UTAH, THE FINAL CHAPTER

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Mistakes have been made.

When rushing to outrun weather it’s always a good idea to double check your reservations.

As soon as we realized we’ d have to make a run for it, I immediately booked three reservations at three different KOA campgrounds.

We could just  drive in and set up, easy as pie, not worry about a thing.

Keep things simple.

Until we arrived at the Provo KOA at 6 PM that is.

Provo KOA had no after hours card with our name on it, and no check in package, even though I’d already paid by phone. Another couple arrived at the same time with the same problem. Being newbies we didn’t know what to do. The other couple said, “Just pick an empty site, set up and check with the office in the morning”.

Sounded good, but I was still waiting to wake up to a knock on the door, in the middle of the night telling us we had to move.

Once we were settled, I called the St. George KOA to make sure that tomorrow night was still reserved. They said our reservation was for tonight. Somehow the nights had been switched between the KOA’s.

Sigh…Not sure if it was my fault or theirs but we got it straightened out in the morning.

A quick note about the Provo KOA. It’s a huge, side by side, parking lot style campground with row upon row of RV’s.  It seemed clean and well kept but less of a destination and more of a place to pull off the freeway to spend the night.

The next morning we drove to the St George KOA, (pictured above).

To get the campground, you have to drive on a side road through the picturesque town of Leeds. The area has an extensive history of homesteading and mining and there are old buildings and artifacts to see.

The KOA is at the very end of the road. The entrance had been completely washed out by a recent flood so the new entrance was a makeshift driveway a little further down the street.

Standing right at the entrance of the KOA is this beautiful ruins which I believe is part of the Harrisburg Ghost Town.

More on that later.

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The campground is tucked up against a mountain overlooking both the Harrisburg site and the Red Cliffs Recreation area. It was a bit tricky to figure out how to register. We had to park in a big open lot by the office, which was on the lower level and then be led to our campsite, up a dirt road to the upper level.

It was all dirt and not much wifi but I liked the scenery and solitude.

It turns out we’d made good time in our rush to get home and the storm was not going to impact us anymore so we decided to spend an extra day sightseeing.

Zion National Park was very close, our destination for the day. We’ve been there a couple of times before but thought it would be a nice leisurely drive.

Wrong again! It’s been years since we’ve been there but I don’t remember there being so many tourist traps and crowds, crowds, crowds. It was slow going and the side canyons were closed, except to shuttles.

We stuck to the main road through the park.

Still stunning scenery, minus the crazy tourists, see below…

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THAT DOES NOT LOOK SAFE AT ALL

I did manage to take a few pictures just because.

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After leaving Zion, it was still early and we weren’t excited about driving back the same way, nor were we excited to drive up and around the opposite way on the main highway.

Turning onto a side road called North Fork Road seemed like a good option since it looked like it was in the general direction toward home.

It started off as a small paved road which then turned to dirt.

By looking at Google Maps on satellite view and following the road digitally, it seemed that it would go across the mountain ridge and eventually connect with highway 14 toward Cedar City.

Who knows what we would encounter along the way.

Luckily we’re prepared for anything!

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The road was nice, the scenery spectacular and we came upon guest ranches, a canyoneering site, and vacation homes.

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Someone’s failed dream of Real Estate riches

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Think he needs a tow?

The road wound around and over and through, sometimes following a beautiful stream, and sometimes the red rocks would peak through the mountain.

We came upon several sheep ranching operations which warned against poaching their sheep. Penalty Jail!

I guess poaching is still a problem?

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Starting to climb.

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Is that snow?

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I think it’s snow!

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Snow and a lake!

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The map says Navajo Lake

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On the beach looking up.

After driving past the lake, the road led to Highway 14 which we took toward Cedar City. It was also a pretty drive even though it was getting late.

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When we got back to the RV Park we didn’t want to stop exploring just yet, it’s our last day. With a little light left, we decided to go back to the Harrisburg Ghost Town.

Directly across from the RV Park you can drive through a tunnel under the 15 freeway to get to there.

We explored the area a little in the morning but we were kind of underwhelmed since the “Ghost Town” has been slowly but surely surrounded by the Harrisburg development of new houses.

We thought we’d give it another chance.

This is the tunnel from the RV park.

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Historical stone buildings dot the area.

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Note the modern house next to the ruin

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The road leads closer to the mountain and into Silver Reef.

Silver Reef was a silver mining town. I think I read that there are mine and mill ruins in the hills somewhere nearby.

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I’d love to see what’s up this road, but alas our time is up.

Tomorrow we drive home.

We say goodbye to our very first RV trip while keeping this view in our minds.

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And thus ends our first trip in our brand new RV.

35 days of new experiences.

2,753 miles on the motorhome.

Until we meet again!

 

 

 

 

 

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