I got up around 7am, left the hotel around 8am and found brunch at a fun “Brunchette” place north of town. Had "Hipster toast” which meant avocado toast with grilled onions and a side of chicken sausage. Thought about going to REI to buy a tarp but was feeling restless and wanderlust-y and so I decided to o hit the road. I got Siried trying to get out of Boise but eventually found I-84 eastbound and drove…and drove…and drove. Again, props to Jonathan and Joshua for being generous with their time and talking with me.
Stopped for my third full tank of gas at a place near the ID-UT border along I-84 with about 70 miles of range left. The independent gas station had a very sad petting zoo with what looked like burros. The kids at the gas station were loving it.
The pumps were wonky and I had to go inside to ask for help. There, the woman behind the counter impatiently explained to me what I had done wrong. On my way out the door, I noticed The Book of Mormon for sale and a sign that said something like “Ask me about The Book of Mormon”. I should have just bought one or two gallons of gas but instead I bought a full tank at $4.39 per gallon I’m a chump-turned out there was a real gas station selling gas for $1 less per gallon about 30 miles away. Also, the pumps had semi-cute phrases on their screens. Did not make up for any of the three things-the in-my-face Mormon evangelism, the sad petting zoo, the sullen attitude or the price. I did not like about buying gas there and will be more careful to check the map before investing in a whole tank of rural gas from some rando independent gas station. Also, I got about 40 miles less out of that tank than I normally would have, so it was an even worse deal.
I stopped at the Juniper Rest Area, just inside Idaho, and took some pictures of the juniper.
The drive across Utah was beautiful except for the Salt Lake City region which has a definite SoCal vibe-but it’s Utah. The sprawl, the sun, the mountains which seem tall because they are right up against the sprawl, the bad air quality which blocks views of the moutnains, the freeways. To my eyes, the built environment is pretty ugly in that growth-at-any-cost kind of way. I saw a reader sign that encouraged people to drive less this weekend to protect air quality.
I’m here to tell you that the freeways were packed on a Saturday afternoon. It’s 80 miles from Ogden to Provo. That’s about 10 miles shorter than Everett to Olympia according to my map. For me, that’s very sprawling. It’s also a much smaller region in terms of population.
The first half of the drive from Ogden to Salt Lake, I-15 was under construction because they were adding express/HOT lanes. The design didn’t make sense to me because the HOT lane tolls were ridiculously cheap, between $0.20 and $0.60. Maybe because it was the weekend and not of lot of people were using them?
I stopped in downtown Ogden for lunch at an Italian bakery. Staff at the cafe were super friendly and the dish of meat ravioli I had was OK. I noted with amusement that my iced chai was from Rishi Tea
Although I had stayed the night in Ogden once before, there seemed to be more to it than I remembered. Overall a nice downtown.
I recorded about a minute's worth of ambient sound sitting outside at the bakery. Have a listen.
Ogden UT Sapori Italian bakery & cafe.m4a
Two people sitting outside at the table next to mine had their skin and clothes covered in chalk art. I and some passers-by complimented them on it because it was was cute and artistic.
After driving in heavy traffic along I-15, I exited the freeway at Spanish Fork and drove on Highway 6 the rest of the way to I-70. Highway 6 is a beautiful drive, featuring some of the landscapes that I think of as typical for Utah. For example, there was a bunch of striation in the eroded parts of the reddish-orange mountain ranges that the highway goes through. There were some large rock formations that had interesting structure to them. I drove near a smouldering wildfire. I regret not stopping to take pictures at the scenic overlook but I wanted to get to my next stopping point after driving all the way from Boise.
From Spanish Fork, It took about 2.5 hours with a stop at a janky, half-closed rest area to get from Spanish Fork to Green River, where I am staying for three nights. I noted with amusement that all of the gas stations between that rest area and Price advertise in large print that they have VERY CLEAN BATHROOMS!. The privately operated, taxpayer-funded rest area was mostly closed off to the public (for repairs? or something), not clean and the water fountains were turned off although the large Coca-Cola products vending machine selling bottled water for a lot of money seemed to be doing just fine.
Green River is a small, windswept town that seems to depend heavily on the tourism overflow from Moab. and from tourism for Green River State Park It’s a lot cheaper to stay here than Moab, but it’s also a lot farther from the parks.
My motel has been very recently remodeled and quite cute. It’s called the River Rock Inn. It’s right on Main Street and very charming. Delicious home cooked breakfast was included in the very reasonable price of the room.
Later, I had an excellent turkey sandwich from a good, very busy restaurant that Jonathan found for me while I was doing battle on I-15. Thank you, Jonathan, for pointing out that I can ask for help from my family while driving when I complained that being the only driver in the car meant that I couldn’t research places to eat and stay while Dom was driving. Very insightful and helpful.
As I watched TV in a futile effort to get tired enough to sleep, I saw a news story about a chalk festival in Ogden today.
Tried to sleep but couldn’t so talked with Dad around 10:30pm about places to visit in Colorado and New Mexico. We agreed that I should visit Mesa Verde National Park. It was a very helpful conversation but it disturbed my neighbors because I was talking too loudly. I found out when they banged on the wall for 10 seconds. I felt really bad and quickly finished my conversation with Dad quickly and in a whisper.