Today was a long day. We’ve been through some empty places, but the empty places we saw today, after being in the beauty of the Tetons, was too much of a contrast. On the plus side, the weather at the start of the trip was a little overcast, so driving wasn’t so blinding.
We gassed up first thing, and I was surprised at the miles per gallon figures for the RV as we toured around the Tetons. It was over 16 MPG, the highest I’ve ever achieved. We also filled up with propane in Jackson Hole (mistake) and the cost was twice what it was in Blair, Nebraska. Thus provisioned, we took off for Utah.
We cruised down the Snake River for a while, and eventually exited into several wide arid valleys that occasionally were under irrigation so something would grow, or so cattle could be grazed. No irrigation and it was woody sagebrush as far as the eye could see. I saw my first yellow headed blackbird, two golden eagles and a Prairie Hawk, which apparently isn’t seen too often. There were many pastures, alfalfa fields, small towns without a bar or a barbershop. You know that it’s a small town when they don’t put the name in front of the building of the only church in town, because everyone knows the name. It was a substantial structure too, all in brick and beautifully landscaped.
We were amused by prairie dogs running across the road. There was something that they liked to lick from the center of the road, and they would wait until the last possible second to run to safety in their burrow at the side of the road. Considering the number that played the game, we only saw two that came to their end from a vehicle. One we thought was dead until, at the last moment, it ran to safety.
We stopped for lunch in Evanston, which must be the tattoo capital of the world. Everyone seemed to have one, and in the most unusual colors I’ve seen. Entire tattoos were done in a light turquoise color, and with little artistic ability. Someone surely cannot trace.
The canyons around Provo are steep and beautiful, and the wind roars up down and through them, making a vehicle that is majorly part barn door a challenge to drive sometimes. Provo is a beautiful and looks very upscale. It appears to have more diversity than I anticipated, but the closer we got to Utah Lake, the more ‘special’ people we saw acting in accordance to their own special reality. Before we got to the waterfront, we passed hay fields within five blocks of the new building center.
I know towns settled by the Mormons were laid out in a grid pattern, but this is the first town where the growth wasn’t near the water. The rural nature of the area is just west of the center of town, and there wasn’t any rural areas to the east of the city. Most peculiar.
We arrived that the Utah Lake State Park before it closed and chose a site. The site has electricity and water, which is very nice for a change, and the batteries can use a good charge from line voltage all night, after running the heater for the last several nights. There is great cellular connectivity here, so I’ve been able to catch up and fix some websites that I’ve gotten behind on. The hose for the water needed repair after I re-configured it in the Badlands. The plastic quick connect fittings I put on the RV won’t work after any dirt gets into them, and I don’t have all the parts for the brass replacements yet, but we have a water connection that doesn’t look like the Tivoli Fountains. Sometimes you need all the information before you can get clever.
The site looked excellent, and I thought that the lake was fresh. The lake is brackish, filled with carp to the point that they pull out about 5 million pounds of carp from the lake in an attempt to have some biodiversity in the lake. The lake is surrounded by marshes that smell just like the Great Salt Lake. If you’ve been there, you know the smell. There are billions of mosquito like insects that fortunately do not bite (at least me) and hide on the leeward side of anything, as the wind blows off the lake during the afternoon with good force. The leeward side of the RV looked like it was covered in fur. We closed the windows, turned on the AC, had a very nice dinner of chicken parmesan and past and good NJ bread. Louise read and I worked on trying to get current.
We have some last minute chores before we set off for the outside of the middle of nowhere tomorrow, but we’re looking forward to the next leg of the journey.