On Sunday morning we woke up to another change in the weather – it was getting cloudy again and the wind was blowing hard – we had to be careful not to let the tent blow away when we were dismantling it.
We won the water game! We packed 3 Nalgenes for the hike out, drank a 4th, and poured out a 5th as a drink offering to thank our household trees. My pack was blessedly light, and very colorful, decorated with strings of empty bottles.
The hike out of the back country was quick and uneventful. We practically jogged along the trail with our light packs. The stone figurines stood at attention to send us on our way. Goodbye, Canyonlands!
Even just driving through Utah is so scenic – we saw more red rocks, yellow rocks, and aquamarine sand.
We drove through a dust storm. Tumbleweeds!
Then we drove through a snow storm. The snow was so dry that it didn’t even stick to the windshield. The only time BN had to turn on the wipers was when passing cars kicked up spray. We had to keep the heat on full-blast to prevent the window from fogging up, so my memory of this drive was sweating away as I gazed at the snowy landscape outside.
We made it to Salt Lake City for dinner. (Thaifoon gets our 2 thumbs up.) Our impression was that SLC is being hit hard by the economic downturn. I’ve never seen so many recently-closed businesses and commercial “for-rent” signs in an urban center.
The plan was to drive a few towns north and find a motel for the night. But soon after we got on the freeway, it started to snow really hard. Snow on an 8-lane expressway is scarier than snow on a mountain road! It quickly became obvious we needed to get off the road. Providentially, the very next exit had a Comfort Inn just over the fence – we glanced anxiously at a car that had skidded to one side of the exit and BN cautiously maneuvered into the motel parking lot. BN was a long time in the lobby but he came out and said, we got a place!
Ahhh, hot shower and clean bed. We could keep an eye on the road conditions right from our room window, and I for one didn’t lose any sleep wondering whether we’d be snowed in the next morning. I sleep like a log, pretty much anywhere.
After breakfast (free waffles – score! and leftover fried rice) we got on the road and there were no problems with snow or traffic. Yay.
Sorry, Idaho – no pictures of you. We’re a little spoiled by Utah’s over-the-top scenic beauty…
Can you tell we’re back in Oregon? All those shades of gray. A lovely drive through scenic Columbia River Gorge. There’s Mount Hood, in the distance at the center of the picture.
We made good time through Oregon as we were eager to get home and also wanted to see Multnomah Falls before dark. It’s clearly visible from the freeway, but we stopped to get a better look.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of our trip to Utah. It was an unforgettable week-and-a-half. Definitely our most exciting Spring Break ever!