Friday, October 12, 2012

Change of Season

Snow fell steadily all day Wednesday, but not much was sticking, as the ground was still quite warm.

Thursday morning we got up early, even before the 6 am alarm clock rang.  We had packed most of what we were taking along on our trip the night before, and just added the things from the fridge in the morning.  Made sure to unplug the coffee pot, etc.  Turned off the water and turned down the heat.  By 7:45 a.m. we were ready to go, precisely on schedule.

The roads were not so good, slushy and messy.  By the time we were south of Vulcan, the roads had cleared and were fine from there on.

We stopped in Lethbridge regarding a bit of business for about 45 minutes, and waited at the U.S. border for about 40 minutes in a slow moving line.  Finally cleared and headed south on I 15.  That's a good, divided highway all the way, with not much traffic through Montana.

Making good time, we kept on going, and finally stopped at Idaho Falls, Idaho at 8:15 p.m.  We'd been driving in the dark for the last hour, and that was not too comfortable, especially when signs saying "Wild Game Crossing" kept popping up. But we were blest with a safe drive, and made it safely to Idaho Falls where we checked into a Motel 6.

Motel 6 is one we often stop at--very reasonable rates (this was only $59 for a room for two seniors, with two beds, and all the necessary amenities), and a handy book that gives you precise directions for finding the motel in an unfamiliar city.

We had a good rest, very quiet overnight, and after a breakfast of homemade muffins which I had brought along, set off again about 8:30 a.m.

Today we had rain off and on.  Approaching Salt Lake City the traffic increased significantly.  I am thankful that Jim is comfortable driving in that situation, and I help by reading the map, the roadside signs, and letting him know where we need to change lanes, or look for an exit, etc.  We did take I 215 around Salt Lake City, and that worked quite well.

We did find that throughout Utah there was a lot of obstruction of lanes on the highway.  Many miles went by with certain lanes closed off, but without evidence of active construction going on.  However, the traffic usually moved quite well.

South of Salt Lake City I drove for a while, but that was the time of a really heavy downpour.  The windshield wipers went full speed for about 45 minutes.  In spite of a speed limit of 75 mph, I was usually driving about 55 or 60 mph, just because of the heavy rain.

After about two hours Jim took over the driving again, just as we turned east onto
I 70.  The rain had let up quite a bit, and was now just showers, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, sometimes even sun.

We turned south onto Hwy 89, and soon came upon this very unusual mountain:
Look closely at the sign, and you will see that this is "The Big Rock Candy Mountain!"  Do you know that delightful kid's song?  Well, here, apparently is THE REAL THING!!  Too bad the sun wasn't shining to reveal the beautiful bright yellow colours!

Hwy 89 south of I 70 has lots of beautiful scenery.  It's not a fast highway, although there were several drivers who wanted it to be quite fast, including on double unit fuel truck that rode our bumper until we moved over and simply let him pass.  It's safer that way!

Here's the first snow on the mountains that we saw, going south on Hwy 89.

We had showers, light or heavy, and some sunny breaks all day today.  Our wipers got a workout!

But, my, what terrific cloudscapes there were at times!  It was a good drive, and we appreciated being closer to scenery on a lesser highway than one of the Interstates, though they are very good for getting somewhere in a hurry.

We got as far as Kanab, Utah where we found a nice room in a Comfort Inn at an exorbitant price: more than twice as much as last night at the Motel 6, with really not much more in the way of amenities.  Oh well, we'll enjoy it here, have a good sleep (hopefully) and, after a hot breakfast provided by the Comfort Inn be on our way to Phoenix.

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