July 28, 2017

Parowan, Utah

Foothills RV Park
Parowan, Utah; July 16-22, 2017
Free for Johnnie Walker RV Customers

It’s been a while and we did take a week’s trip to Utah. Here’s a write-up I did while we were there. Maybe I’ll flesh it out and post pictures later. The highlight of the trip was another visit to Cedar Breaks National Monument. The lowlights of the trip were developing leaks in the bathroom sink’s water lines, a leak around the living room skylight, and damage to the truck. 🙁  

Arrived on Saturday the 16th. Although I had been looking forward to the trip and the break from the Vegas heat, I had been dreading having to back the trailer into the narrow space at the RV park. We had been here for an overnight  about this time last year on our trip to Yellowstone. Quiet, cooler, lots of very large, mature, leafy trees for shade, and a large population of older people – many with dogs or riding three-wheel bicycles. Although it’s more of a mobile home park than an RV park (there are no spaces available for rent for overnighters), we found it quite pleasant. The only thing we didn’t like about it then was that the narrow, 90 degree back-in spaces are tough to get into. There is just, and only just, enough space to maneuver the back-in. I remember struggling with it last year and fortunately a resident came by to help guide me in. Bob was on walkie-talkie, but he just doesn’t know what to tell me to help the process.

This time, however, I did much better! I’ve recently learned that lining up the trailer’s wheels with the corner of the site at the start really helps the whole process. Although it looks in the mirrors that you should pull farther forward before starting backing, it really seems to line it up correctly by the time the tail end is actually going into the site. Previously I had been pulling forward enough so that the tail of the trailer was close to the corner of the site, but this brings the trailer too close to the driver’s side of the site.

So this time I had Bob tell me when the wheels were at the corner. I started the turn and when the trailer turned into the site, it did look to me like we’d end up too close to the passenger side. So I did pull forward again and I believe we started the turn a foot or so farther down the street. So this time as the end of the trailer swung around, it was lined up real well. Still didn’t start reversing the wheel quite soon enough and the end kept coming around too far to the driver’s side, and by the time I corrected, it was too late and it had no effect. So I pulled forward enough to get the tail end straight and started backing again. Had to do this twice as there’s barely enough room at the right front of the truck to miss whatever’s off by that right front fender. That’s how I ended up catching that boulder on the running board last year! You just can’t see what’s on that side. This time I stopped and got out and checked to see how much clearance I actually had around the car parked across the street. It helped a lot that I remained calm and didn’t worry about making a spectacle of myself. And fortunately there is almost no traffic in the place to worry about, so I didn’t worry about how long I blocked the street.

By the time I had the trailer nice and straight and was ready to finish backing all the way, an elderly resident came over and asked if I needed help. He said he used to be a truck driver. He was very nice, but I really had it on my own by then, and I felt good about it that I had done it without assistance.

The elderly man’s name was Bill Smith, and he came over to our site later in the evening and gave us his card and asked if we’d like to read his poetry. He handed me about 15 pages of printouts!  It seems a lot of his poems were actually meant to be songs. We chatted for a while about him and eventually I asked him to sing one of his songs. He looked a bit bashful at first but broke into a song in a slightly weak voice, but as he went along, his voice became stronger and better and I could begin to catch the rhythm and chord progression of his melody. He said he wrote the song for a good friend of his who was suffering from cancer and he hoped it would cheer him up, and he said it did. It was a bit of an awkward song but did become quite cheery, and upbeat and clearly was very heartfelt! A very touching moment.

I read the rest of his poems and songs today. They were a bit rough and didn’t keep strict meter or rhyme, but they were heartfelt. They told a lot of his history which I found very interesting. He had been a truck driver for Wells Cargo for many years driving a route between Reno and LA. He had some close calls during those years and also met some very interesting people, among whom were what he called CB Queens – women he met on the CB radio! He and his then-wife had also owned and ran a Pancake House restaurant in Idaho and it seems the place became very well-liked and popular among the tourists as well as the locals. He wrote a nice tribute poem to the staff, with whom he had become very close. He had a beautiful poem in tribute to his mother, whom he called the horseback rider, and several about his relationship with God. I wonder if he is a Mormon.

It clouded up yesterday afternoon and looked like there would be a cloudburst, but after a few thunderclaps, we only got a few drops of rain. This afternoon it clouded up again and I thought it would blow over again. But instead we got a pretty good downpour that lasted about 20 minutes. We also spring a leak around the LR skylight! Ugh. Fortunately it doesn’t seem too bad. Will have to climb on the roof and put on some of that Dicor sealant. I hope that won’t be too awful a job! It would be a good time to do it while we’re here, since it’s so much cooler, but alas, no ladder with us. Guess we’ll have to pray for no rain on any upcoming trips until it cools off enough to do it. Maybe we can do it on our trip to the beach in September if we take our ladder with us.

After about an hour’s break from the rain, it’s started in again along with some thunder, and the drip is dripping again. At least Bella is not trembling from it this time. She had been trembling terribly during the first part of the storm. Makes me so sad that she’s become such a nervous dog.