Part 5, Utah.
Now if your not familuar with the great state of Utah,,, It is a state all of its own.
It has platue's and canyons and majestic mountains at just about every turn. I got my rest in *Nutah,, The Nevada ,,Utah border, and did a full truck and trailer inspection. I did notice that ice block that had formed on the under belly of the 5th is slightly smaller then it was when I first checked it. Traveling with the temps in the teens, doesnt pursuade the ice to melt off easily. I start up the ole dually and let it warm up, as I sip my fresh cup of coffee,, watching the steam escape through the tiny sip hole in the lid. Its the little things in life that bring the most amazement.
Well,,I must quit watching the little puffs of steam escaping through the cup and get this ole truck on down the hwy.
I unfold my map and take my sharpie and mark off the next stop, Salt Lake city.
(in case your wondering,, I do have GPS on my phone and a GPS unit). But looking at the map seems more realistic,, leaving some technology behind me. I make my way across the parking lot,, tapping my brakes every so often,, to dislodge the formation of ice on the brake shoes.
Just an F.Y.I.. after traveling through a cold region and driving through snow and ice and slush,,, The elements to stick to the hubs and wheels and yes, even the electric brakes inside the wheel hubs on the trailer. It may be frozen water,ice, or slush,, but it does get inside and melts slinging water around everywhere, and when you stop,, everything cools down and with the temps being in the teens and dropping to below zero,, the water re-freezes. A.K.A. frozen brakes. I have in the past experienced total frozen brakes,, and skidding the wheels across the parking lot doesnt always break them free. So as I slowly cross the parking lot heading towards the entrance ramp,, I tap the brakes and engage the trailer brakes to make sure they are fully functionable before I actually get onto the hwy. If I do suspect a problem,, I am still off the main road and in an area I can remedy the problem. Well,, Im not sensing any problems and its on my way onto I-80 again,, Now Utah is like Ca. and New Mexico and Nevada,, Mountains and more mountains and a few more mountains added in just for good measure. This is the land of upgrades and downgrades.
Somewhere in the grand scheme of things,, designers had a field day routing the highway through the mountains.
Just imagine a bunch of engineers sitting around the table sipping red eye double caffinated coffee and eating jelly donuts, figuring out how they can out-do Ca. designers on the grades. Grades along this route will vary from puddle jumping 2% grades to pucker tensing 8 and 9% grades. Of course the plus side of cruising through these mountains is how beautiful the rock formations are and how they cut the road way through the rock, a true work of art. As I continue my adventurous trip, the roadway is fairly clear and only remnants of snow along the shoulders and up on the peaks of the hills. If your lucky, you can catch a glimpse of a few deer grazing along a hillside, or even catch a wolf or coyote running through the winter grass. Not to discourage you on the trip through this part of Utah,, but its pretty much, drive up, just to drive down,, only to drive back up,, and back down. There is a lot of that,with the occasional platue of flat land. As you treck across the flat lands,, which by the way is actually on TOP of the mountain ranges,, makes for a good time to try and find a radio station to listen to.. This is a patience game as you push the station selector one notch at a time. Trust me,, that Search mode does not work,, it will just scan and scan and scan. That just leaves you with search one station number at a time, And yes,, you will find a station or two. and just as you lean back to enjoy some music as you cruise along,, that station will fade farther and farther away till your left with static. At which time, you resume to searching for another station. After about 7 minutes and 15 seconds,, you give up and slip a c/d in of your favorite music. Now Im not saying the treck to Salt Lake city is a long haul,, But lets just say, you could almost have all the words to all the songs on your c/d memorized. Just saying. Along this so called desolate range of hwy, there are several places to pull off, to sight see, fuel up, relax, grab some zz's etc.. But as I have mentioned before in a previous blog,, I drive bonzai, horns into the wind. I have at one time, swerved off to the shoulder to come to a stop, because I saw a land mark posting. Now granted, it was in the middle of nowhere, as most are and it caught my attention. So yes, I did stop,,, walked back to it, and was humored as to what was written on it. This particular one said,,, On this date in 1954,, nothing happened here,, absolutly nothing at all, from 12 noon to 5 p/m. ( ok, that was sad,, buy hey,, I bet you smiled a little at that).
I continued my treck to the outskirts of Salt Lake City.. nestled right on the huge Salt Lake itself. I think they named that city because it would be easy to rmemeber due to it being right next to the lake. Just on the west side of the city,, roughly 12 miles out, they have a well stocked super clean T/A truck stop. Now some people wouldnt be caught dead in a truck stop, But to be honest,, its one of the safest places to pull off. This T/A has everything,,, Fuel, food, including fast food, if your into that and want to super size your better halfs happy meal, and be extra special and get her a cherry or apple pie. They even have a barber shop and beauty salon, a truckers lounge, which is a large room with chairs and couches to relax and watch some tv, and maybe catch up on some news or weather updates. P.S. You dont have to be a trucker to use these facilities. They even have clean showers if you need to freshen up, and yes they are cleaned after each use. And they are private shower rooms. Heck, for $5 to $10 you get a clean shower and they furnish clean towels. In the truckers area,, they even have washers and dryers if you need to do a load of laundry. Other then store foods and fast food, they have a sit down bonifide restruraunt. There is plenty of parking, as the trucks park in one area, and they have another area for RV's away from the regular car traffic. Now if you dont want to stay here to relax and recoup,, You can venture through Salt Lake city, go over to the east side. I mention this, because I found a very beautiful place just outside of the city limits, to a side state hwy 65 to Immigration canyon. Its a little off the beaten path, but its stunning at night. A small little lake, fed off the great Salt lake. There are numerous pull offs to stop at and star gaze away from the bright city lights. I found this off the beaten path due to something catching my eye. And curiosity got the better of me. I drove down 65 for about 40 minutes and found a pull off that looked just about right. I got out and walked around just admiring the scenery and stretching the ole legs. Yes , I remember saying Im the type who just goes horns to the wind to get the trip over with, but one must stop and smell the roses along the way to. And I do that from time to time.
But heres a warning,,, depending on weather conditions,, be very careful when trecking off the beaten path, especially in snow season.
Being a balmy 14 degrees with a slight breeze, I wonder around for a few minutes in the crunchy untouched snow, before reality sets in, that I didnt put my jacket on and its getting a little chilly. So back to the truck I go,,, a few more miles and I will call it quiting time. So I turn the ole truck around, trailer in tow,, light snow starts to fall as I head back to I-80. I get routed Easterly and continue on,,, next stop, Coalville,, nestled on Echo Reservoir (lake).,
(will continue in part 6)