First stop – Pine Forest RV Park at Flaming Gorge Resort located in Northeast Utah near the Green River. It was a rainy start to our trip, but the weather turned out to be alright as we made our way up to the Colorado border. The Wyoming winds were calm and kind to us on our first drive out with the fully loaded camper. Interstate 80 through Wyoming is a very flat and a little on the boring side, but it makes for an easy drive in the right conditions. Once we made the turn south towards Utah, the scenery got a little more interesting, plus the rare sighting of a mountain lion crossing the two lane highway. He crossed in two strides! The tail was so long! I originally called out deer because who would have thought – a mountain lion. Simply amazing! We stopped at the Flaming Gorge overlook to take in the view as the sun set.
We arrived at Pine Forest RV Park around 8:45 pm. We were both excited to settle into our easy reserved pull-through site and relax for a few hours before bed. Well….that didn’t go as planned. I was a bit disappointed to find out our reserved pull-through site was given away and we were moved to a back-in spot. This would not have been an issue, but it was now dark and we have never backed in the camper before. Plus, they didn’t want to move us to another pull-through because they were all reserved. Ummm… didn’t we have a pull-through site reserved??
We pulled up to the site #46 and managed to get the camper all backed in, hooked-up and settled in about an hour. Not too bad since this was only our second outing and we had to back up in the dark, which was fun. Ha! It was most likely very entertaining for the others around us. I just felt terrible with us yelling back and fourth. Stop! A little left! Straight! Such newbies!
We cooked a gourmet meal of chicken sausage in the microwave for our first official meal in the new place. It was delicious!
Our first item of the day was to level the camper a bit better since we slightly off side to side. And when I say slightly, I mean a good six inches. But first things first – breakfast at the Flaming Gorge Resort restaurant. They didn’t have a gluten-free menu, but eggs over easy and hash browns were a pretty safe bet. The food was good, but a little overpriced. On our way back, we stopped back at the office to see if they had a couple extra boards to help level the spot since we were sure we didn’t bring enough. They also let us borrow a bottle jack to help safely lift the camper to level. In the end, it took three boards to level the camper. It looked so unsafe, but it was. We passed campers lifted 5+ on one side. Crazy!
Once we got the camper leveled, it was time to setup for the week. Plus, the inside was a bit unorganized and we needed to find some items a home. After we organized a bit, we set out to find some food. Which turned out to be a little challenging. A local diner was kind enough to sell us a few chicken tenders and a pound of ground beef to get us by until we could go to the grocery store.
Gluten-Free at Flaming Gorge
In the mad rush to clean out the apartment and limit the pantry food, I completely forgot to stock up on gluten-free food before heading out to almost the middle of nowhere. I meant to go to the store, but we just ran out of time. No worries, right? There’s got to be a grocery store. Famous last words. We visited every “grocery store” in the area and it was mere few items on a couple shelves with the only gluten-free items being a bag of marshmallows, potato chips, eggs and milk. Not that I don’t love marshmallows, but I was starting to get hungry. Brian found a grocery store about 40 miles north in Manila, about an hour drive. On day three, we decided to go. I was super excited to go. To see food!! While were driving up, I asked Brian the name of the store and he said True Value. Now I heard True Value, but I didn’t click until I saw the sign. Yes, True Value the hardware store. It was grocery, hardware and sports store – all in one. It had a little bit of everything, including a handful of gluten-free items. I really was not expecting that, but I’ve been so happy to see Rice Chex.
My advice when visiting the Flaming Gorge region, bring the essentials with you for all meals and snacks. They are a bit hard to come by. Vernal, Utah is about 50 miles south from Pine Forest RV Park, which has a Walmart Superstore and a Smith’s grocery store, but this is a bit of a drive to pick up a few things.
Places We Visited
Pine Forest RV Park
1100 East Flaming Gorge Resort
Dutch John, UT 84023
The Pine Forest RV Park was quiet with nice big spots separated by tall trees and green soft grass. The couple running the park were extremely friendly and helpful during our stay. The grounds and showers were clean and well-maintained. The RV Park offers laundry, but I didn’t use this feature during my stay. The park wifi and Verizon 4G connection worked great. A short dirt bike and hiking path to the Resort store and restaurant. The RV Park is located just 4 miles from the Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center. Despite the site issue when we arrived, I would definitely stay here again.
Flaming Gorge Market & Mercantile True Value
75 East Highway 43
Manila, Utah 84046
Mileage: 420-mile drive from Lakewood, Colorado to Red Canyon, Utah
Route: I-25 North to I-80 West to Route-191
RV Park: Pine Forest RV Park at Flaming Gorge Resort
Length of Stay: 7 days