Sunday, January 06, 2008


Travel Log- Houston to Salt Lake City

Trip to Salt Lake City


* Left Houston for Wimberley. We were going to spend the night in Wimberley and leave from there for Utah on 12/27. Pete forgot to bring the key. Ate dinner and hoped our neighbors would be home when we got back...they have a key to our house. After dinner, found out our Wimberley neighbors were out of town.

* Headed toward Utah tonight because we forgot the key to Wimberley.

* Stopped in Ozona at a Super 8 Motel, the only vacancy in town. Truck stop motel. Asked for a non smoking room. Found out it was a "no smoking room" if you didn't smoke. It was a "smoking room" if you smoked.


* Got back on the road at 7:00 AM. Watched the morning weather before we left, said that a winter storm was in the Colorado Rockies heading to the northeast. If true, we should not be effected.

* Big wind mill farm near Bakersfield. Looks like hundreds of them. Must be generating a lot of electricity judging from the size of the power lines taking the juice away.

* Weather is terrible. Very cold with strong gusty headwinds.

* Passed our old camping ground just east of Fort Stockton. It's a KOA now but I believe it was called the Country Campground when we used to stay there. It was a good, clean campground that was cool enough to sleep late at night even in August. We must have stayed there 6 or 7 times.

* A lot of dead deer along the interstate. One was a mule deer near Fort Stockton.

* Huge dairy farms on I-10 10 miles into New Mexico. Poor cows. Must be thousands of cows crammed into small dirt pens. Cows had to stick their heads through a feeding trough to eat hay. Had to lay down in poop and urine.

* Sharon drove through two blizzards 170 miles north of Las Cruces just before Albuquerque. In the 2nd blizzard, we counted 6 wrecks and the cars were flipped on their backs in 5 of the wrecks. Followed a snow plow dropping sand on the road to get out of the mess.

* Stopped for gas in Albuquerque. Went to applebees for dinner. Pete could not find his billfold as we were getting out of the car at Applebees. Speed back to the gas station in a hopeless situation. Sharon went in to see if anyone turned in a billfold...good luck there. Found the billfold in the floorboard of the back seat before sheer panic set in. Disaster No.2 averted.

* Headed to Gallup to spend the night. Traffic on I-40 came to a complete stop about 10 miles west of Albuquerque. An 18 wheeler had flipped over on it's back in the west bound lanes. After about an hour at a complete stop, moving again. We were stopped on the interstate right in front of a Lacuna Pueblo Indian casino. We could have played the slots for a hour.

* Stayed at at the Days Inn motel in Gallup on historic Route 66. The famous highway now only exist in towns. I guess I-40 replaced it. There used to be a TV series where two guys just traveled Route 66 in a Corvette. There were lyrics in a song that said "Get your kicks on Route 66".

* Weather was awful...very cold and windy. Out motel room was cold. Pete called at 11:00 wanting some more blankets or something. Gave us an electric space heater. Thank goodness.


* Got up and had a nice breakfast at the motel. Talked with other guests about how cold it was last night. Everyone else said it was very cold in their room. Glad we had that space heater. There was ice everywhere. Had to be careful not to slip. On to Sock Yake City.

* Headed north today. We immediately entered the Navajo reservation.

* Naschetti Elementary school had a Christmas fire dance. The Indians have somehow missed out in the prosperity the rest of America has enjoyed. They live in shacks and old, run down mobile homes. I wonder why the Habit for Humanity doesn't help out some of these people. 2 trillion for the war in Iraq and not a dime for these people.

* ShipRock NM. You can really see the outline of a schooner in the huge rock formation that just rises out of the semi arid landscape. We have been this way before but I couldn't see the ship until now. The weather is still cold and windy. There is snow but not on the roads. It is really pretty. The river in ShipRock is mostly frozen

*Cortez, Colorado A lot more snow. The shoulders and center of the road is snow, ice and slush. I am driving and really nervous. Sharon and I notice all the tracks of animals in the fresh snow by the road. They are everywhere. In some places, it seemed as if a whole herds of animals were walking about. Were they walking to road for warmth?

* Monticello, UT Has become VERY cold and windy. The streets had just been snowplowed. The sides of the road had the snow piled up and the middle of the streets was full of snow. Sharon had to use the restroom so I filled the gas tank up. I was so cold that I thought I couldn't even stay out long enough to fill the tank.

* Moab, UT the amount of snow varied between Monticello and Moab. The higher the elevation, more snow. The road conditions improved about 25 miles north of Monticello. There was snow away from the road, but not on the road. I felt better about the driving conditions as we got closer to Moab. Moab is a happening place now. It has turned into a real tourist haven. Raft trips on the Colorado River. Scenic Bus trips, scuttle service taking you up a mountain so you can coast down on a bike. The town is just full of old, restored buildings. Looked like a neat, expensive place for a vacation. It was not this way 25 years ago when we traveled thru the town.

* Price, UT is about 85 miles south of Salt lake city. The city is covered with more snow than we have seen. The streets have been recently snow plowed but looked very hairy. I am going 10 miles under the speed limit. Others no. We have about 55 miles down a canyon to get to I-15 to Salt Lake City. Snow, ice and slush all over the road. Utah drivers seem not to care so I slow down even further in passing lanes to let them go around. The road is lined with black flag on either side to let you know where to drive when it is totally covered with snow. Soldiers summit is over 7,000 feet, I have to make it to lower elevation and less snow. With about 10 miles left to get out of the canyon, it starts to snow again. Utah drivers whiz past. Sharon thinks they are hurrying to get out of the canyon before the snow get heavy. I speed up to.

* I-15 We made it out of the canyon. No snow, the roads are clear. On to Sock Yake City.

* Mimi's Sharon and I decide to stop and eat dinner at Mimi's. We didn't want to pop in on Joey and Maria needing to eat something. I was real disappointed to discover that Mimi's no longer gives you a small loaf of carrot raisin bread, just two pieces.You can never go home again.

* Joey and Maria's WE MADE IT.

The "no smoking" standard for that first hotel room cracks me up!

The road trip should be a lot less dangerous and cold in the spring... But you'll be flying then, no?
NO? That's a big YES!
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