After saying goodbye to Durango, we headed west and then north into Utah. It was pretty cool to see the Delicate Arch on the welcome sign as we crossed the Colorado border. Utah has seven different welcome signs depending on where you enter the state. We have seen four of them.
After eight hours of driving, we arrived in Heber City. Once again, we stayed at Mountain Valley RV Resort. They just completed Phase II of their development by adding 56 additional sites. This is by far the nicest RV Resort we have ever stayed at. We were delighted to learn that they had two Pickle Ball courts on the premises. The last time we stayed here, we hadn’t yet begun playing the game. Now, it has become a favorite of Scott’s and mine. We enjoy the cardio workout and the bouts of laughter it brings to us. It’s also a little easier on the body than tennis.
There were two main reasons that we chose to stay in this area. First, I wanted to see the Great Salt Lake. Secondly, I wanted to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In particular, I wanted to listen to the Tabernacle Choir. We had been to Utah on numerous occasions to ski, hike, visit National Parks, and even dine at a restaurant in Salt Lake City. This time, I wanted to do a few atypical things. While hiking in Capitol Reef National Park, we met two hikers from Salt Lake City. They both said we should visit Antelope Island.
It was just over a two-hour drive from our RV Resort to Antelope Island. Once you enter the State Park, it is another seven-mile drive across a narrow causeway to the island.
There was only one other car in the parking lot, and we could see two people near the water. I REALLY wanted to go swimming in the highly salty water to see how easy it would be to float. Although the sun was shining, it was no longer swimming weather. I did get my feet wet and posed for a photo op. We were both blown away by how beautiful the shot turned out. It was only seconds later that the clouds dissipated and changed the magical moment Scott had just captured.
Later that day, we drove into the city. There was plenty of street (paid) parking near Temple Square. We entered the square on West Temple Street and picked up a brochure. None of the buildings were open, but visitors were allowed to walk around the square. Masks were also required beyond the gates. The temple was under construction and a border wall surrounded it. Following the renovation, the public will be invited to an open house before the temple is rededicated. This will be a historic opportunity as the Temple is sacred to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and entrance is only allowed to baptized members of the church.
There are many great hikes to choose from in the area surrounding Heber City. Scott checks out the options, and I typically make the selection. We hadn’t been hiking much so he selected one that would give us some elevation gain, knowing that we could stop whenever we chose to. The drive was less than thirty minutes from Heber City. We hiked 7.88 on Mt. Timpanogos Trail and gained 2,454 feet of elevation.
The first mile of the hike was on a paved trails that crisscrossed up the mountain for an elevation gain of about 600 feet. A lot of hikers stop at this point to enjoy the falls before returning back down the path.
For those of you who wish to continue up, the paved path ends and the trail becomes steeper and mostly comprised of dirt and rocks. We did continue up, but we did not reach the summit. I bailed not too far from it. Sometimes, you are just done for the day.
As I mentioned earlier, there are many good hikes to choose from that are in close proximity of Heber City. A hiker encountered a cougar while walking on a trail in Slate Canyon, which is in Provo and not far from our location. He was able to record six minutes of his terrifying experience on his cell phone which was shared on National News and You Tube. The video is scary and the young man’s language is beeped out at times.
Next stop, Olympic Peninsula, Washington.