UP House, Winter Olympics and Temple Square

September 22-30, 2018 — The last week of September took us from Idaho Falls south to Payson, Utah.

Leaving Idaho was tough as we have enjoyed the state so much but since we have been really looking forward to exploring the National Parks, Monuments and other sights in Utah before winter sets in it was time to set the GPS in a southern direction. 

Utah is a new state for us and we began our visit by staying several days in the Salt Lake City and Provo areas taking in numerous points of interest along the way. 

The last nine nights of September were spent at free sites with four nights at Boondockers Welcome host sites, one night at a Harvest Host museum and four nights at Walmart.

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

After spending last week touring in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks some down time was in order. Community Park in Idaho Falls, Idaho provided a great daytime resting spot and Walmart furnished the nighttime accommodations. 

The Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho was a fun and educational stop. Well worth the $4 per person admission fee. 

The Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho. What a great find thanks to the Harvest Hosts program. Without it we may not have heard of this gem of a museum. Admission was $6 per person and being a Harvest Hosts site, overnight parking was included. We rank this museum very high on our list of favorite museums we have visited. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun!

Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, farms and attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight. Since starting our journey we have enjoyed the hospitality of many of these locations.  Receive a 10% discount by using Off Our Rocker RV as a referral and we also are rewarded as an affiliate.

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Interesting cloud formations in the sky with mountains for a backdrop. This is our first look at Utah and we are loving it so far. 

An “X” shaped intersection on I-15 near Brigham City, Utah called a “diverging diamond”. We’ve not seen a road like this before and it was a bit confusing at first glance as it felt odd to drive on the wrong side of the road. Looks like lots of other drivers were perplexed as well with all the black marks on the road surface!

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The first of two Boondocker Welcome host sites we stayed at in the Salt Lake City, Utah area during the last week of September. We highly enjoyed meeting the hosts and engaging in great conversation. As typical with Boondockers Welcome stays, we start as strangers and end as friends. 

The Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The buildings, landscaping and gardens in the Square are incredible. 

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An inside look at the Salt Lake Tabernacle or Mormon Tabernacle in Temple Square. Like the Temple pictured above, it was built in the 1800’s. The building is home to the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and is said to have remarkable acoustic qualities. While visiting we were fortunate to be able to hear a recital of this magnificent pipe organ, one of the largest organs in the world. 

The Utah State Capitol Building sits high above Salt Lake City on Capitol Hill. Initial construction of the building was completed in 1916 at a cost of $2.7 million. Interestingly, the building was renovated in 2004-2008 at a cost of $260 million. What a difference in money value!

Boondockers Welcome is a membership that allows free overnight RV parking on private property. Locals invite travelers to spend the night, share their stories, and save money for the real adventure.

Once a host has accepted your request to stay and you have all the necessary driving directions, you will be able to arrive at their location knowing you have a safe, legal, free place to stop for the night. Please respect your hosts’ privacy; some may be extremely friendly and invite you in for a drink, some may be busy and just have time to point you to your spot for the night. Do not overstay your welcome, most hosts only expect guests to stay for 1-3 nights. Be thankful, polite and respectful of their property.

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The Pioneer Memorial Museum is located in Salt Lake City just down the street from the Utah State Capitol Building. The museum houses paintings, photos, manuscripts and memorabilia from Utah’s earliest founders including the actual wagon that Brigham Young and family used on their trek west from Illinois. The museum is free to visit but photography inside is not allowed. 

Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah was built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. the park hosted the bobsled, skeleton, luge, ski jumping, and Nordic combined events. Today it serves as a training center for Olympic and development level athletes. 

Traffic Calming Ahead. This is a new sign for us. Calming uses physical design and other measures to improve safety for motorists and are popular approaches used in Australia and Europe. 

A private oasis on a hilltop with a great view of the Wasatch Mountains was home for a few days. It felt like we were isolated from the world yet were only a few blocks from a major shopping area just outside of Provo, Utah. Thanks to the Boondockers Welcome program and hosts for another amazing stay. 

While in Provo, Utah we took a drive through the campus of BYU. Beautiful! 

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Bridal Veil Falls near Provo, Utah. It’s a 607 foot waterfall in the south end of Provo Canyon. There used to be an aerial tramway that took visitors to a lodge, restaurant and gift shop located at the top of the mountain but an avalanche destroyed it in 1996. 

The Provo River Parkway is a 15 mile paved trail that follows Highway 189 in Provo, Utah. The trail passes along the base of Bridal Veil Falls. The trail is very popular for walking, running and biking. There are multiple parking areas, picnic areas and restrooms along the route. We highly enjoyed a walk along a portion of the trail. 

A view of the Provo River from a bridge near the Provo River Parkway trail. 

A glimpse of the beautiful views from the Alpine Scenic Loop, a 20 mile drive through the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest near Provo, Utah. It’s a beautiful drive but be alert as the road is narrow, windy with blind curves and has steep grades. 

Timpanogos Cave National Monument was closed for the season and was under construction during our visit. It looks like an interesting place to visit so we put it on the list to see when we’re in the area next time. 

A bridge on a hiking trail near the Timpangos Cave National Monument as seen from Highway 92 near Provo, Utah. The trails were also closed to hikers. 

The “UP” house in Herriman, Utah. The house was modeled after the Disney-Pixar movie, UP. The house is a private residence in the middle of a subdivision. The home was designed and built by Bangerter Homes with permission from the Disney company. 

Sign at the Walmart in Payson, Utah clearly states whether RV parking is allowed and the length of stay permitted. Wish all Walmarts would have signs like this. 

While in the Payson, Utah area we stocked up on groceries and supplies, filled our gasoline tanks on the RV and car, and filled the RV propane tank in anticipation of spending time boondocking on BLM land near Capitol Reef National Park. Stay tuned for more of our crazy adventures. See you then!

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2 thoughts on “UP House, Winter Olympics and Temple Square”

  1. Diane and Casey Farragut Forest

    Capitol Reef YES. One if our favorite spots.
    You are there about the same time we were there. Enjoy. I am jealous. I think we boondocked by mile marker 71 we think.
    If you head out 12 when you leave check out Calf Creek. I couldn’t believe Casey squeezed our rig in there. It was so worth it. Make sure to stop at Kiva House coffee just outside Calf Creek in Escalante area

    Happy Trails
    Diane and Casey

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