Friday, September 27, 2013

The Salt Flats and Park City, Utah

This may say I've published two posts today, but this is due to the time zone. This is about Friday, Sept. 27, and if we hadn't crossed a time zone line, it would be dated September 28. I honestly have not known what time it is for the last 28 days.

We've run the gamut with scenery today, not to mention weather!

But first, here is the picture of the Nevada / Utah state line that we missed last night.  No wonder we didn't see it.  Who would?  Needless to say, we did not want to lie down on the pavement for a photo with it, but we did want to acknowledge that we had at least seen it.
As soon as we left Wendover, Utah this morning, we were in the Salt Flats, and that was like being on another planet!  The ground was white with salt. There were still mountains on either side of us, quite far away, but we were on flat ground.  There were mirages ahead of us and to the side of us, so it looked as if water was nearby.  This went on for about 80 miles, and then the entire scenery changed. A few shots of the Salt Flats first.

The temperature was 52 degrees and it had begun to sprinkle, but not really rain. It was terribly windy out there, also, and a semi truck ahead of us was having difficulty staying on the road. We stayed far behind him.  The speed limit on this stretch of Utah is 80 MPH.  Now, I've told you that we always do the speed limit.............except for today.  No way!

We came to the Great Salt Lake, and drove on by. We had made a point, some years ago, of going to the Salt Lake so we could say we had waded into the water.  It was disgusting, smelly, and the shore was covered with dead birds and flies were everywhere on that visit.  Needless to say, we didn't stop for a second look today! There was some interesting scenery along the way, however. You can see a train winding around the mountain in the photo below. Yes, that is snow on top of the mountains in the second photo.

 We also drove  by Salt Lake City, as we have seen all of the major things that tourists visit in our previous trip there.  What we did want to see for a second time, however, was Park City, Utah.

Park City is about 17 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.  The city itself is on a mountainside.  You have heard of it because it was the home of the winter Olympics in 2002.  The Olympic Village is still there, and the ski jumps are the first things we saw as we arrived there today.  You also know of it because Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival is held there each year. Our neighbors, Jean and Steve, attended that festival last winter, and they had a fabulous time seeing films, enjoying the area, and sitting near movie stars during dinner.

We didn't see any movie stars, but we did see some other sightseers, fun shops, and interesting people.  We had lunch at the Main Street Deli and CafĂ©, I bought a wonderful silver bracelet as a souvenir of our trip, and we went back down the mountain and got back onto the interstate.
I have to mention a fun thing we saw in Park City.  It was a heated bench made of stone or concrete. It actually was warm! I sat on it.  It was about 38 degrees there today, there was snow all over the pine trees on the mountains, and that seat felt really good. Randy is figuring out how to make one for us, I hope.  As we drove down the mountain, the snow started to fall!  September 27th!
We drove only 50 more miles, crossing the Wyoming state line without fanfare. Their sign was placed in a location where only a truck driver could have stopped for a photo.  We waved as we went by. I think I may have one from another trip to Wyoming that I could recycle, actually, but we were wearing shorts and tee shirts in that one, so you'd know it was fake.
Tonight we are in the lovely little city of Evanston, Wyoming, at the Comfort Inn. On the way into Evanston, we saw a small herd of antelope coming into a field near the highway! (They must not have recognized our car.......)
There's a great boot shop across the street, and we've looked over the whole shop. We've driven downtown to see their renovated depot and park, and we've had sandwiches for dinner.  It's cold here.
For a short while today we joked about what the Gillenwater Party Monument would look like, if that snow had continued.
Copyright:  KP Gillenwater 2013

An Entire Day in Nevada and a Night in Wendover, Utah

Look at Wendover Will, here! Recognize him?  He is enormous, and he welcomed us to Wendover, Utah, this evening.  I hate to admit this, but the reason I got somewhat excited to see Will is because I recognized him from an episode of Dateline.  (Yes, I said that.)

At any rate, we're in the brand new, spanking clean Best Western here in Wendover, we've had a fairly decent fajita at Los Cabreras nearby, done thirty minutes on the treadmill, watched the new Michael J. Fox show, and are about to hit the hay.

Today we drove the rest of the way across Nevada.

We started out in Winnemucca, Nevada at The Griddle, a family-owned diner.  It has been in business since 1948, has an amazingly huge menu with every possible thing you could want for breakfast.  I hope I didn't insult them with my order of one egg and dry toast.  Randy made up for it with his egg, toast and steel-cut oatmeal which came with a selection of walnuts, brown sugar and raisins. Great place! One quick stop at the Walmart on Potato Road, and we were on our way!

Now, there are not a lot of towns in Nevada. We only stopped for groceries and lunch by a park.  Other than that we drove 250 miles and stopped.

 I have to comment on the number of casinos in Nevada.  Every town has them, and it seems as if there are more casinos than anything else. If you stay in one, there is a "resort fee" attached to your lodging bill, just in case you're thinking of driving out here, so be sure to stay in a regular motel or hotel to avoid that. Also, the law allows smoking inside casinos. Just saying.............

We are listening to another audio book, this time a mystery.  It is Sleep No More, by Iris Johansen, a new author for us.  It is keeping us awake, and has a pretty good plot going on, so far. Listening to audio books makes the time fly, and before you know it, you're there!

We did make a number of photo stops, as the scenery was wonderful.  Mountains to the left, mountains to the right...........there we were, stuck in the middle with each other!  It was beautiful. The best part was that the road was on the ground!  There was rain, there was sunshine, there were humongous clouds, and it was anywhere between 38 and 54 degrees.  We had some slush, which I can't call snow or rain, but it was somewhere in between. The clouds change the color of the scenery, and it was a beautiful day in Nevada!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are several thousand words about Nevada!

This was just before we got to Wendover and crossed the Nevada state line into Utah.  We never saw the "Welcome to Utah" sign, alas. The final photo, below, was shot out the car window.

Tomorrow we will be in Utah. We've already been to Salt Lake City, so we plan to drive on by. I didn't write a blog back then, but I do have a handwritten journal about that trip. (Which, of course, I would be happy to share with you, if you wish to read it.............)

Copyright: KP Gillenwater 2013