My next destination was Salt Lake City to visit my granddaughter, Éva and to meet her girlfriend. But that was still a long drive away. So from Vancouver I drove to Bend, Oregon, fully intending to stay the night. Once I got there, though, I found a very crowded, busy, high traffic city. Just too much for me. I’ve heard it’s beautiful all around Bend and I believe that but I wasn’t intending on staying and I’m finding cities to be less and less hospitable. So I figured I’d drive on to Burns, Oregon. It was only a little over 2 hours away. But somehow that drive was an incredibly long 2 hours. I supposed it’s because I’d driven quite a bit already that day and it was late afternoon. Plus I’d gone through a winding mountain pass where snow was falling but not yet sticking. It wasn’t hard but you do have to focus, so I was tired. But I went for it. I wanted to get at least a little closer to Boise, Idaho so I could meet up with my nephew the next day.
So, I drove and drove and drove (it seemed so much longer than 2 hours) as it got darker on this 2 lane highway. After seeing deer on the road (dead and alive) and seeing more along side the road I knew I needed to stop for the night. Fortunately I saw a small mom and pop store a little ways off with a large parking area where there were already a few trailers and campers stopped for the night. Sweet! It was so nice that they provided that space. There had been nothing but wide open spaces nearly the entire way. Pretty, but desolate.
So I stopped there for the night. Being that this place was so far removed from everything, the sky was dark. Really dark. And the stars were breathtaking. Early the next morning I drove into Burns, fueled up and was on my way to Boise. Either I didn’t enter things correctly into google maps or, well, I didn’t enter things correctly into google maps but I went through an area of Oregon that I didn’t expect to. But, I’m so glad I did. It’s called Oregon’s Great Basin and it’s positively beautiful. I love high desert.
(Don’t forget that you can click on each picture to get a better view).
I think this next one is my favorite.
To have taken a picture of everything beautiful I’d have had to stop every 50 feet. Or maybe put a camera on the roof of the van and film the whole darn thing. Something I realized on this stretch of road is that I have a hesitancy to stop the van and get out to take pictures. It comes from Murphy, my last van. It seemed like every time I stopped and turned the engine off, something would go wrong. She wouldn’t start again or the radiator would overflow or some such problem. I’m starting to become a little more at ease with Clem. Amazingly, so far, Clem starts up again after I turn her off. Who’da thunk?
As I drove further into this valley the scenery shifted over to farmland.
I had to stop here because of this sign I saw.
My grandmother’s name was Beulah!
There’s Clem, my travel buddy, waiting for me a little further on down the road.
So, I met with my nephew in Boise (which I wrote about here: Idaho & Craters of the Moon) and, since he travels a lot for his job, I met him again the next day in Twin Falls, Idaho. To reach Twin Falls, you traverse this bridge over the Snake River.
From there we went out to Shoshone Falls. He said in wintertime the waterfall is spectacular but right now it’s barely a trickle. I don’t know if it was the glare from the white rock there, but none of my pictures came out well. Just this one of the river.
From Twin Falls, I drove south into Utah toward Salt Lake City. Oh my god, what a long drive through miles and miles of nothing but dirt and sagebrush. Simply mind-numbing. Of course, once again it was later in the day but I kept telling myself, “Oh, it’s just a little further, I can make it a lot closer. Then tomorrow’s drive will be shorter.” I gotta stop doing that. I missed the last rest stop before Ogden, unfortunately. I thought there’d be at least one or two more before Salt Lake City. Nope. So, I find myself on the very busy Hwy 84 going through Ogden which merged straight into SLC at dusk with a tired brain and body and traffic was heavy. Ugh. One nice thing, though, was the view of the mountains with the setting sun shining on them. They just glowed. So pretty. No pictures, though….I was driving!
I arrived after dark in SLC and called my granddaughter. She directed me to her house and I crashed! I mean, I fell asleep at her house… not, you know, crashed…. That would be bad.
The next morning, my granddaughter, Éva and her girlfriend, Mikelle had to go to work so I walked around a bit to try to find the famous Mormon Tabernacle and here it is.
Eh, whatever. It’s certainly not why I came to Salt Lake City. This is:
Éva and Mikelle. A coupla sweeties. ❤