CO > UT
Upon crossing into Utah, we noticed on their welcome sign was a dinosaur, and we knew we were in for a good time. The National Dinosaur Monument apparently was close by so they replaced the red rocks with your friendly T-Rex. We didn’t stop to see said monument because we had a decent drive ahead of us; we were on our way to Sandy, Utah for our second motel night. Since we ended up being in a pretty nice sized town, we decided to go out for dinner. It was a nice treat and we even found a dog-friendly restaurant (as in the dogs sat inside).
The night was uneventful after that we just updated the blog and the dogs passed out. The next morning was the eclipse, and from where we were it was a 90% view so we decided to take our time getting up and checking out so we could see it from our motel. The women at the front desk even had a pair of the glasses she let us share with her. It was a neat sight, but we all agreed it wasn’t as eventful as people made it out to be. The dogs didn’t freak out, it didn’t get that dark…etc., but still cool to see.
After we left our motel we ventured to Ogden, Ut just to explore. We walked down the main street and checked out the horse exhibit they had in town. People painted horses with different scenes in history and they were placed on street corners. The dogs enjoyed the walk through the park and smelling all the restaurant doors we walked by. It was in the 90’s that day so it felt pretty warm in the sun. It’s amazing how wimpy we’ve become since leaving Arizona. We decided instead of heading to our next campsite and baking in the sun, that we could just go sit at a Starbucks in the shade and let the heat of the day pass. It took us visiting three Starbucks locations to find a shady patio, but eventually we did.
After that, it was onto the Great Salt Lake/Spiral Jetty for a one-night camp spot. Luke picked this one and usually when he does the planning I don’t ask/know anything before we get there. Suffice it to say we were both pretty surprised. There were quite a few people there including a group of dancers with a film crew shooting a commercial. Apparently, photo shoots and film crews are not an exciting sight by the locals as we heard a couple people whisper complaints.
The evidence of drought is very obvious there and as we walked towards the water we crunched the salt clumps in our toes. More than once we found awesome salt crystals. I wasn’t as big a fan of walking on the rigid salt as Luke was, but I went along. When we got to the water we noticed it had a pink hue and was not very warm. It was the saltiest water we’d ever seen. We walked to the south, came back to our car, then walked to the north. We saw what looked like the remains of a dock and maybe a small building, but still don’t really know what it was. We walked down a really pretty path and stopped to take some “serious” posed pictures in the unknown wooden structure. After exploring a little bit, Luke realized that there was oil coming out of the ground.
We made the trek back and decided to set up camp so we could sit and watch what turned out to be the most beautiful sunset thus far on the trip. The landscape here was desert and there was no tree in sight. We knew we probably wouldn’t have a fire here. In fact, if we hadn’t seen a rock firepit someone else had created, I wouldn’t have believed this was a campsite. But, at nightfall, we were joined by at least five more campers.
Since we couldn’t have a fire, we had to do something else to fill our evening. Luke enjoys fire spinning and we’ve been talking about trying out some fire-spinning photos and this was the perfect place to do it. I hadn’t dabbled too much in night photography so this was a good time to experiment. The photos turned out well for our first try. We also played with some LED poi images but those are still a work in progress.
We called it a night pretty early and somehow Luke got me to agree to a sunrise hike the next morning. There was a 75% chance that I wasn’t getting out of bed, but I didn’t actually let laziness set in. Now, a not-so-secret fact about me, I have some work to do in the exercise area. Hiking uphill has been a struggle for a long time, so waking up early to go up a mountain was a big feat. Halfway up I was ready to curse the world and walk back down, but I stood there, caught my breath, looked at Luke already at the top and decided not to quit. Sometimes all you need is a little self pep-talk. Luckily, we both got to watch the sunrise together and that made the hike worth it. I also was impressed that I didn’t give up on myself. Such a great lesson that all of us continually learn in life.
We had bought groceries before heading to this campsite, so we were pretty bummed that our eggs would probably go bad. However; on the way down from the hike I spotted a giant log that was definitely not from that immediate area. We then knew we could gather enough small brush to have a fire for our breakfast. These little blessings are such a beautiful reminder of God’s provision for us.
We’ll end with this. Both of us were blown away by Utah. It was beautiful and being surrounded by mountains at almost all times was amazing. If you ever think about going … do it. We wish we would have explored more.