A lot of time, distance, non-bus travels, exciting news and more have happened since the last Vicaribupdate. We have worked our a way from Moab through bits of central and northern Utah, and now up into Idaho. During this period we also took a a quick beach vacation to Virginia and added some new content to the site. Little known fact: Only 1 in 10 Americans have ever heard of Idaho (and they like it that way).
Central and Northern Utah
After we left Moab, we worked our way up to the Park City area just outside of Salt Lake City. We split the journey in half by staying one night at a quaint little campground way up above the Price Canyon called the Price Canyon Recreation Area. We didn’t stick around there very long, though it was a pretty cool canyon/river area. The second leg of this relocation sent us through Spanish Fork, Provo and Orem where we re-provisioned at various “big city” stores and filled our bellies at Five Guys. The mountains surrounding these southern suburbs of Salt Lake were big, green and captivating. We cut back into these mountains from Orem headed towards Heber City, which was to be our home for the next few days. On the way up to Heber, you pass the Deer Creek Reservoir and State Park which had appeared to be a popular spot to hang out with lots of water activities. We intended to come back down to spend a day there, but never made it.
Heber City is a small valley just east of Park City. It is has a small airport, a decent little town center and is surrounded by more green mountains on all sides. It had been a while since we had been anywhere green or seen trees, so all of the trees and grasses were very exciting to us. In Heber we stayed at our very first RV Resort. We decided to treat ourselves to a little bit of “luxury” after “roughing it” for a few weeks. We stayed at the Mountain Valley RV Resort, and it did not disappoint. The grounds, facilities, service and views were immaculate and we were perfectly fine paying the premium price for such a nice place.
While at the Mountain Valley RV Resort, we caught up on our interneting and showers and explored the town and surrounding areas. We spent one of the days heading up into the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It was a bit of a drive, but gorgeous and riddled with plenty of excellent looking camping spots just off of the road. We made the Provo River Falls our turn-around spot, first getting out to stretch our legs and checkout the falls.
Provo River Falls
We spent another afternoon walking around Park City proper (and picking up some Amazon locker packages). We intended to grab lunch there, but as with most of the hikes in the area, we couldn’t find any place that was dog friendly (surprisingly) and settled for ice cream instead.
Our final adventure in the area was a short hike to Blood Lake on our way out of town. It was a loooong, steep, windy road up to the hike which was at the top of the pass up above Park City. It was so long I was certain that Vicaribus was going to explode, but thankfully did not. The hike and lake were gorgeous, but the 10,000 ft altitude turned me into a useless pile of wobbly meat, so we didn’t stay too long. The drive down from there was also quiet pretty and quiet taxing on Vicaribus’s brakes. In the future I plan to look at the elevation profiles of the routes we plan on taking, as I don’t know how many more of these big passes the bus can take.
Blood Lake Photoshoot Photoshoot
For all Blood Lake photos, click here.
The Bonneville Salt Flats (of Doom)
Our next destination was the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah, right near the Nevada border. We crossed through Salt Lake City and passed the Great Salt Lake before making it to the flats. We already documented all of this on the social medias, but in essence, we didn’t have the best time at the flats. The flats themselves were quite a site to behold, and we drove up to the edge of them on our first afternoon there.
The Sign at the Rest Area on the Edge of the Flats
Upon arriving both of started feeling not so great so we decided to call it an early day and go ahead and grab a boondocking spot under the small mountains just to the side of the flats. After some checking out some not so level and scenic spots we finally found one the looked pretty good. (At this point Heather is dying in the back of the bus.) When I stepped out of the bus to check out the spot I noticed a big rolled up tent about 20 yards ahead of me in the bushes. The wind was blowing and it seemed to have something pretty heavy (and body-shaped) holding it down.
It Was a Pretty Spot
After finding a nice poking stick (and mustering up the courage) I went and poked at it a while to verify that there was no body and ultimately learning that it was just a bunch of water holding it down. On the way back to the bus I noticed a bunch of flies buzzing around a bunch of small animal organs (no carcass, just organs) a few feet from where we parked and decided that maybe we would find a different spot. So we drove a little further out into the middle of nowhere and checked one more spot. Miles would not set foot on the spot I was thinking about finally setting in, so we decided to listen to his doggy intuition and went over to the nearby town and got a hotel for the night.
The Second Spot That Miles Would Not Enter
The next morning we slept in and each feeling a little better headed back to the flats to at least actually spend a little time driving around on them. We immediately both felt like crap again once hitting the sand, but pushed through long enough to do a speed run in the bus, get some cool photos and crash the thousand dollar video drone.
Here’s a VLOG of our time at the flats, including the “speed” run.
After the drone crash we decided there was no point on us staying there any longer, and we made our exit and headed towards Salt Lake City, but first stopping for a night at Knolls Recreation Area about half way to the city. It was a nice little spot that did not seem to have any bad juju and was like Disney World for anyone with an off-road vehicle or dirt bike.
Knolls Recreation Area
Some might wonder why full-time bus travelers might need a vacation, and they probably would have a good point. While I work a bit each week and we spend way more time on the process of sharing this journey than we anticipated, to a degree it does sort of feel like an extended vacation. However, when you have a free week in a MTV cribs style right-on-the-beach mansion paid for by Heather’s grandmother with enough skymiles to fly there free, you don’t turn it down, especially when you haven’t had regular air conditioning, ice or showers in quite some time.
To do a week long vacation in Virginia, with the bus being in Utah, this left us with two challenges – where to place the bus and, unfortunately, where to place Miles while we were gone (the beach house was not dog friendly). Fortunately though, both of these challenges were resolved quite easily. Heather found a super-amazing dog sitter on rover.com for Miles to stay with and the airport hotel we booked for the night before our early morning flight included 7 days of free parking. We were afraid we were going to have to pay to have the bus stored somewhere while we were gone, so that worked out quite nicely.
To pull all of this off, plus a bit more, we left the last camp spot we were at pretty early and made our way into Salt Lake City to a Ford dealership to get some routine maintenance done on the bus. While waiting on the bus we took an Uber to lunch and to a guy’s house that supposedly does drone repairs to drop off our broken drone. (I still haven’t heard back form him two weeks later.) After the bus was done we went and dropped of Miles and made our way to the airport hotel, where we parked the bus in a side lot and prepped it to sit there for 8 days.
The vacation and it’s air conditioning, ice and showers were all wonderful and much enjoyed – thanks Heather’s grandma! After returning from vacation, we made our way back to the bus and Miles and started heading north. We spent one more night in Utah in an interesting RV park/water park/adventure park combo called Cherry Hill just north of Salt Lake City. I booked that spot just because it looked interesting, though we didn’t end up taking advantage of any of the fun stuff while there.
Southern Idaho (Twin Falls and the Thousand Springs State Park)
Next stop Idaho! When we initially sketched out our general route idea, Idaho wasn’t in the plans (nor Utah, for that matter), but boy are we glad we added it. Once we began research on Idaho, it quickly started sounding quite awesome, and so far it hasn’t disappointed.
The first place we stopped was Twin Falls at their lovely county maintained Rock Creek RV Park. We spent two nights here, where we were joined by one of our friends from Denver, Caroline, and her dog Luna. We all we able to cozily fit in the bus, but have determined that three humans and two dogs is probably the upper limit.
Caroline and Luna
Twin Falls is right on the Snake River which cuts a giant gorge through the town with some incredible sites for sure. One of these spectacular sites is the Perrine Bridge, which happens to be the only place you can legally BASE jump in the U.S. without a permit. We happened to catch a handful of jumps while we were checking out the bridge.
Just up the road are the Shoshone Falls, which are spectacular set of falls in the middle of the gorge.
After exploring the Twin Falls area for a couple days, we made it up to Thousand Springs State Park which actually consists of several small parks along the Snake River. We checked out four of the six areas over the couple days there, spending one night in a boat ramp parking lot just off the river. This area was super cool with humongous springs shooting out the sides of the Snake River canyon walls. While in the area we did one decent sized hike down into Box Canyon Springs which has amazing crystal clear (and cold!) water.
Swimming in the Box Canyon Springs
Also, on the way to the Thousand Springs area, we stopped at Balanced Rock for a quick photo shoot.
This Was More Interesting Than The Balanced Rock
For all the photos (and there are some good ones), click here for Twin Falls, and here for Thousand Springs.
Exciting Updates and News
Since leaving the Snake River region we have made it further north into Idaho, which will be the subject of future updates, but now lets recap a couple updates to the site.
Heather spent a boat-load of time creating a fantastic complete bus conversion guide which is now live on the site!
At the same time we also finally released a complete video tour of the bus!
Since posting these, we are now in the talks to be featured on a couple fine blogs and even a magazine. Once those go live, you know we will share the crap out of them.
And now as always, here are our latest stats.