Under Way Again

Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
1
15
23
Trip End Jul 20, 2011


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Where I stayed
Super 8 Elko
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, June 2, 2011

Max: I am writing this from Salt Lake City in Utah. We have just arrived at our accommodation after attending a choir practice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, where over 1000 other people sat in the pews to listen to the choir of about 350 members practising for Sunday. We had arrived in SLC at about lunch time and had a wander around the Mormon Temple area and were told that the choir was in rehearsal there tonight, and we managed to get back in there a little after they had started.

We left Kathy's Dad's place at Pleasanton around 8.20am yesterday to go and pick up the camper trailer that we had hired, though only seen closed once briefly, and we had no idea what it would be like inside, so packing was rather difficult. When we arrived at the pick up home Ron had the 2 campers out side as he was expecting us. It turned out that as he was preparing the newer one (that he had suggested would be best for us) that he damaged it & it wouldn't rise, so he was then preparing the original one that we had expected to hire. So as he was showing us how to open it and become familiar with its little ways we realised that it was not in the good condition that he had assured us previously that it was in. After a short discussion between Kathy & myself we decided not to take it, and forfeited our $200.00 deposit. Maybe we should have asked for some of it back as the goods were not as described, but we just left it anyway. Our decision was to take budget motels as we thought that the cost may not be very different, although meals will certainly work out dearer. Any way we left and set off with our fall back plan.

We travelled N/E through the California capitol of Sacramento and up into the mountains passing an old family holiday spot of Kathleen's, Donner Lake, and bypassing another favourite spot, Lake Tahoe. By the time we got to Donner Lake & it's town called Truckee, we had driven through snow clad mountains and came into an unseasonal snowstorm. At one stage visibility was quite bad not due to the snow, but due to the steam coming of the road after the snow as the contrast between the air temperature which was 31 degrees (below freezing) and the road temperature caused the steam effect. Anyway as we travelled further we quickly left the snow and cold and the roads were dry again. However we were still one of this is unusual in those areas but not normal for the 1st day of summer.

We made quite good progress for our 1st day and travelled just over 600 miles, that's over 960 kms. The roads are all at least dual lane each way separated so that you are never facing oncoming traffic directly. Another thing of interest to me is that since the snow yesterday lunch time we have been travelling in desert areas. In Australia we don't have high altitude desert so to be on roads with snow markers and warnings travelling between snow capped peaks is not our norm! I have also enjoyed seeing the high number of freight trains travelling across the desert, some very long, and often with 2 loco's at both the front & end.

We spent last night in Nevada at a reasonable size town with several Casinos and 26 hotels/motels as it is a good overnight stop for travellers and there seems to be a lot of mining type of ventures and employees around, who also live in the motels and the good RV/trailer parks that the town had, and eat at the good food places.

Then today on a border town we discovered that we were virtually at the Bonneville Salt Flats and speedway in Utah, so decided to take the road out to the sight.  Obviously we had been seeing and travelling with salt flats either side of us, but it was a real surprise to find that the destination was no more than a sealed turn around at the end of the sealed road. There was a sign there and that was about all. A real anticlimax but as it is a place that we hear about generally and saw in the film 'The first Indian' (or something like that) about the old New Zealand guy and his old racing motor bike, it was good to see.

We have a loan of Colleen (Kathy's sister) & Gary's Chevrolet Silverado light truck/ute which is a very good vehicle and it has made this trip possible. As big as it seems to us it is just a baby on the roads we have been travelling. Interestingly the speed limit has been 75mph(120kmh) through the desert country and I am passed by more motorists than I pass. Two that passed me at speed today were a heavily laden VW family van like Ros & Shane Hinton have, and a Toyota Prius like Kelly & Ian Carter have. Both were pulled over by the Highway Patrol along the route, so they gained nothing and lost a bit I am sure. Everywhere the traffic seems so fast, and whether in cities or country it always seems to be at least 5 mph faster than the speed limit. So we are constantly passed, but that doesn't matter.



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Comments

Helen Lindqvist on

Very interesting to read your news! The camper would have been a bit chilly I think. a good choice to leave it. We have our lunch at Oscars at McLaren Vale this Saturday. Helen Stacey and her fiance David will be there - 1 week before the wedding which we are also honoured to be attending. Enjoy the resyt of your trip! Helen

mnkschultz
mnkschultz on

Hi Helen, thanks for your comments. It's nice to hear from friends when you are so far from home!

Not getting the camper has been a blessing in disguise - we've been able to stay in budget accommodation for almost the same cost and been much more comfortable and been able to get on the road earlier in the mornings.

We were disappointed that we weren't able to get to the lunch at McLaren Vale - and meet Helen Stacey's husband to be!

Take care, Kathy

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