Thursday, May 24, 2007

It turns out you can put the internet ON a truck

Last Tuesday, after some last-minute packing and rushing around, we put the kitties in their carrier/torture devices and drove up to HulkRents for the evening. We made one little side trip to meet up with my coworker whose baby got the blanket I made, and sat on a comfy couch in Macy's while he slept and ate in my arms and we chatted for a few minutes about babies and weddings and stuff. It had been many years since I'd held a baby that young; at that point he was 7 weeks old (and weighed 12 pounds; not too shabby). He also, as I suspected, had a lot of hair.

We spent Tuesday night at HulkRents and woke up bright and early Wednesday morning, put our bags in the car, said goodbye to the kitties, and took off northward. Hulk set the trip meter to zero and we popped in a CD. Less than an hour later, we were driving through an uncharacteristically foggy Colorado/Wyoming border.

We hung a left in Cheyenne onto I-80 and drove through the Wyoming countryside, mooing at cows, antelope, deer, horses, and llamas. Shortly thereafter, we were in Laramie, about which I know nothing other than the killing of Matthew Sheppard. A while later, we were on the open road and we saw that while the internets might be a series of tubes, not a truck that you can just dump stuff on, you can put the internets ON a truck. Take that, Senator Stevens!

After passing the Sinclair refinery, we stopped in Rawlins for gasoline at a friendly pay-inside service station that had 40-year-old pumps selling dinosaur gas. A kindly old gentleman sold us some water and sent us on our merry way. We broke out the trail mix and popped in a new CD, and passed over Elk Mountain. The signs tried their best to convince us to stop at Little America (who could give up the chance at 50c cones?) but we managed to resist.
Turns out it's not as impressive as you might think.

We passed through Green River and Rock Springs and stopped at the border town of Evanston so I could pee. We decided that Mormon cowboys must live in Evanston. And then we were in Utah.

I-80 crosses hundres of miles of Wyoming and Nevada, but just under 200 miles of Utah, so it goes quickly. Around Salt Lake City I pulled out the bread and hummus and cheese and turkey and I made us some sammiches and we also had some red bell pepper strips. I had enough time to snap a picture of the Salt Lake and laughed when I saw the Morton Salt factory.

The next area of interest was, of course, the salt flats, miles and miles of sparkly whiteness interrupted by dark rocks spelling out people's names and messages for the truckers to read. And some balls.

Then we were in Nevada, and stopped in Wendover (another border town, technically we were in West Wendover where the casinos beckoned with sparkly lights), and decided that Wendover must be full of Mormon gamblers or something. Eastern Nevada is much prettier to look at than I would have expected, and I-80 goes past some sort of mountains that weren't Rockies or Sierrras or anything, but still pretty impressive. At Winnemucca, it was time for us to stumble out of the car, into Subway, order some sandwiches, and stumble back into the car for our last bit of drive to the campground at Rye Patch State Park, where there's a river and a lake and a dam and some wild canaries that will totally steal things from you. Our camping area was adequate and deserted, so we set up the tent and took a little walk along the "nature trail" with awesome signs that didn't describe any wildlife that was actually near the signs, and with lots of horse poop. We stumbled back to the tent, ate our dinner, and fell exhausted to sleep at about 9 PM, right about when it got dark.

It was bright and early the next morning when we de-tented and got back on the road, passing through Lovelock in time for an awesome showing of a really old yellow crop duster. The rest of Nevada was sparse and dry and brown, what I remembered Nevada looking like the time I went to Burning Man. We hit Reno at around 8:30, got our last tank of gas, bought some poptarts and a big ol' jug of water, and climbed the Sierras behind some very slow-going people.

Caltrans had decided to block off one entire lane of the highway for much of the stretch going through the Truckee-Tahoe area, so we took our opportunities when it did turn back into two to pass the poky trucks and sightseers, and I read a chapter of our book aloud until my voice got hoarse. It was suddenly the other side of the mountains, and we passed through Auburn and Roseville and got into Sacramento, telling QIR we were nearly there. The last stretch from Sac to Emeryville took us over the Benecia Bridge and down the eastern side of the Bay, and then we were there. The trip meter had already clicked over once, but it had been 1250 miles.


Will said...

Wendover is the place where gamblers go to die.

MLE said...

That's it exactly.

Anonymous said...

Wyoming seems to resemble some alternate reality or universe in a different time, this thought is also added to the fact that there is an Evanston (name of my town) there. Great pictures!