The Ride

The roads between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are pretty barren, no matter which route you take. Miles and miles of sagebrush-and-grass plains, distant mountain ranges, and occasionally some low mountains polka-dotted with cedar trees. It’s not difficult to look at all of that open range and imagine what it must have been like to cross the desert on horseback, wagon, or even on foot.

As usual, click any photo for a bigger view.

Our neighbor, Gary, shows a much more modern way to travel. And on highways like these, it’s a great motorcycle trip.

Gary Nevada highway

Taking I-15 all the way down is about a 6-hour drive by car. The route we took through Nevada is about 60 miles longer, so you add another hour. But when we’re not in a hurry, it’s a much more pleasant way to go. Ely provides a stopping point about halfway, so you can grab a lunch. For a quick bite, there’s Arby’s, McDonalds, Subway or Taco Time by the Motel 6. But when we’re staying overnight in Ely, or have more time to spare, we like to eat at the Hotel Nevada, the Jailhouse Casino‘s steak house, or the Silver State Restaurant, a diner which serves up a pretty mean breakfast. I especially like their sausage and eggs – big, fat, delicious sausage patties. Or you can try one of their famous Elk burgers. (No, I haven’t.)

And believe it or not, Ely (population around 4000) even has it’s own knitting shop. Or so the sign says. I didn’t dare go in. I can just imagine.

Knit Knook in Ely Nevada

Otherwise, there’s not much to see along the way besides Joshua Trees, sagebrush, and some interesting rock formations in the southern part of the state. But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Well, just this one:

Nevada Nevada Nevada

But I do always like it when we get near Wendover, and start seeing the salt flats – that’s the whitish streak going along the middle of the next photo:

Salt Flats

I’ve never been out to the Bonneville Speedway, or really seen much of the main salt flats other than this view from the road. But you can get an idea of what it’s like as you travel between Wendover and Salt Lake City on I-80, as well as get a look at the mildly famous “tree” in the desert. And as you get near Tooele (pronounced “too-ILL-a”), there was a great view of a salt pond. That stuff that looks like ice on a lake is the salt, left behind by evaporating water:

Salt flats, Utah The tree in the desert Salt evaporation

But, as always, there’s nothing like coming home.

Coming Home

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10 Responses to The Ride

  1. It looks wonderful. Even better if someone else is driving. I get a little itchy driving for that long. I dare you to go in next time. 😀

  2. Amy says:

    Hey, you’d be surprised–I was in some pretty small towns last summer that had surprisingly good yarn shops.

    I’m reading a really good book about the Donner party, and it talks about how they had to cross those long barren stretches. We never think about that–we think about the whole winter/cannibalism thing in the mountains, but not everything else they had to go through to get there.

  3. margene says:

    I think that Laurie stopped at the shop and said it was fairly good. The ride looks like it had some high points.

  4. Lauren says:

    I love the ride down and either way is great. We have such unique scenery and you captured it well.

  5. Chris says:

    That starkness is very restful in its way – and about the antithesis of here! We have an Ely, too – it’s located nearly in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

  6. Lani says:

    Looks like a lovely trip! (Granted I live in FL so that scenery is amazing to me.) 😉

  7. Norma says:

    Ahhhh, the open road. Looks just wonderful.

  8. We got a whole lot of nothin’ in big parts of our country, don’t we? Gotta love that.

  9. Anne says:

    Looks like a great trip – but yah… it’s always good to come home too.

  10. Miss T says:

    Looks like a long, hot ride. I would have *had* to go in that yarn shop!

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