Tag: Nevada

Bible Crossing: Spring Break Part 3

bible crossingDudes. Duuuuuuuuudes! Mormons are serious about their bibles! They even carry them on cross walk signs.

coolest SLC

You will kindly ignore the misspelling of “poncy”. I’ve heard that Salt Lake City is cool but I really couldn’t believe it until I experienced it for myself. This is why it’s important to get out of dodge and see a few things for one’s self.

good food

We loved this place. First of all, the building is a protected art deco piece of history. Second of all, the food was great. Max tried lots of new stuff and liked some of it. I had a really good grilled cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup and fries. Max had lamb kabobs with tzatziki sauce and really liked it. Philip had a burger.

Max at Lambs

He also had a teriyaki rice bowl with chicken and vegetables. Apparently he now likes rice even when it isn’t in sushi. Loose rice. He wouldn’t eat loose rice even before he got super picky. Rice and pasta were never on his acceptable foods list. I love how much he’s growing with his food exploration. He tried broccoli and cauliflower at this meal too but didn’t like them. I didn’t even ask him to try them. I don’t ask him to try much anymore because his food exploration is largely self-propelled.

steven seagal was here

I was told by a local person to make special note about this building which she saw me admiring and taking pics of:

This building was used for the filming of a Steven Seagal movie recently. They filmed an explosion here.

film site Steven Seagal

She was a proud city-worker and it was really important to her that I include that hot tid-bit with my trip notes. Done!


Squatters was the first and last place we ate in Salt Lake city. We love it. They have a beer called “Polygamy”, so how can you not love it?


Max got to meet E’s nephew who is definitely cut from the same cloth as Max.

a grand time

The last thing I saw in Salt Lake City were these grand treats set out for the unwary and the desperate. I don’t believe there’s a real Mrs. Freshly. That’s a little too on the nose, don’t you think? “Freshly” for something so completely contrary to all notion of “fresh” I know of.

desert dread

I was so taken with the salt flats I could easily have spent a few hours enjoying it. I would have loved to have had time to walk across the expanse of it to the hills in the distance.

Max on the salt flats

Teens are so hard to impress.

Philip at the flats

We got there just after the sun rose. It was so pretty. We got to see the flats at dusk and dawn. That’s pretty cool.

pool of salt water

That’s right, I took 40 billion pictures of the flats. It’s not like I’ll probably ever see it again.

salt filaments  So much texture and color to examine and appreciate!The ART

Look Pam and Elizabeth! I finally saw THE ART! I can finally rest knowing that I have seen it.

walking on salt

Oh, did you think I was done yet? No way. Look at how that looks like snow but isn’t.

wet crust

Wet salt-crusted rocks.


This is the last pretty sight for hundreds of miles. Bye bye Utah!


Ooops! Hang on, one more salt picture. It’s like if this was the moon and it was covered in salt.

the devil plays here

And then, once again, we had to drive through Lucifer’s junk yard where poets and writers splint the broken bones of mankind’s soul and artists get excited about the almost imperceptible washes of color that cover the brown hills and flats for 400 pitiless miles of desert.

Crossing the Great Basin Desert: Spring Break Part 1

dangerous weeds

The last vacation we had was in 2008. We never have the money. In spite of being laid off two weeks ago we decided to take off on a road trip to visit our friends J and E in Salt Lake City during spring break in a spur-of-the-moment decision. To get to Utah from California you have to cross 400 miles of Nevada on the I 80E highway.

400 miles

It looks pretty much like this for all 400 miles. Considering how big the United States is, 400 hundred miles might not seem like much, but believe me – it’s a punishing drive. I’ve been through part of the Mojave desert in California and Nevada and thought that was a thirsty god-forsaken stretch of land but it’s nothing compared to this endless empty stretch of country.

hard living flower

This hearty wildflower/weed was the brightest thing in that desert not including the sun beating down through God’s giant toy magnifying glass of a sky. Did I say God? If I believed in God I would feel abandoned in this landscape.


I couldn’t quite shake the fear that our clunker of a car would break down somewhere between Fernly and Winnemucca. Too bad if you’re bleeding out from a car wreck, expect to die. Emergency services are all very far away. I admit that I packed food and water as though I expected to get stuck on I 80.

picnic for desperados

This is how I imagine al fresco dining in prison yards to be. I will say that most of the rest stops had decently clean and equipped bathrooms. I can’t say the same for the rest stops on I 5 through California and Oregon. But at this stop I couldn’t bring myself to use them. Truly, I worried I might get murdered in it.


By the time we made our way to Winnemucca, the only decent habitation along the entire length of that Nevada Highway, it had become our favorite game to come up with epic insults about Nevada to vent our feelings.

Great Basin Desert

Max’s final assessment of Nevada:



But our insults must be tempered with the fact that I know quite a few very cool people who come from Nevada. Please forgive our violent feelings!


One of the great things about trips like this is to see with our own eyes the wildly different landscapes that are part of our country. We looked up information on The Great Basin Desert as we drove through it and learned some things about it. My son will never forget Nevada now. He’ll never take trees or water for granted.


After 400 miles of brown desert, casinos lodged in every available crevice of habitation, and the endless parade of tiny townships that were no more than a handful of dilapidated trailer homes with a broken down barn or store, the salt flats just inside the Utah border were delightfully refreshing. We got there at dusk just in time to see the pink sky reflected in the pale expanse of salt crust.