Utah North 2015

Travels in Utah North - Dinosaur, Salt Lake City, Brigham and Provo

Travels in Utah North – Dinosaur, Salt Lake City, Brigham and Provo

It is great to be back on the road. We crossed the Utah state line on day 12 as planned. To date the trip was gone well and the adventure that we expected. The RV park reservations and the weather all seem to be on our side. This post will be on the north Utah experience. Look for the post of Utah south to follow once we hit Nevada in late September. The first Utah stop was the Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, then Salt Lake City, followed by Brigham City and finally Provo.

Here is the last shot of Colorado as seen in our rear view mirror...

Here is the last shot of Colorado as seen in our rear view mirror…

Leaving the Colorado grazing lands from the West

Leaving the Colorado grazing lands from the West

As we left Colorado again we lamented that there was more that we could do if time allowed…

Greeted in Utah with a weather worn sign...

Greeted in Utah with a weather worn sign…

Here we are the Utah desert

Here we are the Utah desert

Utah port of entry was the northeast corner of the state a high desert area. The landscape definitely changed as we cross the border between the two states.

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

Green River Campground at Jensen, Utah is outstanding - Good location with great views

Green River Campground at Jensen, Utah is outstanding – Good location with great views

Green River Valley creates its own personality in the Utah high desert

Green River Valley creates its own personality in the Utah high desert

Our National Park RV site was the Green River campground in the Dinosaur National Monument. We were right on the river with a great view. The Green River Valley setting of desert, water and mountains set the stage for great visuals. Adding to our quality of life on the road, the Utah sun along with the new Solar panels did their job to keep the batteries charged and our quality of life on track.

Green in the desert...this has been a one family working farm for more than 100 years

Green in the desert…this has been a one family working farm for more than 100 years

See what a little water can bring forth...

See what a little water can bring forth…

Being from the mid-west, seeing farming operations in the desert along the river was fascinating. The Chew family farm has been in operations here for over 100 years.

In the past there were herds of cattle roaming here

In the past there were herds of cattle roaming here

Fact or legend Josie Morris was an outlaw and rancher along with Butch Cassidy and others who held up in the region

Fact or legend Josie Morris was an outlaw and rancher along with Butch Cassidy and others who held up in the region

The area still has limited cattle grazing but is mostly a thing of the past. The park showcased an old ranch owned by Josie Morris. Legend has it she had several encounters with the law over cattle rustling (never convicted), was married five times, furnished horses to Butch Cassidy plus other outlaws and ran the ranch to age 89. She died at 90 in 1963. The old ranch house built in the 30s still stands with most of the other out building long gone. She was creative on how she managed water rights and used the land. Evidently she made impression on many people as there is plenty of information documenting her life.

Great drive along the park road along the river

Great drive along the park road along the river

Park landscape is diverse

Park landscape is diverse

More color in the desert

More color in the desert

The park road climbs to the top in some spots

The park road climbs to the top in some spots

Fun drive through the lower valley

Fun drive through the lower valley

View near the campground - red rock and granite mountains

View near the campground – red rock and granite mountains

Fremont Indian Pictographs from the past

Fremont Indian Pictographs from the past

There were hundreds of these on the mountain...you had to work a bit to find them

There were hundreds of these on the mountain…you had to work a bit to find them

The area was a nice introduction to Utah. We knew we were in the west with lots of mountain and great scenery. Yes, even some red rock. The area has many Pictographs done by the Fremont Indians…some say could date back to 200 to 1,300 AD.

The reason we are here...Dinosaurs

The reason we are here…Dinosaurs

A building has been constructed over the Quarry

A building has been constructed over the Quarry

Inside view of the Quarry wall

Inside view of the Quarry wall

Close up...there were over 350 tons of bones recovered and send to museums all over the world

Close up…there were over 350 tons of bones recovered and send to museums all over the world

The reason we were drawn to the area were the dinosaurs. The museum and quarry we found very educational. There is plenty of good information on the how and why the concentration of Dinosaurs in the area. The excavation was over several decades and truly a passion for those who did it. It took us about three hours to tour the facilities and grounds.

SALT LAKE CITY AND THE GREAT SALT LAKE

Salt Lake City Capital of Utah

Salt Lake City Capital of Utah

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City

Downtown Salt Lake

Downtown Salt Lake

The Mormon Campus is impressive

The Mormon Campus is impressive

Stately architecture for sure

Stately architecture for sure

Mormon Convention Center - Capacity 21,000

Mormon Convention Center – Capacity 21,000

Convention Center Building roof

Convention Center Building roof

Roof area is 7.5 acres, it even has a grass field with native trees and plants

Roof area is 7.5 acres, it even has a grass field with native trees and plants

The Mormon message is everywhere, even on the roof...

The Mormon message is everywhere, even on the roof…

Love organs...this is a small one in the Convention Center

Love organs…this is a small one in the Convention Center

Fantastic organ...we experienced it in person

Fantastic organ…we experienced it in person

Next stop was Salt Lake City the capital of Utah. We stayed about 10 miles out at North Salt Lake at a very crowded private RV park. We spent one day in the City. The Mormon influence is overwhelming. The city is laid out on a grid so very easy to navigate. The downtown area is clean and very nicely landscaped. There is a three story shopping complex which is well done. It covers more than one block and is both inside and outside with walkways over the streets. Has all the major stores plus places to eat.

Access to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake

Access to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake

Lots to see and do on the island - there arealso buffalo, antelope and other wild life

Lots to see and do on the island – there arealso buffalo, antelope and other wild life

Both high and low terrain

Both high and low terrain

066 Antelope Island

Yes, I got in the Great Salt Lake - It is salty and not very nice

Yes, I got in the Great Salt Lake – It is salty and not very nice

I have always had a fascination with the Great Salt Lake. I remember a picture of my Grandmother Woodard wading in the lake from the 40s. She had great memories of a trip west with my Aunt and I remember listening to stories of her trip. We found a good way to experience the lake was by traveling to Antelope Island. It is connected by a causeway from the main land. It has lots of wildlife like Buffalo, Antelope and Deer. It is developed mostly for recreational use now. We had less than a half day so had to leave a lot of the island unexplored. After being in the lake, yes you need a shower soon! Not sure I can share my Grandmother’s memory as a neat experience.

WILLARD BAY, BRIGHAM CITY

Willard Bay a fresh water diked reservoir on the Great Salt Lake

Willard Bay a fresh water diked reservoir on the Great Salt Lake

Willard Bay campground view

Willard Bay campground view

Our next move was to Willard Bay State Park. The bay is actually a fresh water reservoir used by farmers for irrigation. There is a dike built around it as a barrier to the Great Salt Lake. The lake is also used for boating and fishing…very interesting concept. They are in the process of raising the dikes to hold more water. The RV Park was good although very close to I15.

Could resist the National Historic Site where the Union and Pacific Railroads met

Could resist the National Historic Site where the Union and Pacific Railroads met

Jupiter a Passenger trail from the West

Jupiter a Passenger trail from the West

Union 119 freight train from the East

Union 119 freight train from the East

119 in motion

119 in motion

While we were at Willard Bay we traveled north to Brigham City. The city had a very nice look and feel. The main street is lined with Sycamore trees…which are impressive. Close by is the Golden Spike Historical site. This is where the Pacific Railroad tracks from the West met the Union Railroad from the East. We had to check it out. There were two reproduction steam locomotives built in 1979 in action and on display. The stop was educational and the trip there was through ATK land (Rocket manufacturing and testing facility). There was a rocket museum which looked intriguing but passed due to time limitations.

Logan Canyon drive - Very Scenic

Logan Canyon drive – Very Scenic

Bear Lake in Utah and Idaho at the end of the Logan Canyon Highway - Very large and beautiful

Bear Lake in Utah and Idaho at the end of the Logan Canyon Highway – Very large and beautiful

From there we headed north to Logan to pick up the Logan Canyon Highway to Idaho. This is a very challenging winding and curving road through the mountains. The main objective was to spend some time in Idaho as that is one of the states still on our bucket list. Idaho looked good; we will be going back on our next trip west.

PROVO AND UTAH LAKE

RV park on Utah Lake at Provo - Action in the air...

RV park on Utah Lake at Provo – Action in the air…

Utah Lake State Park - Nice RV accomodations - Very large harbor

Utah Lake State Park – Nice RV accomodations – Very large harbor

When in Provo...follow the Mormon trail

When in Provo…follow the Mormon trail

Note the BYU Y on the side of mountain

Note the BYU Y on the side of mountain

Beautiful landscaped campus...we did the tour

Beautiful landscaped campus…we did the tour

Campus is only 50 years old...modern buildings

Campus is only 50 years old…modern buildings

Walkable campus

Walkable campus

Lots of bronze statues - Many supporting family values

Lots of bronze statues – Many supporting family values

Our last stop in our North Utah segment was Provo, staying at the Utah Lake State Park. The objective was to catch up on the laundry and do some shopping before hitting the National Parks in the South. On the list was to check out Brigham Young University. The campus was much newer than I expected. We learned a little more about the Mormons and their way of life.

We are now more than ready to see some red rock. Our first stop will be Arches where the next blog will pick up. The trip is still on schedule, the equipment is holding together, the weather is outstanding and most importantly enjoying being on the road again. Loving the warm days and cool nights although as I write this it is 95 out…

God bless,

Larry and Jan

2 thoughts on “Utah North 2015

  1. Peggy

    OOH! AAH! What a special treat getting to enjoy your wonderful travels and photos! I’ve been over many of your trails in the past so I am especially excited when I recognize certain locations. I am grateful that you are sharing your trip with me. Looking forward for your return home. You must come and sip tea with me and tell of your many experiences. In the meantime, continue on with your exciting adventures in our beautiful western United States.

    Reply
  2. Nenita

    Greetings Jan and Larry! Norman and I are back at San Diego and I finally got a chance to check out your website. I haven’t had the chance to fully examine all your pictures but I must say, you two are such inspiring couple. It was great meeting you at the Fairlyland Trail on 9/17 (we’re the two Asian people that kept following you). We hope that someday, we will reach all those awesome places you’ve explored and I will follow your blog and so we can live vicariously through you if time/budget don’t permit travels.

    My email is above so if ever you’re in San Diego and wanna grab a meal/bear, hit me/us up. Thank you for the inspiration and for the great vibes you spread!

    sincerely,
    N+N

    Reply

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