Friday, October 27, 2006

Westward Ho: Day 7

The AmeriTel hotel in Pocatello Idaho was a great place to stay, and we woke to a clear cool morning. After a quick breakfast, we jumped on I-15 and headed south with great views of the Wasatch mountains to on both sides.

Our only planned stop was Promontory Summit UT at the site of the driving of the
Golden Spike marking the completion of the transcontinental railroad. While the short movie was informative, if you really want to know about the great endevour, I recommend Nothing Like it in the World by Stephen Ambrose.

On the way back to the freeway, we encountered the
ATK Rocket Motors complex. Like the Idaho National Laboratory we passed through yesterday, this is one of those places where very advanced research and engineering takes place -- stuff that would seem like science fiction to most of us. Like INL, what goes on in there is just a bit dangerous, hence the remote location.

After several days in the backcountry, running into a Salt Lake City traffic jam was shocking return to the urban world, including smog (we assume that's what the haze is). We jumped off the Interstate at Temple Square and spent a few minutes admiring the beautiful grounds of the Mormon Temple and the Tabernacle. I have been to Salt Lake City a number of times on business, but have never really seen the Great Salt Lake. If you drive through the city on I-15, you never see the lake. So we found a street that headed west, and kept going until we reached the lake shore.

From there, we fought the Friday evening rush hour traffic all the way from Salt Lake City to Provo, and checked into our hotel. I was happy to find an email from my cousin Diane Hirsh Pennington, who was in Salt Lake City with her husband Gene. Diane's daughter Julie recently gave birth to her fourth child, and Diane and Gene came out to help. We connected up at our hotel, and had a great visit.

Tomorrow we head across eastern Utah, with our planned destination being Durango CO.

Trip odometer: 290 miles in 5.5 hours of drive time. Total mileage now 3,057

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