Monday, December 13, 2004

the mountains call us home - Nevada and Utah

Once again, we spent the night at a hotel.  The kids went into the water at 4pm and didn’t get out until 9pm.   The boys ran out to the hillside behind the hotel (in wet suits and bare feet) and brought snowballs into the pool area to watch them melt. 

We had some firsts yesterday; we passed two semis (going up grades) and Jamie backed up the trailer.  Pretty soon I’ll be out of a job (as the sole trailer backerupper).  We hit some serious grades between Laramie and Evanston (WY) but while they were quite steep going East, they were (by comparison) much gentler going West.

I was up at 5:30 this am to nurse Ellen and as I’d decided to get up at 6, simply stayed up and got us packed up.  Kids breakfasted on "crap cheerios", muffins, toast, waffles, juice, pastries, coffee for the boys and bagels with cream cheese.  Nope, not an ounce of protein in a 40 square mile radius. 
Coming out of Wyoming into Utah I was surprised to find the summit (just east of Park City) was 7000ft.  I’d thought that Evanston was 4000ft and didn’t think I’d climbed much at all.  The snow was DEEP in Park City and it is a beautiful city.  A small valley with many little mountains and everything was covered in snow.  Both Jamie and I sank deeper in our seats, relaxed and soaked in "home".  I can’t believe how much the mountains call me; I feel so at home when surrounded by them.  Unfortunately, the bliss didn’t last as the downgrades out of Park City into Salt Lake City were rather frightening to me.  I emulated the semis; kept my flashers on and kept it around 50mph.  It was only 6% grade, but it seemed to go on forever.

I’m always so disappointed with northern Utah and SLC.  SLC is surrounded by smog and once you get out of the smog, you’re treated to haze.  It sure would be a pretty state if the smog and haze ever lifted.  I wonder if this is a winter condition and it lifts in the Spring?

We are so incredibly lucky in millions of ways, but I am continually amazed and appreciative of what incredible kids we have.  I was hitching up the trailer in the hotel parking lot (we actually parked with the truckers who were mainly interested in the porn shop next door :) ) while Jamie managed breakfast at the hotel.  Comfort Inn ALWAYS more than pays for itself with the pool use and expanded breakfast.  When I came back into the hotel, an older lady was talking to Jamie and telling him how lucky he was and what a beautiful family he had and how "good" the kids were.  While I really hate the "good" compliment (because it implies that any other behavior is "bad" and really, it isn’t; it is simply behavior) it was nice to be validated.  Course, as Jamie pointed out; HE was complimented on HIS family.  I don’t know why I never get these comments but he reports getting them all the time.  THe kids do really well in the car, pretending they are "Becky" or imagining what Becky might be doing or imagining what would happen if Becky did X or playing an infinite number of games.  They rarely fight and keep each other quite entertained.

Well, another first; we were trying to stretch out our stops and after stopping to let the kids play (and adults make coffee) we hit the road again, only to find (after about 30 miles) that Pike had left "pooh" behind.  Back we go but the timing is incredibly bad.  With gas stations very few and far between, we might be walking back to find Pooh. 

Eastern Nevada is simply stunning with brilliant blue sky; snow tipped mountain peaks and ranges creating valleys to rival that of Death Valley.  I don’t see a name on our AAA map, but the valley between Pilot Peak and the Pequor Mountain range rivals Death Valley, but is simply the appetizer for the western side of the Pequor’s.  Snow capped mountains as far as you can see; these vistas literally define Nevada.

We are coming home.  Mountain range follows mountain range; rolling and flat sagebrush desert fills the gaps between ranges.  I never realized how much the mountains satiate me.  The poor cattle however; how do they live on sagebrush?

Midday we decided to try to find a ghost town called Cobre.  We didn’t find the ghost town, but we had fun in the desert.

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