Park City & Jordanelle State Park

A quick note on the format of this post. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want this space to be. After five plus years of blogging, I find myself less and less motivated to write. Every blog post feels like a huge chore which means I wait too long and then have to go through hundreds of photos and spend hours coming up with some sort of comprehensive/entertaining/informative summary.

When I write this way (especially if several weeks has passed) a lot gets lost. I forget little things that might have happened, people we met, conversations shared, and all those details that I want to preserve for the future. My goal for the blog has always been to create a record of this time of our lives. Something we can look back on and something we can share with others. I’ve never, ever wanted this to be a travel magazine style blog with tips for the best restaurants and things to do in a city or town. Instead, I always envisioned more of a journal style with little details about our days and mentions of the things we enjoyed and didn’t enjoy in each place we visit.

So in an effort to be true to my vision and hopefully regain some blog writing motivation, I started keeping a journal a few weeks ago. I’ve been spending 15 minutes each morning writing whatever comes to mind about the day before. It’s been a relatively pain-free process and the result is more in line with what I want this space to be. Will I stick with this format? Who knows? But I continue to enjoy writing my daily journal so at least, for the time being, this will be the new format.

Sunday, September 17
We had a short drive from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Park City this morning. It was so short in fact that we arrived at Jordanelle State Park around 11:30 to discover that check out wasn’t until 2:00. The RV in our site was showing no signs of leaving so we used the dump station and had lunch in the parking lot. We also discovered that the site I had reserved was on the crappy side. Yet another reason why I hate making reservations. Online, the photos looked nice enough, but in real life, it was on an extreme slope that would have made it impossible to level the Airstream front to back.

Fortunately, the women running the entrance station was friendly and didn’t act like changing sites was something that would require activating the nuclear codes (I swear, sometimes at state parks a request to change to your reservation is treated like you just asked them to give up their first born child). So we drove around looking at the sites that were open for the entire week and chose 44 in the Lower Fisher Loop. We have a lake view!

Jordanellle State Park - Park City, Utah
Site 44 has lots of room and a view!

Even though Tim was feeling rather crappy from the cold that I passed on to him (sorry!) he mustered up enough energy to come to the Sunday Market with me. The Park Silly Sunday Market is a big deal around here and as this was the last one of the year I really didn’t want to miss it. The market takes over the entire lower half of Main Street with many booths showcasing local art and other goods. Not much in the way of produce, but I did get some local apples & peaches plus a jar of delicious homemade dill pickles that taste just like the ones my mom used to make.

Peaches at the Park Cilly Market
Our first impression of downtown Park City is that it’s swanky. It’s got that whole fancy ski town vibe going with trendy outdoor clothing stores, high-end galleries, and overpriced restaurants. We were on the lookout for a place to eat on Tim’s birthday at the end of the week. We spotted a few options, but nothing jumped out at us.

Park Cilly Market
Monday, September 18
We woke up to bright sunshine and a very windy lake. Had thought we might go kayaking today. I guess the weather had other ideas.

Jordanelle State Park site #44
Our very nice front yard. Sadly, it was never warm enough to sit out there.

Tim was still feeling crappy from his cold but with rain in the forecast for tomorrow, he rallied in the afternoon for a hike on the slopes at Deer Valley. Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort are the two ski resorts that dominate the area. There used to be three resorts, but a few years ago Park City and The Canyons merged into one to create the largest ski resort in the U.S. Combined with Deer Valley, the two resorts cover six mountains with 400 + trails, over 60 chairlifts, and countless condos, lodges, and hotels. Yup, there’s no doubt this is a ski town.

All those trails make for some good hiking and we set out to tackle the Silver Lake Loop that starts and ends at the bottom of the Silver Lake Express lift. The trail climbed steadily through the trees and across ski trails for about two miles before reaching the top of the lift. Great views all the way up and at the top.

Park City, Utah
The Jordanelle Reservoir from above

Tuesday, September 19
Rain, wind & cold dominated the day. We briefly discussed visiting the Park City History Museum in the afternoon, but in the end, neither of us felt like going anywhere. The rain stopped in the afternoon and we took a walk around the campground. There are a few waterfront sites with amazing views.

Jordanellle State Park - site 78
Site 78 has a great view!

I warmed up the house by baking a loaf of sourdough bread. Back when we were in Stanley, a friend gave me some of her starter and I’ve been experimenting and learning about sourdough for the past few weeks. I’m a pretty experienced baker and have made homemade yeast bread in the past, but sourdough always seemed so science-y and intimating. Turns out it’s not really that hard. The key is to pay attention to your starter and dough to make sure it’s rising properly. You really can’t rely on strict time frames and instead, need to watch it and be ready to act when it’s ready for you. This was my second loaf and it came out even better than the first.

Sourdough bread

Later, I sliced some up and topped it with a smear of goat cheese and roasted golden beets mixed with a little balsamic vinegar & olive oil. Yum! Combined with a green salad & pan seared chicken we had a delicious rainy day dinner.

Roasted golden beet crostini
Golden beets for the win


Wednesday, September 20
The sun came back today. If only that wind would die down maybe we could get in some kayaking. Instead, we had another day where we didn’t leave the campground. In the afternoon we took a walk along the shore and over to the marina.

Jordanelle State Park
Not exactly swimming weather
Jordanelle State Park
Or picnicking weather either

Thursday, September 21
It was another blustery, cold day. I was up for hours last night listening to the Airstream rock n’ roll. We’re not normally as bothered by the wind as larger, taller RVs, but since we’re perched on the top of a hill the wind is coming up the slope and hitting us from underneath and causing all sorts of disturbing noises.

Jordanelle State Park
On the top of the hill

The main source of noise seems to be coming from the belly pan under the Airstream. The wind is moving the thin piece of aluminum around and causing it make a terrible rattling noise. It happens to be right under our bed, hence the two hours of laying awake last night. We thought it was just normal rattling caused by the unusual position of the wind, but after going out and looking this morning we realized that the piece of metal is actually loose on three sides. Looks like the metal broke around the rivets which are no longer holding it in place. We’re also missing a bunch of insulation in there, so we suspect that it’s been this way for awhile?

Airstream belly pan repair
A gap where there shouldn’t be one and some rivets no longer doing their job

Later in the day, we went to Home Depot and got all the necessary supplies for repairs. A new roll of insulation, a long strip of aluminum, and some large screws. Should be a simple repair.

I also spent a long time at Whole Foods stocking up for our upcoming month traveling around small towns. We’ll be making return visits to some places we’ve been before and I remember having a really hard time finding a selection of groceries. This time I’m getting as much as I can with the space we have. We’ll also make a trip to Smith’s for more basic items before we leave here because I’m not enough of a sucker to stock on things like toilet paper, granola bars & laundry soap at Whole Foods.

Friday, September 22
Tim got snow on his birthday! Well, kind of. It snowed up in the mountains last night and he got to look at from afar. That will have to be good enough for now.

Park City, Utah
The clouds rolled in quickly, but you can just make out the snow on the trails up there

After a pretty low-key day, we went into town for a special dinner. Park City is full of dining options. From very high-end swanky places offering up $40 entrees to less swanky places offering $20 entrees. Yeah, this is not a casual dining kind of place. Actually, I’m sure there are some cheaper, more casual aprés ski type places, but we wanted something birthday worthy. After much back and forth and scouring the internet for reviews we ended up at the Purple Sage. It was amazing.

Tim had the roast duck with green chili mac n’ cheese & snap peas, while I had cornmeal encrusted Utah trout with white bean chili & roasted carrots. Everything was absolutely delicious and we enjoyed the small, intimate space with a chic western theme (which pretty much describes all of Park City).

Purple Sage - Park City, Utah
Delicious trout and white bean chili

Saturday, September 23

It was supposed to be sunny in the morning with increasing clouds and rain in the afternoon. Instead, the clouds rolled in early and it was freezing cold all day. Neither of us felt like rallying for a hike. This has been the theme all week. The cold temps, high wind, & prevalence of clouds has really put a damper on our desire to get out and do stuff. Of course, it doesn’t help that Tim is still suffering from some sniffles & coughing.

Instead of pushing ourselves, we had an around the house day. I jumped on one of my favorite activities — cleaning — while Tim worked on fixing the loose belly pan under the Airstream. He did a great job and I suspect that’s the end of our rattling problem.

All fixed up

A cold, harsh rain started later in the day which brought an end to anymore outside projects. We headed over to the Smith’s supermarket for our final round of shopping before leaving civilization behind. We have some loose plans to spend the next month either in really tiny towns or the middle of nowhere, which makes stocking up on food items a necessity. In the past, we’ve not been great at this and the result is eating subpar meals based on what we can find at tiny grocery stores. Not anymore. This time I’ve stocked the freezer with portions of homemade meals, good quality meat, and frozen veggies for those times when we can’t find fresh alternatives. The panty is stocked just as well with plentiful dried goods and snacks. Middle of nowhere, here we come!


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25 Responses to “Park City & Jordanelle State Park”


  1. Mom

    I like the new format! It’s still very informative with lots of photos.
    You’re right about when it gets to be a drag, something needs to change.

  2. Paula

    Love the new format. I have missed reading about your cooking and your restaurant meals. I love your date muffin recipe. You are inspiring….

    • Amanda

      I have also been missing the cooking and food mentions in my posts! It’s one of the things that gets lost when I write a re-cap weeks later. Good to know that other people enjoy it as well.

  3. Debra

    I like this new format. Been following your blog for a little while but haven’t commented before. I hit the road fulltime 3 months ago. I’ve been trying to get thru the technical process of setting up a blog. My goal is similar to yours. To keep a record of my time, and for my friends and family to follow along with me. Now I’m 3 months behind and trying to go back and write about that time. Unfortunately I wasn’t disciplined enough to keep a journal. Really need to do that!

    • Amanda

      This blogging thing isn’t easy! I find it nearly impossible to go back and fill in the gaps when I get behind. Good luck and congratulations on your new lifestyle!

  4. Laura

    I totally hear you on the blogging thing. While I still really love it, I can absolutely imagine getting burned out after five years. Putting these articles together takes a LOT of work and once you get behind, it feels like you’ll never catch up. And, like you said, at that point, a lot of the details get lost because you’re just talking about the big stuff. I often forget we did things until I take a look at my phone and see photos of some random thing. That’s my version of a “daily journal” (I take a ridiculous number of pictures – it really does help me remember things). Anyway, I like the new format a lot and I bet it will be more enjoyable for you, which is really the whole point after all.

    • Amanda

      I like the idea of a “phone photo” journal. I also take a ridiculous number of photos but I then I get stressed because it means I have to sort through them all.

  5. Maxx Trails

    I love the new format! Blogging would be no fun if it became a chore so I think you should use whatever format works for you. I find your blogs interesting and your pictures are fantastic :-)

    • Amanda

      Thanks! I really enjoy sharing and recording in the space so I don’t want it to become something that I dread. Hopefully, this new format will help with the fatigue.

  6. Metamorphosis Lisa

    I couldn’t agree more on the difficulty of blogging when you’ve been doing it for several years. I too want my blog to be a memory journal of our time on the road…but boy, it’s getting old, especially when we revisit places we’ve already been. Kudos to you for possibly finding some new mojo, I hope it works for you!

    It almost seems like Park City skipped fall and went straight to winter! Wishing you some better weather and good health for your next phase of travel…it sounds like you’ve got some interesting out of the way places in ahead!

    • Amanda

      Yup, writing about places we’ve already visited is never easy. On one hand, each visit is special with new things to experience, but on the other hand, how many times can you write about the same hike/brewery/lake?

      Things improved greatly for us this week in terms of weather and health. Can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to!

  7. Janna

    I used a journal for years before I started blogging–my blog was meant to be a journal of our life and most of the time that’s what it is. We both enjoy going back–reading and looking at photos. I like your format–thanks for letting us follow along!

    • Amanda

      We both love going back and reading and looking at old blog posts. It’s so much fun to see where we’ve been and I like to imagine many, many years from now that this record of our lives will be cherished. Thanks for following along!

  8. Al Meyer (two bikes)

    We saw your flag flying at the campground we now call “Humpy” but we too were carrying a max load of micro organisms and didn’t think a visit was in your best interests.

    Like the rest, we succumbed to blog fatigue. Hope you don’t — we enjoy your work.

    • Amanda

      Haha! Humpy is the perfect name for that place! You must have been the AS below us in the waterfront site. Sorry that our paths crossed when we were both harboring illness. Hope everyone is feeling better!

  9. Jodee Gravel

    What a difference two weeks makes in the Fall weather! Your Park City was much colder than ours. I’m amazed that the market takes up the whole Main Street and can’t imagine where everyone parked. The peaches look amazing. I sure wish I’d stocked up at WF while we were there – smart you!! The roasted beets look scrumptious :-)

    • Amanda

      Fall is definitely one of those fickle seasons around here! The market was huge and very busy. Some how we go lucky and snagged an open spot in one of the parking lots near downtown. But I also read that you can park at the high school and take a bus downtown. Not much parking downtown.

  10. Joanne

    Great new format, Amanda! I really prefer it because I enjoy the day-to-day details. I had planned to blog once we went full-time (18 months ago now) but never did because of all the work involved. Instead I took the easy way out with Instagram. I also admire your bread baking and belly pan fix. My husband and I are not handy — that discovery would have prompted a change in course to the nearest Airstream dealer and $$$$. You and Tim are amazing!

    • Amanda

      Yup, the small day-to-day details are what I was missing too. Happy that you enjoy the new format. I have to give Tim most of the credit for being a “Mr. Fixit”. If it was just me I would have probably been headed to the nearest dealer as well :)

  11. Jacky Bowen

    We have been on the road fulltime for three years but only recently started a blog because we have had so many experiences and memories in such a short time that things were starting to blur together. Hearing about your experience is a cautionary tale for us. We don’t want thousands of pictures to look back on later and ask ourselves “where were we and what is this”? But we also don’t want the blog to become a chore we dread. Thank you for your candor and perspective. I really enjoyed your new format: the good and the bad weather, problems with your reserved site, the loose panel under your Airstream, sickness slowing you down, and your shopping experiences. I often read only good things in blogs but this made me feel like others go through the same struggles as we do. Our camping style is entirely different as we have a Class A Coach and love 50 amp and full hookups, but there is a lot of commonality with other RVers no matter what type of RV they have and what style of camping they prefer. Thanks again – Jacky

    • Amanda

      I’m not sure I could even begin to remember all the places we’ve been and things we’ve done without the blog. I think the key is to keep it simple so you don’t get burnt out. You’re right that even if we don’t have the exact same traveling style, the commonality of RVing is always there.

  12. Diane

    I love the new format. It is hard to remember all the details when you are so wrapped in the moment at hand. I keep notes on my phone to revert back to as well as my pictures. Love reading your daily digest. Do you print your blog at the end of the year? I have been printing nine with Blog to Print and can’t wait til I finish my final year end blog so I can print it. My hopes are that my grandkids will enjoy reading about our travels when they get older.

    • Amanda

      I’m always amazed when people write blog posts about things they did months ago. How can anyone possibly remember that far back? Keeping notes on your phone is a great idea. I’ve never printed the blog simply because we have no extra space to store things like books. Maybe someday when we have more space. I think it would be really fun to see it in book form!

  13. Heather Gebbia

    I saw this post show up in my email last week while we were at Jordanelle! I just now got around to reading it and it looks like we showed up the day you left. It was a beautiful park, and we loved Park City as well. But you’re right about the cold, it was quite chilly, especially early in the week when we first got there. I like your idea about journaling. I blog about our travels too, but it is hard to stay up to date with it.

    • Amanda

      Sorry we missed you! Glad you got to enjoy the park and town. It really is a nice state park. Hopefully we can return someday when the weather is better.


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