Good-bye Nevada, Hello Salt Lake
Trip Start May 11, 2012
22Trip End Jun 08, 2012
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So, no one told us it was Memorial Day. Just kidding. But this fact has made it a challenge to finding accommodations this weekend. Anything around the national parks is booked solid for sure. With Yosemite, we had to get a room 40 minutes from the park, and that was a Wednesday. We ruled out Yellowstone for that very same reason. All booked up. We will have to come back another time to see Old Faithful. Salt Lake City was all booked up this weekend, too, and we had to go to Midvale to find a hotel with a non-smoking room.
It never occurred to me that weather would be an issue on this trip
We went through many elevation changes again today and the temperature kept falling until it was 32 degrees and we were driving through snow and sleet. We were sharing the road with mostly 18 wheelers, and anyone who has driven beside trucks in a snow storm knows how challenging and frustrating it can be. The snow was accumulating on the ground and the roadway. Soon the clouds were all the way down to the ground. Visibility was very limited. And we drove along this way for 4 hours. It really slowed down our progress and delayed our arrival in Utah.
We crossed the state line at 12:15, where the last of 3 casinos was so close to the state line, that the parking lot and hotel were actually in Utah. And suddenly, the topography changed from desert and scrub brush to green trees and beautiful rock formations, and then, the Bonneville Salt Flats…flat land with turquoise pools and dried up land, flat and white with salt. And the flats went on for miles and miles, all the way into Salt Lake City. We saw salt miles surrounded by huge white pyramids. And there were more turquoise pools with salt just floating on the top like whitecaps on the open sea.
One light in the tunnel…we stopped for gas and when I walked to the door of the mini mart, a young man opened it for me and held it as I walked inside. And when I came out, 2 men did the same, once again. Now, coming from Kissimmee, FL I am not used to this. Men, especially young ones, usually race you to the door, walk inside, and let the door slam in your face. No exaggeration…even a lame old bird like me gets treated in this manner. Except for Steve, who always holds the door for me, I thought chivalry was dead, until this afternoon. And I mused…we must be close to Salt Lake City.
Eventually the road came up to a mountain and curved to the north to make passage around it
One added note…this is for Scott. We saw your tumbleweed today. We saw a lot of it, rolling across the highway, and parking lots and piled up in heaps along the fences by the roadside. I tried to take a photo, but it didn’t come out. Sorry.
The word for the day is NEVADA. After driving through it for 2 days, I am beginning to understand why they made gambling and prostitution legal here. They had to do something to get people to come. It is just a vast wasteland of uninspiring desert, sandwiched between the glorious Sierra Mountains in California and the picturesque salt flats of Utah
What can I say about Salt Lake City. Well, it certainly does not look anything like it did when I passed through here 46 years ago. All of these years, I have been carrying around in my head a vision of standing at the bottom of the hill on Main St. and looking up the tree-lined street and seeing the capital building at the top, with a shiny gold dome. It was so beautiful and it left a lasting impression in my brain. I was anxious to see it once again. But 46 years have change this city more than I can begin to explain. And that tree-lined street no longer allows a view of the capital. And that gold dome??? Black. It is now black. Not sure what happened. Perhaps it was really a brand new copper dome that has since tarnished. I don’t know. All I can say is that it is time to erase from my mind that golden memory and put Salt Lake City to rest.