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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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!