Home is where we are parked

Home is where we are parked
Home is where we are parked

Sunday, November 30, 2014

UT -- Heber City, 22 Oct - 30 Nov 2014

Map picture
Map picture

First month in Heber City, Utah…

Why we came…

The campground is new and very nice.  Heber City is a nice town and the surrounding area has plenty of things to do.  More than anything, we came to play in the spectacular Wasatch and Uinta Mountains.

The campground…

Mountain Valley RV Resort is outstanding!  It was recently built and was clearly designed by folks familiar with RV’ing.  Sites vary in size and most have a decent amount of space.  The cost,  proportional to the size of the site, is a bit high on a nightly basis, but quite reasonable on a monthly rate.  The laundry and private bathrooms are well laid out and immaculate.  An outdoor hot tub is also available all year long!  Satellite reception is great from all sites, but that might change in a few years as the saplings grow.  Cable TV is also available, and there are plenty of over-the-air TV channels.  The cell phone signal is reliable data and wi-fi is also reliable and usually fast.  Cache, Cory, and the rest of the resort crew do a great job of maintaining everything and keeping everyone happy.  We were really disappointed to get a neighbor, but such is life in an RV park! 

Heber City, elevation 5,600 feet and population ~13,000, has plenty of conveniences.  And if we can’t find something in Heber, then Park City is 15 miles north and Orem/Provo are 26 miles southwest.  The Heber Valley is paradise with dramatic 11,000+ feet high peaks, Deer Creek Reservoir, and the trout-filled Provo River.  We often gaze at Mount Timpanogos and White Baldy peak from the comfort of our toasty home, and are treated to incredible sunrises and sunsets!  Strawberry Reservoir, Utah’s best trout lake, is 24 miles southeast.  Park City, Deer Valley, and Canyons Ski Resorts are just 15 miles north and the rugged Uinta Mountains are 35 miles to the east.  We could easily settle here!

Mount Timpanogos…11,752 feet high

White Baldy peak aglow at sunrise…11,321 feet high

Sunset over Mount Timpanogos

Preparing for winter…

This is our fourth winter in our little home.  Each fall, after a busy summer, we look forward to catching our breath.  First, we took it in for a thorough operations and maintenance inspection.   After we got comfortable in or spot, it took us a few days to winterize the trailer, but we did it on nice days and at our leisure.  We had our annual medical and dental visits and received a clean bill of health.    Now we hope for reasonable temperatures and tons of snow!


Giving our home a bath before we park it for the winter


Winterizing the water supply  /  Lining the windows with plastic

Trailer is skirted; water supply is insulated; plenty of propane…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Weather summary for November…

Average high temp: 49.4F     Average low temp:  20.6F     Average snow:  7.5 inches

Record high temp:  78F        Record low temp:  -21F         Record snowfall:  26.5 inches

Observed high temperature:  66F on 6 Nov

Observed low temperature:  7F on 17 Nov  **The temperature under the trailer was 31F!**

Measured snow:  4.0 inches

NOTES:  The skirt added nearly 25F of warmth on the coldest mornings!


Fishing Strawberry Reservoir on 24 Oct…A few leaves still cling to a small patch of aspen trees.  We each caught a couple of nice cutthroat trout before gusty winds pushed us off of the water.

Fighting a big trout

A 21 inch cutthroat trout!


Fishing the Middle Provo River on 30 Oct  /  A colorful 17 inch brown trout

The Provo River runs right through Heber City and has tons of trout.  It’s a smallish river that is very enjoyable to fly-fish.   Unlike many rivers that run through towns, most of the Provo has public access, good parking areas, and good trails.  Because it’s so accessible, a lot of folks fish it.  The trout are educated and can be difficult to catch.  Tiny flies are the key to success.  This time of year, size 18 is often too big…sizes 20-24 better match the itty bitty bugs that the trout gorge on.  The fish will hardly move for such a small meal so your fly has to drift nearly into its mouth.  Thankfully there are thousands of trout per mile, which increases the likelihood of hooking up.  It can be challenging and frustrating, but it’s nearly always fun!

Heber City-31 Oct 2014-bike    Heber City33-31 Oct 2014

16 mile bike ride on the Union Pacific Rail Trail (another link) on 31 Oct…

We started in Park City and rode roughly 8 miles downhill to the Highway 80 bridge.  There were a lot of cows, but thankfully, no ornery bulls.  The ride back was tough with a 25mph head wind and a long steady climb.  We only saw three other cyclists.  It’s a nice trail!

Riding through the cows near Park City


Commemorative panels of trains and mining under the Interstate 80 bridge

Canyons Ski Resort in the background

Gary landing a fish from the Middle Provo River on 21 Nov

Gary is also staying in our RV park for the winter.  He fishes nearly every day!  He showed me a couple of his fishing spots and shared his proven techniques.  We each had a great day!  His highlight was an 18-19 inch brown trout…one of his best fish of the year.  My highlight was a healthy 16 inch brown that gently slurped a size 20 dry fly off the surface.  I saw the fish feeding, positioned myself, and it hit on the third or fourth cast…that’s fun fishing!  Perfect weather and good fishing late in November…it doesn’t get much better!

Heber City91-26 Nov 2014b

The first day of our ski season at Park City Mountain Resort…26 Nov

Park City had been open less than a week.  The snow was decent, but limited coverage meant that just a few lifts and runs were open.  The weather was warm with temps in the low-50s and bright blue skies.  We didn’t realize that Thanksgiving break started for thousands of local school kids…it was crowded!  The main parking lot was full so we went to the high school and caught the bus to the resort.   Due to long lift lines and crowded runs, we only did a few runs.  They were good runs…we had fun!  Park City looks like an awesome ski area.  We look forward to experiencing it with more snow and fewer people!


Posing near the Bonanza Lift at Park City Mountain Resort


- Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering

This popular event includes more than 40 Western singers, musicians, and poets and has been going on for 20 years.  Just $10 allows you to see all but the headline performers…they cost $25-$40.  The bulk of the venue occurs at the high school.  Performers do their thing from open to close on multiple stages.  In two days, we enjoyed about six hours of entertainment.  It was fun to go back and forth between stages and watch 15 different acts.  Suzy Bogguss was our favorite!

If ever in the Heber City area towards the end of October, make sure to spend a few hours at the Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Performers we saw:  Bar J Wranglers, Suzy Bogguss, Sourdough Slim, Belinda Gail, Gretchen Peters, Doc Mehl, Chuck Pyle, David and Jenny Lynn Anderson, Trinity Seely, Waddie Mitchell, Dick Warwick, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, and a few more…

Touching tribute to military veterans by Paul Bliss


Trinity Seely  /  Chuck Pyle  /  Doc Mehl  /  Jo Lynne Kirkwood  /  Belinda Gail


Waddie Mitchel  /  Bar J Wranglers  /  Sourdough Slim


Gretchen Peters  and Suzy Bogguss  /  Dick Warwick  /  Suzy Bogguss

- Trip to Colorado, 4-12 Nov

It was time for a whirlwind trip to see family and friends along Colorado’s front range.  In eight days we drove 1,400 miles and slept in five different towns.  It was nice seeing everyone, but it wore us out!  The first 70 miles on the drive back was stressful with icy roads.  We even saw a truck spin out and end up in a ditch…they were lucky they didn’t end up in the Arkansas River!  Because the weather was expected to get worse, we drove back in one day instead of two.  We were glad to get home!

     CO-5 Nov 2014-hike      

Our first stop in Colorado was Glenwood Springs where we spent one night in a hotel.  The next morning we did a very pleasant five mile hike.  We went through the cemetery where Doc Holiday and Kid Curry may or may not be buried.  We climbed about 1,500 feet and enjoyed the view over the Colorado River valley.  We also found a couple of geocaches, one of which had never been found…our first, “first to find”!  Once we got to the top, we were blown away by the view of the central Rocky Mountains towards Aspen.


Glenwood Springs has some interesting history


Climbing high above Glenwood Springs  /  That’s the Colorado River far below


Getting some air and sticking the landing

Celebrating a “First to Find” geocache…looking south towards Aspen, Colorado

 CO-6 Nov 2014-hike   

Then we spent two nights with my Mom and Step-dad in Castle Rock.  They let us beat them in Pinochle twice!  We even did a two mile hike and found three or four geocaches. 

My Mom posing with a nice rock and me with a geocache…Colorado Rocky Mountains in the background

Me, Dominique, Arleen, and Nancy in Colorado Springs on 7 Nov…good friends from our Alaska days

Kevin and Terri with their faithful friends near Hartsel, Colorado on 7 Nov…we hadn’t seen each other since 1995!  We reminisced for hours and spent a very comfortable night at their cabin.

CO-8 Nov 2014-hike   

We enjoyed a five mile hike and geocache route near Larkspur, Colorado with my sister and her family.  My nephews, Jordan and Austin, lead the way and found three or four geocaches.

We spent the next two nights at Brian’s house in Colorado Springs.

The following day Arleen had fun with her sister and niece while I watched football with Brian and his obsessed boarder collie, Maggie.  Maggie gets excited about sports too, but she goes nuts when animals end up on the TV.  It’s pretty entertaining!

Nic, Gary, Austin, and Jordan on Spruce Mountain…Pikes Peak in the background


Brian and Maggie playing video games  /  Picking up Brian’s leaves  /  Heather and her doggy friends

A couple of inches of new snow in Pueblo West on 12 Nov.  We spent two nights at my Dad and Step-mom’s house.


We will continue playing in the Heber City area!  Expect the next blog around 1 January.  Have a great Christmas and fun New Years!

Parting shots…


Park City Mountain Resort on 31 Oct and then on 26 Nov (Arleen is in the bottom right of the second picture)

Thanksgiving turkey…yum yum!