Tyson invited me down to the St. George, UT area for Thanksgiving with his family. As non-committal as I am I don’t think I gave him an answer until a week or less before Thanksgiving! The sad thing is that’s an improvement for me.
Heading out of Logan on Thanksgiving morning was beautiful.
Apparently UDOT was having a bit of fun with their road signs today. I heard later from Tyson that AZ was doing something similar.
Things went fairly smoothly through the Salt Lake City area, but unfortunately south of Provo the traffic was pretty inconsistent in speed with many aggressive drivers. If I wasn’t in the middle of it, I would probably think it was amusing. In an area with an 80 MPH speed limit, people would slow down to 65 or so then when other cars attempted to pass them they would hurry and speed up to somewhere around 90. It was very frustrating and I could not separate myself from the pack because of this. When the speed limit changed from an 80 to a 65 I didn’t slow down enough and very soon after the sign is a Utah Highway Patrolman, waiting patiently for someone to speed by. The lucky guy behind me must have been happy! It must be a hot area to catch speeders because even as I was talking to the officer, he waved a car to pull over and stop. The officer was nice enough to me about the ticket, so I wasn’t too upset about it. Also my first ticket (hopefully last) in the A4, so at least that’s out of the way. That got me thinking about speeding tickets. The only other speeding ticket I’ve had in the cars I currently own was in my Honda S2000, and that was for 6 MPH over (welcome to Wyoming).
Fortunately a Camry with a dented bumper made things a bit more amusing. There’s an entire Facebook page dedicated to Camry’s and their easily dentable plastic bumpers.
Thanksgiving was actually held at Tyson’s aunt’s home in Rockville, UT, which is just outside of the entrance to Zion National Park. Quite a beautiful area, and a huge change in scenery from even just a few miles north of there. I met Tyson at the home since Tyson was coming from Phoenix in a different direction. He got to drive on one of my favorite roads, US-89A through northern Arizona and southern Utah. It’s very scenic.
Tyson’s aunt and Mother own the same model and color of car. A red VW EOS. It’s a hard top convertible and it actually has a similar engine to the one in my A4. Tyson grabbed a pic of all of them together, with a red Ford Focus ST on the left. Apparently red is popular again!
The weather was much warmer than in Logan, and the view behind the house of the red rocks was great. The Virgin river even runs right behind the backyard.
We had a delicious dinner, then headed out to party! Just kidding, there’s nothing like that within like 150 miles of here. We watched the classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and had some good laughs, then headed to bed. The next day I even made friends with a couple visiting dogs.
Just a block up the street from Aunt Jodi’s house is a one way bridge. Of course once we heard about that, we had to check it out. Not big by any means, but cool nonetheless.
You can actually make out Tyson positioning himself . . .
To take this photo!
From here we headed north on I-15 towards Beaver, UT. Tyson’s brother has a cabin in Beaver Canyon and I was also invited up there to see some other members of his family, and of course check out the cabin.
After driving east through Beaver, it’s a long, winding road to the top of the canyon, and if it was a warmer day we might have been able to enjoy the road a bit more as there are a lot of fun curves. Here Tyson got out to grab a couple pics of his Acura ILX and my dirty wagon.
Once we hit the turnoff to the cabin it was a snow covered dirt road. Tyson attempted it in his front wheel drive car with 3 season tires, and he grabbed a pic as I was reversing down to let him back out as there was just no way he was going to get up the hill. I wasn’t sure my all-wheel-drive car with older, 3 season tires would be any better, but since this was the little red wagon’s first adventure in snow, I had to at least make the attempt.
The car did fine up to where I thought was the top, but actually his brother’s cabin was even higher up and the road was not so well traveled. I turned around and started to climb the hill, but it wasn’t doing so hot. Little did I remember that the Stability Control system was killing my power! Soon I disabled the ESC and let her rip. At this point my momentum was shot so I had to give her some gas.
Once at the cabin I had to take it all in. Tyson’s always taking pictures when you least expect him to be.
What an amazing cabin. I was really grateful I was invited so I could see the cabin and the scenery. This cabin is at 10,000 feet elevation! That’s pretty amazing. If this cabin were further north in the Salt Lake City area you’d have to ride a ski lift to get up here!
I’ll borrow another of Tyson’s pics that showed the ‘backyard’. Must be amazing in the summers up here. There is a trail that many people take their ATV’s on in the summer that’s near the cabin and apparently goes on for many, many miles. I’d love to check it out with my Honda CT110 someday. Even the paved road continues on and connects with US-89 to the east. I don’t think I’ve been on that section of US-89 near Junction, UT, so I’ll have to do that someday.
The A4 looking a bit frozen. The car spent its previous years in Virginia and Connecticut, so I’m sure it wasn’t used to this climate.
After some awesome food, I hung out and watched Tomorrowland, which was a pretty bad movie, but I had to watch it, just to finish it. I’m stubborn I guess.
The next day was COLD. The overnight low was somewhere around –5 F. Tyson’s brother needed to move my car and since I was just getting out of the shower I let him move the car. Unfortunately, because of the cold weather the glass was frozen to the door frame. He attempted to lower the passenger side window to see the mirror better, not realizing the window was frozen. So the motor and the window regulator moved but the window didn’t. They attempted to get it back up, but it wouldn’t stay up. We thought something might be frozen so on the way home we headed to Beaver and tried to let things thaw a bit. The way down was slow going as there was some ice on the road. I can see why with those temps!
Fortunately we stopped by this very cool abandoned motel I had spotted on the way into Beaver the day before. It brought our spirits up a bit. Well, at least mine, as I was the one driving down a 2 degree canyon with the window partially down!
Tyson rooted around for a bit checking things out, and then we headed over to Napa to attempt to take off the door panel so we could at least see what was actually causing the problem with the window.Thank goodness NAPA exists in about every small town. I found this out the hard way in Blanding, UT on this trip.
We found their exorbitantly overpriced tools and headed out to the car. What I discovered made total sense, but was still a bummer. The window regulator had separated from the window on one side of the glass due to a broken plastic piece.
We borrowed some cardboard from Napa but I decided I didn’t want to deal with a cop potentially pulling me over as well as constant flapping in the wind, so I headed north to home to test out how cold it was, and decided if it was cold enough I’d put up the cardboard. It definitely got cold enough, but I never put up the cardboard! Just headed home and kept the heated seat on max, the heater on max, and my beanie snug on my head, and my motorcycle gloves (the only ones I had) gripped to the wheel. There were only 2 parts of me that got cold; my nose, and my knees!
I had Tyson’s wheels in the back of the wagon that he had sold to an old buddy named Chi, that he met through the Acura Legend. It’s actually the same way Tyson and I met!
I handed off the wheels and snagged a pic in Bountiful, UT. You can see the weather turned bad, but also there is a white 1st Generation Acura Legend coupe in the background. How fortuitous!
Well, it was another adventure down in the little red wagon, and a trip filled with good food and friends. Mileage covered was about 830 miles. Here’s Tyson’s blog post about the same trip.
Now I just have to get the window fixed and the car washed, and in that order!