Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

Heber Valley Railroad

October 7, 2019

Our major excursion for today was riding on the Heber Valley Railroad. The Heber Valley Railroad is located in ESE of Salt Lake City.

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Heber City is located ESE of Salt Lake City.

We arrived just in time for the 11:00 AM departure. To say that the passenger cars are old, is definitely an understatement.

Once everyone was on board, the train sets off rumbling through the countryside with a toot,toot,toot every time we came to a RR crossing. Halfway to our destination somewhere in the middle of nowhere stopped to allow a few train robbers to board and harass all the passengers with a “hands up!!”.

So we were rumbling along at a speedy 15 mph (I checked my phone’s GPS app). I can’t imagine what it would feel like to speed along at 40 mph. We lumbered along through the Provo canyon. Lots of beautiful views.

After an hour and 15 minutes we reached our destination at Vivian Park. Most folks got off the train to stretch their legs and then lined up at the two bathrooms. All that bouncing around got my kidneys going good. It felt good to pee.

So the engineer detached the locomotive and headed down a siding to get to the other end of the train for the return trip.

So the engineer gave us three toots of his whistle at 12:40 to tell everyone to get on board or risk walking home. Then, another three toots and we were off back to whence we came. Great fun.

Here are some pictures:

Road Island Diner

October 5, 2019

Today we left out hotel at 8 AM with Neil and Laura to visit the Heber Valley Railroad. But first, we had to have breakfast. Coming up next will be the post tho the railroad.

I have no idea how Neil finds these places. The “Road Island Diner” is in the town of Oakley UT, which is a good ways north of SLC.

We drove on I-80 heading northeast towards Evanston, WY. I-80 is also known as Parley’s Canyon, named after a Mormon pioneer named Parley P Platt who was exploring for a better route through the Wasatch mountains other than Emigration Canyon. It is a truly beautiful stretch of roadway.

It was chilly up there in those hills. I haven’s worn my winter jacket in years.

As one can see, the diner is a classic Art Deco like many others of the same type. It was prefabricated in 1939 in Elizabeth NJ. It measures 60’x16′.

We all had a delicious breakfast. So I decided to order my usual bacon & eggs, over medium and sour dough toast. The hash browns were not that great, otherwise everything was great. Here’s an inside view.

Here we are at our table in the diner.

Neil & Laura [note: the New England Patriot’s shirt]

Kennecott Copper Mine

October 4, 2019

Today we started off meeting our son Neil and his wife Laura for breakfast at Ruth’s Diner on Emancipation Canyon Road. This has been one of our favorite diner’s that we have visited on many of our trips to visit Neil in Salt Lake City. In the summer months they have outdoor dining in a court yard. It was a little chilly for that today.

Neil took for a brief driving tour of the area around Ruth’s. Here is a picture of the Utah State House.

After we finished breakfast we headed back to Neil and Laura’s house to pick up her two sons and then headed out to visit the Kennecott Copper mine. We had reserved tickets in advance for the tour bus that would take us up to the mine’s viewing area. Kennecott is one of the largest if not the largest open pit mining operation in the world. It is located about 25-30 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

Here are some of my pictures:

Finally, we met Laura’s Dad for dinner at the Bohemian Brewery and Grill in Midway, UT. Great food and company.

All done for today. Tomorrow we have more stuff planned. Then we will be heading home on Sunday.

Salt Lake City Tour of Temple Square

October 2, 2019

We arrived yesterday in the SLC area. Today we had breakfast and then took the UTA train to Temple Square. Our tour guide was Bob Lunt who is Laura Lunt’s Dad (Laura is Neil’s wife). Temple Square is the geographic center of the city of Salt Lake City. Click here for the Wikipedia entry.

We met Bob at the Temple Square train stop. Our first event was a free organ recital at noon. They have a huge pipe organ. It was about a 30 minute recital. Outstanding.

Then we did a tour that started at 1 pm. The tour was led by two lovely young ladies that were serving the Mormon church. Bob would add his knowledge to the discussion. There are many beautiful buildings. Non-Mormons are not allowed into the main temple. Here are some of my pictures:

Then we went to the 10th floor of what was once the Hotel Utah and is now LDS offices. They have a couple of restaurants on the 10th floor. Here are a few pictures from up high.

Bryce Canyon National Park

September 30, 2019

This will be our last day in Southern Utah. Tomorrow we head north to Salt Lake City to visit with our son Neil and his wife Laura. Today we toured Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce is not as crowded with visitors as Zion. Nevertheless there were plenty of people there.

Bryce and Cedar Breaks are different than Zion in that you view the rock formations from the top of the mesa. In Zion, you are down in the canyon looking up at the rock formations. It is not better or worse, it is just different.

There are many trails to do. Seeing as the elevation is about 8000′ ASL, I get short of breath real easy. We mostly just walked up to the fence to view the hoo-doos and other magnificent rocks. There are signs warning everyone not to climb over the fence. Duh! It’s a long way down. That could hurt.

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get to Bryce. If I had been smarter, I would have checked out of our hotel in Hurricane and reserve a room up nearer to Bryce. Maybe next time, though I doubt we will be back. Next trip might be to Grand Canyon. I’ve been wanting to see that for a long time.

We have a National Park Senior Pass that is good to get into any National Park site for free. We bought it about 5 years ago on our trip to visit Joshua Tree National Monument. Without the pass we would have had to pay about $50-$75 to each park to get in.

First stop after clearing customs (oh, I mean the ranger station) was to the Visitor Center/Gift Shop. We watched an interesting 25 min video about the park. Then we spent about $50 on refrigerator magnets, shirts, drink coasters and other assorted memorabilia. It would have been easy to drop another c-note on this stuff (books, videos, calendars, mugs, etc.)

Bryce Canyon is named after Ebeneezer Bryce who is one of the early Mormon settlers in the 1850’s. Click on this link for more info on Bryce.

I just finished writing a few more postcards. First on our list was cards to our grand-kids Jonathan and Sarah.

Okay, here are some of the pictures that I took.

Camp Slug Day

September 29, 2019

Today was a “Camp Slug” day. Don’t bother to google the term “Camp Slug”, you won’t find it. We use that term to denote a day when you do nothing but take care of travel business. We used to use it back in the day when we would go camping with our kids and friends.

We didn’t go anywhere. We got up late. Had breakfast downstairs in the lobby.

We did some laundry in the hotel laundromat on the second floor.

We had some lunch then we took a nap. Nothing better than a nap.

Then, after the nap we went out to get some takeout for dinner. On Sunday, in Utah many places are closed. Even the local movie theater was closed. We found a local take out Mexican restaurant and got some take out. No snakes outside the restaurant.

We got some hotel ice and fixed ourselves a drink. In our hotel room we have a small but very cozy patio deck where we sat and ate our dinner and watched the sun go down over the mesas of southern Utah.

Not a great view, but it’s a nice spot to sit and chill.

We are staying at a Wyndham hotel in Hurricane. It has pluses and minuses. The room is a bit on the small size but it has the patio deck which is nice. WiFi has decent performance and they have a decent free breakfast in the lobby. I’d give it maybe 5 stars out of 10. Maybe 6.

It’s getting really hard to pick out good places to stay on Internet travel sites. You can’t trust the pictures or the reviews.

Haven’t watched much TV. I have no idea when any news is on. I tried CNN and all I got was some talking head yammering on and on about Trump and impeachment. I am so used to having a DVR, I have no idea when shows are on. I Just can’t fast forward through the ads. And, I am sure not going to stay up to watch late night TV like Colbert or Kimmel.

Tomorrow will be our last full day in Hurricane. We haven’t figured out yet what we’re going to do tomorrow. We will figure that out tomorrow. Travel on Tuesday. Heading north to SLC.

TTFN,

Joe

Cedar Breaks National Monument

September 28, 2019

Yesterday we did Zion. Today we did Cedar Breaks National Monument. It’s a little bit longer driver than Zion. We drove north on I-15 to Cedar City. Then, east on a long and winding road that took us ever higher until we reached Cedar Breaks. Here’s the ranger’s station:

We found a parking space and found ourselves parked next to a twin Nissan Rogue in blue. How weird is that.

We headed for the ranger’s station. I showed the park ranger our NP Senior Pass. She tells us you don’t need that today, because all entry is free. Today was National Park Day. Woo-Hoo.

The elevation was 10,300′ ASL. Wind was blowing and was darn chilly. I got out my sweat shirt and bundled up. I took a few pictures on the way in and headed for the park gift shop. I asked the ranger, “How often to you have to clean the windows?” She said, “Once, when we open up in the Spring.”

One of the best views was out of a couple of windows at the shop. Windows were clean enough to take pictures. They had a nice little fire going in the fireplace. I told the ranger, I’m going to just stay here for a while.

Here’s the gift shop:

Here’s the view out the window.

Here are a few pictures of some of the signage:

Once I had spent a wad at the gift shop (bought some more post cards, some stuffed bird for the grand-kids) then we headed back to car and headed down the hill. But we went in the other direction. Eventually we got to the small town of Parawan, UT. We found a nice little diner in the center of town. Paula had a salad and I had bacon and eggs. (2pm so what.)

Finished lunch. Paula went across the street to a gift shop. Too late, closed. We headed back south on the I-15 to Hurricane. Stopped at the Utah State Liquor store. (Kind of like NH). Sign outside the store at HP spot:

Yikes. Tomorrow is a camp slug day. We will catch up on Laundry and kick back. We will be heading up to SLC on Tuesday.