Monday, June 1, 2009

Road Trip, Part 10

(Along a lonely stretch in western Colorado)

We stopped for lunch in Steamboat Springs, once a pathetic little mining hamlet and now a yuppie-fern bar-ski haven where the parking lots are packed with BMWs and Volvos. Just outside town, at exactly 1,804 miles from home, we encountered our first orange construction barrels and flag people. “You see, Pennsylvania is not the only state paralyzed by road construction,” I said to Alice. But I was wrong. There was nothing wrong with the road; the crew was just clearing a rock slide.

From the journal:
We could scarcely believe it, but western Colorado was even lonelier and more desolate than eastern Colorado. We sped along at 75 mph, hour after hour, for hundreds of miles, hardly seeing another soul.

As we passed into Utah, the landscape began to change again, and wind-eroded, red rocks erupted from the desert plain, purple with sage. We came down from the Uinta Mountains in the dark, the lights of civilization in the Great Salt Lake basin glimmering ahead of us like some distant galaxy.

Road weary, sleepy and hungry, we drove north through Heber City, looking for a comfortable place to stop. We kept driving, and then, suddenly, Route 40 came to an end, near Park City, where the road intersects with I-80. We found a motel nearby and spent the night, and when we awoke the next morning, snow was falling in huge, white flakes, and the restaurant was crowded with skiers in neon parkas.

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