Yesterday I drove my car from my home on the San Francisco peninsula all the way across California, Nevada and 130 miles into Utah to the Great Salt Lake. Since it’s a long darned drive, I tried to make good time, which meant not a lot of stops or a lot of pictures. I did stop at anything labeled a “Vista Point” or “Scenic Overlook” and at a couple of state rest stops, plus the occasional overpass. During the late afternoon, the light across Nevada was just so beautiful that I could not resist. Sometimes, feeling pressed for time, I must admit that I fiddled with the settings to get high-speed shots, held the camera out the driver’s side window, sort of aimed the body toward cool scenery, and pushed the button a few times. Please note that this is not in the vehicle safety code and unless you are a photographer with some practice, it’s not worth bothering. It’s probably about as unsafe as eating a cheeseburger while driving, if I had to rate it, and don’t tell me you’ve never done that. Speaking of cheeseburgers, I stopped at the McDonald’s at Elko, NV. The thought of fries was too powerful to resist. Oh, my diet willpower, where are you? But soon there was a large line behind me because no one was working the registers for several minutes (!). I took it as a sign and went back to the car empty handed – I ate cucumbers instead. Yay! I went to the excellent Shell station in Elko too, where they had the best window washing fluid ever. Thank goodness because I could barely see through all the dead bugs on the windshield.
I took Interstate 80 and if you’ve gone that way before, you’ll probably recognize the sights. I enjoyed the strong, rugged land of Donner Pass and the Nevada desert. It felt so freeing to be in such vast, open territory. This leg of my journey was around 800 miles from start to end. I must admit to my readers who perhaps don’t know me so well that I have a tendency to drive kind of fast, and my red German sports car does not discourage me. I was even teased by strangers at the rest stop (“hey speedy – can we trade cars? Yes you – I mean you.”). What can I say? Sometimes even when I am trying to behave, the car gets away from me and I find myself cruising at speeds that are better suited to the autobahn. The last sixty miles were particularly hard and I found myself with the music up as loud as I could stand it, singing away at the top of my lungs and the interior temperature as cold as I could manage. It kept me fully awake long enough to get here and get into a warm, safe bed around midnight. Thankfully, this is the longest drive for one day that I have planned for my little road trip. Stay tuned to see where I end up. All I know for sure is that I’ll be going to South Dakota and then eventually I’ll come home.