Updated: Sep 14, 2022
Welcome to Bryce Canyon National Park!
We left Salt Lake City on June 22nd, with our grandson in tow, and headed to Bryce Pioneer Village in Tropic, UT for a 6 night stay. The original plan was for Eric to follow us in his car, but he was still recuperating from having Covid and joined us a couple of days later. They stayed with us for part of our stay before going back home on the 25th.
The RV park was small and was in a great location with an on-site restaurant, pool, hot tub, and community fire pit. We enjoyed a few meals at the restaurant, and Ethan roasted marshmallows for s'mores at the fire pit. Pat and Ethan also spent some time at the pool and hot tub.
The next day we visited nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park in Cannonville, UT. This park is known for its multi-colored sandstone cliffs and monolithic stone spires. We hiked a few of the trails while appreciating the beauty of this stunning environment.
Hike through Kodachrome Basin State Park.
On June 24th, we visited Bryce Canyon National Park, a 14 minute drive from the RV Park. We decided to do a challenging 2.9 mile hike called the Queens Garden & Navajo Combination. Bryce Canyon NP is known for the deep, red hues and the many Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) that stand like soldiers along the base of the canyon. This is a park I would recommend putting on your "must see" list as the photos can't possibly depict it's true magnificence.
Killer hike in Bryce Canyon NP.
We visited Bryce a few more times while we were there. Each time we found more beautiful places to explore.
We ended our stay celebrating Pat's birthday, on June 27th, by going out to a nice restaurant in town called Stone Hearth Grille. We sat on the patio where the view in the background made for an awesome setting. The food was delicious, too. The meal was completed with a slice of cheesecake as the staff and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Pat.
Happy Birthday Pat!
We had a wonderful 6 nights in the Bryce Canyon area and especially enjoyed sharing part of our stay with Eric and Ethan. Time to move on to our next new view.
On June 28th we began to make our way to our next destination, Wonderland RV Park in Torrey, UT, about 102 miles NE of Bryce. We made the decision to take Hwy. 12, know as one of America's most scenic byways. The highway, although beautiful, stretches along some harrowing, mountainous roads. We were rolling along until the RV check engine light came on. As soon as we started to climb up a hill, the RV decided it wasn't going any further. We had no where to go but down. Pat quickly unhooked the Jeep, and I drove it in reverse as he backed the RV down the hill to where he had just enough space to get off the road. Once we were safely parked by the side of the road, we needed to figure out a plan. This is when we realized we were literally in the middle of nowhere with absolutely NO cell phone or internet service.
We were about halfway between the last RV park and our destination (see "X" on map) when the RV broke down. The transmission was stuck in 3rd gear and the RV was un-drivable. This wasn't anything Pat could fix. Since our RV was still under warranty, we needed to get it to a Ford Authorized Dealer. As I said, we were in a very remote area with no way of communicating with Ford or a tow service. This situation would have been more dire except for the fact that we had recently purchased Starlink satellite internet and had it delivered to Eric while we were visiting in Salt Lake City. Within minutes, Pat was able to set up the dish by the side of the RV, and we were able to start making the necessary calls. The closest Ford dealership was about 300 miles away back in Salt Lake City. It took 2 days and 2 different tow truck companies and a bunch of phone calls in between, but we finally made our way back to Salt Lake.
Mishap on the mountain. Starlink to the the rescue!
I booked us an Airbnb for 1 week and cancelled our next 2 RV park reservations because we didn't know how long it would take to get the RV fixed. Fortunately, the RV was fixed the next day, but we decided to stay for the remainder of the week. On a positive note, everything, including the tow costs (about $4500!) and the repair, was covered under our warranty and Ford Roadside Assistance. Also, we were able to spend more time with Eric and Ethan. Eric didn't tell Ethan about our mishap, so he was surprised, yet again, when Eric brought him over to our Airbnb the next day!
The Airbnb worked out great. We had a modern room in a 5000 sq. ft. house located in a great neighborhood in Ogden, UT. We had a friendly, accommodating host, Kathy, who graciously allowed our cat and dog to stay in the room. Simba and Myah didn't seem to mind moving into a new place for a week. There was a big backyard for Myah to play ball, so she was very happy!
On July 3rd, Pat, Eric, Ethan, Myah and I took a ride to Snowbasin Resort. This is a busy, popular ski resort in the wintertime but is a fun place to hike during the summer months. We rode a ski lift to the top of the mountain and hiked around while admiring the amazing views below. A live band was performing that day, so we sat on the grounds and listened to the music for a while before heading back to the Airbnb.
We watched an impressive fireworks display from Hill AFB on the 4th of July and enjoyed the rest of this "bonus" time with Eric and Ethan before our week was over.
Fireworks as seen from Hill AFB.
I guess the moral of this story is when you are a full-time RV'er, unexpected setbacks could and will happen. We've learned to be able to quickly change and adapt, which is essential for this lifestyle. In this case, we missed out on a few other national parks in southern Utah, but most importantly we were able to stay safe and get help. On to the next adventure!