Saturday, June 30, 2018

Getting appointments done and roads in Utah

I had checked on Groupon and there were a couple of deals that I decided to take advantage of... I hadn't gotten my hair cut since February, so it was needing attention... and I needed a pedicure, and found a place that had a package deal of a pedicure, massage, and facial - so I got ALL of those things accomplished on Friday! You'll need to trust me that the massage and facial felt great and my feet are in much better shape,
Dwayne drove me to the hair salon so he took pictures at the end when the stylist was telling me about how to fix my hair. It will NEVER look like this again while I'm in charge of it - but the picture can show how it is SUPPOSED to look. The amazing thing is that all that curl was just "in" my hair!
The other topic for today regards roads in Utah.

I mentioned a few weeks ago about how the roads in the countryside in Kansas are numbered and a mile apart so Rd 54 and Rd 56 are two miles apart ( - well, the Utah roads have a few interesting characteristics...

One is that they are in "hundreds" instead of starting at "1st" street, and they are in quadrants around the center.
So in addition to going "East on W North Temple" (which I commented on a couple of days ago), you see the third direction down is "Turn left on E 400 S". In other cities, this would be "Turn left on East 4th Street".
The result is the addresses look like they have multiple 'house numbers' and no street name - like the mailing address of where we are staying is 1399 W 2100 S. When I was putting that into one of the order sites last week, it kept on saying that it thought the address was not formed correctly - finally I found a button to press that essentially said, "Trust me, it is correct." I guess this means that the address is about 14 blocks west and maybe 21 blocks south of somewhere (maybe the center of town?). When we drove into Ogden, we found that 2100 becomes 21st Street in downtown. So, in some places they have shorter numbered streets.

I have not found that the roads are necessarily an even distance apart (so the distance between 2000 and 2400 is not necessarily 4 times the distance between 2000 and 2100).

Another interesting thing is that the Utah state highways have a beehive around their route numbers:

Or, I guessed that they were beehives.
Other states have the outline of their state (Texas and Arizona, for example - you can check here for others).
I thought that I could ask the folks that I was getting services from today if they knew why... the massage lady said that she didn't know. The hair styling guy said that he thought it was because Utah is the "Beehive State".
I asked, "Why is it the Beehive state? Does it have lots of bees?"
"Not really, I think it had something to do with the Mormons being busy as bees."

Sure enough (

Official State Emblem of Utah

In 1959, Utah designated the beehive as the official state emblem (along with the state motto: "Industry"). Industry is directly associated with the symbol of the beehive - early Utah pioneers had very few available resources and had to rely on their own "industry" to survive.
(Parenthetical note: that's an interesting website - I was thinking, "I don't think Virginia or Texas have a 'State Emblem'" so I went to check, and neither of them do, but Virginia has a state dog breed (American Foxhound) as does Texas (Blue Lacy), and Texas also has a state epic poem ('Legend of Old Stone Ranch') - in addition to a lot of other interesting "state" things. Your state legislatures at work, I'm sure!)

Finally, when the Garmin is giving us directions, and we are to turn onto a "Utah" state route, she says something like "Yut-a 126" with less of a second syllable than I would usually use when saying the state name (like the first two syllables of "Rut-a-ba-go"). It made me think it was saying something like "Ute" (the Indian tribe) in two syllables, and then I got to wondering where the state name came from. The state government website says that is the case (
The state of Utah is named after the Utes, an American Indian tribe.
That's it on the history and road lecture for today!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Visiting with friends in Ogden

Dwayne had come to Ogden when he was working - for classes and to do work at the office here. One of his former co-workers lives in this area and we made arrangements to get together with them for dinner Thursday evening.

We had a great dinner with Tonya and Craig at Timbermine - the food was delicious, but the company was outstanding!
It is so much fun getting to visit with folks as we travel around!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tasks 'n' Touring

We needed to get the camera equipment appraised today, so we drove down into Salt Lake City where there was a shop that had agreed to do the appraisal for us.

Some of the interesting things that were in the shop:
There was a "long lens" like Dwayne's but even bigger - the owner of the store said that it actually does the same zoom as the one that Dwayne has, but collects more light so can take pictures in darker environments - good for animal shots in early morning or evening. He also told us that we could rent it for the weekend for $150....

This was a tripod contraption (technical term created by the non-camera proficient individual on the bus) that keeps the camera stabilized even when the environment is bumping around.

Boxed up version of the tripod contraption (

A camouflaged camera mount.
After getting the appraisals done, since we had driven into Salt Lake City, we decided to go visit Temple Square.
We found a parking place on the street and then had to figure out how to pay...

We were in spot 3700 in zone 801 - eventually I got it figured out and we got paid. I wonder how the meter maids do their checking?

The choir was out of town... but from what I had read they were only available to be seen on Thursday evenings during their practice time, so we weren't planning to see the choir anyway.

A view of the temple,

And another...

The flowers and trees in the Temple Square were beautiful...

They look like they are continuously weeded...

And the shade made the heat of the day comfortable.

There was good signage.

When we visited the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper in August, 2017(, we had the opportunity to "experience" pulling a handcart. It was neat to see this statue commemorating that history.

I had researched previously and knew that there were organ recitals in the Tabernacle each day at noon, with the doors opening at 11:50am. Folks were starting to line up outside entrance 11 which was the one through which we could enter. We moseyed over there but couldn't see any reason to line up, especially since we would have had to be in the sun.

Outside of the tabernacle building.

Inside of the tabernacle building.

There's the organ. We were asked not to take pictures or make recordings of the performance, so everyone was taking pictures before it started.
 We read that the organ was celebrated as 150 years old last year, in 2017. There was a special display about the organs on the site in the Museum, so after the concert, we walked over there.
This shares information about how a mechanical pipe organ works.

A screen shot of our parking meter time remaining as we were preparing to leave.

As we were leaving the Temple Square area, the directions told us to "Go East on West North Temple" - only needed to add "South" in there to make it totally confusing!
 We wanted to visit a town up in the mountains above Ogden that Dwayne had visited when he worked in Ogden several years ago... so we made our way into the mountains (east) of Salt Lake City and drove north up through the mountains.

This was just one of the viewpoints that we saw along the way - "Little Mountain Summit"
We eventually got to Huntsville, UT, which was the town that Dwayne remembered visiting.

One of the things he remembered visiting was a Monastery...

Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity
 Since Dwayne had told me about visiting a monastery, I had tried to look up information about where it was so we could go there again, but found that it was closed in 2017. We found it (there was still a sign on the main road pointing to "Monastery"), but when we got there, the road was marked as "Private", so we didn't  go into the property.

The other thing that Dwayne remembered visiting in Huntsville, UT was....
The Shooting Star Saloon

They are a down-to-earth place!

Many people have signed a currency note ($1-$20 at least) and stuck it to the ceiling.

Above our table was a mounted head of a St Bernard dog (

Hmmm - if you want to create a conversion table, 1 moose = 3 people.
From Huntsville, we drove back into Ogden and to our campsite. It was a pleasant trip and Dwayne got to retrace steps from his past and share those places with me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Since we purchased Miss Doozie on July 1, this is when our insurance policy comes up for renewal. There are not many options for insuring RVs that are lived in fulltime... most insurers only write policies for RVs for "vacation" use. In addition to Miss Doozie being our home, she also contains a lot of our belongings. So, since our insurance was going up significantly this year, I decided that I should do some research and see if I could find a more reasonable cost.

I found out that the company we are currently with (Nationwide/Allied) is not writing new policies in Texas because of the number of claims that they have had there. That is probably also why our rates are going up so much, even though we have not personally had any claims.

A couple of years ago, we had Miss Doozie professionally appraised, in preparation to obtain an "Agreed Value" policy. Subsequently, when I talked with Nationwide/Allied, the lady I spoke with indicated that Miss Doozie had a valuation on her that was higher than the appraisal, and she counseled that I shouldn't change to the "Agreed Value" policy. I realized afterwards that the valuation that they had would not make any guarantees on what we would receive in case of a total loss, so I should have pushed for it to be changed to an Agreed Value policy.

So, in doing comparison shopping, I have found another company (Progressive) who will do an agreed value policy for about the same (higher) rate that Nationwide/Allied has offered for renewal for us doing "Actual Cash Value". Actual Cash Value, even though it sounds similar to Agreed Value, for RVs like Bluebirds that do not often sell publicly, is not very representative. They determine "Actual Cash Value" through sources like Kelly Blue Book or NADA - which represent prices of buses sold publicly. For Bluebirds, generally the only units that sell publicly are those that are sold at auction which have not been cared for - so the value is not representative. At the time of total loss is when you find out what they value your bus for... and at that point, it is bad news.

While looking at insurance, I realized that the amount of insurance that we had on the contents of the bus (personal effects) did not reflect what we actually have in the bus. So... I wanted to increase that amount. Again, different insurance companies have different rules on what values I can specify. For Progressive, I can set the personal effects value, but needed to have appraisals on any single items that were valued at more than $500. We have some jewelry and some camera equipment that we would want covered for more than $500, so now we needed to find someone to do appraisals on them for us. When calling around on Tuesday, I found that Jared's Galleria of Jewelry was having an appraisal event in store on Tuesday, so made an appointment to take jewelry pieces in. Not only did the appraiser appraise the items that I needed to get appraised, but he was kind enough to look at all the items that I had questions about value, determine which ones would appraise for more than $500 (and do the appraisals) - and he also gave me ballpark estimates on the "less than $500" pieces so I can better do our personal effects estimate.

It is hard to know what to do about insurance... we want to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with, but we also know that it is all in His hands for protection.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


One of my favorite features in Facebook is that it reminds me about things that happened "on this day" in past years.

Earlier this week, it reminded me that on June 25 two years ago, Dwayne was in emergency abdominal surgery for a suspected twisted bowel in Hershey, PA. I am so thankful that he got through that surgery well and has not had any further issues from it.

Today, Facebook showed me that this was the "most liked" picture (with 67 "likes" or "loves") that I posted last year:
I can certainly see why! Joseph being educated about the "right" kind of cattle by his Grand-daddy.
Facebook also showed me two pictures that I posted 4 years ago:
Our first night in an RV park in a rental RV - and a kitty cat showed up to welcome us!

Dwayne outside our rental RV - I knew there were pictures on the sides of the rig, but didn't otice the contents of the pictures on the side until one of my friends asked, "Who r those people inside the rv?"
How far we've come in 4 years!
Miss Kitty lounging on the front dash of Miss Doozie at our campsite near Strawberry Reservoir.

Dwayne and Miss Doozie and the Jee-rage at Century Mobile Home and RV Park near Ogden, Utah.
We are so blessed to be able to experience all that we are doing and seeing!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Continuing west

Although we liked Dinosaur National Monument, we much preferred the solitary site that we had on the Colorado side to the Green River Campground site - primarily because it was SO much cooler in temperature than the Green River campground. Green River had temps up into the high 80s and 90s with the sun beating down and too windy for awnings out so the inside of the bus really heated up. We needed to run the generator multiple hours each day to keep the bus at a comfortable temperature. It cooled down at night, but not until after 9-10pm. We figured it was because of the lower elevation, so looked for a higher elevation place that we could find for Sunday night, the last night before we have a reservation at a campground near Ogden.

Looking at the Days End Directory as well as Allstays, I found a number of possibilities along US 40 around the Strawberry Reservoir. They were indicated as being at 7400' and higher, and some were free boondocking locations, so we figured that we could find some cooler weather and maybe a lower (zero) cost too!

As we were driving along US 40, we saw a number of other locations that looked like possible overnight locations, but continued on to one of the profiled sites, along Clyde Creek Road.

We don't have a view of the reservoir - it is on the other side of that hill to the east of us, but it is a pretty good view anyway!

We have parked in a gravel area near a large set of corrals. One report indicated that there were "No Parking" signs at this location, but we haven't seen any, and figure we are ok for the night.

Across the gravel lot where we are parked - there is a fire ring in the middle of the lot.

Looking down toward the gravel road that we used coming in.

Neat looking fence

Miss Doozie and the Jee-rage - we haven't even had to disconnect to stop here.

Flowers next to the fence

We will continue on to Ogden on Monday.