The Great Southwest Trip 2017


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Tuesday, September 26

We got up and packed up our campsite and hit the road for Salt Lake City. Before we left, I went over to the orchard and picked a bunch of tiny apples. Would have been more fun without all the deer poop on the ground...but the apples were delicious.

We left Capitol Reef around 9 am, reluctantly on my part...someone told me the best hike there is Chimney Rock, which is really saying something. I looked longingly at it as we passed (the trailhead is in the first picture on the left...next time!)

We stopped in Torrey (the next town to the west) for gas and Kelly went looking for coffee. I tried to 'borrow' some wifi...FBI surveillance van, very funny. Ha ha ha.

This was a few miles west of Torrey...we were on a back road and passed a long field with these gray stripes in it...I stopped at the third or fourth one...and IT'S ICE. THAT'S how cold it was the last two nights. You can see the sprinklers valiently trying to work, but they're only making it worse...
Salt Lake City was only about 4 1/2 hours away, so we decided to take back roads all the way there instead of the freeways. It was actually pretty fun. The big building is of course a Mormon temple in some small town. Very imposing. Notice the snow on the mountains...

We stopped for lunch in a small town called Fairview; it was pretty cold at the picnic table outside the Visitor's Center, but when we went inside, the museum was interesting, and they were so glad to see actual people, we stayed for about 45 minutes chatting and looking at stuff.

A delicious picnic, albeit a bit chilly. Fairview Utah They have a mastodon skeleton! Woo hoo! They also have a lace fair every year, which I liked the idea of.
Old tech in the museum: an actual switchboard, that you can call one phone from the other and see how the call is switched through

A lovely loom. WANT!!!

Kelly gets a perm the old-fashioned way...

We drove to Salt Lake City, checked into our motel, I did laundry, and then we walked a mile downtown to Squatters Pub, which was recommended to us by Jon and Kathy, and they were right. Delicious food and beer, a lot of fun. We sat at the bar counter and joked with the bartender and had a great time. The cat picture was part of a street art display, we both liked it.

And I checked my weather app...there was an unseasonable freeze all over the Four Corners region all week, what a surprise...

Wednesday, September 27

We packed, me to travel, Kelly to fly home. Breakfast was at a place called Pig and a Jelly Jar, which was excellent except that they didn't have plain black tea...luckily my truck was parked nearby and I did! We got gas, I did my Trader Joe's run, and then (once it got to be 10 am) Kelly and I killed time at a couple of bookstores.

Eborn Books is a huge place that caters to college students and whoever else they can entice in the door. They have a large selection at reasonable prices, and I found a pile of books...but the one thing that drove me nuts is they only alphabatize by first letter, so in each section all the authors whose name starts with the same letter (like A) are together in NO ORDER. This is not a problem with one or two shelves of books, but in the fiction and large sections it is REALLY annoying.

They also had the cool vault. And they gave me a nice big box for my books, which I needed, especially since our next stop was..

Weller books, inside a large and confusing shopping mall...but the store turned out to be worth the trouble, it was EXCELLENT. After we finished there, we went out the back way where I saw the neon trolley sign (daytime, alas) and the peppers in the flowerbed, very pretty!
And it was time to drop Kelly off at the airport, and she is sorry to go. And I am sad to say goodbye, although I know my fun isn't over yet!

On the way out of Salt Lake City headed west, I see this...salt? Minerals? Don't know. I was also listening to Eddie Izzard's autobiography on audiobook and laughing like a loon all the way to Nevada.

This sculpture is 80 feet tall, and its name, and I am not joking, is Metaphor: The Tree of Utah. Seriously. I pulled over at a rest stop to use the bathroom. The sign was on the door. There were displays about the Pony Express, and you can see the rider out on the grasslands nearby. My campsite.
So I drove across Utah and Nevada and halfway down Highway 50, and got to the Bob Scott campground around 5:30 pm. I was back on PDT, so it was getting late. Last time I was here was in June, and it was hot and the campground was empty; this time I drove through and EVERY SPACE WAS FULL. Either someone was there, or there was a piece of paper in the clip for reservations. I said some bad words, because there is NOTHING anywhere around there, and tried again. This time I got out and looked at the reservations...and I found a site that someone had left the paper on but wasn't reserved. Whew. I had fallen into a conversation with some nice people who said that if there wasn't a space for me I could share theirs, but nicer to have my own.

Then the woman came over to me and said, there are no more reservation envelopes. I called the rangers hq and they said in that case there's no need to pay. Well, that was nice. Although it was only ten bucks, so I wrapped the money in a piece of paper, put it in the slot, and put a note on the reservations clip, because I wanted to support this campground, which is one of my favorites.

I had had a big lunch, so I just had an apple and some hummus and chips for dinner...and it was getting pretty cold, even though it was only around 7 pm...so since it was just me, I went ahead and put on my jammies and went to bed. And it got cold enough that for the first time, I used all my blankets, even the thick acrylic Mexican blanket that I bring for weather emergencies.

And this certainly counted...the next morning I found out it had gotten down to THIRTY TWO DEGREES...