Before I start with our adventures, I need to say the following:
I am very grateful that Jason and I fall into the “normal” relationship category. I cannot imagine driving through Utah and more so Wyoming if we were considered different. I cannot think of Wyoming without immediately thinking of Matthew Sheppard and Laramie. I know there are many more things Wyoming has going for it, but he will always be the one it didn’t. I learned today that Wyoming is still one of the last states that still does not have a hate-crime law.
Jason and I are very, very lucky that we can walk into any gas station, restaurant, hotel, etc and not even be looked at twice. We talked in the car today about our friends and family who have had to make this drive and not felt safe. And to you all, I am so sorry that it had to be that way. I sincerely hope that the world continues to change so you no longer have to avoid places like Wyoming because you fear for your safety.
And now onto the lighter topics!
After a night of somewhat refreshing sleep, we were ready to face day 2 of driving. Because of our decision to stick to shorter than 12 hour drives, we made the decision to aim for Cheyenne, WY – a 10 hour, 10 minute drive from Elko. So, after booking a hotel on hotwire trying to avoid having to search for places once we arrived, we were ready to go.
I checked the weather outside. TWENTY EIGHT DEGREES. My heart (and the rest of my body) is not ready for the cold temps yet.
Because I have been an overweight girl for most of my adult life, and living in San Francisco, I never really knew what being cold felt like. I mean sure, we have our mornings where it was foggy and the rare moments of scraping ice off windshields once in a blue moon, but for the most part you could get away with the trusty Northface Fleece. However, after dropping 75lbs, being cold is a whole new ball game to me. What used to feel cool and nice is now freezing to me. I was the flip-flop queen. Now half the time I am wearing my Ugg boots because my feet are too cold. So, this all being said, 28 degrees now feels like it might as well be -28 degrees.
I was tasked with warming up the car while Jason checked out of the Quality Inn. Warming up the car? Another new thing I guess I have to learn. After finding the ONLY starbucks we saw today, we headed out in the direction of Wyoming.
Luckily, Elko was not too far from the Nevada/Utah border, so we made it to Utah in about an hour.
Immediately after crossing into Utah, we came across the Bonneville Salt Flats. When Jason first drove out to San Francisco, he hit Utah at night, and therefore wasn’t able to see the full effect of the flats. So, of course we stopped and checked them out.
I can’t say the Utah scenery was that much different from that of Nevada. Both are pretty much void of life. The difference is in Utah there weren’t any plants for a while because of the salt in the soil.
Our plan was to stop for lunch in Salt Lake City. I had the bright idea of stopping for lunch at a local brewery called Squatters Pub and Brewery. We had tried one of their beers last winter in Vegas, and were pleased that they had a location in SLC. So, we stopped, ate lunch, grabbed a beer each for later and drove past Temple Square and the state capital. We didn’t take too many photos here, as we were more in a hurry to get back on the road because Cheyenne was another 6.5 hours to go…
Utah had some more up the hill, down the hills then into Wyoming!
Basically – Nevada, Utah and Wyoming are all pretty similar when it comes to the views from the freeway. Vast areas of nothing, then up a hill, down the hill, then more nothing. It’s very straight and the sky seems endless.
Here’s where I have to do a PSA for Wyoming. The skies are seriously remarkable. As the sun set during the course of the day, the light was absolutely gorgeous.
We had another entertaining day of sing-a-longs (and by we, I mean me). I wonder if Jason knew the extent of my lyrical knowledge when he asked me to marry him. If he didn’t before yesterday, he sure does now.
The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons were the fitting soundtrack for today’s drive, along with a failed attempt at a Halloween Party playlist on Pandora. All I wanted was Thriller and Monster Mash and all I got was Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack songs. Maybe tomorrow will fare better.