Sea Otter was a whirlwind, literally. On top of howling gales that razed more than a few tents and at least one giant, inflatable slide, the event was bustling and prevented me from taking in much of the sites for myself.
The day after the event began much too early with a drive to the San Jose airport to drop Bill off for his morning flight, and then continued westward across California and Nevada. Driving up and over Donner Pass was pretty spectacular, though I don’t quite understand how the Donner Party could have become so hopelessly lost. There were plenty of road signs and even a handful of rest stops with gas stations. At the very least, they could have picked up some some Slurpees and a rucksack-load of HoHos every hundred miles or so. We finished up for the evening in Wendover, Utah, at the shadiest Best Western hotel I’ve ever experienced, but it was late enough that it didn’t much matter. After a short walk up and down the street to revive my road weary legs and settle the lump of meat* (may or may not have contained actual meat), courtesy of Arby’s, I passed out quickly and slept like a… something that sleeps.
The highlights of the next morning were a handful of strip mining operations and a drowsiness-inducing trip across the Salt Flats of Northern Utah. Once we reached Salt Lake, the landscape became more interesting again. South of Provo, we turned off the Interstate and onto the Price Cutoff (AKA: US-6), taking us through some miserable one-horse towns, but also some spectacular geology. Once again, though, my camera failed to capture anything but blur at highway speeds. I guess it’s time for something beyond a camera phone.
Rolling into Gunnison, Colorado, where Dan and I would get a much needed rest-day at his house, I did finally manage to get a shot that does the area justice. While it isn’t quite my kind of town (my kind of town would be something more like Boston, Chicago, or New York), I can definitely appreciate why Dan likes to call it home. Gunny has a lively downtown and is nestled amid some of the best mountain biking and backcountry skiing you’re likely to find anywhere on the planet. Maybe sometime on down the line I’ll get to spend more than an afternoon on a loaned townie bike exploring some of the best the area has to offer. For now, I’ll just enjoy a good night’s sleep in a real bed. Next Stop: Fruita