We'd already done Grandma's Pine Canyon hike and they were really not very impressed.
It was hot, dusty and dry. The cute little hiking path I remembered from vacations past that ran alongside a gurgling stream didn't.
We had the baby in a backpack which made his mother hot and a 3-year-old and 5-year-old who wanted to know why I thought this would be fun. The 8-year-old was OK with it but when did it end, grandma? Did I mention it was hot?
So we changed our plans for another hike the next day and opted for a ride on the old-fashioned steam train that runs between Midway and Provo Canyon.
We knew it would be expensive but we figured the kids would be riding the rails as opposed to walking the trails and they'd love it.
At first they did.
They liked the gift shop and playing with the Thomas the Train display.
They like smashing a penny into a flat bit of copper for 50 cents.
They liked climbing onto the train and hearing the whistle blow.
From then on, it wasn't so much fun.
The train rumbled along at a pretty slow speed and it was hot in the train car.
The baby couldn't get out and crawl.
The windows were half open so I kept thinking 3-year-old Mia would go flying out like her hat did.
We amused ourselves for a while looking at the reservoir and the hills and the osprey in a nest off the tracks.
We walked back and forth between the cars. (Only later did I discover how dangerous that was...that behind the billowing curtain was a drop onto the railroad tracks...just about 3-year-old size.)
We bought some junk food because we weren't allowed to bring outside food or drink on the train. This is for a run that goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Can you say hungry children?
We were robbed at one point where the bandits gave us chocolate coins instead of taking our money. That's a minute of fun.
We enjoyed one another but it was really hard to climb back aboard after we stopped at Vivian Park for a 20-minute break. The kids have now promised NEVER to ask for a train ride again.
I love history and I like that the Heber Creeper (now the Heber Valley Railroad) is still running.
But here are my suggestions if the management really wants paying customers to keep coming:
- Provide some free water, preferably cold.
- Provide a little treat like a cookie? A popsicle?
- Reduce the price a little...It's hard to feel you've got your money's worth when it's $30 per adult and $15 per child.
- Maybe hand out some Train Bingo cards or scavenger hunt lists?
I'm just sayin'.