Colorado 2010 pt.3 - Wyoming & Utah
While everyone else lingered in Colorado, three of us departed towards Utah. Prior to this trip, Arntz had said that he would be staying for a full week if he was flying all the way to Colorado, and this seemed like a reasonable stance to myself as well.
This entire week meant that we had an extra 5 days to fill & therefore we went north, then westward through Wyoming.
I was excited to travel west through Wyoming instead of Colorado, as I'm a big fan of Wyoming (even when many other people find it Navi-like (big & boring)). In addition, Arntz had never been to Wyoming before, so it's always exciting when someone is going somewhere new.
We stopped for gas in Buford, Wyoming - population: 1.
I didn't want to ask why there was only one person in case his wife died of breast cancer or something; but Junix asked and it wasn't bad at all - the population went from 2 to 1 when his son recently left for Portland.
It wasn't long before Arntz was growing restless and tired of Wyoming's endless flat expanses of arid land.
This boredom hadn't befallen me though - I was still enjoying the nearby trains & was simply happy to be in Wyoming.
After about 4 hours of driving, Junix had joined Arntz in being tired of Wyoming, so we took some random exit in the middle of nowhere (near Point of Rocks, WY).
I still wasn't sick of Wyoming and I was very excited to be off the highway and exploring this Equality State randomness.
We found some gas holding tanks & exited the car to explore them further (this shows how stir-crazy we were).
After exploring the gas holding tanks, we were confused as to what was in the road ahead. As we moved closer, I realized that it was one of those damn Pronghorn Antelopes we've been seeing all day!
Using Junix's mobile internet, I started spewing facts about the Pronghorn - it's the second fastest mammal on Earth (next to the Cheetah) & the Pronghorns outnumber people in American's least populous state (my beloved Wyoming)!
Continuing along the weathered road out here, we came to a huge quarry operation. This is where we decided to head back to the interstate though, as there was a sign warning of dynamite blasting & a rather rough road greeting us.
Soon enough the sun was falling from the sky and we were into Western Wyoming.
We decided to call it a night in Evanston - about 6 miles from the border to Utah.
Pulling into town, we noticed an appetizing building and gave it a look. We discussed coming back, while I set up my tripod to get a nighttime picture of the Olde English sign out front. This discussion came to an abrupt halt when Junix & Arntz wanted me back in the car pronto - someone had whipped around and was coming back towards where we were stopped...
...and then we had a good laugh as it was a light blue Ford Aerostar, driven by a 60 year old, completely non-threatening and unobservant woman.
I searched Yelp for dining establishments upon arriving in Evanston. Of course since I picked the restaurant, Junix & Arntz had their jollies making fun of me and saying how terrible the place was going to be...until their food came & it appeared I was right.
The funny thing was that their food was awesome & I had the worst dinner of the year by ordering Parmesan Fries - which were simply french fries with parmesan cheese sprinkled atop. It was about as dry as plain spaghetti would be with sand sprinkled atop.
The restaurant also received points because our waitress was a bit of a space cadet who Arntz likened to Sarah Palin...which became comical whenever she would visit our table by golly!
Another funny occurrence was when Arntz & I went into a nearby bar to get the DX motel room for the night. The lady bartender was what you would envision of a lady bartender in Evanston, Wyoming; and after she rented us our room, she told us that she'd love to buy us both a drink, then questioned me to make sure that I was 21, saying that I looked like just a youngin'.
Somehow this later turned into harassing Arntz about when he was going back for that free drink.
This was the first night I had ever seen an Evil Eye Kiwi Strawberry 40oz, and as you can guess, we never got back to that building guarded by the Ford Aerostar.
By the way, the 40 is actually that red...and it is incredibly delicious. It's Kool-Aid that results in inspecting the ceiling with glazed-over eyes.
The next day we still had 2.5 hours of driving ahead of us.
After the mountains of Northern Utah, the land flattened out as we headed south of Salt Lake City.
After we left the interstate, we could see for miles & miles upon this flattened land.
This lead to Junix took to pushing the Maxima just a little (remember that is mph, not kph).
Anyway, we drove all the way out to Utah with a certain location in mind.
Unfortunately we failed at that location.
I'm not going to get into explaining the location because there's no point when we were caught, but if you really want to know, ask me next time we're having a cold one together.
Anyway, it involved an irate land owner and threats of calling federal law, so we didn't see much room for leeway. Unfortunately, everyone in the group thought about bribing the guy, but none of us knew how to politely bring it up.
I still wonder if he would have taken the bribe. Surely a group of dudes who drove 8 hours to see a location, would have been able to come up with some considerable coin.
Oh well. Coulda shoulda woulda.
So we licked our wounds and climbed a big outcrop rock in the desert instead.
Although sour about the location failure, I had never seen land cover like this before & the view from the top of the foothill was amazing.
We also stopped at a ruined train car which we spotted from the interstate.
This train car was sitting here because the Great Salt Lake had receded away from the Saltair Resort. This meant that investors decided a train car was necessary to bring tourists to the lake from the established pavilion.
Nowadays, Saltair has all but completely failed, and along with the further recession of the Great Salt Lake, this means that the train car sits and rots along the interstate.
A small powerhouse also sits nearby. It used to power the lights and a few roller coasters near the entrance to Saltair.
There was absolutely nothing inside besides graffiti.
Speaking of empty buildings, next we drove into actual Salt Lake City and noticed what appeared to be a cement plant right next to the freeway.
The plant was obviously cleaned out for reuse or safety or whatever. There was absolutely nothing inside, besides a few adult magazines compliments of a hobo.
The walk to the cement plant revealed some impressive graffiti though - well, impressive in terms of climbing a pole 50 ft up and throwing up some letters.
We stopped at some German restaurant for mediocre food, but surprisingly delicious beer.
Afterward we popped into a vacant theatre, but with windows out to the busy street, there was no way to safely lightpaint for better pictures.
It was still early, but for some reason we were all tired & decided to call it a night.
We called around for a deal on a grimy motel and found a Motel 6 out by the airport for cheap.
1 - Wikipedia - Pronghorn
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