Salt, Mountains, Desert, and a Divide

I woke up in the middle of nowhere Monday morning and was headed into virgin territory for the remainder of my trip. After spending a night in Boise, Idaho, I left familiarity in the back window. I headed south towards Utah. My lofty driving goal for was somewhere in the greater Salt Lake City area. I hit some road construction on the way, but made it with enough daylight to spare.

Upon my arrival I scurried into an Albertson’s grocery store to get some snackies before checking in at the Provo KOA campground. I had ambitious thoughts of camping out almost every night, but this wasn’t the reality. During my six week road trip, I ended up camping outdoors twice. The next camping didn’t happen until I reached Louisiana.

I unpacked my belongings and got all cozy in my tent. It was a blustery night. I was in a fragile mood as it had been two full days since I last spoke with my girlfriend in Seattle. We weren’t able to connect my first night in Boise and my two calls from the KOA pay phone went unanswered.

Not to fear though, I had her sweet stories to read. You see my girlfriend wrote 21 stories to accompany for the first three weeks of my trip. I was to read an entry each day. Trust me, they were tearjerkers. Before I left town, I read one while packing my belongings in Portland. I was sobbing like a one year old who can’t walk, yet.

The wind howled through the campground all night long. The freeway noise made it tough to relax, but I had to keep telling myself “I’m doing this. I’m doing this”. I was out there making my way across country by myself doing something I never thought possible.

I must point out, mix tapes weren’t my only companions on my trip. My niece gave me one of those Tamagotchi Pets on my last visit to Seattle. I never once fell asleep at the wheel because my mind was ever so focussed on keeping the digital pet alive.
Tuesday morning, I packed up my belongings saying goodbye to Provo, hitting the highway again. I was off for eastern Utah and then the Mile High city, Denver. I don’t know how I pictured eastern Utah to be in my head prior to my trip, but it was nothing like what I saw out my Accord’s windshield. Sparse and beautiful. It was truly amazing to see the vast nothingness of the Utah desert.

I arrived in Colorado with much anticipation. About eight years before my road trip, I seriously considered attending a small forestry college in Colorado. I did opt to stay close to home, but the state still cast a spell on me. I recall seeing the Rocky Mountains from the distance and being so impressed and enamoured. They rise out of ground and are such a stark contrast to anything else on Colorado’s front range.

Still, I wasn’t certain my aging car packed with all sorts of gear would be able to labor up Loveland Pass, 11,990 feet above sea level. I cranked up my car’s heater to ward off its tendency to overheat, sucking the hot air away from the engine. Anyways, the car made it over the pass, gasping for air in the far right lane. We coasted downhill to a modest altitude of 5,280 feet in Denver where I found a cheap Motel 6 on the outskirts of town.

I kicked myself that night as I didn’t give myself more time to explore the Colorado wilderness. I wished I got off the beaten path to see the natural beauty that is Colorado. Instead, I took a shower, ate some food, and then watched a little television before calling it a night. One last peek at my car parked outside my room before an emphatic flick of the light switch.


About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Road Trip, Storytelling, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Salt, Mountains, Desert, and a Divide

  1. justrun says:

    I know just the college you mean … I almost went there, too.

  2. Eunice says:

    Well Loveland pass is still here.

  3. egan says:

    Justrun – I updated this post with the link to the college. I wonder how my life would have been different had I attended such a small and specified college. Who knows. You live in some pretty area, that’s for sure.
    Eunice – hey look, it’s the folks from Colorado checking in first. Yes, I know the pass is still there you silly person. Think about it, it’s like driving a car over Mt. Hood. That’s pretty insane if you ask me. There was some weird precaution I remember reading on the way up Loveland Pass. Can you refresh my memory?

  4. ms chica says:

    I was in SLC a week ago, It’s still there.
    Actually it’s pretty nice. I’ve never spent more than 24 hours there at a time, I want to see more of it.

  5. SM says:

    The Rocky Mountains are my favourite mountain range. I have some excellent memories of childhood trips where our vehicles almost didn’t make it up a mountain or having snowball fights in the middle of July. Good times.

  6. sari says:

    Ah, the cranking of the heater on the hill trick. I remember last summer we drove to San Diego and I was about six months pregnant with Geek Family Member #5. My husband tried that trick and I about destroyed the car I was so cranky with the heat.
    Gosh, I’m still a little embarrassed about it, ha ha.

  7. egan says:

    Ms Chica – what’s up with the “it’s still there” bit? Are you pulling my leg because I used past tense?
    SM – hey, you can bring the little one there and relive those legendary snowball fights. Pssst, are you getting anything done today? Any plans for tomorrow?
    Sari – well in my car I didn’t just do it on the hill. My Honda Accord ran a bit hot and liked to get warm if idling for too long or up inclines. Damn those laboring engines and moms… I kid.

  8. SM says:

    Am I getting anything done? HA! Riiiight. I am quite possibly the most hyper I have ever been in my life. I came out of the bathroom this morning after getting ready for the day singing the Ramones I Wanna Be Sedated
    twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours to go
    AS for my plans tomorrow, I’m just not sure…maybe I’ll have a baby. Sounds good, eh?

  9. egan says:

    SM – I oh, let’s go! 24 hours to go, but do you want to be sedated?
    You should really consider having a baby tomorrow. Heck, why don’t you celebrate your birthday on Sunday too. Don’t understate how productive you’ve been. Soon it will be all about you, a baby, and the boobs.

  10. SM says:

    Dude…I keep forgetting my bday is this weekend, too. Usually I have countdowns for my birthday, but it’s been kind of overshadowed this year. And I’m OK with that!!
    I’m scared for my boobs.

  11. SM says:

    Oh, and since I probably won’t have a chance before Sunday – happy birthday to your mom and happy birthday to EM’s dad!!!!

  12. egan says:

    SM – geez, how could you forget about your birthday? In the future you can combine your bday with the guy’s. Ha, I won’t touch the boob comment because I know what can happen. Good luck.
    SM – thanks, I will pass along the birthday wishes. I feel like you should bow to the audience or something.

  13. Pants says:

    I love that Mrs. LesSinges wrote stories for your road trip; so romantic, thoughtful and creative! You two are surely lucky to have found each other.
    The desert areas of Utah are sparse and beautiful. I have found a healthy, new appreciation for them since moving to God’s Country. Hee!

  14. churlita says:

    KOA’s and Motel 6’s were the only places we stayed on our roadtrip this Summer. The perfect poor people accomodations.

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