Sunday, August 26, 2007
Onwards to Nevada
Having spent an extra day in the Denver area, we had only the weekend left to get to Burning Man by Monday, so we got off to a fairly early start, hoping to reach Salt Lake City by Saturday night. Tomek had urged me to take I-70 for a most beautiful ride through the mountains, and he was certainly right. The tracks of AMTRAK's California Zephyr line, laid down in the 19th century, follow the White River closely, and I-70 snakes through this canyon supported by concrete extensions to the canyon walls as there's no room for another roadbed on the natural sloping rock. Stopping at a river access point, we watched rafters launching on their river trips, and the AMTRAK train went by across the river. At this gorgeous point I was startled to receive a cell phone call about some web site server issue I would have to deal with tonight, definitely a clash of realities! Descending from these mountains into the high plains of Utah, we turned north on a US highway to head up towards Salt Lake City. It seemed just a bit early to stop as we passed Provo on the approach to SLC, so we thought we'd make the westward turn at SLC and find a place to stay along I-80 on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. Another lesson in doing your research - shortly after turning westward at SLC on a state highway, we passed miles and miles of pure nothing; in the dark we were aware of vast areas of white to either side, apparently some foretaste of the dry salt lake beds, but there were NO lodging services until the state border about 100 miles away. So when we stopped for gas, I picked up a large Red Bull, my first encounter with that drink and its ability to keep you going. We finally arrived at Wendover, Utah around midnight, right on the UT-NV border. We passed a few inexpensive motels on entering the town, but kept looking for one with Internet access. Crossing what turned out to be the border brought us into West Wendover, NV, where the same street is now lined with casino hotels, a mini-Las Vegas. I had completely forgotten that this is what Nevada towns do, offer the gambling life as close to the border as possible. I just wasn't in the mood to enter the Vegas experience, exhausted and in need of Wi-Fi, so we found a motel on the Utah side of town and settled in for the night after 13 hours on the road. With the help of the Red Bull, I stayed up til 5 AM dealing with a server relocation on my multiple porn sites, ensuring uninterrupted operation.