Driving up into the Mountains

Saturday July 15th 2017

After a couple of days of slightly more moderate heat the high heat returned today. Salt Lake City had triple digit temperatures, but here in Provo, 40 or so miles south, it only reached 98. I found out how a lot of people deal with the heat, they go up into the mountains.

I took a drive this morning into Provo Canyon and up to the Deer Creek Reservoir Recreation area. The road follows the Provo River through the canyon and steadily climbs to east side of the Wasatch mountains. There are a number of park areas and turn outs along the way. Everyone of them had a backup of cars trying to find a place to park. I continued on past the full parking lots with many other people. Many of the vehicles were pulling boats on trailers. The Deer Creek Reservoir was the destination for many of the boats. As I drove along the shore I could see a water traffic jamb of boats on the lake. There was a continuous rotation of boats pulling skiers and tubers around the perimiter of the lake in a clockwise pattern. I don’t know if they were being directed into this pattern or if it’s some sort of local rule, but it seem to be a way to accommodate the high volume of boats on the water.


Provo River near the mouth into Utah Lake.

st2From the Deer Creek Reservoir area I continued north through the town of Heber City. I got “lost” briefly in Heber City. The road signs were very poor and for some reason when route US 189 merged with route US 40 they dropped the reference to US 189 even though they are both on the map. In general, there are very few direction signs save for an occasional distance to a named town in this area. From Heber City the road really starts to climb toward the Jordanelle Reservoir. There were more boats with skiers and such in the Jordanelle Reservoir. I had looked into staying at the Jordanelle State Park, but there weren’t any open sites. Now that I see the area, I suspect all of the people in the Salt Lake Valley compete for the sites on the side of the reservoir in the cooler mountain temperatures.

After the Jordanelle Reservoir the road continues to climb up to the Park City and Deer Valley areas. I was in steady traffic. Seeing the sights and finding a place to park proved difficult. I was at the Interstate 80 intersection before I knew it. I will come back to see Park City and Deer Valley on a week day. It wasn’t worth the hassle the traffic presented. The trip back on Interstate 80 was a long down hill run. Park City is at around 7000 feet and the Salt Lake Valley is around 4400 feet in altitude.


Clouds building over the mountains and Provo Canyon

Back at my campsite on Utah Lake this afternoon the temperature was ten to fifteen degrees warmer than it was in the mountains. The way my RV is oriented the sun hits the front windshield around 3PM in the afternoon. The solar gain on the large glass surface can’t be avoided. I have the shades down, but it still gets hot in the rig with only one AC running. If I had enough power to run both air conditioners I’d be fine.

Tomorrow the heat continues. In fact it’s supposed to be a couple degrees warmer. I’m not sure what’s on my agenda yet, but keeping cool is one thing.

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