Monday, June 07, 2010

Off We Go!

The day began a bit inauspiciously.

After a week of broken sleep due to worry about preparing for this trip across country, Sunday night found me sleeping like a drugged log. Instead of waking at 4am the way I always do to fret about the day to come, I didn't wake until close to six. Bernie claims he tried to wake me earlier, but he didn't seem too inclined to get up himself and rattle noisily about the room.

So we got a late start.

I had no idea there was still so much snow in the Sierras. Living in the Central Valley, I don't see snow except in pictures, so I was amazed at the sight, as though I was looking at exotic animals in a zoo.

Indeed, with the exception of a couple hours' stretch outside of Reno, Nevada, I was astounded to see snow on mountains all the way to Wyoming.

Compared to the last time we took this route (three years ago), Nevada was amazingly green, and decorated with pink and yellow and red wildflowers here and there. Far from the barren desert I remembered, Nevada was beautiful.
On the eastern side of Nevada, and in Utah, we saw lovely orange wildflowers. Not surprisingly, at the rest stops, there were no flowers. People have a difficult time leaving beautiful wildflowers alone for others to enjoy. However, Bernie The Ever-Indulgent took a few exit ramps until he found some of the lovely blooms for me to get close enough to. I wasn't able to identify them, but now I have a reference photo!

By the time we got to the Nevada-Utah border, I knew we were about an hour and a half behind where we should have been, and I was getting very tired. We missed the lunch-meal turnoff, and had no more opportunity to stop for food until Salt Lake City. At that point, we decided to stop in Evanston, Wyoming instead of pushing on to Green River. A rain storm was catching up with us, which would have just slowed us up even more.

Besides, there was the God, I'm Tired thing hitting us both. Howie was also sitting up and panting on our necks as though he'd had enough road vibration himself.

Thinking ahead to the next phase of the journey, I knew we had to be realistic. We'd hoped to reach Des Moines, Iowa by tomorrow night, but it would have been about a 16-hour drive, and we would have arrived stinking and exhausted sometime after 9pm.

Maybe I'm getting old. Tonight I'm so tired that my shoulders hurt. I felt better about making the decision to stop in Nebraska tomorrow, when shortly afterwards, the rain was shot through by sun, and a vibrant rainbow appeared over Evanston, Wyoming.

Here we are, and tomorrow, Wyoming, and then some.

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