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Old 03-06-2013, 01:52 AM   #76
tayalltheway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
If anyone was wondering, we did manage to meet up for a few minutes


Taylor and Tracy couldn't have been cuter or nicer. I am sorry we only had a few minutes to talk, and I also apologize if I was weird. It was our last night of the trip so we were experiencing the patented Disney exhaustion/craziness of trying to fit in everything we wanted.
It was so nice getting to meet up with you and Brian! And not weird at all (we're usually almost comatose by the last night of a packed vacation, so I'd say you were doing quite well!). Did you enjoy the Fantasmic! dessert party?

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Looking at your pics. Love the Duffy pumpkin.
Thanks! I thought it was fun
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:03 AM   #77
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Chapter 13
…On the Road


It was a little bittersweet waking up the morning of November 11 and knowing that it was finally time to start moving. We were definitely excited both for the road trip and what lay at the end of it, but we’d had such a nice time enjoying Colorado and the many comforts of home for just over three months.

We put Duffy in his winter clothes to prepare for the drive.



After making sure everything was packed up, we had to start doing the goodbye rounds. We spent more than a few minutes fawning over Stupey Doodle.



I think I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow…



Before we knew it, it was time to hit the road. We gathered in the driveway and said our thank yous and goodbyes to Tracy’s parents. They had been the most generous of hosts over our time in CO, and we were all sad to part despite the fact that I’m sure they were glad to get their house back.

We hugged Stewy Monster one last time.



And then we got in the car, started down the driveway, and waved our actual farewells.



With Dumbo and Daniel to guide us, we officially hit the road.



I tweeted (and will be using this color font to denote tweets in the rest of this road trip report): Officially on our way! #californiabound



Our first stop as we pulled out of our neighborhood was going to be the bank. We were going to have a need for quarters later in the evening and wanted to break a $10 to get them. Unfortunately, as we pulled up to the bank and parked, we realized we had a problem.

Not a good idea to plan on going to the bank on Veteran's Day. #roadtripproblems

Oh well, there was really nothing we could do, so we hit the road again. Now we were officially heading out of Boulder and saying goodbye to our beautiful flatirons.



Duffy was up with me in the passenger seat while Tracy drove.



Right after we left Boulder, we encountered this:

Just saw our first ridiculous billboard for a "family nudist resort."

I wish I was kidding… Now that we were officially underway, we settled into the road trip mentality a little. We had loaded up an audiobook for the drive: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Go ahead and judge us. Here’s a little bit of our Twilight history (which is nowhere near as extensive as my Harry Potter history in the last trip report).

Back before Twilight was the “thing to hate” in the world, they were just a series of books that came recommended via the Harry Potter fan community for being fun reads. I’ve been an audiobook listener for years, so I downloaded the first book and quickly made my way through it. While no great literature, the books are undeniably addictive. I think I listened to all three of the books that were out at that point in just a couple weeks. Then I voraciously devoured the fourth book when it came out that summer. As we prepared for the movies to start coming out, sensing it was about to be the “next big thing,” I coerced Tracy into starting to listen to the audiobooks. She too was hooked.

After reading the books, we went through the same experience as the rest of the world watching the movies. Each time we would see a new film in theaters, we’d think it was good the first time before watching again on DVD and realizing they were just awful for the most part. But we were always still hooked enough to keep coming back. And with the last movie coming out just a couple days after this road trip, we thought it would be fun to revisit where it all began with the first book. After all, we did owe a debt of gratitude to the franchise for giving us thousands of dollars when Tracy was in this commercial—but that’s a story for another time. We fired up the audiobook as we drove. And we were just getting to the pivotal scene where Bella sees Edward for the first time across a crowded cafeteria when Dumbo gave us a scare.



Obviously, the car was loaded down. We had at least five hundred extra pounds in the backseat. So, naturally, the pickup from our normally spritely car was less powerful than usual. Still, we weren’t prepared for Dumbo to jolt as we were climbing uphill and feel like he shifted out of gear for a few seconds. It quickly recovered, but we were nervous to say the least. Luckily, the grade here was one of the steepest it would get to on the trip at such high speeds. I was tweeting and photographing at regular intervals as we progressed.



Through our first tunnel. Guess we're in the mountains.

We're through the Eisenhower Tunnel and over the continental divide.




Lunching in Silverthorne. Hoping our car can handle the rest of these mountains when carrying an extra 500 lbs

Reaching Silverthorne, which is just past the Continental Divide, we stopped for lunch at McDonald’s.



While we devoured our food, we were unquestionably still a little nervous about the next portion of the trip. It was time to brave Vail Pass. Luckily, we quickly realized that the road condition reports we were relying on from the Department of Transportation were slightly overblown.

CDOT has these road conditions listed as wet with icy spots #incorrect



We started moving uphill and noticing just how beautiful the mountains were looking.



We travelled up for a while, and we kept anticipating the road becoming winding and treacherous, but it never happened. And then we passed a road sign that said we were at the summit of Vail Pass. We never even knew we were close to it!

Done with Vail Pass!! #anticlimactic

Once we were past the pass, we went downhill for quite a while. Twilight played on, Dumbo didn’t give us any more scares, and the mountains kept looking pretty.



Then everything began to flatten out again.





Duffy and I were enjoying ourselves in the passenger seat.



And Tracy was doing an excellent job driving.



The snow, while pretty on the mountains around us, never touched the roads. They were almost entirely dry for the whole trip.

Yup, we bought chains for this trip, haha. #overpreparedbetterthanunder

The terrain began to change again as we started toward Glenwood Canyon.



The canyon itself was actually quite beautiful with its juxtaposition of sun and snow.







And just after that, we arrived at our first night’s destination. Our first day of driving was intentionally not too long, but we got to a destination where we were excited to spend some time—Glenwood Springs, CO.

Continued in Next Post
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:06 AM   #78
tayalltheway
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Snow at the end of October? WOW!

It must have been kinda sad to leave CO. Here's to CA!
In Colorado, it actually often snows in October. In New York, however, we had about a centimeter of snow in 2011 at the end of October and everyone treated it like the apocalypse.

It was definitely bittersweet to leave CO. But our adventures in CA are certainly exciting too
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:44 AM   #79
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What a great looking drive. Love the snow dusted mountains!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #80
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You didn't tell us we were meeting a celebrity!! I remember that commercial Tracy was in! How awesome is that?
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:16 AM   #81
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What a great looking drive. Love the snow dusted mountains!
The drive really was pretty, and we could appreciate the fact that the snow was on the mountains rather than the roads.

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Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
You didn't tell us we were meeting a celebrity!! I remember that commercial Tracy was in! How awesome is that?
That's funny that you remember the commercial! At the time, people we hadn't seen since high school would comment randomly on Facebook saying they had recognized her. We were actually at Disney World on our Disneymoon while it was airing, and we hoped someone there would recognize her and give us some sort of special treatment. Alas...
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:30 AM   #82
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Chapter 14
Reverse Polar Bear Plunge


Here’s a map of our drive on day one of the road trip.



If it looks like we didn’t go very far, that’s because… we didn’t! Our goal on this first day wasn’t to make that much progress. Instead, I wanted to visit Glenwood Springs, CO, because it was one of the towns that every Colorado native seemed to have gotten to experience in their youths except me.

When I was in sixth grade, my school took a trip across the whole western slope of Colorado. I got to go to many of the towns and see many of the sights that I had never experienced before being from the Front Range. On the penultimate day of the week-long trip, we arrived in Glenwood Springs, home of a huge hot springs pool. Before checking into our hotel and going to the pool, however, we made a stop at a “fun park” complex on the outskirts of town. This was one of the standard arcade/mini-golf/go karting facilities that are scattered around Colorado, so it was intended to help the bus full of pre-teens burn off some excess energy.

After participating in some of the other activities, I decided to ride the go karts. These were honestly a little intense for go karts—they touted themselves as being able to reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour—so naturally, we kids were psyched to drive them. My car seemed to have endless power as I zoomed around the track. I found myself first passing, and later lapping other members in our group. Then, at the end of our ride it was time to pull back into the starting gates again. I honestly don’t know what happened exactly, but I think since I hadn’t needed to use the brakes on the car during my entire ride, I forgot they were there. I’m pretty sure I just pictured it being like an Autopia car where letting up on the gas brings you to a stop. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I quickly became aware that I needed to brake, but not before I went plowing into a concrete barrier at practically full-speed.

My car came to a slamming halt and all was still for a moment before the searing pain in my leg began. I had broken not just one, but two bones in my lower right leg. The ambulance ride, hospital visit, and everything that followed that evening is all a blur now, but I know that the next day, after an extremely painful night, it was finally our date to return home to Boulder. First, however, the rest of the class got to go to the hot springs pool and enjoy themselves. I was stuck on the bus in a thigh-high cast in more pain than I had ever experienced to that point in my life. My Glenwood Springs experience was not all that it was cracked up to be.

Fast-forward more than ten years. When we were trying to decide where we wanted to stop on our road trip, actually experiencing Glenwood was high on my list. Tracy had been there several times throughout her life, so she was a bit of a pro when it came to deciding where it would be best to stay. The historic hotel in Glenwood Springs is the Hotel Colorado. Built in the late 1800s, the hotel became known as the “Little White House” after it hosted both Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft for extended stays. Obviously, following the theme we’ve established in regards to old hotels in Colorado, it is supposed to be thoroughly haunted.

Tracy had stayed at the Hotel Colorado on at least one of her family trips to Glenwood, and she remembered it as being a beautiful old hotel in a great location for accessing the hot springs pool. We considered it a perfect choice for us when Priceline offered a same-day booking deal for $80. We reserved our room in the morning before leaving Boulder, and pulled into the Hotel Colorado in the late afternoon.



We must have truly been the poor front desk clerk’s worst nightmare as we checked in. We were given our room keys, and when we went to check it out, realized it was a handicapped room. This wouldn’t have bothered us, except for the fact that the accessible bathroom was designed such that there was a roll-in shower without any separation from the rest of the bathroom. It was all just one room with a shower head in the middle of one area. It was weird. Anyway, we went back to the front desk and asked if we could change rooms. He obliged, smilingly, and put us in another room right down the hall from the first. Again, we wheeled our bags down the hall and tried out room number two. This one was a little better—it had a normal bathroom at least—but since we were on the ground floor of this historic hotel, it had ridiculously high ceilings that seemed to make every noise made on the floor echo within our room. We were a good distance from the front desk, but we could still hear all the noise coming from the desk as though it were right outside.

So we traipsed our luggage back to the front desk one more time and explained our problem. Luckily, the hotel was all but deserted this weekend, so we were the only guests in sight. This time, the clerk put us in a room on the third floor, at the end of a corridor, and when we checked it out, it seemed to offer all the silence we were looking for. We’d finally found a keeper.





Duffy quickly settled into our new room. He was extremely fond of this hotel because it was actually here that the teddy bear was invented. The story goes that one of the hotel maids presented Teddy Roosevelt with a stuffed bear she had pieced together with scraps of material, and the rest became history.



After finally dropping our luggage, it was finally time for us to go to the hot springs pool I’d been wanting to visit for over ten years. We could actually see the pool out our hotel window.



What we weren’t looking forward to, however, was getting over there as it was currently about 25 degrees outside and dropping. We knew we needed to fit all of our spare clothes into one little pool locker, so we dressed pretty lightly and just speed-walked to the pool. It was only across the street, but by the time we arrived at the lobby, we were definitely freezing.

Stripping down to our bathing suits, we made the dash from the warmth of the pool lobby into the heat of the hot springs. There are two pools at the Glenwood hot springs, a giant “medium heat” pool and a smaller hot pool. Both of them felt fantastic as compared to the weather outside. We made the mistake of starting in the hot pool, which we then did not want to get out of, but in the hour or so that we stayed there, we went back and forth between the two a few times.

It was definitely fun. The hot pool had jetted chairs you could pay to turn on—hence our need for quarters—and even though the bank had been closed earlier, we managed to get some change from the front desk at the hot springs. Once we had enjoyed the pool for a while, we decided it was time for dinner. As we got out of the hot pool, there was literally steam issuing from our bodies in droves as we walked the short distance to the lobby in the sub-freezing temperatures. We half-ran back to the hotel to change for dinner, and then headed out again.

Here’s the creepy hallway our room was located at the end of.



We arrived at the hotel the weekend that they began putting up the Christmas decorations. They were still very much a work in progress for our stay, but it was beginning to look festive in the old lobby.





We walked outside and admired the exterior of the hotel. All the Christmas lights were strung around the building, but they hadn’t started lighting them all quite yet.





We decided to just walk to dinner because there was a Qdoba right down the street. We didn’t realize this would be our last Qdoba experience for quite some time because they don’t have them in Orange County.



After dinner, we walked back to the hotel. We donned our swimming gear again, and made the return trip to the hot springs. By now, it was a crisp 17 degrees outside, so our half-run became more of a full-run. We enjoyed another hour or so soaking in the pools. This time we were smart and started in the cooler pool before moving to the hot one. When we had finished swimming for the night, we returned to our hotel yet again, showered, and got almost ready to turn in. But first, we decided to head back down to the lobby to take in some of the history and enjoy the roaring fire in the hearth.



Here’s old Teddy himself.



And his very own suite.



There were several Christmas trees spread around the lobby, though most of them weren’t lit or decorated yet.





Finally, as the clock shows, it was after 10:00 and we had a very long day ahead of us in the morning.



We got ready for bed, hoping the hotel's “happy haunts” wouldn’t materialize while we were trying to sleep. Day one of the road trip hadn’t gotten us too far, but we had made some serious strides. We had cleared the highest of the Rocky Mountains, so almost the entire rest of our journey would be traveling to lower elevations. And it was officially our last day as temporary Coloradans. The next day would take us over the border (and many more borders) as we continued the move that we had been so long in planning.

Continued in Next Post
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 03-11-2013, 02:57 AM   #83
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My Glenwood Springs experience was not all that it was cracked up to be.

I beg to differ....from your description, it was pretty obvious that your Glenwood Springs experience was cracked up.....in two bones.




WOW!! That's a fantastic grand ole' hotel. Beautiful! I was fascinated to read about the historic tie to the Teddy Bear. I had no idea that it was started in that hotel. Thanks for sharing that amazing fact.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:09 AM   #84
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I've got to say, after over a week of around 100 degrees each day here, the crisp 17 degrees and hot springs sounds heavenly!
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:28 AM   #85
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Love the sound of the hot springs!

The TVC was very adorable ... so funny! I was a late comer to the whole Twilight franchise, so never picked a team! In fact I hadn't watched any of the movies until about 4 months ago, when I got sucked into a marathon! Anyway, still enjoyed the books!

I am a big reader, but tend to avoid "classics" or other worthy books ... I like to read something fun! I also enjoyed the Charlaine Harris - Sookie Stackhouse series, not the TV series, but the books were great.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:24 AM   #86
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I beg to differ....from your description, it was pretty obvious that your Glenwood Springs experience was cracked up.....in two bones.

WOW!! That's a fantastic grand ole' hotel. Beautiful! I was fascinated to read about the historic tie to the Teddy Bear. I had no idea that it was started in that hotel. Thanks for sharing that amazing fact.
Your pun would be less painful if the broken bone experience hadn't been so, well, painful!!

I didn't know about the teddy bear fact either until Tracy told me about it before we arrived. She wasn't too clear on the details either, so then we read the story on a plaque at the hotel.

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I've got to say, after over a week of around 100 degrees each day here, the crisp 17 degrees and hot springs sounds heavenly!
Yuck, I hate too hot of weather possibly more than too cold. At least with cold you can always bundle. When it gets to be in the 100 degree range there's just nothing you can do to feel comfortable. Do you have a dry heat at least or is it humid too?

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Love the sound of the hot springs!

The TVC was very adorable ... so funny! I was a late comer to the whole Twilight franchise, so never picked a team! In fact I hadn't watched any of the movies until about 4 months ago, when I got sucked into a marathon! Anyway, still enjoyed the books!

I am a big reader, but tend to avoid "classics" or other worthy books ... I like to read something fun! I also enjoyed the Charlaine Harris - Sookie Stackhouse series, not the TV series, but the books were great.
The hot springs were great! Very nice after a long day sitting in the car.

Glad you liked the commercial, and the Twilight books. Even this last time through, we still enjoyed the first book. Good light reading (or listening in this case). I'm often a big reader too, though sometimes I'll go through periods like right now where I can't get myself to sit down and read. But when I do read a lot, I tend to try to have one "worthy book" going at a time and also one fun read. I'll usually finish two or three fun books for every classic-type book, but I usually enjoy pretty much anything I pick up in the long run. Have never dived into the Sookie Stackhouse series mostly because when I start a series I can never stop till I've read them all, so I have to be ready for a big commitment.
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:32 AM   #87
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Chapter 15
Sometimes Nature is Boring


Our night in the historic Hotel Colorado was not restful. It was honestly one of the worst nights of sleep I think I’ve ever had, on a short list with the night before our May 2012 Disney World vacation. This time it wasn’t nerves or excitement keeping me awake. It was noise. The noise of the radiator.

Living in New York, I was no stranger to the concept of ssssssssssteam heat. In my six years of living in the city, I spent five of them with a steam radiator. They’re loud and clunky, but eventually you get used to the noise and it starts to blend into the background. But that was not the case with the one here. It would run for, say, an hour at a time and then turn off for fifteen minutes. Then it would start up again with cannon-like noises capable of disrupting any sleep. And it just kept going all night.

I fared worse than Tracy, who was able to sleep for probably 50-75% of the night. I was somewhere in the 25% range. When the alarm sounded, it was after I had finally gotten to sleep for a solid couple of hours, but I was far from rested.



Duffy fared quite a bit better, but he can sleep anywhere.



Here’s the blasted culprit. I’m convinced it was in leagues with the hotel ghosts.



We didn’t really allow ourselves time to dawdle after getting up. We had a very long day of driving ahead of us and it was time to hit the road. Throwing everything we had unpacked back together, we loaded up the car, fitting all the luggage puzzle pieces back into their exact spots. We checked out from the hotel and were on our way.





Our first stop was literally a block away. We popped into a gas station to pick up some breakfast and decided on a pack of oh-so-healthy Entenmann’s donuts. Mostly, however, we just needed some caffeine, and we had brought some bottled Frappucinos along, which did the trick quite nicely. We started looking human again. I tweeted:

Today's journey will make yesterday seem like a cakewalk. 4 states, 9 hours, let's do this!





Hitting the road on this cloudy gray morning meant getting back on I-70, the interstate that would comprise at least half the journey to California. It was chilly outside, but we knew it was the last morning we would see freezing temperatures in the foreseeable future, so we took solace knowing the temperatures would only go up as the journey went on.



We fired up Twilight and just kept trucking along. Colorado actually started getting much less mountainous than I was expecting as we headed toward the western border. It was much hillier than I’d ever known it got.



Tracy kept on driving like a trooper.



Then as we got close to the Utah border, you could see the types of mountain start to change. We went from the peaks of the Rockies to much more plateaued formations.





We also noticed the snow was starting to go away.





We stopped for our first tank of gas outside Grand Junction, and then we plowed on toward the border, and saw these signs on the side of the highway.





We had officially made it to our second state—Utah. The bulk of our day would be spent crossing the state, covering almost the entire east to west span of it.

Utah is an interesting state. I can’t pretend to know that much about it, though I have seen a few different parts of it. In eighth grade, my class went on a week-long camping trip to Moab. We went rafting and hiking and generally “bonded” in the great outdoors. The most lasting impression Moab made on me was with its red dirt. By the end of the week, every inch of my person as well as all the contents of the luggage I carried was caked in the red-orange sand of Moab. All these years later, I still associate that color with Utah. The whole Moab area was really beautiful though.

My other experience with Utah was when Tracy and I drove through on the way back from our road trip to Seattle in 2007. We stopped in Salt Lake City for the night and explored a little bit before leaving the next morning. I recall it being one of the more bizarre “big” cities I’ve been to, mostly because it just doesn’t quite fit. Somehow the city part just felt anachronistic, as though it was plopped in the middle of small-town Utah accidentally. It was a pleasant enough place to pass through, however, so overall my impressions of the state were relatively positive going into this drive.

We quickly discovered that not all of the state was pretty, however, as our entire morning took us through relatively flat desolate-looking landscapes.



So far, Utah is LAME!

We stopped for lunch in a town called Green River. “Town” is actually a bit of a misnomer as it was more of a ghost town. We had to drive all the way down the main street, passing by one abandoned building after another, until we got to a Subway sandwich shop attached to a gas station. The Subway was completely modern and normal despite the town feeling like something from a century ago. It was honestly a little disturbing. Luckily, our sandwich was good and filled us up for the next leg of the journey. Afterward, I tweeted:

We ate lunch in Green River, UT. Spoiler alert: There was no river and nothing was green.



We went back to driving. All of a sudden, we went from drab brown to some of the cool red rock formations I remembered from my previous experiences with Utah.









The rest of Utah was generally prettier than the first half, but we were ready for the state to be behind us.





We weren’t really expecting it, but suddenly we found ourselves amongst more mountains and snow! Would we need the chains on this leg of the journey??



Continued in Next Post
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:21 AM   #88
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Sorry you didn't get much sleep. Those historic hotels are great and all that; but sometimes, they aren't the most comfortable places to rest.

Your drive looks l-o-n-g. I do love the Grand Circle; and I suspect you're driving just north of that area?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #89
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I am anxiously awaiting the California arrival!
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:49 AM   #90
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Yay all caught up now!

Wow that hayride sounds amazing! I can't believe how hilariously lame it was! That actually made me spit out my tea!

That snow looks so beautiful!

Awhh leaving Stupey

That is so awesome that Tracy is in that commercial!! Haha now I want to know that story too

Roadtripping photos are the absolute best!! That scenery is just so stunning!

That is a VERY traumatic go karting story!!

Really enjoying your trip so far!
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