I awoke before 3am, toasty warm snuggled under a down quilt & a sleeping bag laying between my husband and Laars. Toque on along with all my clothes including 2 wool Guatemalan sweaters and my socks, with the large ‘window’ open for better insulation, I lay there thinking about our new ‘normal’, and how to get my pictures organized so I can easily upload them once we get internet. Crazy how many things can whizz through your mind at 3am. Reminds me of The Tale of Two Brains with Mark Gungor. How true it is, one thought morphing into another seemingly unrelated thought at the speed of light, like a ball of wire.
By 4:30am I quietly sneak out of the tent…..as quiet as a herd of elephants…..zippers, swaying of the whole vehicle, clomping down metal ladder. I unlock the van passenger door where I have to unload the garbage bags full of clean laundry from yesterday so I can sneak onto the seat and maybe do some work with those haunting unorganized photos of mine/his/ours.
The van had 3 children sleeping in it last night. Tov and Anders have spent 2 nights here, now. They like it enough to try again, joined by Gaelyn this time. That leaves more room in one tent for the oldest 3, and Everette & I share with Laars. No need to set up a pup tent. We’ll probably still do the annex’s if we settle for longer at a location, but for now the children are happy with the setup.
Around 5am I am joined by Everette who putters around in the cold, stringing electrical cords and chargers, shifting gear, digging out the camp stove to heat water. NowI wish I that electric kettle I didn’t have room for.
By 8am we are heading back into Twin Falls to view the Shoshone Falls. They are beautiful as is the setting, although I am sure they are spectacular in the spring or early summer with greater volume. However, there was no park entrance because of the season, good for us.
Everette gets groceries while Maret, Danaka and I stop at Starbucks to get wifi. Everette joins us later and we get some business done for Cambiare, too. I am thankful that the children have patience.
I run out to the van for something and meet up with Kandee, an American raised in Vanderhoof, BC but has been living in Idaho for the past 20 years. Her heart is still in Vanderhoof, she says. She misses the variety of people, and likely the geography.
At Wells we run into fellow BCer’s who had been heading to Salt Lake City but are now heading to Las Vegas because of a cold front coming in with snow. (since we weren’t really aware of the approaching storm one fella says, “You do know who won the election, don’t you?”) That’s what we will likely get caught in in the next couple of days. We head east, towards Salt Lake City of which we had decided to avoid, but figure it will be safer to be near population than out in the high desert with few and little towns.
We make a planned stop at Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway. Supposedly they ran races out there 2 months ago and now there really isn’t anything to see. But we’ve been to Saratoga, and now Bonneville, and there’s something to that for my guys.
Although devoid of race cars it turns out to be a fantastic stop for us. Maybe more fantastic because there were no race cars. We took turns driving out on the flats where there is absolutely nothing for 10 miles out there. Absolutely flat. Totally safe even for inexperienced drivers. And one can even drive our 15 passenger van as if it’s a sports car, Seth!!
We eat supper and pack up to drive east, but in the process of putting stuff away in the cooler I jump out of the van & somehow catch my thigh on a soap pump bottle and now I have soapy butt!!
We hit the Hwy east again about 5:40pm. While the back 2 rows of people watch The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, the front 2 rows sneak a couple of Reese’s miniatures. We unwrap them from the foil and assume that’s all to be unwrapped, but no, there is the paper cup still. Danaka popped the whole thing in her mouth before she realized; Everette just bit into it. Both broke out laughing. Then Everette did it a second time! Silly.
After more than 100 boring and almost poker-straight miles across the Great Salt Lake Desert where there are constant highway signs reminding us of the dangers of driving while tired (even a sign letting sleepy drivers know that there is a rest pull-out 5 miles ahead……..what if they are asleep before the 5 miles? Maybe they should pull over now!) we head right into Salt Lake City. It’s evening & we figure it can’t be that busy in the city for us tourists. We are so close we might as well get a view of the Temple that symbolizes the main religious affiliation in this region.
I admit I hadn’t looked up anything about the Mormon Temple on the internet, and was told that the dome on top is lit up at night. ‘Dome’ makes me envision a particular look, so when we reach downtown we head towards the bright dome on the hill which basically corresponds with signposts directing to Temple Square. Interestingly, we spot what looks like a fairy tale castle with lit up spires poking into the night sky. I snap away the best I can at this spectacle as we drive the city streets.
We arrive at the dome to discover it is the State Capitol all aglow.
The spires was where the Temple Square was, the big Mormon Temple
Everette grabs a coffee to help him stay awake for the long drive thru this strung out city & suburbs and we join busy traffic on the 5-lane Hwy south. Once we leave the congestion we pull up a gravel road in Uinta National Park and find a field to camp in along with a bunch of hunters.