Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Heber Getaway

Our family decided to go back to Heber, UT once again this summer. There is a great RV resort we discovered last year and chose to spend a few days there again. The Mountain Valley RV Park has a great swimming pool and hot tub. The kids spend quite a few hours playing in the water on the days that we were there.

Our first day there we took a tour of the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese Factory in Midway. The room where they gave the tour was really loud so it was hard to hear what the guide was saying. After explaining to us the process of making cheese and showing us the equipment they used the guide took us to a refrigeration room where they store the cheese until it ready to be sold. The room reminded me of the cold rooms at Costco where you walk in to get your dairy or vegetables.

I learned that there is a 10:1 ratio between milk and cheese. It takes 10 lbs of milk (about 5 qt) yields one 1lb of cheese. That is why cheese is so expensive.

I also learned that all the cheese is white. Cheese producers used to add color to distinguish their cheese from other's. The color also helped identify the region where the cheese originated. Commercial cheese factories decided to use the same technique to differentiate cheeses and now that's the norm.

I also learned that cheese is more flavorful when it is not refrigerated and that it can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days without problems. Most cheese competition require that the cheese be left at room temperature for 24 hrs before it is judged.

The best part of the tour were the samples of cheese with home made jam and crackers. There were so many flavors and all were delicious. Afterwards we went to see the cows in the fields behind the cheese factory and tasted some yummy ice cream.

 We also rode the Heber Valley Railroad to Soldier Hollow. They were having dinosaur days so each of the kids got to dance YMCA with dinosaurs during the ride and took a toy dinosaur home with them. The ride was nice and short (about 40 mins) and fortunately the weather wasn't too hot. The train we were riding was built in 1910 and it didn't have any kind of air conditioning. The train rides at 14 MPH so there is also very little breeze coming from the windows.

 After the train we went for dinner to the Spin Cafe. Stella was exhausted and slept during the entire meal. The place had some wonderful gelato so the kids got to try some coconut and mango flavors.
 The next morning after breakfast we went on a hike to Bloods Lake at the top of Guardsman Pass. The hike was not very long (1 mile round trip), but it was a steep decline to get to the lake and of course a steep climb on the way back.

The area was covered by native flowers in yellow, red and blue. Once we arrived at the lake kids and dads all had to throw rocks in the water to see if they would skip. There was a little island connected by some logs. The kids enjoyed walking along the logs or skipping on rocks to get to it.

We thought there was a path that traveled along the entire lake so we decided to walk around Bloods Lake and then head back. About half way back we realized that there wasn't a clear path and that we would have to make our own.

We had to cross a patch that still had snow on it. The kids loved sliding on it. The hardest part were the mosquitoes. They were literally everywhere and they were hungry. I couldn't get away from them fast enough. It was miserable!

 Some good friends and neighbors of ours came with us on our trip. Their daughter Claire plays so well with all of my kids that they all enjoyed the trip even more because she had come too.

In the evening we BBQ in the pavilion and let the kids play on the play ground next to it. Emilia was rather proud of her puffy '80's hairstyle. Carson met a little boy at the pool and the two played together on the playground also. There was a vending machine next to were we were having dinner. The kids kept trying to figure out a way to get a drink. Some how Carson found $.50 in the machine and he spent quite a bit of time inserting the coins and letting them drop again. The boy's mother, who was sitting next to it, gave the kids another $.50 cents so they could share a drink. Carson wasn't very happy with the drink they selected.

The next morning Carson went back to the machine and found another $.50 inside the machine. If I gambled I would seriously consider taking him to play the slot machines in Vegas :)