SALT LAKE CITY -- We set forth across the great American desert today, driving 647 miles and 11 hours. We crossed our home range, the Sierra Nevada, then descended into the long expanse of desert that is Nevada. At dusk we entered Utah, and drove another two hours to a motel in Salt Lake City. A nearly full moon lit our way. Tomorrow we will head into the Rockies and our destination is Denver.
Driving across Nevada is truly like sailing across a sea. Long, long horizons, with mountain ranges floating like islands above the desert. Ranges go by with names like the Ruby Range and the Bitter Root. The wagon trails are all but obliterated, and we are left to imagine how difficult it was not that long ago for the Western settlers and adventurers to make the crossing. Dry lake beds, filled with borax and salt, still line the highway. And there are wonders aplenty for the eye, from "Jesus Lives" billboards to a caravan of Drumstick ice cream trucks headed we know not where. And along the road: an old desert rat art colony. And every town now looks like a mini-Las Vegas, or maybe just another suburb of Reno.
Here are a few photos, in no particular order, from our adventure today.