|Thu, 11 Sep: The last road day for a while...
The temperatures dropped into the high thirties in Rock Springs, and we were boondocking. That means heat is limited to available battery power. We tend to leave the heat off until it is time to arise, so the extra blankets were very welcome around 0200.
We awoke a bit after six, got the coach warmed up and boiled water for tea. Once our caffeine level was sufficiently high we rustled up breakfast and got things ready to roll. Since we were boondocking there was little to do so we rolled our wheels just a few minutes after eight.
Sandi headed for the Interstate and we continued west. As with yesterday, I 80 is a busy route with considerable truck traffic. We still had some mountains to cross and we climbed from 6,400' (Rock Springs altitude) to more than 7,200' before we started the long descent toward Salt Lake City.
We crossed into Utah and continued to enjoy the absolutely gorgeous scenery that makes this part of the country so special. The Utah Welcome Center is nestled at the base of some rugged cliffs that begged us to take their picture. We did!
East of Salt Lake City we had a choice of staying on I 80 to Salt Lake or take I 84 north and west toward Ogden. Since Ogden is our destination I 84 it is! This route also passes thru some gorgeous mountains so the shutter kept clicking.
At Ogden we picked up I 15 and continued north a few miles to a Pilot / Flying J to top off our diesel tank. We're planning to spend a week here in Ogden and we don't like to leave the tank partially full.
From the truck stop it was a short 6¾ miles to Wasatch View RV, our home for the next seven days. We got a nice spot at a very attractive Passport America rate that is a livable compromise between our need for service and our inherent cheapness.
Today's total run was 180 miles with an overall fuel economy of eight mpg.
As mentioned, we'll be here for a week visiting with family, sightseeing, and catching up. The weather is forecast to be warm during the day with cool nites. Our favorite sort of weather.
Sun, 14 Sep: A busy few days with lotsa family time...
Since arriving in Ogden Thursday afternoon we've been busy little retirees. Busy in a good sense, not in that nasty w**k kind.
Once settled in at Wasatch View RV we drove to Costco for a Food Court fix and some stocking up. There are several Costco items that don't seem to be available anywhere else so we don't miss an opportunity to stock up when possible.
Back to the coach for some computer time and then a quiet evening at home.
On Friday we went to the nearby Wal*Mart for some more victualing. We went early when the shelves are well stocked and the late risers (food stamp crowd???) are still abed.
Noonish we drove to the newly opened Ogden In-N-Out Burger for a long-overdue In-N-Out Burger fix. This is the first time we've been near an In-N-Out since last April, so we were long overdue. As we've stated, the In-N-Out Burger is still #1 in our book.
After lunch we took Carpe Dinkum to the Ford dealer for routine oil/lube/filter/checkup service. They were pretty busy so it took us three hours. All is OK with the little fellow, who is getting close to clocking 60,000 miles (not to mention the additional 63,783 miles not clocked while being towed).
Dinner was with niece Stacy and grand niece/nephew Chandler & Travis plus Chandler's friend Zoe. Stacy has done a remarkable job with her two children, they're turning out to be really neat kids with their heads screwed on right. We're very impressed.
Dinner was at a nearby Mexican Restaurant, which was OK, but a tad too tame for our Casa Grande tastes. We admit it, we're spoiled.
Yesterday, Saturday Stacy picked us up and we drove to the Ogden Farmers Market. We bought some veggies, but mostly wandered around enjoying the scene, aroma, and taste (Bob sprung for some egg rolls and BBQ).
Back to the coach for catching up. We ate lunch in and just yakked and yakked till after four when Stacy finally left to tend to chores. Dinner was at Stacy's home with only Travis joining us. Steak and fresh corn. What more can one ask? Back to the coach by eight. A good day!
Today is Stacy's birthday and we're unsure as to what the schedule will be. Somehow we'll get together with her and help her celebrate.
Mon, 15 Sep A sad day, the tax man cometh...
Today is our bro-in-law's birthday, but all we can think of is the check we just mailed to the Infernal Revenue Service. Taxes, the unkindest cut of all...
Backtracking to yesterday. We met Stacy, Chandler, & Travis and drove to the Texas Roadhouse to celebrate Stacy's Birthday. We've eaten there before and, as usual, it was a good feed. We had enough left over for another dinner.
This morning we drove to a nearby Post Office to mail our aforementioned taxes, and then continued to downtown Ogden to visit the Utah Museum of Railroading. This visit has been on our "bucket list" for several years now, and today "Someday Arrived".
The railroad museum is housed in historic Union Station, which also includes an extensive HO model railway outlet and some very interesting displays and exhibits. Of course, we love the "big stuff", so before long we were wandering around the locomotives and other rolling stock.
The museum has Union Pacific #633, a 4-8-4 steam locomotive built in 1939. This was one of the last "steamers" in the UP lineup. We got to see a sister engine, #644, in action as she passed thru Casa Grande in November 2011 (see pix).
Also co-housed in Union Station is the J. M. Browning Museum. We spent some time there admiring the many mint condition examples of Mr. Browning's genius. We especially noted the display of his most famous creation, the M1911 .45ACP pistol. This is our most favorite firearm.
Wed, 17 Sep: More tourist stuff and a major change in plans...
Yesterday, Tuesday, was a stay at home day. We enjoy these every once and a while. We never started Dinkum's engine and just hung around the park.
We also made three important decisions. Decision #1 was to cancel a cruise we'd booked for this December. It was a two-week round trip LA-Hawaii-LA. After our last cruise experience we both agree that it is not yet time for another cruise.
Decision #2 was to buy a campground membership. We've been intrigued with buying one for several years, and our interest was piqued with the recent membership presentation we had to sit through a few weeks back. Anyway, we contacted a broker who found us a Thousand Trails Elite membership at an attractive price. We made an offer, which was accepted, so now the paperwork begins.
Which brings us to Decision #3. Because we'll be moving paperwork around we decided to stay here in Ogden for another week. The Wasatch Views RV park is nicely located and the price OK. We hope that we'll get the overnite packages finished by next week, but for now we'll just stay put. Ain't retirement just the bestest???
This morning we checked another one off the "Bucket List", the Promontory Summit Golden Spike site. We drove forty-five miles north and west to the Golden Spike National Historic Site, which is located on the site of the 1869 Golden Spike ceremony.
We arrived a bit after opening at nine, and wandered around reading all of the signs and taking pix. Then, at ten, the first of the two replica locomotives arrived, the Jupiter, a wood burning Central Pacific locomotive. At 1030 the Union Pacific replica engine, coal burning #119, joined her in the iconic nose-to-nose position with the golden spike site between them.
It was a very interesting event and we're glad we made the drive. We stopped for lunch at a downtown café in Brigham City. Then back to the coach where we're enjoying the air conditioning as it is in the nineties outside.
It is supposed to get wet and miserable tomorrow and into the weekend, so we'll probably stick close to home and catch up on paperwork and other chores.
Do stay tuned...