As the sun began to peek in I rolled over and turned on the TV. It was on a local Las Vegas station which announced that today would be their 12th warmest day of the season in a row. I rolled back over with a groan, do I have the timing or what? It's either fighting curves through rain, sleet, and snow or I get slammed with record temperatures in Nevada. No wonder Aria was lying lower than usual today. I began the day by checking the weather in Wyoming where, in a few hours, I would be in temperatures that were 25 degrees cooler than Nevada was right now. That would be a nice shock to the system; be careful what you wish for.
I packed up and as we got out to the car a warm breeze blew past us which was enough to revive Aria to take a small walk before we headed out. I took one last look around before getting in and as the breeze blew once again a feeling overwhelmed me; it was the feeling of change. I smiled to myself and got into the car where the temperature on the dashboard was reading 75 degrees and we were a few minutes before 8a. A quick stop at the front desk to check out and grab breakfast, upon return, the car started to feel like an oven. It was time to go!
The drive took me to I-15 Northbound and I went around the city of Las Vegas one last time before leaving it in the rear-view mirror. Road construction continued to pop up and as I left the city I took a few of their crazy drivers with me. Everyone just needed to pick a speed and stay with it. This continued for several miles and backing off on my speed only had everyone around me doing the same and the frustration continued. Finally, they sped up or got off altogether and the courteous drivers were all that remained for the rest of the journey.
I have to admit I-15 turned out to be a very photographic journey. Most of it was spent going through the mountains or near them and the further North I went the more white tips began to peak through. Shortly after leaving Nevada I entered into Arizona for a few miles and went into Virgin River Canyon.
The cuts, twists, and turns through the valley were jaw-dropping and the road was easy to maneuver. Massive walls of rocks that surrounded me made me feel like I was going to be swallowed up and disappear. The different colors of brown with a sprinkle of red caught my attention and I couldn't help but glance over. Another turn took me up and I was looking down into rivers that cut through the mountains. The road continued to climb out and I began to see blue sky ahead only to drop down again and lose sight of it. I wish there had been non-emergency places to pull over it would have been fun to photograph, but I had to work with my dash cam which didn't do the experience justice.
The mountains and beautiful scenery pulled back after I left the canyon and continued North towards Utah. I remembered visiting Salt Lake City as a child but didn't remember the details, I was glad to experience it again and see the snow-capped mountains around the bend. If there was any question about being in Utah, just look up and see the white tips and lush green. I was out of the desert mountains and into the seasonal ones.
Another place that took me by surprise was Provo, Utah. Clearly a University town but was still a cute and quaint town that was nestled next to several mountain peaks. When entering the city there were two ways to get through it, the University Express or University Ave; the express required a $.25 toll. Since I requested a no-toll route from my GPS, which had already proven to be worth every penny, we went down University Ave and I was glad I did. The views were better and the mountains were gorgeous. Since I had to stop and wait for light changes I took this moment to snap a few photos.
As I continued through and out of Provo the views only get better. Thankfully, there were now plenty of parks and pull-offs for me to view and take photos of the mountains and Provo Lake. I almost forget to look back in the rearview mirror, the sight behind me offered more breathtaking views but only dared to take a glance as the road was full of twists, turns, and hills with speeds changing quickly.
My last pullover was at Fort Bridger, Wyoming at a Travel Centers of America truck stop and as far as truck stops go, I've seen a few over the years, this one was pretty nice and extremely clean. I opened the door to gas the car, and was only wearing a short sleeve shirt, and quickly closed the door as the chilling wind that blew through shocked me back to the present. I was definitely out of Nevada and a coat would be needed from this point on. I reached back and even with the coat on, the cold wind had a bite to it and it was officially 20 degrees cooler than this morning. Factor in the wind it was probably closer to 25.
I had arrived safely and soundly to our location and Aria had a light hop, skip and a jump to her stride. She welcomed the cooler temperature and let the wind blow through her hair as we walked one last time before we rested for the night. Even in the hotel room, she was jumping around like a puppy and we played a little tug of war with her lamb chop. I think she sensed we would be back home soon and was anxious to have a break from the road.
Tomorrow I would be heading further North to South Dakota, another state I hadn't seen in a long time. This road trip had reminded me of the past in so many ways but I enjoyed seeing it in the present. It seemed fitting especially for this period of time in my life. If this road trip was any indication of what the future held then I was ready for all the bumps, bruises, twist and turns that would come along the way because I know up ahead lied cooler temps and smoother roads with spectacular views.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.