Home for the bad weather

It has been so hot at home! When I first looked at moving to the SLC area, I checked the historic temperature ranges. On average it used to get over 100 degrees four times a year. Last month we had over 10 days! It was the hottest July on record. Even worse it doesn’t get down below 70 degrees at night, and that is by 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. We have some medical and service appointments these three weeks so we can’t just head out again or I would! Even worse than the temps is the pollution. We sit in a big bowl of mountains with two million people driving lots of cars. Add to that mining and numerous petroleum refineries and we are getting a double whammy of particulate pollution and ozone. We really, really need a storm to come through and blow all this nasty air away, but it won’t be here for a few more days.

I am dealing with the heat by not using my stove or oven. If it can’t be microwaved or cooked in the Instant Pot, it doesn’t get made. We have had a few pork loin roasts and a beef pot roast, and that helps the heat. It is sad that I don’t get to leave my blinds open during the day though since I love looking at the mountains through the windows. Then again, I can’t see the mountains well due to the pollution! We decided to take a drive yesterday out to Antelope Island. Normally we get a great view to both the Lakeside Mountains to the west of the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains to the east. Yesterday we couldn’t see the Lakeside at all, and only the vaguest hint of the Wasatch. In other words, if anyone local wants to do a rain dance, please do.

Is that enough of a whine for today?

Pictures from the Black Hills trip

Our travel trailer and the view at Lucerne.
View off our campsite at Lucerne campground in Flaming Gorge near Manila, UT
We had a number of unfazed pronghorn that kept wandering through the campground to the lake.
Oh, and there was a family of ospreys at the edge of the campground. We never saw the babies, but the adults flew back and forth with food.

I tried to insert a sound file from Boulder Creek, but I can’t figure it out. Sorry!

Devil’s Tower from the KOA campground
Cabin near Spearfish views
Bunkhouse near Spearfish
A mandatory view of Mount Rushmore from the highway (with the truck antenna right through Jefferson’s face)
Another view of the Needles Highway
Even in the rain I think this shows why the hills were called “Black”
One of the wonderful tunnels on the Needles Highway, in the rain from inside the car.
Pactola Lake in the Black Hills has some amazing rocks around and in it.

On the road again

It has been HOT in Salt Lake City! It has been over 90 degrees, and sometimes higher the last few days. That is 10-15 degrees warmer than normal, and I have been dying. We finally got on the road today, heading in a very slow manner to Spearfish, SD and a family get together. We have so much stuff the truck is filled to capacity. We brought our Pack and Play for the youngest grandson to use plus some bouncer toy thing that my daughter originally intended to rent. I was able to buy a used one on KSL classifieds for less than the rental would have been! Add to that a few goodies for the grandkids, birthday presents for oldest son and his wife, my sewing machine and some goodies there, and it is a lot of stuff.

We originally intended on going to Fossil Buttes National Monument, but it was just too hot to enjoy walking around so we just went straight to our campsite at Lucerne campground on Flaming Gorge Reservoir. We don’t normally make reservations in advance except for destinations, but Kevin decided to make this reservation a couple of days ago, and I am glad. We got a site that looks over an arm of the lake and has lots of space between us and the neighbor.

The view from my door is pretty nice.

Nothing between us and the water except a meadow. This site also has electricity, a definite plus though we didn’t need AC today. The cost was $18 plus the $10 resevation fee, so it wasn’t too bad. The Senior Pass we have discounts the basic camping, but the electricity is provided by a concessionaire so that isn’t discounted.

We did have some visitors. Can you see the two pronghorn? These two (or their friends) wandered through three times that I noticed.

They walk within 30 feet of the trailer.
You can tell they aren’t afraid of campers.

There is even an osprey nest right at the edge of the campground.

Osprey nest just outside the campground.

This is one of the nicest evenings we have had in a long while. We sat outside enjoying the view, then I roasted some carrots and potatoes. We ate those with some brisket we brought from home. Ahhh. The campground is very quiet except for insects and the occasional bird – just the way I like it.

Home (and getting there)

After a nice Brueger’s bagel, we headed from Tucson to Payson, AZ and Houston Mesa campground. It is a Forest Service campground run by a concessionaire just north of the town and set in the pine trees. It is just gorgeous, and there were only a couple of other campers. The camp hosts were very nice, and obviously rather bored with the limited number of campers. They talked to us quite a while, and were helpful in identifying places to go. The only problem with the big pull through site was the road noise; there was a lot of it!

We ended up just spending the night and decided to head to Utah. We drove through a wonderful scenic area with a huge copper mine. I live in the town with the Kennicott mine, the biggest open pit copper mine in the world, and I was still impressed with this one. Oddly the tailings were very colorful and interesting – all the shades of tan, brown, gray, along with green and pinks.

We spent our last night on the road at the Beaver KOA. Nice folks and only one other campsite occupied. It is a nice little place, very well kept and far enough off the highway to be very quiet. We took our time leaving, making sure the tanks were clean and empty before heading home. I even dusted! I still need to sweep the floor and wash the rugs, but it was pretty clean as we pulled it in the side yard. We started laundry (a never ending task) and cleaned out the refrigerator. Now the trailer will sleep for a few weeks.

We aren’t making any plans for April until we find out what is up with Kevin’s knee. It is very painful and makes these weird popping noises. He had this rather silly idea that he could wait until he went on Medicare in September, but it is just too sore. He saw our family practitioner today, and he has a MRI scheduled for Friday. By mid next week we will hopefully know what he has to do to be better since the PT and meds aren’t working. I am hoping it is a quick arthroscopic clean up of the tendon, but that is not based on any specific knowledge. If he can get better quickly, we may go to a high school get together in Oklahoma City on Easter weekend. If not, we will stay here (or at least close) until mid May when we have reservations for the Yosemite area.