ParkLife Ministry. It is a Christian Ministry in the National Parks and has been serving in the since 1951. It is an interdenominational ministry and doesn’t receive federal funds. One lady lead the music with a guitar and then later gave her testimony. Kevin enjoyed it (I am deaf). There were probably 20 people there. I liked watching the lake behind them and seeing people kayak and boat past on the water and others just walking a trail. By the time we got back to HOWE, our water still wasn’t there. We walked to the office and they said we had to turn some valve. Glad we asked! We had a little water this evening.

The famous Going-To-The-Sun Road.

Tuesday 07/20/21 Today was on our own. Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. We got on our way at 8:00. We drove the Going-to-the-Sun road from west to east.

Waterfall with a Red Bus crossing the bridge.

It is a little clearer and we could see some rocky areas on the mountains. A lot of the pull offs were completely full. The view is nice once you start up the side of the mountains. However, the smoke makes everything mainly just an outline of mountain tops. Got to Logan Pass and Rangers had the parking lot blocked because it was full. We learned later at St Mary’s Visitor Center that Logan Pass had filled up completely at 6:30 AM that morning. Crazy!!! Tried several other pull offs but all were full.

Even in destruction, beauty is seen.

Going down the east side and the landscape changes somewhat. There was a fire through here so you see tall posts of former trees. The nice thing is you can see through them and to the views. Besides the smoke. Stopped at St Mary’s Visitor Center where it was extremely windy. Very desolate looking. People here call it the plains. We saw an eagle carrying a fish to a nest. That was really neat to see. Kevin got out his binoculars and saw some “poop” go flying out of the nest and arched all the way down. 🙂

East side of Glacier National Park.

Continuing on, we drove to Swiftcurrent Lake. This is on the east side of the park. The smoke was still thick but it looks like a neat place to come back to for a visit.

Of course, Kevin saw this at a shop and got a great laugh out of it. 🙂

Kevin laughed about this!

Next time you will read about our hike, boat ride, and yummy Huckleberries.

We Took A Vacation to Glacier National Park. Part 1.

22nd trip – days 105-122 July 16-Aug 1, 2021 VACATION Glacier National Park, Montana, Idaho, and Washington

We planned this vacation back in October. We thought it would be fun to see Glacier NP. While there, we could swing over to our great friends, Cathy and Dave, in Spokane. I had read from a blog that their favorite campground was West Glacier. Kevin and I looked at it online and booked it.

Friday 07/16/21 As usually, we left after Kevin got off work. We got into really slow traffic between Farmington and Layton, the same slow downs as last fall. Once we passed Ogden, it was smooth sailing and hardly any traffic. The sky looks yellowish due to wildfires in northern California and a big one in Oregon. But at least we can see the mountains. That would changed the farther north we go. Around Malad we got under some storm clouds. It didn’t rain on us but it cooled us down as the temperature outside had been 104. Just past Pocatello, ID, we entered the Indian Reservation named Fort Hall. Just off the freeway was Buffalo Meadow casino, hotel, and RV park. We were told to check in at the hotel main desk.

Fort Hall, ID open gate for a shortcut to the casino!

After checking in, we drove to the edge of casino and turned into the RV Park. This park only has about 17 spots. There was a beautiful green space, probably 2 acres, with a large Pavillion and picnic tables. We saw a large bathhouse but didn’t use it. We got parked easily in the pull through. The sites have dry grass and are narrow but a very good place to stop for the night. The site was so level, we didn’t even unhook the truck. Right behind us was the opening in the fence to go to the casino. I thought our friend, Cathy, would get a kick out of that!

Delicious food at Buffalo Meadow Casino

We decided to go in for dinner as we saw a bill board advertising the sports grill. We both thought it very clean and better than other casinos we have been in. Dinner is the sports bar was fried bread with stuff on it (in Utah it is called a Navaho taco). Delicious! Oh, when we were ordering, I pointed to what I wanted and said, “I don’t know how to pronounce this, how do you pronounce it?” And the nice waiter told me. Apparently. I am deaf and still don’t know how to pronounce it. Why do I forget and ask?! Deaf moment. 🙂 We were asleep by 9:00 pm because we both woke up at 4:30, 5:15, 5:30 etc this morning because we were so very excited for this trip.

Saturday 07/17/21 We woke up at 6:30 am and had a good sleep. With it being so smoky outside, we slept with the windows closed and the A/C on. Kevin said he would hear it kick on sometimes but other than that, we slept well. I wasn’t hungry but fixed a bagel for Kevin to eat in the truck. We pulled out, got gas and a drink at a gas station right next to the park. Then we were on the road by 7:00 am.  It was fun for Kevin to see a whole new-to-him state. The farther north we went, the smokier it got. We stopped at Dillon for gas and to walk around. Along the way, the actual interstate had gravel on it for miles. I remember this part I-15 being under construction clear back when I first came up with my friend to her parents, probably 6 years ago. There wasn’t a lot of vehicles on the road but a few passed us and boy did the gravel pelt the truck! The windshield even got a ding. 😦 On to I-90. The land is beautiful: dry with sage on one side and green pine trees on the other. Kevin listened to a book on tape and I just looked at the scenery. The day of travel time seemed to fly by.

Jim & Mary’s RV Park, Missoula, MT.

Our campground for the night is Jim & Mary’s RV Park in Missoula and we pulled in at 2:00 PM. Let me tell you, so far, our most favorite one. We are bemoaning the fact that we can’t stay here longer. We have never seen so many flowers, plants, statues, and garden displays. Kevin asked at the office and they said there are 4 couples who “workamp” (camp for free or discounted in exchange for doing work) here just on the grounds. 8 people. I can see how it would take all of them. There is even a green house here. We pull into our pull through site, C-10 and start setting up. I saw what I thought was a reflection in the big window. I continued doing my duty and then came back and looked and discovered the window was broken and about 1/3 of it was gone!

Thankful it wasn’t something worse than a broken window!

We knew exactly what happened. It was the gravel on the long stretch of I-15. Well, we both know that there are a lot of worse things that could happen. We went to the office to see if they knew of a window fixer but they didn’t.

Kevin calling places to see if they would come fix the window.

Kevin tried calling Safelite but was told to get online. Online we saw they only do windshields. By this time, we were hungry (we had snacked on peanut butter pretzels) and so we went in search of what the office recommended. First, we went to an RV parts place and got a cover for the back bumper (where you put the stinky hose) because we also noticed that the cover was gone today. HA He got the covers but they didn’t have anything to repair or tape up a window. We went to Iron Horse Bar & Grill. Kevin ordered fish & chips and I got nachos. The service was very bad, they brought my nachos out with japelpenos, I had requested none of those. I had to track down our waiter and tell him because he didn’t check on us after the kitchen brought out the food. We had to flag him down again for refills of drinks. And, the food wasn’t tasty at all. Disappointment. After we eat, we found an Ace Hardware, got gorilla tape and plastic and we both said we wanted to get back to HOWE.

Taping up the window with Gorilla Tape.

Kevin taped up the window inside and out. He decided to wait on covering it up with plastic.

The screen held all the pieces. That is fantastic! Outside all taped up.

We are very thankful the screen held all the pieces. Nothing came through inside! We drove down the road for gas, drinks and ice cream.

Relaxing and reading.

Back at the campground we sat in our chairs and enjoyed the tall pine trees, grass, and shade. Later we walked around this gorgeous flowered campground. Back when we first were coming into Missoula, I asked Kevin to watch to see if there was anything he wanted to go and do, since we were here so early. Then we discovered the broken window. He said I have to chose what to do next time. HAHAHA

Which Road? The War Of The Signs

Mirror Lake Highway, UT

Continuing on from last week…

07/01/21 Today I felt so very relaxed that I was almost comatose. I did some things with the timecards for work, read, sorted and edited pictures, read, pictures, and napped. For lunch I heated up the second bag of sloppy joes. Later, we took a drive. This drive we hit the jackpot! We like to take the side roads and this didn’t disappoint. Kevin is getting really good at spotting the “historical” markers on the sides of the road. 🙂

The first we saw was at the split of I-80 and I-84. The marker said, “The Battle of the Signs”. It told about how the people in Coalville wanted the Lincoln Hwy to go past them on I-80 but Ogden wanted people to go to their town on I-84. One side would put up a sign and the other side would turn it, or paint over it, or knock it down. Oh, this made us roar with laughter. Kevin said it reminded him of a cartoon. Both ways boasting it was the best way to go to Salt Lake City.

The Battle of the Signs – made us laugh!
This sign leads you one way…
This sign leads you the other way!

We then continued north, to the side of I-84 and ended up in Henefer. The road was closed and we had to detour. We went on West Henefer road and then came to Highway 65 (just a pave, 2 lane road) and we decided to turn right. Soon we saw a marker and shocked of all shocked – it was the Hastings Cutoff!!! (Read the Donner Party).

We stumbled upon Hastings Cutoff – A big problem for The Donner Party

Farther down we saw where they turned. Continuing down the mountain, we saw East Canyon Reservoir. There is a lovely campground and resort there and we kept it in mind to camp there. (This evening we looked it up and it is a members-only place. Oh well.)

On top of Utah mountains

Steep mountains, green pines and green grass everywhere. At the summit, we read that the pioneers were so discouraged as they looked and saw the taller, steeper, and rougher Wasatch Mountains in front of them. At Big Mountain Pass (the summit) there was a parking lot and trails.

Loud banging from just left of the building HAHA

We stopped and admired the beauty. Kevin heard this loud banging and I kid you not, on the side of the mountain, next to a building, was a guy playing the drums! You could hear it a long ways. And he was really good. We got such a kick out of that. We decided to not continue on to Salt Lake but turned around. Driving through Henefer, we looked for a little cafe to eat but didn’t see any food places. Back to Coalville we decided on Annie B’s Pizza. But nope, it closed at 7:00 and this was 7:30. We walked on down to Mom’s Place Diner which was a converted house. We were surprised at all the take out orders that came through. We ate there: Kevin had patty melt (said Polar King was better) and I had chicken strips. We talked about the towns of old and how they had to have everything in each town and if the stores didn’t have it, they would order it (think Sears catalog, Wells Fargo, etc.) Then we realized it was the early “Amazon” or order online. Why did that end and then now, that is how people shop. I think it is a cycle where people don’t want what they grew up with. Just a thought. HAHA On our campground walk-about this evening, we saw that the campground is really full. Lots of groups having fun, it looks like.

Friday 07/02/21 Beth came up to visit around 2:00. It was nice to catch up with each other. We played games (Qwixx & Golf) outside and then Kevin cooked Green Chili Smashburgers. Oh, so delicious. After dinner, we walked around the campground to show Beth. She was impressed. It was warm out and we decided we wanted some ice cream so we loaded up in our truck and went back to Polar King in Coalville. It was the first time we saw it packed, which is good.  A lot of people looked sunburned and tired from boating all day on Echo Reservoir. We took our shakes to go and ate them at the campground. Soon Beth left. It was a nice day. Oh, one thing I saw on the Facebook RV Community group made me sad. It was a lady that said, “we’ve been traveling full time for a year now and can’t stand being together 24/7/365 even with breaks from each other. So we’re considering trading in the rig for two smaller rigs and travel separately.” Then she goes on to ask if anyone does that. I thought that was so very sad. However, now Kevin and I are joking about traveling separately and I said I would have my trailer fully decked out in yellow, pink, light green, and light blue. HAHAHA

Saturday 07/03/21 We slept in. Then Kevin made pancakes on the Black Stone Griddle.After breakfast, we drove to Park City Museum on main street. The museum cost $15 each and it was worth it.

Training area in Park City for Ski Jumping

Next we went to the 2002 Winter Olympics Museum. It is free and so nicely done. There is something about “us” in Utah hosting the world just months after the terrorist attacks on “9/11”. The pride of our country, of our state, of our president sitting with the athletics, of the SLOC putting on the best and most successful winter games to date and the remembering of being there at the events…still brings a tear or two to our eyes.

Beautiful rain

I didn’t write anything more in our travel journal for this trip. One day we went to Wyoming Downs! We had never been to a horse race before. It was very fun to watch but we quickly got bored with the waiting between each race (that is when people place their bets). We didn’t know anything about it and how it works. We learned all about it. 🙂

The Longest Picnic Table We Have Ever Seen!

21st trip – days 94-104, June 25- June 27, 2021 Wasatch State Park, Midway, UT, site 49,   June 27-July 5, 2021 Echo Island, Coalville UT, site E41

This trip started out as two weekends but you know us! We want to camp/travel as much as we can. So, we decided to add a week in-between.

Gorgeous view of valley below, Heber Valley, on our way to Park City.

Friday, 06/25/21 As we got on the freeway, we both commented to each other that there was hardly any traffic. Reasons why abound and we came up with several possibilities: a bit later than last weekend but before the evening rush? Everyone was already gone for the weekend? There continued to be very few cars. Later as I looked at my Twitter news, I read there had been a motorcycle accident behind us that had completely shut down the entire freeway. Sad for the guy who passed away and his family.We drove through Provo Canyon. This is the third time we have driven up this canyon in three weeks. 🙂 We went to Wasatch State Park. Thankfully I had looked at the map the day before because it turns out the park is huge.

HOWE all set up at Wasatch State Park.

We found our campground, checked in with the friendly camp hosts and then parked at our site. It was a pull in site that is curved like a C. I asked Kevin if he likes those and he said he does, if it fits our trailer. Our site has lots of trees around and can’t see past ourselves, which is nice. We actually like both kinds of places to camp: closed in with lots of trees AND wide open, great view sites.

Kevin is ready for his nap.

As soon as we were set up, Kevin took his chair down a short path to take a nap. Pretty soon he came back to HOWE, signed in American Sign Language (I lost all my hearing 03/19/20) to be quiet and to follow him. There was a large young deer just eating away. He would look at us and then just go back to eating. We watched him for probably 10 minutes before he slowly wandered off. After Kevin’s nap, we got in the truck and drove around a little bit. We discovered we had no cell service so we thought we better let a few people know. We ended up at Heber at the Maverick Gas Station for drinks (diet Coke and diet Pepsi). Then we went back to HOWE for dinner. I had made a roast in the crock pot at home and used my Food Saver and then froze it. So I just plopped a bag of roast in some water to boil. When it was hot, I took out the pasta salad I made at home and we ate outside.

That tablecloth is 84 inches!

Oh, picnic tables! I am so very happy when campgrounds have them. But, I never knew they came in all different sizes. Not kidding! On this one, I set my 84 inch tablecloth on the table and it barely covered 1/2 the table. The funny thing is, the campsite only allows 8 people so Kevin and I were laughing at how big the people must be to fit only 8 people at that table. (Of course we know that family and friends will often camp together and so the large table would be needed.) That evening I read another book in the fiction quilt book series that Marsha, our sister-in-law, gave me. Kevin started reading “The Lincoln Conspiracy” on his kindle. I had read it a few months ago and wow, it is so good. Kevin was hooked reading it, too.

Antique vehicle show.

Saturday, 06/26/21 Breakfast was muffins I had made at home. Then we decided to go to an antique show in Wallsburg. We saw an advertisement for it on an old thrasher by Deer Creek Reservoir. We thought we would be there just a hour or two, but no, we were there the entire day. They had everything from tractors, tractor pull, all sorts of vehicles, plus odds and ends. We were glad we went.

When we got back to HOWE, around 5:30, we got out some homemade sloppy joes that I had made at home and sealed with the Food Saver. Chips and homemade molasses cookies finished off the meal.

Sunday, 06/27/21 MOVING DAY! We had originally planned to go home this day but we added the week. When I looked at the next campground, low and behold, the exact site we had reserved for July 1-5 was available.  😁 Check out at Wasatch State Park was at 2:00 which is so nice! We hung out, reading our books until it was time to go. Kevin saw a hummingbird and decided to stop at Walmart for a feeder. It is so nice to have cell service again. Not that I need to check Facebook or text but just to look up things that come to mind: planning a trip, look up the weather, what is the news, etc. I feel the same way on a cruise ship.

All set up for the 4th of July.

We got backed into our site which is very nice. Trees behind us and to the side, with a tiny stream running past. Behind the trees is an open, green field. Kevin says he can really hear the traffic on the freeway but it doesn’t bother him. The evening we sat outside and read our books and people watched. We also watched our favorite Youtube RV channels.

Monday 06/28/21 For breakfast, I heated up some gravy that I made at home and cooked some biscuits in the oven for biscuits and gravy. Still getting use to the oven; it works great but takes just a little bit longer than normal. Then I did some work. Then I did research and booking campgrounds which took me about 4 hours. We decided to extend our Glacier National Park trip. By adding 3 days to Kevin’s PTO, we get 5 more days of traveling. So I figured out how far we want to go, used my document of places and things to see that I have been keeping, and got our camping stops planned and booked. I really do like doing that and planning it out. After that, I read.

Long road and beautiful drive on the top of mountains.

Then we drove on a road that I found on the map that goes east of Coalville. What a beautiful drive. The landscape along the paved road is very green with lots of trees and bushes and a lovely river (good size for Utah standard). There were lots of farms with cattle, horses, and hay fields. Some huge houses, too. The road went past large natural gas sites (we think where they compress the gas).

Boundary marker for Wyoming and Utah.

Soon we saw a marker and it is the corner post of the southwestern corner of Wyoming. We went past it until the road turned to rough gravel. There isn’t anything out there except the gas lines and signs talking about snowmobiling. Back to town and we stopped at Polar King. We thought this would be the normal “burgers and shakes” place but it was more than that. They had indoor and outdoor seating. We ate Navajo taco and cheeseburger inside. Kevin looked at the menu for a patty melt but didn’t see it. After he ordered his cheeseburger, he saw a white board with the special of the day: patty melt. HAHAHA I told him we might have to go back. The temperatures are perfect here and we haven’t ran our A/C at all. It is about 10 degrees cooler here than at home. When we got back to HOWE, we walked around the campground. It is really quite large. There is a good-size fishing pond and we saw a grandpa teaching a boy how to fish.

Tuesday 06/29/21 This morning I was busy with work things. This kept me busy until about lunch time. For lunch I used the second package of gravy for biscuits and gravy. I found the cutest little Pillsbury biscuits at the grocery store before we left; they have 5 biscuits instead of 8. Perfect for the two of us. The rest of the afternoon I worked on editing and sorting pictures on my laptop. I have so many and have fallen way behind in weeding out some, editing some, tagging and putting them in albums. I like doing it but sometimes it is overwhelming because I have so many. HAHA After work, Kevin watched a couple of shows while I read.

He got his Patty Melt.

Then he decided we need to go back to Polar King in Coalville so he can get a patty melt. So off we went. This time had a chicken fried steak, mash potatoes and salad. Kevin got his patty melt and said it was so yummy. Of course we had to finish it with a shake. Went back to HOWE and was cold cold cold from the shakes and the weather had dark clouds. We wished it would rain (we are in a severe drought) but not one drop. We walked around the campground for our walk-about. Up until this evening, we have had the entire front part of the campground to ourselves. It is nice because we can see “incoming”(we like to see all the different types of RVs coming in and out of a campground). There isn’t an office at the front of the campground, it is way in the back. There is a gate where you punch in a code. Many people don’t have that code and have to call for it (as did we when we first go here). So that is interesting to watch as the RV’s pile up in a train clear out onto the main road. After our walk-about, we just settled in with movies and relaxing.

Wednesday 06/30/21 Perfect weather continues for us here. Highs in the 70s to low 80s and 50s at night. Sunshine. In the afternoon, we headed to Park City. We tried to visit a fabric store from The Traveler’s Quilt Book there but it was gone and a distillery was in it’s place. We drove to Historical Downtown Park City. We have been here several times over the past years. We walked along but didn’t see any stores we wanted to go into, except for Mountain Town Olive Oil. We went in and Kevin bought me two bottles. This is my favorite place to get olive oils.

Bricked and curved ceiling at No Name Saloon in Park City.

We looked for a fun place to eat and ended up at No Name Saloon. 🙂 Kevin had the special, Philly cheesesteak and I had fish and chips. The building is very old and unique with curved ceilings covered in bricks and a motor with a belt that turned the ceiling fans. After dinner we were done and went back home to HOWE. Echo Island RV Campground sent a text that they were having a food truck and showing the movie “Up” tonight. We thought that was a fun idea. We walked around but didn’t stay for the movie.

My menu for this trip. “BS” is Black Stone Griddle. “FS” is Food Saver.

(More about this trip in next week’s blog.)

Thank You, Readers. Welcome, New Year

Kevin and I are very thankful to each of you who take the time to read about our travels. We enjoy sharing our entries from our travel journal. We started the travel journal for ourselves when we bought our travel trailer in September, 2020. We had so many friends and family who wanted to know more and to “come along with us” so we decided to post our journal on this blog. I posted a lot of the stats when we marked our 1 year, in September. Today I want to share a highlight or two from the year 2021.

7 quilts have been made this year while traveling in HOWE. (HOWE is the name of our travel trailer – Home On WhEls, pronounced How-ee). This one pictured is called “Carpenter’s Wheel”. I have since finished the border and am in the process of doing the binding.

This shirt I got Kevin really sums up all about us! HAHA

Thank you, again, for coming along with us through this blog. In 2021, we camped 138 days, so there is still a lot to share with you. Keep checking back. You can even sign up for email alert when a new blog is posted. We try to add a new post on Fridays.

Getting Out Of The Heat.

20th trip – days 90-93, June 18-20, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

Wow-eee! This place is amazing! And we almost didn’t come here. A long while back, Kevin and I booked a campsite at Diamond Fork up Spanish Fork Canyon. We drove there one day to see what it is like. What is there? Beauty and a paved camp site. But no power, water, or dump. Sunday, coming back from Jordanelle, he said he was a bit nervous about two things: 1. Cell service and 2. We have been having record breaking heat. In fact, last week was the hottest ever on record here. We knew it would be hot and without shore power, we can’t run our A/C. We can use our generator but we don’t want it to be on too long. So, Sunday when we got home, we canceled Diamond Fork and looked for another place to stay. Because of higher elevation, Jordanelle State Park was a good 10 degrees cooler last week than in the valley so it seemed a good area to come back to. Unfortunately, Jordanelle is full this week. I didn’t look at campgrounds too far off the beaten path because Kevin needs good cell service. I looked online at Mountain Valley RV Resort. I had tried several times in the past and it is always full. Well, wouldn’t ya know, there was 1 campsite available. We booked it. This place is voted one of the most luxurious resorts the 1/2 of the US. Updated note: Mountain Valley RV Resort is now rated #1 in the whole US by voters and readers of US Today. And yes, we can see why.

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

We have stayed at other places with “resort” in the name but they don’t compare to this. Our site is 80 feet long, grass the entire sides of us, concrete underneath us and a great picnic table. This is listed as a “deluxe” but it was all that was available.  HAHA They have two sections, one with kids and one adults-only. We are in the area with kids but the few we have seen are well behaved. This place has an adult-only club house, pool, and hot tub. Knowing this, I went shopping today and ended up with two swimming suits. 🙂 When we started setting up our site, Kevin was pressing the button for the slide to extend, he didn’t realize a 12-can box of Diet Coke had gotten wedged along the side. As it went out, it exploded some of the cans. What a mess…all over the floor and counters. Plus it popped off the framing trim. Thankfully it popped back on.I was able to get the pop cleaned up but I got extremely hot. I don’t normally sweat but I was and I knew I was way too hot.

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

Hum, looks like Kevin only has a head! HAHAHA

As soon as we got set up, we changed and went to the pool. It felt wonderful and cooled us both down to perfect temperatures. There were only a few other people in the pool. We were in there for about an hour. Then we went to the hot tub and oh, it was like a hot bath. 🙂 After we relaxed there, we were the only ones in the whole area now, we got out and air dried on the pool chairs. Soon I was getting hungry so we headed back to HOWE (our travel trailer name: Home On WhEels). I had made bbq beef in the crockpot yesterday and then put some in a food saver bag. We had that on buns, some potato salad and macaroni salad. We ate outside; the weather was absolutely perfect. After that, it was time for our walk-about. This place is huge!  Kevin was able to chat with quite a few people and that made me glad. (I am deaf.) Back to HOWE and Kevin wanted to swim again. We went but I just sat in a pool chair and read a book. So relaxing. Kevin was able to visit with 4 people while swimming and relaxing. Back to HOWE. Kevin “ordered” his dream truck for full time RV and it isn’t a bad price at all. Hum….

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

We didn’t do much the next day. We hung around the campground reading, napping and of course lots of time in the adults-only pool and hot tub.

Dinner on the picnic table. Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

Last week at our home, Kevin smoked a brisket. He didn’t use anything on it except for some salt and pepper. It tasted divine! I have a Food Saver that takes most of the air out of the bag and then seals it. This device makes food last a lot longer. I highly recommend it to everyone. With the leftover brisket, I put it in several Food Saver bags and sealed it up. The nice thing is, you can plop the sealed bag in boiling water and heat up the food. I did this with the brisket and it held the moisture, flavor and deliciousness.

Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT June 18-20, 2021

On our evening walk-about, we saw this and doubled over laughing. A guy was in his golf cart and was “walking” his dog around the park. What a clever idea. 🙂

Another great weekend. It was nice to be 1500 ft higher in elevation as that made being higher in the mountains made it much cooler.

With a Campsite Slope Like This…

19th Trip- Days 87-89, June 11-13, 2021 Jordanelle State Park, Heber, UT

Back 1/2 of HOWE – what a campsite slope! Jordanelle SP, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

Friday, 06/11/21 I realized something this week. I am not joking one bit. Literally, there is more food in the fridge in HOWE (our name for our travel trailer – Home On WhEels) than in our house fridge! (Minus the extra condiments.) This cracked me up! I am so thankful we can keep the fridge on while HOWE is at home so I don’t need to bring the cold food in and back out of the house. Makes it so nice. As Kevin was packing tonight, he said he didn’t need to pack any clothes because he has enough still in HOWE. That made my day! 🙂 I have never been to Jordanelle Reservoir except in passing. Kevin camped here for the Winter Klondike a few years with Boy Scouts when we was a leader. From our house, we could go two totally different ways but we decided to go the south way through Provo Canyon. The truck pulled HOWE with no problems at all up the mountains. Passing Deer Creek Reservoir, we saw more than 10 people kite-sailing on the water. It looked like they had enough wind to really get going. We marveled how the city of Heber has grown. We got to the campground and was told “take a right and then a right” into our loop. So easy.

How can I get on that first step? It is higher than my knee!

As we pulled up to our campsite, we started laughing, kind of in shock and kind of in wonder. The site is so steep! Thankfully it is just a pull off. We got out and as we set up, literally the jack in the front is all the way to it’s lowest point. The back is so high, the bumper is almost to my shoulders. And let me tell you….I can’t reach the bottom step to get in! I am 5’0” and I can’t get in.

Can’t reach the door handle!

Thankfully I am able to come at it from the side and swing myself up to grab the safety handle. There is no way I can open the door latch. We laughed as I said, “short people problems!”

Safety chain so I don’t worry. 🙂

I knew I would be worried so Kevin kindly hooked up the safety chains to the truck. Otherwise, I would worry about rolling down the hill, even though we have the chocks. Dinner was pulled pork sandwiches, chips and potato salad. Then we walked around the campground loops.

Jordanelle SP, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

This is a great campground! And the reservoir is just a bonus. The sites are huge huge huge with paved roads, paved parking pads, concrete patio with concrete fire pits. The campground host told us campfires are allowed here, if we don’t let them get too big. I was surprised because the state banned them the other day. So that is nice. The walk was enjoyable, perfect weather with no wind. Kevin talked to someone camping here on our walk and he said it was 36 degrees last night and very windy. Burrr. The lake has several sail boats and I think they are beautiful to watch. We also saw every other kind of boat craft. It cooled off pretty quickly so I came inside and read while Kevin read outside. Now a little snack of cookies and more relaxing. 🙂

Look at all slope of the campsite. Even had to block up the table. 🙂

Saturday 06/12/21 We slept in until 8:30! For breakfast, Kevin made pancakes on the griddle.

Kevin in the kayak on Jordanelle Reservoir

After breakfast, we drove over to the marina. There were quite a few boats being launched. I always like watching boats. We then drove to where the kayak rental is, a place with a sign that said, “sup kayak” with an arrow to the road. For some reason, that cracked me up. Very cute. Kevin rented a kayak for 2 hours and off he went. I didn’t go because I get very dizzy if anything rocks too much.

Sitting on the grass reading a book. Jordanelle SP, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

I spread a blanket under a tree and read my book. And I people-watched, which was very fun. Lots of families getting together for meals under the canopies and all were reserved.  When it was about time for Kevin to be done, I walked on down to the beach and watched him come in. He said he liked the kayak and the water is nice. He would like to kayak through a river sometime. Back to HOWE we went for lunch. It was a different kind of lunch for us than I normally make. We had chips and a 5 layer dip I had bought at the store. Well, we both said that my homemade layer dip is much better. 🙂 Then it was nap / reading time. We had a nice large tree in our site and it provided nice shade. Kevin took a nap in his outside chair and I read.

Jordanelle Dam, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

Soon we were off for a drive. We drove to the Jordanelle Dam and learned it was built in 1993. The surface area of the water is equal to over 3000 high-school football fields. The height of the dam is 400 vertical feet and is about 100 feet below the stream bed. It is built to withstand a 6.5 earthquake directly below the dam. The reservoir’s average annual yield is enough to take care of about 400,000 individuals in addition to supplementing irrigation.

Jordanelle SP, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

We drove on up the mountain to Kamas. We saw a humungous sign someone had posted in their yard about “Slow down” you blank, blank, blank. It seemed the homeowner had had quite enough of people driving too fast. Poor guy. That evening we walked round a different side of the campground and saw several deer.

This is a great State Park and we want to come back…but maybe get a more level campsite. HAHAHA

Jordanelle SP, Heber, UT June 11-13, 2021

“Sure, You Can Fit Here, Just Follow Me!”

18th Trip- Days 84-86 June 4-6, 2021 Pleasant Creek RV Resort, Mt Pleasant, UT site, 106, well 66, no 68! HA

You know it is an exciting place when you drive through a town and it tickles your interest to know more. This is how we ended up in the small town, population 3,418, of Mt Pleasant, UT. If you have been reading our blogs, you will remember a few weeks before that we had driven through here while camping in Nephi. It intrigued us so much that we quickly made campground reservations at Pleasant Creek RV Resort. So this day we pulled up to the check in. As we have always found where we camp, the staff was very friendly. We were told to follow a man on his golf cart and he would show us our campsite. As we came up to it, we had to make an impossible right turn into the site. Kevin will explain: With a long bed truck and a 26 ft HOWE (our travel trailer we named for Home On WhEels), we take up a bit of length. The guide led us to a beautiful campsite, however, we could not make the bend to get into it! There was a large rock on one side and trees on the other. After trying several times, the guide offered us another site. We made it in there in great shape. Lessons learned: you are responsible for your rig. The guide thought we could make it, but we could not. Always look and trust your spotter (my sweet wife) as you cannot see all angles from the drivers seat. It is a beautiful campground, but was laid out in a weird way.

The evenings were perfect sitting-under-the-stars times. This campground has a lot of tall trees and we even saw deer on several walks.

On Saturday, we did our exploring. We started at this museum in Mt Pleasant. They were having a yard sale in front of the museum so we had to walk in-between the things they were selling. This is a small museum and we could only go on the first floor.

Google showed us another museum that looked interesting. It is Fairview Museum in Fairview, UT. It used to be a school. When it was still a school it had a fire. You can still see the black burn marks on some places on the outside walls. It was fun to go through, as it reminded me of the middle school layout I attended. This museum has not only local and area history, but it is also very patricotic.

Old trucks.

I have a hobby of sewing (making quilts) and my eyes went right to this machine. It is a Singer Sewing Machine with Mother of Pearl. I noticed the inlaid pearl looks like quilt patterns! I wonder who used this machine. Did it get passed down generations?

The museum host told us about this “house” down the road. We had to drive past. It was an old granary that a person bought and turned into a house. What an idea!

After lunch at Home Plate Cafe, we walked the length of downtown. Most every building has a historical marker like this one. We stopped at each one, marveling at the architecture, the stories behind each building, and how they would have different businesses through time. The Sundance Kid??? Wow.

Along the outside wall of this building it says, ” To Honor Those Who Left Our Midst To Fight For Freedom.” The statues depict the different uniforms throughout time.

That evening we had our walk-about. We saw more deer and then this beautiful scene.

Part of the thrill of our camping/traveling adventures is finding small town gems. Off the beaten highway there is history made, both old and new. So when you travel, be sure to stop and see the little things, get out and read the historical markers, and in this, you will be enriched by the stories of those who have gone before us.

X Marks the Spot if You Have the Wiggles

Howe (our trailer – Home on Wheels) has the wiggles. With proper chocks under the wheels, and the stabilizers down, it still feels wiggly when walking in it. Stabilizers on smaller travel trailers are not levelers. They are designed to stabilize the trailer once it is leveled. Even with Howe leveled and stabilized, you can tell when someone is walking in the trailer. I did in-depth research (watched several YouTube videos) and decided to order X chocks.

These are jack like devices that fit between the tandem wheels of the trailer and pushes against the tires. This will greatly diminish the front and back movement of the trailer. This does not replace wheel chocks. It just enhances the stabilization of the trailer.

I have found these to greatly improve the comfort when inside HOWE. It even stays stable when Charla does the high jump into our bed. (more details in another post). They work great with HOWE but will also work great with fifth wheels.


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