Saturday, July 2, 2016

Happy 4th of July weekend from Boise, ID!

We arrived here in Boise, Eagle really a couple days ago, and have been enjoying some family time.  It is hot!  Over 100 during the day, but down to the 60's at night, no humidity is what's saving us.

We stopped in Fruita, CO, which is just north of Grand Junction for a few days after Gunnison.  We had one of our vent fans break, the lid wouldn't go up or down, so we ordered the parts from a place in Grand Junction which were waiting for us when we arrived, so we're back in business now.  We stayed at a very nice public campground in James Robb State Park.  Nice large sites, quite private, and a nice view of Colorado National Monument
Our site in Fruita

That's the Colorado National Monument in the distance
We mostly just chilled out, did some walking and found a nice place for lunch in Grand Junction, but wow, was it hot!!

After a couple days there, we worked our way up to Heber City, UT, near Salt Lake City and Park City to one of our favorite campgrounds at Deer Creek State Park, but forgot one little thing, only 30 amp power.  What does that mean?  We usually use 50 amp hookups, equivalent to 100 amps of power, 2 legs of 50 amp 120 volt power, with 30 amps you get only 30 amps of power, and that translates to only 1 air conditioner running at a time, instead of all 3.  We made out fine with shading everything as much as we could, and being very proactive as to which AC to run at any given time.  We did end up running the generator one night when the heat was just too much and we wanted to use the convection oven.  It was still worth it.
Our view from our site at Deer Creek SP
We wanted to do a couple things while we were there and one of them revolved around food, big surprise, huh?  We had found an exceptional Vietnamese restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives a couple years ago, Oh Mai, and also an excellent Chinese place called Full House Asian Bistro in Park City, and wanted to go back to both.  Which we did, and man was it worth it!  Oh Mai is in Holladay and we were looking at the map and noticed a road we had not been on before.  It's funny but since we started doing this RV thing we highlight on a US Atlas by year the roads we take the motorhome on, and then on individual detailed state maps by Delorme or Benchmark we highlight the roads we have driven in the toad, and after more than 20 years of this there aren't that many we've missed!  Anyway, one of our favorite roads is Pine Canyon Road that cuts up and over the mountain from Heber City to the back side of the Park City ski resort, it is winding and spectacular.  We usually have turned up and over the mountain and descended down into Park City, but we noticed a dirt road that cut up and over Guardsman Pass and went by Solitude ski resort, and down into Holladay on the Big Cottonwood Canyon road, looked perfect.

It was fun and scenic and got us right to Oh Mai before the lunch rush.  The food is fantastic, Jan had a delicious Banh Mi and I had a huge bowl of wonderful Pho.

We got lucky the next day and found yet another road and area we hadn't been on, Utah Hwy 65, and 66 to the northwest of Park City.  We found out 65 pretty much follows the Morman Trail.  It was very interesting to see the really tough terrain the Mormans had to follow across the Wasatch mountains to get to Salt Lake.  We found ultimately 70,000 people followed this trail into the valley.  From the Big Mountain Pass to the valley is about 15 miles of very rough, lots of vegetation, steep, rugged terrain.  The first party to transit this particular path was the Donner-Reed party, it took them 13 days to blaze and transit this portion of the trail over what is known as the Hasting's Cutoff from Ft Bridger, WY across the Salt Lake valley to rejoin the California Trail.  The Cutoff was supposed to have saved time over the preferred route along the Oregon Trail.  Not true, it was estimated to have taken them an additional month.  This along with a few other delays is what caused them to be so late crossing the Sierras that led to their tragedy.  Anyway, by the time Brigham Young and his party arrived, it only took them 6 days for the same transit.
The last challenge

Looking down from Big Mountain Pass

Their first glimpse of the valley, yes bit hazy:(
We continued up 65 to where it hit I-84, went west and joined 66 for the return.  It was a nice and interesting drive.

One more thing we wanted to redo was the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, so with the threat of rain, we grabbed lunch and headed south to Nephi, the southern terminus of the loop.

It is about 55 miles south of Heber City.  We felt it would be best to hurry down and dawdle back to Payson and rejoin the interstate.  The Nebo Loop is 38 miles of very scenic views and elevations to 9000', and goes right past Mt Nebo, the highest mountain in the Wasatch Range at 11,928'.  It was a great drive, it cleared up some and made for a nice redo of one of our favorite roads.
The view as we climb out of Nephi

A great day!
There is a spot on the loop called Devil's Kitchen which they refer to as the "Mini-Bryce Canyon", it is red and has hoodoos just like Bryce.
Devil's Kitchen 
We continued up by Mt Nebo and just took our time enjoying the day, and true to form we found a scenic spot to have coffee.
Mt Nebo

Our coffee spot:)

Looking down at Utah Lake as we descend
We had a nice 4 days in the Salt Lake area, and then left for Boise/Eagle to spend the 4th of July weekend with family.  

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