I had breakfast and coffee, I watch TV (Star Trek the Next Generation) and I just generally relaxed. It felt luxurious at the time.
However, once I got on the road, I regretted my choice almost immediately. It was 96 degrees out and got up to 102 when I was out in the desert. My air conditioning was pretty much full blast all day. The road mirages were very long. It was like I was driving on a mirror. I had a makeshift curtain out of my flannel shirt, ensuring that I didn't get completely burnt and/or too hot. Also, because I was so lazy in the morning, I felt sluggish when I got in the car rather than alert.
There was a lot of traffic in downtown Salt Lake City and on the first two highways, but as soon as I turned off onto Highway 15 I felt so much better. "This is more like it," I thought. A two lane road, one lane going in each direction. Then I turned onto Highway 50 and within four miles I thought, "I get it. I get why this is The Loneliest Road in America." It is a two lane desert road that stretches on for eternity. There was no one in front of me as far as I could see and only a tiny speck of a person behind me.
I voice recorded this while driving, "I have 142 miles to go on this road. A two hour drive. I feel like its Interstate 5 going from the Bay Area to LA. Straight as an arrow. I could see someone of a different personality feeling anxious about this drive. The monotony, the desolation might make someone a little loopy. But it's 101 degrees out and I couldn't be happier for the road I've chosen. I added an hour to my trip to go this way and I accept every minute of it graciously." I appreciated not having anyone else on the road with me because I could set my cruise control and just do that. Cruise. It was very nice. Every hour or so you come across a big hill. The speed limit changes to 35 miles an hour and becomes curvy. That is also nice. It breaks up the monotony.
I stopped at a gas station right on the Utah/Nevada border. It was the only thing I'd seen for at least 60 miles. It was plopped in the middle of the desert. I thought it was just a gas station and then I walked in to pay. I was in the middle of a convenience store then there was a casino and a restaurant and a hotel. Crazy little place. I sort of felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.
And then I hit the final stretch to Ely. It was just like the last however many miles. Straight, desert, hot, little bit boring. But when I got to Ely, the hotel more than made up for it. It is a quirky little place and I love a bit of that.
|The next five pictures are in the Business Center|