A Tale of Two Utahs (Part 2 of 2)

The Sunwapta covered by snow in northern Utah

For the third straight day I left early in the morning. From Green River I headed north towards Salt Lake City. The area heading out of Green River is where the landscape started to gradually change from desert to mountains. While fiddling around with the 450 stations on the SiriusXM Radio, and checking the GPS NAV screen, I looked up and snow-capped mountains suddenly appeared in my view. Chills went through out my body. I was finally entering the mountains. A desert was still west of me, the great basin laying between the Sierra Nevada mountains on the west and the Wasatch Mountains on the east. After entering Provo, I turned northeast and drove up into the mountains. I was near Park City Utah, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The US winter Olympic team still trains in Park City.

Mother Nature always bats last.

A late winter storm forced me to hunker down for three days. The storm produced high winds, rain, snow, and my favorite weather term, a wintry mix. There was not much I could do except wait for the storm to pass. I read parts of the operators manual that I had not read before about operating the coach in sub-freezing temperature. The concern about the frigid temperatures is for frozen water pipes, and efficiently heating the coach. The heat pump doesn’t work below 40 degrees and you can burn through the propane fuel quickly using the propane furnace. Fortunately, I bought a space heater a week earlier because the heat pump made so much noise I could hardly sleep.

The second morning of my layover I woke up to an astonishing sight. I opened the blackout shade and saw snow falling heavily. A white blanket of snow covered the ground. I went outside and saw the coach was also covered in several inches of snow. Large snowflakes were falling all around me. I felt like I was in the scene from the movie Edward Scissorhands where Johnny Depp was cutting an ice sculpture and Winowa Ryder was dancing in the ice/snowflakes. The scene was surrealistic. I thought we might get a few snow flurries, but I didn’t expect waking up and seeing a snow covered landscape. The following week was the beginning of May. As I walked around the Sunwapta, I chuckled when I remembered the name of the paint scheme for this coach from the brochure. “Arctic Silver” is the name some marketing genius gave the paint scheme. The name was prophetic. I thought the colors of the rig looked good with the white snow.

I belong to a Facebook group for the type of RV I have. People in the group post questions about the RV and photos from their travels. I posted a request in the group asking for cold weather tips for a Florida boy. Many group members responded with great cold weather tips and suggestions. I survived my first experience with snow and sub-freezing temperatures just fine thanks to their help. This FB group is wonderful. Many times I’ve seen the group quickly respond with advice and help.

The Mountain View RV Park was first class, easily the nicest park I stayed in so far this trip. The park was so nice I almost didn’t want to leave. On the fourth day, I became restless. There was a letup from the storms for that day. Another storm system with even colder temperatures and more snow was heading my way over the next three days. I decided to drive down to a lower elevation in Ogden Utah. The temperatures would be about 10 degrees warmer and Ogden was less likely to get as much snow. Ogden was what first sparked my interest in coming to Utah. Ogden was on a list of one of the top 25 places to retire in America. I know I would not want to live in Utah in the winter, but I thought this western state might be a nice place in the summer to live. However, winter seems to extend into May here as far as I can tell.

I’m excited about heading into Idaho. The rugged landscape in Idaho has some of the largest unspoiled areas in the United States. You can only drive east or west across the state in the southern and northern parts of the state. Most of Idaho one can only drive north or south. I was not sure I would make the journey all the way to Idaho. This northwest state seemed so far away when I started. I’ve driven about 3500 miles so for. Coeur d’Alene Idaho is my ultimate destination on this trip. CDA is the town I think I might want to move to in the summer.

Another classic Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance, link below.

Hallelujah Chorus


A Tale of Two Utahs (Part 2 of 2) — 4 Comments

  1. It amazed me you had that much snow so far south. I’m in Southwestern Ontario, Canada allot more north that you. We have had beautiful weather this April and we could wear shorts yesterday it was so warm. I guess the mountains can keep there cold weather so much longer than us. I don’t think I would like winter camping but an electric blanket would be nice. How did the cats cope with the cool temperatures?..Guess they were all sleeping in your bed…lol Safe travels

    • Sue, the higher elevations are getting the snow. An electric blanket is a good idea, I am going to try to find one tomorrow. That cats do fine with the colder temperatures, I suppose because they are covered in fur. And yes, one of them does sleep under the blanket next to me to keep warm. When it gets really cold, the white cat also snuggles next to my legs and knees for warmth. Thanks Sue for the safe travels thoughts. My first thought on all trips is safety first. I encountered high winds again today, the winds really push around the high profile RV. I just slow down to a safe speed and watch all this traffic zoom past me.

  2. Hello, my wife Karen and I are also from Florida , Palm Harbor.
    We are in a camper I built and on our way to Yellowstone. Currently at the elks lodge in Amarillo Tx. The weatherman is also talking about snow! We are going to the same places you have already been.

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