Friday, July 3, 2015

2015-16 Moab to Spanish Fork Utah


Moab Utah

Moab Utah
Spanish Fork Utah
Salt Lake City Utah

Campground:  Canyon View Rv Park, Spanish Fork.  (city park)  Water and Electric (30 amp) sites with dump station available.  Basically a back-in parking lot style.  Backs up to a nice treed area including a golf course and pond.  $15 per night.  Call (801) 798-5000 to make reservations or you can drive up and use the self pay box.  This park appears to be little known and not very busy.


Moab continued:

shared some great
stories and history
I drove into town today to wander around the shops, have an ice coffee, lunch and just chat with a number of the shop workers and owners.  One place in particular, the Sandstone Gallery caught my eye, so I went in and looked around at some of the most amazing sandstone “art” I’ve ever seen.  On one wall were cut slabs of sandstone that they rightly call “Nature’s Most Beautiful Paintings”  and they sell a lot of it.  After talking to the owner (at least I think he was one of the owners) of the Sandstone Gallery, he started to tell me a bit about the history of the building which goes back to the 1800’s.  It was once a Mormon bath house and in the basement are the original copper bathtubs and all the accessories that went with it.  Completely preserved.  The Mormon church is working with the owners and hopefully will one day open up the back half of the store and basement for tours.  I was told that Bingham Young even bathed here.  The original soap, copper bathtubs and apparatus used to heat the water using coal are still down there.  Even though the original stairs are covered up, even it is still in place.  I got a quick peak in the back where there was also an original car repair garage and was able to see a few of the wooden lockers used by the Mormon’s before going down into the bathhouse below.  The owner pointed out a small pair of baby’s shoes that were found in a small leather pouch, hanging along with a few other artifacts on a wall.  Now that’s what I call learning about history from one of the owners of an historic building.  And it’s been designated an historical site, so no doubt the next time I come through Moab, I might be able to tour the basement baths….

talk about rock art

these are actual sandstone slabs

After talking about Native American Indians,  the shop owner also told me how he sells to one Indian Lady copper at wholesale prices.  A nice gesture, as so many Native Indians pay a Trading post outrageous prices for the raw materials, make their stunning jewelry and other art items, then sell it back to the Trading Posts for much less than it’s worth.  Getting ripped off twice for each item they make.  At least that’s my take on the situation.

just a couple of fun shots

Then it was onto a great local coffee shop for some iced-coffee which I was impressed in that they first put in lots of ice cubes made from coffee, add fresh coffee, stir it all up and you get one cool rich dark cup of iced coffee.  Ok probably a lot more caffeine than I should have, but it sure perked me up.

A Colorado River boat Tour:  $65

The sun is just setting as we head out

So what to do when it’s in the 100+ temperature range.  Go on a boat tour of course.  There are numerous day time jet boat tours, but that would still be during the heat of the day, so I’ve opted for a dinner  and evening boat tour after sunset.  We’ll be traveling up river along the Colorado river, through shear high walls of sandstone.  Coming downriver, we will see a light show against those canyon walls set to music.

the rock they are climbing on, crashed down and killed the
guy that controlled the old bridge crossing

We all hop into a large flat bottomed boat, as the river becomes quiet shallow as the waters recede throughout the summer months.  Heading NW into the high sided canyon, the tour guide rambles on over the sound of the boats engines churning away.  Stories are told of the founding of Moab, the Mormon influence and finding of uranium in the area in the 1950’s.  Eventually the area has become a 4-wheelers paradise along with all types of outdoor sports.  Mountain biking, hiking, and of course boat rides along the Colorado River.

many images in the rocks....

As we near the end of the halfway mark the boat makes a gentle turn, the sun has set, an almost full moon has risen over the top of the massive red sandstone walls and the light show begins.  A dramatic reading accompanies the light show starting with God’s “Let there be Light” on through the history of the Moab region.  The gentle breeze along the river has cooled things down nicely.  Overall it is a good experience, though after seeing the sandstone cliffs lit with bright white light, from various angles my imagination goes overboard thinking that with today’s technology, images of native Indians foraging for a living, Mormon’s crossing into this area, etc could easily be projected onto the canyon walls with laser projectors.  Creating to my minds eye a much more dramatic show.  Still, it is one of the man-made attractions that complements all the natural National Parks beauty of the area and adds to the story that is Moab.

the light show begins with some dramatic readings
"and He said Let there be Light"

ok so after a while it's not that exciting...

Distance Traveled:  183 miles

so many great views along the way
that I don't often get a chance to pull over and take a pic

Oh, and I didn't even mention my morning trip to Arches National Park, so here are a few pictures to prove I made it there....

one of my favorite shots for the week

Spanish Fork.  

I headed out early this morning (around 7:30) so that I could do the 3 hour drive during the cooler part of the day.  It was already 78 degrees by the time I headed out.  The drive was pretty neat as I headed through some mountainous areas and even made it to 7,800 feet over one pass.

Spanish Fork is south of Provo and Salt Lake City which I hope to tour in the next couple of days.  And as always, on my moving day, I devote the day to travel, set-up and possibly checking out the area a bit.  Today, after setting up, I drove into town for lunch and also got the truck tires rotated as that is free and is necessary to ensure the tire warranty stays in place.

RV Tip.  I was talking to the Big O Tire guys and discussed tire ratings.  For my 5th wheel camper they do recommend the G rated tires which are 14 ply steel belted tires.  The guy said it’s like putting heavy duty semi-truck tires on your camper.  Did you know ST tires are also designed to dissipate heat more efficiently as you travel on down the road.  Tires heat up when traveling and a good tire will help to remove some of that heat build up which caused a tire to expand.  G rated tires cost around $175 each.

they sell for $10-$20 each
Interesting note.  I’ve recently seen old license plates for sale.  Well actually many are just a couple of years old and they are selling for $10 to $20 each.  Had to ask the sales lady what was up with the license plates.  She told me that many travelers, especially Europeans, like them as souvenirs of  places they’ve visited or even as gifts for friends.  Easy to pack up and travel with and they don’t take up much space.  Besides, many of the newer license plates have some great graphic scenes on them.

RV Tip.  With all this hot weather I’ve been traveling through, I’ve really appreciated the 50 amp connections and the ability to use both a/c units.  Well my campsite in Spanish Fork, though a nice cheap site, only has 30 amp service.  Hmmm what to do.  Well, I noticed that each electric post is designed with two 30 amp outlets.  Of course that’s so two campers can use the same electric post.  But since the park isn’t that full I thought I need to take advantage of both outlets.  Purchased myself a “pre-Birthday” gift and double 30 amp plug that combines to make a 50 amp connections.  A tad bit expensive, but works great for the rare times when I might need this very useful plug adapter.

So that little adventure to find the right auxiliary plug which took me into Ogden and slightly beyond.  Unfortunately, the highway traffic, all 6 to 8 lanes of it in each directions was a mess with construction going on the further I headed north.  The highway entrances have stop and go lights that direct two cars onto the highway during peak travel times.  Too much traffic for this back roads country boy.  To make a long story short, it looks doubtful I’ll make it into Salt Lake City.

wind mills at the mountain pass exiting into
Spanish Fork Utah

The next day, after a wonderfully cool evening in the camper (new double plug worked great) I decided to go out for breakfast.  Has this ever happened to you?  The first stop was just up the street, a local diner next to the gas station.  Closed until Lunch.  Ok, head into Spanish Fork and head to the diner on Main Street.   It’s called One Man Band and pretty much was.  I walked in sat down and no one waited on me.  Left and decided I’d head to the diner on the main drag.  Got there and it was closed for good.  Headed up hwy 15 to the next exit and found a Pancake House.  Walked in and there were at least 20 people waiting to be seated.  I ended up at the Walmart next door where they have a Subway shop.  Had to call out “is anyone here?” a couple of times before someone finally answered in the back and said “I’ll be out in a minute”.  Poor service, mediocre breakfast sandwich and when I finally got my coffee they had no artificial sweeter.  Some days things just don’t work out as planned.

Instead of doing any heavy touring with the temps still in the high 90’s, I decided to check out the art museum in Springville.  Lots of local Utah artists, but also some European collections including a room filled with Prussian art providing a historical look at life in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution .  A special exhibit on Camping and Travel was fun and of special interest to me.

some of the paintings that caught my eye

a special exhibit on camping!

looks like trouble to me....

just a fun take on travel vacations

what a fun exhibit... loved it as
much as I love to travel in my camper

Lots of activities going on for the 4th of July.  Ogden has a 4 or 5 day celebration with hot air balloons going up early each morning, a couple streets filled with carnival rides and street vendors etc.  Hope to see some fireworks in the evening.

And that’s another week on the road in Utah.

More photos on PICASA

1 comment:

walterterry said...

Doug about your diner experience- I didn't think you had bad days. Everything always seems to go so smoothly for you. Glad to see you are human. :0)