Heading South to Utah

Provo, UT

With the leaves changing and the weather becoming a bit cooler, it was time to begin to migrate south.  The weather during our stay in Missoula was mostly overcast with a threat of rain.  We had a bit of that rain, and on our final day we were treated to a great double rainbow just behind us.

Our departure day was mostly sunny, providing great views as we headed south down I-15.

Cool look at Montana’s “Big Sky”

Snow-peaked mountains

Since we are in no hurry we usually limit our driving days to around 200 miles a day, so as we approached that distance we stopped for the night in the town of Dillon, MT and took a site at Countryside RV Park just south of the town.  Parks are nearly empty this time of year so we were able to drive in and pick our site.  It’s a nice park with great views to the east and west.

Looking to the east

Looking to the west

We spent the afternoon checking out the town, but there really wasn’t much to see.  But their saving grace was a Starbucks inside the local Safeway!

The next morning we were back on the road bright and early (for us).  The highways was almost empty of traffic and the scenery was impressive.

Clark Canyon Reservoir

We knew we were in the west when we looked to the east and saw cowboys driving a herd of cattle up a side road.

Early that afternoon we pulled in to the Bannock County Fairgrounds in Pocatello, ID.  Many towns have RV facilities at the local fairgrounds that are open to the public.  While nothing fancy, they are often convenient and inexpensive spots for an overnight stay.  We pulled in to the RV area and found we were the only ones there.

Pocatello is home to Idaho State University, so that afternoon we drove over for a tour of the school.  We were very impressed with the campus of ISU (12,000 students).  The grounds were nicely trimmed and the buildings well maintained.

Holt Arena (12,000 football, 8,000 basketball)

Dinner in Pocatello was at a local brewhouse that had great ratings.  We found the beer very good and the food average.

All alone in Pocatello

The next morning we were again up early and on the road.  After stopping for a bit of fuel, we entered the beautiful state of Utah.

After two days of driving on a nearly empty highway, we were  soon in the traffic of Salt Lake City.

Utah state capitol building

Arriving in Provo early in the afternoon we were able to find a nice site in Utah Lake State Park.  Provo is a beautiful college town (BYU) with a great network of biking/running trails through town.  We quickly aired up the tires on our bikes and found the trail just outside the park entrance.

The bike trail through Provo

The “Y” over the campus of BYU

The bike trail has underpasses to get you by roads and highways.  We rode all the way across the town without having to cross a street.

Seven and half miles later we rode up University Parkway and what did we find?  A nice Seattle-based coffee house where we enjoyed a bit of liquid refreshment before heading back to the park.

Heading home on the parkway

The main part of the trail winds along the sides of the Provo River.  Of course, rivers west are a bit small.  Back east we would call this Provo Creek.

The next morning we took a scenic drive through Provo Canyon.  The road winds through the canyon, then along Deer Creek Reservoir.

We then drove up a canyon to the Sundance Resort, where Robert Redford has a home. There is also a high end resort where he holds a yearly film festival.  We think it was him in the car in front of us but the driver would not turn around so we can’t be sure.


When we went back to  the park we were pleased to see that a nice Airstream had set up in a nearby site.  Leigh and Brian of the blog Aluminarium had arrived.  We have followed their blog for a while and knew they were planning to stay in this park, so we were excited to have the opportunity to finally meet all three of them.

Leigh, Brian, and Curtis

We enjoyed a great meal at their site and a couple of hours sharing stories.  Since we will be leaving in the morning, we only had those few short hours to get to know Leigh and Brian, but we’re sure we’ll cross paths with them again in the future.

But now its time for some more hiking.   More on that later . . .

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38 Responses to Heading South to Utah

  1. The new camera and the photographer are doing a great job sharing wonderful pictures of the west making me so jealous that you are already there!
    Looking forward to your hikes in Utah.

  2. Janna says:

    You guys are making tracks–you got close to us but not close enough. Dillon is where we usually spend the last night before making the push for home the next day. We have always used the Southside Campground downtown Dillon–they know what “big rig” means! And last year was the first year we had towed the long trailer, finding a spot for 70 feet of length can be challenging–the Pocatello fairgrounds fit the bill and we too were the only ones there. Another comment makes mention of a “new camera”–what did you get, your photos are great as usual!

    • placestheygo says:

      Janna, John will make mention of the camera in the next blog. I have been very happy with it.

      We went back and forth about which place to stay in Dillon. The reviews were similar. So John thought the one outside town would be easier to get to. It was very quiet and empty with wonderful WiFi.

  3. We too, are from PA and have been fulltiming for a few years. Retired from the education field as well. Thank you so much for sharing your travels as we plan on doing the NW next summer. Your blog has been invaluable for information. We’ll continue reading and hopefully our paths will cross in our travels. However, we’ll be leaving PA in two weeks as the frost is coming and we don’t take well to the cold anymore. Heading for FL until the trip West. Best to you and keep up the great blog.

  4. pmbweaver says:

    Gorgeous rainbows!
    Those snow covered mountains look beautiful with the snow on top.
    We have friends in Prov,o and they love it! They have been there a month. They say there is so much to do there and tons of hiking trails.
    Your scenery each day of your drive looks awesome. Utah is one the most beautiful states we have been in. Enjoy the ride.

  5. Box Canyon Blogger Mark says:

    My signal sucks, but hopefully you get this…The gang awaits…more people showing up (Allison and Jim) and we will be near Capital Reef till the weather runs us off, which doesn’t seem to be in our near future :))
    Mark, Bobbie, Boonie, Allison, Jim, Gayle, Jim, Coffee Girl, Debbie, Elliot and Rupert…misc. Cats that won’t die or go away, and Wiseones, Susan and Maikel. :))

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, your comment came through! Thanks, Mark:) Sure sounds like a wonderful time. A small blogger rally!! I sent Jim and Gayle an explanation about why we won’t be making it your way. Hopefully, we will catch up in the southwest this winter. Happy hiking and biking!

  6. Gay says:

    The rainbow pictures are so pretty! We love Utah and it’s next. Door neighbor…Colorado! Welcome to alittle bit of heaven. If you are close to Moab…let us know! Sounds like big plans and lots of fun at Capital Reef! Happy trails…..

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Gay! We won’t be making it into southern Utah til spring. Capital Reefs is just too far out out of the way since we are heading towards CA. We really went back and forth about going. Sure sounds like a fun time with so many people there.

  7. Sherry says:

    What a great job of taking me on your trip. I love the wandering feeling this post gives me. You just seem to pull into town after a great scenic drive and find the perfect spot for the night. Great pictures. I guess I missed the new camera too but I thought I hadn’t missed one of your posts. It sure takes fine pictures. Very envious that you are going to be in Capitol Reef with this capital group.

    • placestheygo says:

      You didn’t miss any post on the camera, Sherry. John will mention what we got in our next blog:)

      Glad you enjoyed all our short stops to get a little further south. We won’t be going to Capital Reef until spring. it just doesn’t make sense right now since we are aiming for CA. It was a tough decision with so many people at the gathering.

  8. Dave & Skruffy (GoingRvWay.com) says:

    I doubt you are staying in Provo much longer, but a good drive this time of year is Squaw Peak Road, which goes along the mountain ridge from Orem to Springvale….the Aspens back in there are wonderful in October. Got my Masters Degree from the “Y” in Library and Information Sciences….they don’t offer that degree anymore, and got to know the area very well. And yes, you can hike up to the Y on the mountain. –Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

    • placestheygo says:

      No, Dave, we aren’t in the Provo area any longer. It was just a two day stop over. We did see that you could hike up to the “Y” but rode the bike path both days instead. It was a nice 15 miles round trip to Starbucks!

  9. Erin says:

    Great rainbow. It’s nice to see some of our haunts from when we lived in Utah back in the 80s. Of course, we were working back then, so didn’t see nearly as much of the state as we would like to have. One of our favorite memories is going to Sundance for a live performance of The Sound of Music; I still get chills when I remember hearing the first strains of Maria singing from somewhere behind us at the top of a hill, just like in the movies. Will enjoy seeing everything through your eyes.

  10. You’re heading for UT, YAY! We hope to hit UT next fall. Hope you get to meet up with the crew outside Capitol Reef!

    • placestheygo says:

      We are just hitting a little of UT as we move south. We aren’t going to make it to Capital Reef. It is just not on the way to CA. We have been debating for a few days and I realized it doesn’t make sense especially since we are heading to southern UT in the spring. So we will, hopefully, catch up with some of them this winter.

  11. Jodee Gravel says:

    So glad your good weather is continuing. The pic looking east at Countryside RV Park is beautiful, I love that there are still places like that. Keep hearing good things about Provo, and the bike trails are certainly a plus. We love our paseos here – lots of trails through town that bypass all the street crossings 🙂 I’m sure that was Mr. Redford – but you got home and there were celebrities camped next door 🙂 Thanks for sharing, and safe travels.

  12. gt350ed says:

    Nice to see a good photo of Leigh, Brian and their doggy. We have been communicating and following them…And now you folks.

    Ed @ Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets

  13. Laurel says:

    I’m wondering about your new camera, too — would love to know what you’re using for those gorgeous images. Of course, I do know that the person behind the camera is the most important part of any great photo. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much, Laurel:) John is going to write something about the camera in the next blog. It is a point and shoot camera with lots of features and a 20X zoom. I like to carry it in my pocket.

  14. jcgc50 says:

    How nice you finally got to meet Brian, Leigh and Curtis!
    We had a Robert Redford sighting when we drove up to Sundance, too.
    Hope you make it to Torrey!

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, it was great to finally meet Brian, Leigh, and Curtis. I have so many recipes that I call Leigh’s whatever. Now John knows who Leigh is!!

      Glad you had a Redford sighting, also:)

      We aren’t going to make it to Torrey until the spring:( It just doesn’t work since we are heading towards CA. We’ve been back and forth for several days.

  15. LuAnn says:

    Love those rainbow shots and the snow-capped peaks. How wonderful that you are back in Utah, a state I know you both love, and that you were able to meet up with Aluminarium. Have fun with the gang at Capitol Reef. Happy hiking! 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Our UT stay was only for two days. It was perfect though because we were able to meet up with Brian and Leigh.

      We won’t be making the trip to Capital Reef until the spring. We have been debating about going now to meet everyone but it is just in the wrong direction:( It was a very difficult decision for me.

      • LuAnn says:

        Too bad that you won’t be able to meet the gang now, but as we know, the beauty of this lifestyle is that so many of us travel the same roads so there are many opportunities to meet. 🙂

  16. Holly Ritger says:

    Snow-capped mountains, double rainbow with amazing lighting… I really enjoyed seeing where you have been lately : )

  17. Leigh says:

    We had such a great time with you guys. Hopefully we’ll run into each other again this winter.

  18. Pam says:

    Heading to Utah to hook up with The Masters…so jealous! On the road ourselves to SC and was just talking about how amazing Utah is this time of year.

    • placestheygo says:

      No, Pam, we decided it was just too far the wrong way and we are going to Capital Reef in the spring. We missed the gang! We are heading to St. George so will get a little more Utah:) Have fun in SC!!

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