Trip West 2014: Nevada and Utah

Before I left Jean’s I went shopping with her on Tuesday. Wednesday, she took us all to a place on base. It was so freaking hot and calm that I was ready to just lay down in a freezer full of ice to cool off. That wasn’t to be, but I found a soda machine and bought a water. Andrew and I used the bottle to cool off a little before I opened it to drink some. I have to say, now that I’m home, I appreciate the 90s like I never did before…110+ is ridiculous. Going north in Nevada, though, it’s quite pretty.

After visiting the base with Jean, I drove up to Great Basin National Park. I’d heard about the bristlecone pines on the radio (something about 4000+ years old) and, although I didn’t figure I’d see the very oldest pines, I figured I’d see something cool.

I hadn’t planned to go hiking, so I didn’t really have the supplies I would have wanted. When the trail turned out to be so short, I couldn’t help going for a short walk. I didn’t make it to a grove of bristlecone pines that I could recognize, so there aren’t really any good pictures from the hike. On the way down, though, there was a double rainbow. I didn’t get the double part, but I did get a few nice pictures.

At sunset, I was driving through eastern Utah. The light and colors were amazing. 

This is something I’m not sure you’d ever see here in the east – it’s too humid here for the rain to stand out like this from the clouds.

One of the things I love the most about the west is the isolation. You can drive for miles and not see another person. That, however, came back to bite me on Wednesday night. I was looking for a place to stay – I started fairly early. I stopped in one town and they told me they’d just sold their last room on the phone while I was standing in line, waiting my turn. Well, whatever, no big deal…the next town is only an hour and a half away and I wasn’t too tired. In that town, they had already sold every room. The third town was further (at least another hour and a half, I think closer to two or three hours) and I was getting tired. When I arrived, the hotel I stopped in told me they were full, but the cheaper hotel next door might have space. I went over and it was just too creepy to even ask if they had a room, so I went out to the car and called Tony (three in the morning…I don’t think he liked that too much, but I didn’t know what else to do). He helped me get set up in a town further down the road and about 30 minutes off the interstate. At that point, I didn’t really care how far out of my way I had to go, I just wanted to go to sleep. I was so freaking thankful for a hotel room that was comfortable and clean and quiet.

There are more pictures here.

The following are the posts in this series:

  1. Traveling West
  2. Activities at the Ranch
  3. Wildlife at the Ranch
  4. Cowpunchers
  5. Las Vegas with Dad
  6. Jean’s Promotion
  7. Visiting Jean & Family
  8. Return to the Ranch (Friday)
  9. Return to the Ranch (Saturday)
  10. Teturn to the Ranch (Sunday)
  11. Return to the Ranch (Monday)
  12. Nevada and Utah
  13. Utah and Colorado
  14. Colorado, Kansas, Missouri
  15. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Home
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