Cross country: Fernley, Nevada and the last images of Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

September 1, 2013

Desert! I began this cross country adventure part of my blog in one (the great Mojave in California) and it seems fitting to end it in another (in Nevada). Tomorrow we will be home, ending our three month odyssey across the United States and back. It just doesn’t seem like we’ve been gone for that long.

Did we see everything? Of course we didn’t. Maybe if you took a year off and roamed the States, you might see more, but I don’t think that would even be enough time to see everything. This country is so huge, beautiful and wicked (Yes, that word is sticking with me.) Its diversity is amazing. From shore to shore the geography and climate changes as do the way people speak. For instance, did you know that in Springfield, IL they don’t have the same accent as those in Chicago?

One thing I’ve learned is to not take a California dog that is on natural supplements for fleas and ticks into the Midwest! Those fleas were terrible! They are gone now, and Gem will be returning home with no fleas and a healed cornea. We’re anxious to see how he reacts tomorrow when he sees the house.

Our travels have also given me an appreciation of our home state, California. We have the ocean, desert, mountains and flat lands. We also counted seven National Parks in our State. And, there are more National Monuments. So, if you want to see California, go to Hollywood, San Diego, Yosemite and San Francisco. Then, take time to visit the other National Parks they are wicked.

That’s why this trip was on my bucket list. I wanted to see the U.S. Driving it gives you a different perspective.  Will we do this again? No. Three months is a long time to be away for a couple of homebodies. However, there are places that we will fly to. And we will get up to Glacier National Park in Montana next year.

I’m remembering the Italian couple who took a year to travel the U.S. I still think that was an amazing commitment they made. I know they are missing their family, but she said they needed to do it this year while they still could.

Tomorrow, we’re going to cross the last of the Nevada Desert, through Reno, NV and over the mountain into California. From there it’s only two hours to our house. I’ve been told that I have about 20 pounds of mail to go through, etc. So, this is my last post on our journey. This blog will go back to what it was supposed to be and was—a photo blog and my journey of learning the SLR and post production.

Today, I’m posting the last of the Temple Square images from Salt Lake City, Utah.

For the future, I’ve made several promises to myself regarding my photography. Three of them are to shoot something every day (I read a lot of photo tutorials, and one suggested to do this.), create outings where I plan for photography and learn PE9. Wish me luck on accomplishing these goals. My son has told me that they’d like us to take the younger grandkids for some overnights!

Thanks for following along with our journey. Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning or joined us near the end, your “likes” and comments were appreciated. I hope you’ll continue following this blog, make comments and maybe add your own photos.

 

Cross country: Elko, Nevada and Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah images

August 31, 2013

Salt? Do you need salt? Well, we passed plenty this morning on our way out of Salt Lake City. First there was the Great Salt Lake itself. As we drove by this huge body of land-locked salt water I was thinking that this was one of Mother Nature’s cruel tricks. Here’s this large amount of water in a desert environment but humankind can’t use it! Then Richard reminded me that there are many life forms that appreciate that salty environment. Gem said nothing—which I always count on him to do.

Next we stopped at the last rest stop in Utah which was actually the Bonneville Salt Flats area. The speedway exit was a mile down the road and I don’t know how much further in. All along the highway, people spelled out their names with rocks or drew designs in the salt.

Once in Nevada, we took advantage of the casinos buffet meals and ate lunch. I’m hoping to be hungry for dinner. We have all sorts of leftovers, especially spaghetti.

Right now we are in an Elko, a lot bigger than I remember it, RV Park, the Double Dice. It’s gravel of course, but has a few trees. We’re going to be home a day sooner because we couldn’t find a Park in Lovelock, Nevada. Can you imagine that! So right now our target date is September 2.

Now that we are in Nevada, Pacific time ,and  one state away from home, I’m ready to be home! And, I was just told by my son that we will be doing some overnights with the younger grandkids. I’m excited to see all the kids.

Tonight I’m positing some of the Temple Square images. I’ll probably finish them up tomorrow night. In the meantime, we’re going to have dinner—no salt!

 

Cross country: Salt Lake City and the last of Dinosaur National Monument, Utah images

August 30, 2013

I left without my camera last night! I’ve been carrying it for almost three months and last night I forgot to bring it to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal!!  I know that some people do great stuff with their cell phone cameras, but I had never used mine before for that task. I did take some shots with it, but now I have to figure out how to get them out of the camera and on to my laptop. So, don’t look for them too soon!

The choir was wicked. I’m sure I would have gotten even more out of it if I knew the music. They were amazing. We were talking to a volunteer, and he took our address, promising to send us a couple of CDs. We do think we were lucky to have come into Salt Lake City on a Thursday night—rehearsal night.

Today, I did remember my camera when we went to the Temple Square. We asked for a tour and two delightful young women, one from California and the other from Oregon, took us around and showed us a couple of buildings. Their faith is what impressed me the most. I told them we were Jewish and would be asking a lot of questions. We did and they answered them.  The only disappointment was that we couldn’t enter the Temple building itself. I remember that from the last time we were here. The whole experience was wicked. I’ll have images to show you maybe tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, we start our four-day trek home. We will drive about 200 miles and stop for the night. I don’t know how much use my camera will get. I started this journey out by shooting out the truck window; I could end it that way. I did some driving by shots on our trip from Grand Lake, Colorado to Jensen, but I haven’t processed them yet.

So we will see what tomorrow brings. I’ll have my camera with me in the front seat.

 

Cross country: Salt Lake City and Jensen, Utah, and Dinosaur National Park images

August 29, 2013

Jensen—it barely exists. Yesterday, I talked about the National Monument; but, today I want to talk about the town. The Monument covers Utah and Colorado, with the quarry in Jensen. So, I’m wondering why the gateway to the Monument is Vernal and Naples. These cities are 13 – 10 miles away from the Monument.

Jensen’s claim to fame is the Utah Welcome Center! The 2010 census says Jensen’s population is 412. Not much for an unincorporated area that’s the gateway to such a tremendous find. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox. Oh, before I do, we couldn’t find a real ice cream place in Vernal. They had one store that served frozen custard, soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. Vernal needs a Baskin Robbins!

Right now we are in Salt Lake City and I understand from the gals in the campground office that there are plenty of Baskin Robbins stores to quench my ice cream thirst. Maybe tonight we will go listen to the rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and then find a Baskin Robins. We are neither Mormon nor Christian, but we’ve heard a lot about the choir.

This afternoon, I’m posting images of dinosaur bones and the immediate area around the quarry at the Monument. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to show you shots from the Monument’s car tour.

Although I’m still wondering how Jensen lost out, we will enjoy Salt Lake City tomorrow.