The Pioneer Loop. Day 14: Drops and Shops.

3 October 2018.

(Location: Moab to Salt Lake City, Utah)

Another long day, so I will keeps the words short (ish) and rely on the photos to tell the story. Got up after a good sleep (for me, Andrew was woken by the neighbours coming or going in the early hours). Cooked breakfast. And then, while sitting at the kitchen table catching up on the blog, I noticed a herd of five deer running down the road, opposite us. As you do…

We got packed up and ready to leave and were ready to go shortly before 11am.

I drove the first section, past the queue for Arches, the red rock cliffs, the open golden cliffs as we headed to I-70. Past a train (3 engines pulling, 2 pushing).

I handed over to Andrew at Horse Canyon View rest area. Now, we have an almost standing joke that, if we get bad weather on our journey, you can bet that I’m doing the driving. Today was the exception to that rule. When we left Moab it was hot and sunny. Perhaps I should have checked the forecast before packing the coats in the case. As we past Price, the skies got dark and before long, there was a double-speed wiper type of downpour. So much so, that in one place a flash stream forming at the side of the road was washing away the hard shoulder (didn’t manage to get a photo of that!).

As we came out of the rain, we came through the mountains and over the Soldier Summit at 7,300 ish feet. We went through an area where one side of the road was completely burned (and still smelled of smoke) and the other was thriving. The colours in general were beautifully autumnal.

We stopped at the same Denny’s as on the way down, because we knew it to be a nice one with good service (and were not disappointed). We also got the coats out here!

We then went to the outlet mall and spent 2 hours, mostly in the Columbia store. The mall was very quiet, with beautiful scenery, so it was Andrew’s idea of mall heaven. I also got lucky in the Under Armour store.

After that, we hit the road for the final 20 miles to the hotel. It was now about 5.30pm and rush hour was in full swing. Andrew did a great job coping with cars driven like missiles, ducking into the high occupancy lane which was moving more quickly. He also managed to get out of it and across four traffic lanes at the right moment to get to our turn off, which was even better. We reached the hotel, checked in, parked and made three (yes!) trips to our room with our stuff. This will be far more compact in two days time! After admiring the view, we went for dinner at a nearby burger restaurant, Jack’s Burger Emporium, which was excellent.

Back in the room, we are able to see the twinkling lights of the city and the lightning show. Hopefully we will sleep well, before seeing the city tomorrow.


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