Thursday, October 18, 2007

Into the West
You know you're running out of clever west-themed titles when you're reduced to titling one after an Annie Lennox song from Lord of the Rings.

Day 3

So, we woke up even later today (I think around 7am...but my memory is getting a bit foggy since this all happened so long ago). We left Ogden behind and headed for Salt Lake City. I was really hoping that as we entered the city we'd suddenly see hoards of men wearing black trousers, white button-up shirts, and ties riding bikes. Because, you know, Mormons do that. Their main mode of transportation while proselytizing seems to be the bicycle. Good on 'em, I guess. You know, environmental and all. I doubt that's why they all ride bikes, but hey. Benefit of the doubt. I didn't see any Mormons on bikes, however. My sister later pointed out that there probably aren't many Mormons on missions within the Salt Lake City confines. Valid point.

Well, today was a very shite morning. It was super foggy and raining as we passed through Salt Lake City. If the Great Salt Lake is pretty, we missed out. Because to us, for the most part, it looked like 2 feet of water and great expanses of white fog. But here are a few of the better pictures we managed to snap of the Great Salt Lake:

After we passed by the the Great Salt Lake we passed through the Great Salt Lake Desert. It's a desert, but the sand is white due to the high concentration of salt. It was weird. It looked like snow, but it was sand. However, this confusion was intensified by the fact that it actually was snowing as we drove through the first bit of it. Yes, it was snowing. As we passed the GSL, the rain turned to snow, reducing the visibility even more. Fun. And odd. However, I have come to the conclusion that the white ground was, in fact, white sand and not snow. We stopped at a rest stop in 'the desert' and I was amused by a sign there that read, "Watch for snakes and scorpions." Interesting. I didn't see any. But it was snowing. And cold. We also passed by a Morton Salt Plant. I took a picture of it. Yay for Morton Salt.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we left I-15S and got onto I-80W at Salt Lake City. Anyway, I-80 runs due East-West through this part of Utah to the Nevada border. It's also exactly straight, making distance-judging extremely difficult. We had a game of "How many miles do you think it is to that mountain?" We all lost. They were a lot further away than we thought (although I did figure it out soon after guessing by utilizing the mileage markers..."Well, we're at mile marker 34 and I'd postulate that the Utah-Nevada border is right where those mountains start, so they're probaby about 34 miles away, not 18."). Yeah. I thought that the area around the UT-NV border was very pretty, as was the first part of NV. Here's a picture of us nearing the border.


The Nevada road sign was pretty boring. At least it wasn't ugly. Just boring. I kind of respected them for that, however, as maybe there are better things to spend state money on other than "Welcome to [insert state here]!" signs. Whatev. But apparently NV is the Silver State. Which led me to think about what other states' nicknames were. Wisconsin is the Badger State. California is the Golden State. Florida is the Sunshine State. I then couldn't think of what Minnesota was, which was mildly appalling to me. My dad kept saying, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes," but I thought that was different. You, don't all states have a title? Like, "The _______ State"? Anyway, I guessed it was the Gopher State, but my dad kept saying it wasn't. I just looked it up and it IS the Gopher State. And the North Star State (I knew that!). And it's also the Bread and Butter State (uhh, ok...). Moving on...

It was weird in the first part of NV, as the snowstorm we passed through earlier in Utah obviously had passed through here beforehand. So there was snow on the ground and bushes and trees and stuff. As we looked out the window it looked like a B&W photograph. So I took a color photo of the B&W scenery. The next picture is more or less what the rest of NV looked like. We determined that all of Nevada's penitentiaries are located in the desert off I-80. "Hey man, you can try to escape but where the hell are you going to go? You're in a desert surrounded by mountains. Good luck." There were lots of signs that said, "Prison nearby. Do not stop for hitchhikers." Haha! We by-passed Reno and headed into...

Another bad road sign--big guts and bad glare from the window. We got stopped at the CA border by state border patrol people asking if we had any vegetation or something in our car. We said no and tey waved us through. I thought it was a little weird. They don't even look, and why is it only CA? So, we entered CA and drove from there to Lake Tahoe where we stayed for the night at an America's Best, or something. It was the crappiest place we'd stayed at so far but also the most expensive. Tourist place on a Saturday, for ya. Anyway, if it truly was America's best, then that's not saying much for the state of America's hotels. But we did have a view of Lake Tahoe from our front window (albeit across a street and obstructed by trees).

That night we just walked a little bit along the lakeshore and ate at a nearby restaurant where my dad watched the Gophers get killed in football. ['ate at a' is a weird word combination as each word just chops off the last letter of the previous word] I ordered Asian Udon Noodles. Which tasted good, but really weren't anything like actual udon noodles. First off, they were in a ramen-type red-colored broth. Not like most (or any) udon noodles I've eaten previously. Secondly, they weren't udon noodles, but some other kind of noodle like flat egg noodles, or something. I don't know what they were, but they sure weren't udon noodles. But it was still good. Anyway, exeunt day 3.

Lake Tahoe has some Giant Canada Geese, but Lake Tahoe ain't got nuttin' on Silver Lake. Bitches.

Question of the Day: Do you say 'rest area', 'rest stop', or 'truck stop'? Or something altogether different?


At 10/19/2007 4:50 PM, Blogger Candy said...

Is it just the Mormons who ride bikes around? I saw some guys this past weekend zipping around past the art museum downtown. I told Jake it would have been awesome if we had our camera out and we could have got a pan stop action shot of them. I called them Jehovah's Witnesses, though. Do both the Witnesses and the Mormons ride bikes around? Oh, what's the difference between the two? I get so confused.

At 10/20/2007 1:31 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Ellen's brother lives in Utah now. He's a big ski bum.

At 10/21/2007 2:14 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I say rest area. And I am always right.


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