October 30, 2020 – Yesterday I decided to go the northern route out to Georgia and take the southern route back. The primary purpose of this trip is to spend time with family in Georgia. Yet here is an opportunity to explore parts of the planet I have not been to or more thoroughly explored. I have settled on the plan that I will strive to safely drive as far as I can each day and I will take time to stop and explore as much as I can while making the 2700-mile drive to Georgia in four to five days. Then I will allow myself more time on the return trip to get out of the car and explore. One area I have thought about is where to sleep? Camping would take more time than I have had to plan, plus the kinds of campgrounds I like are too far off the main road and would lengthen the drive out more than I would like. Ok, so it’s motels then. They will need to be pet-friendly, safe, clean, have parking next to or at least very close to where I am sleeping, and be as inexpensive as possible. Last night’s Travelodge room was all of these things. It was, however, not quiet. Nonetheless, Gaston and I slept well enough and we were on the road by 5:30 am.
The first light of sunrise appeared just after we passed the Huntington area, and I watched the brilliant amber, gold, and deep burgundy pallette slowly expand across the morning sky, almost all the way to Boise. This was the most spectacular sunrise I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I could find no safe pulloff where I could take a photo, and I’m not sure I could have captured its full effect.
This was my first time in Idaho, my first time seeing the Snake River, and northern Utah. 35 years ago I drove all of my worldly belongings and myself from Colorado to northern California. On that drive I basically “turned left” at Ogden to continue on I80 toward Salt Lake City. This time I again “turned left” at Ogden, only heading east toward Wyoming. Except for a few places where there were more housing developments, the stretch from Ogden to Rawlins, Wyoming (my stopping place for the night), things haven’t changed much. The biggest change was inside the vehicle. 35 years ago I was listening to and singing along with whatever AM radio station I could pick up. Today I listened a Barbara Kingsolver book I had downloaded onto a cell phone that played through the bluetooth on the car stereo system. Well, that, and a lot more gray hairs.
My goal today was to get as close to half way as possible. Rawlins was a couple hundred miles shy of that goal, but it had everything we needed – lodging, fuel, food, and an auto parts store (needed a tire gauge). I found a delightful western-themed motor lodge that met all our needs AND was quiet. The farther east I drove through Wyoming, the more light layer of snow I saw all around me. It was 38 and the wind was blowing as it does in that part of the country. We settled in for the night after I checked the car over, used my portable compressor to air up the tires a little more, checked the oil, and took in the big, almost-full moon.