I went camping up in American Fork Canyon by myself. This time I traveled farther up the canyon than I’ve done before. Though it rained yesterday, the night was clear and fresh. I set up my 1-man tent and left the rain cover off and watched the stars. I slept great.
The morning light woke me up, and I when I poked out of my sleeping bag I saw a beautiful orange sunrise glowing above the canyon’s horizon. Indeed this was just what I needed after a hard week’s work and not much sleep.
About an hour later (and I’m still sleeping in) cold air blew in and a cover of gray – more precipitation. So I packed up quickly and sat in my jeep. Not wanting to go back home so soon, I took the road deeper into the canyon knowing I might have to backtrack later. However, the road kept going. I had nowhere to be so I kept driving, sightseeing along the way. Turns out, the road went over the pass and to the other side of the mountain where I discovered a nice valley and a town far below.
Asking a guy in hunting clothes taught me that it was Heber, Utah. As I made my way down the mountain, I saw a sign for “Cascade Springs” and a nice parking lot so I stopped to take a walk.
Cascade Springs is like being in Yellowstone Park – with boardwalks everywhere to protect the landscape from all the visitors. The water was cold, but clean and even smelled like sulfur like hot springs do. Anyways, the walk was peaceful, and though I was alone at first, I must have just beat the rush b/c by the time I was leaving the place was swarming with local visitors despite the cold sprinkling weather.
On my way to Heber and down the mountain and through Wasatch Mountain State Park, I drove by an expensive housing development with lots of lots for sale. Yep, lots of lots. I checked out some of the lots with houses (since the entrance sign said they would give you a 2009 Acura with every house purchase 🙂 and they were “only” about $850,000! Hehe. Well, at least they looked nice and the property location had a prime view of the valley. I gathered a few fliers to remember them by, and kept driving into town, calculating in my head what kind of income I would need to even seriously consider such a habitation (and even if I did have that much money, would I really want to put all of it into a house on a tiny lot with a view? I got to enjoy the view for free just by being curious and driving around!).
I kept driving and found a more humble situation at the bottom of the valley. The paved roads still felt new in this community. No sidewalks, just a paved road and green grass on both sides checkered with well kept old houses. There was something special about this place. I don’t know if it was the sunlight that shined into the city while everywhere else was shadowed in the clouds (Really, like in a movie or something supernatural), or maybe it was that farm-town home-grown style with all the green grass and old grain silo’s and lingering stables from the early 1900’s. But something was cool about this little place.
I drove around for at least an hour, listening to Calexico and observing the sights. After a few conversations with myself I stopping at a gas station, filled up, and used my GPS to find my way back home — down Provo Canyon and back up the 15 Fwy to American Fork.