Day 4: Denver to Idaho

Today I had to say goodbye to my aunt and uncle.  Last night I got to have a wonderful dinner with my cousing Tracy and her very cute and adorable daughter.  It was a great night!

TodayI also finally got to somewhere new.  This was the longest day of driving for my whole trip …. it took over ten hours with minimal stops.  Due north from Denver, then an arcing course on I-80 through southern Wyoming into Utah …. then bypassing Salt Lake City on a northwesterly heading into Idaho.

Wyoming is like Iowa is someone got rid of all the green and all of the people.  It is a desolate place.  The first thing you notice is the total lack of cars.  The only thing on the road were semis.  True, it was Sunday morning, but you get the impression that Wyoning is a place someone travels through, not a place you actually live.  There are farms, but almost exclusively livestock.  There is sparse plant life, but almost a greyish green sagebrush.

Of course, I did finally cross the Rockies … Denver is on the east side of the mountains, so it wasn’t until I got to Wyoming that I had any mountain driving.  Unlike Colorado, the driving here is much easier …. very few shard windings turns, and only two or three steep stretches of road.  I passed close to Cheyanne and thruogh Laramie, which are two of hte biggest cities towns.  They would barely qualfy to be considered alongside Crete, Illinois as a town.

As you came through the mountains, there were some beautiful buttes and mountains to finally see.

That continued into Utah.  I could see on the map that I was less than 20 miles from Salt Lake City, but I might as well have been in the middle of the Atas Mountains …. the scenery was tremendous with reddish buttes and snowcapped mountains in the background …. but considering I would be in the middle of Wheaton (relative to Chicago), I could hardly believe I was that close to a major city, and in the middle of total wilderness.

As I passed through Ogden, Utah, I could see the northernmost bay of the Great Salt Lake.  That small bay was considerably big, and while I know the Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast, it still has to be one enormous body of water.  No wonderBrigham Young got fooled into thinking he had reached the Pacific!  It is far easier to understnad now.

Idaho is a weird place … a combination of just a dab of Utah’s scenery, Wyoming’s livestock, and Iowa’s green farms (though noticably small crops .. I wonder what they could be?????)

But that is what else was different about Idaho.  You hardly ever crossed a river in Wyoming, and if you did, it looked sickly or dry. Idaho has rivers, and they look like rivers.  I crossed over the Snake, and it looked like a strong, helthy river … a couple of hundred yards across with a noticable current.  Hence:  in Idaho, you can grow things … in Wyoming, the cows and sheep eat the sagebrush.

Tomorrow, I head off on the last leg of my trip:  across the rest of Idaho, up through the northeast part of Oregon, and across Washington to Seattle.

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