Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Spring Trip to Utah ~ Part I

If my math is correct, there have been fifty-three days between Mother's Day and Father's Day this year.  I look at the calendar for May and June and see that the days have been scheduled with one thing after another.  Seeing the schedule in black and white explains where the days have gone, but where the moment's go I have no idea.  We have begun summer.  Spring sprinted past me.

The highlight of the spring was a trip to Utah early in May.  My husband wanted me to have time with my two oldest children for Mother's Day.  The weather, horrendous at home with heavy rains and record breaking hail storms, was not much better as we drove that all too familiar route between Colorado and Utah through rain storm after rainstorm.
The View of Pike Peak as we left home
I've been making that long trek across Wyoming at least once a year for the past fifty years.  As we drive the 600 plus miles, we always plan to make a pit stop at Little America, a truck stop, gas station, and hotel that is in the middle of nowhere in the wide expanse that is Wyoming.  We have to get our 50¢ ice cream cone.  This year we found that the ice cream cone is now 75¢!  Not only that, but the iconic back to the sixties feel restaurant where we have eaten so many great meals over the years is closed!  We were sad and disappointed to see that a place where we could count on for a good meal is now gone.  We had to settle for eating a fast food type sandwich in the grocery store part of the gas station.  What a disappointment.

As we walked over to where the old restaurant used to be, I sneaked in to take a photo of the breakfast/lunch counter area one walked through on the way to the dining room.  We have spent more than one night over the years sheltered in a room at Little America when we drove across Wyoming in a snowstorm at Christmas time.  We always looked forward to the nice meals we would eat there.  Now we just have our memories of the place.

Iconic Views of Little America, Wyoming

I learned to drive on I80 when I was a teenager driving across Wyoming with my father.  Much has changed since those days.  There is much more traffic, and there are a lot of trucks making the I80 one of the main routes they take across country.  These days, one can drive at 80 miles an hour on parts of I80.  It is often one sees the speed limit posted at 80!



We got a very late start on the day we took the trip across Wyoming.  My husband had worked late the night before.  Since he was planning on doing most of the driving, he slept in.  Then, we had to pack.  I am notorious for not packing until just before I leave on a trip.  It was noon, lunchtime, when we pulled out of the driveway to begin our journey.  I asked my husband if he'd like to look for a place for lunch before we left town.  His answer, "I was thinking I'd have to look for a room to spend the night before we leave town at the rate we are going."

As it turns out, we should have planned ahead and found a room before we left town.  We made slow progress due to the weather on the first day out.  We decided we wanted to get to Rawlings, Wyoming, before stopping for the night.  That is about the half way mark in the trip.  It was raining like crazy when we got to Rawlings, and we could find a room for the night.  I called every hotel or motel I could find listed on the smartphone apps.  All had no vacancy.  This is not the first time we have come up with this problem in Wyoming.  As they say, "This wasn't our first rodeo." We should have known better and booked a room.  Finally, a clerk at one hotel told me of a new hotel that had just opened.  They had one room left.  We took it.  It was a tiny little room.  We barely had room for our suitcases, but we were happy to have it.  

Tired and hungry, after we were checked in, we drove over to the truck stop for dinner.  At 8:00 at night on a rainy night in Rawlings, we were grateful to find a place to eat.  After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel and began to prepare for bed.  That is when the power went out.  A generator had been hit by lightening.  The entire hotel was in the dark.  Grateful for a room, even one with no electricity, we went to bed without our CPAP machines.  At 4:00 in morning the lights, the t.v. and our CPAP machines suddenly came on and woke us up.  So much for a restful night, but we were dry, and we had a bed, and we got a little sleep.

The next day, we made our way across the rest of Wyoming.  As we entered Utah, I had my husband stop so I could get some photos of Devil's Slide, an interesting limestone formation in Morgan County, Utah.  It always fascinates me.  Read more about it here:  Devil's Slide.

As we drove on into Weber Canyon, we observed that spring had arrived with all of its beauty in Utah.  I especially enjoy driving this part of the journey in the spring because of the verdant green pastures where sheep and other farm animals graze on either side of the highway.  I love Utah in the spring.  It is always so beautiful.  Anxious to get to our destination, we didn't stop for photos.

Family Time

We stayed with oldest son Ryan and his bride of one year.  Ryan cooked us up his wonderful fish tacos for dinner that night.  Dinner was great.  Ryan is such a good cook.  Sheridan is also a good cook.  Together, they make a fabulous team.  Of course the presentation is also a delight.  


The next day, we drove north to Ogden to spend some time with Keicha.  We decided we wanted to go to a restaurant that has been serving awesome meals since 1949:  Maddox near Brigham City, Utah.  I remember taking Ryan there as a baby when I celebrated my very first Mother's Day.  They still serve excellent food there.  Sometimes, it is just fun to visit long time favorites when visiting one's old stomping grounds.  Keicha had actually had dinner there the night before, but she didn't mind going again.

Special Mom & Daughter Time
Friday night, we were back in Salt Lake for a special time down in the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood in Salt Lake City.  (Click on the link to read about this fun neighborhood.)  I always love spending time in this neighborhood and have happy memories of the first time Julie took me there when she was a student at the University of Utah.  We went there to look at an apartment, which she ended up renting, one time when she needed to find a new living arrangement.  She was a bit hesitant to even check it out, but I convinced her we needed to go see it.  Even then, this neighborhood seemed so hip to me.  I thought how I would love to live in the area.

Daughter-in-law Sheridan, who was once Julie's roommate, has owned a shop in the area since 1999. She is very involved in the business community events that take place in the area.  Recently, my son Ryan joined her as a business partner.  If you are in Salt Lake City, you must go and visit Hip and Humble.  Every corner is filled with treasures.  You don't have to go to Salt Lake City to shop at Hip and Humble.  You can shop online too!

Hip & Humble
Ryan & Sheridan

We had such a fun evening going in out of various shops that were participating in the art walk.  This shop was once a flower shop that I remember visiting with Julie many years ago.

It was the perfect spring evening.


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