DAY TWO

Lake Tahoe to Salt Lake City

We enjoyed our short stay in Lake Tahoe. The ride down the mountain was just as beautiful as the road up, and we snapped a few pictures of the views in the crisp morning light. We stopped at a gas station to grab coffee, Mountain Dew, peanuts, and cheez-its to sustain us during the longest leg of our road trip, from Stateline, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah.

I-80

The snow capped mountains are behind us now, and ahead of us lies the straight, smooth drive up and across Nevada along the Interstate 80 freeway. We listen to music, chat, and eat snacks while flying along at 80 mph.

The check engine light blinks on about three hours into our drive, and we pull into a lonely gas station/casino in Winnemucca to troubleshoot.

Blue and purple neon lights glow on the left in the casino half of the gas station. We pick up a bottle of coolant and hit the road again.

Obligatory chicken fries lunch stop at BK in Elko, NV. Coulton is thrilled.

We continue on toward Salt Lake City, and we see mountains ascend from the horizon, their tops dusted in white snow.

Next we come up on the Bonneville Salt Flats. They are covered in a slick of water, and we pull over to snap some photos. It's very quiet, and the landscape stretches to the horizon in a hazy blue grey all around us.

After poking around the flats, we walk back to the car. 100 miles more until Salt Lake City.

I finally caught Coulton singing along.

We arrive in Salt Lake City around 7pm, check into our hotel, and hastily pick out a restaurant. It's Sunday evening, and here, almost everything shuts down for the sabbath. We decide on one of a handful of open restaurants and jump in the car to drive there. The city is deserted. We circle for five minutes trying to find an open parking garage, and in this time we see only a handful of pedestrians, one of whom is a homeless man rummaging through the trash. It's disturbingly silent and empty, and in some ways more desolate than the open land and the salt flats we drove through to get to this city.

We ultimately end up at Cheesecake Factory, since our first choice is closed by the time we find it. When we emerge from the restaurant and walk back down the empty streets, we take in the strange, lonely beauty of Salt Lake City on a Sunday night.

The Mormon cathedral is one of the few buildings we see people buzzing around. It glows white and gold from behind a stone wall, and we admire it for two seconds before heading back to the hotel for a well deserved night of rest.

The check engine light is still glowing orange, but we begin the next leg of our trip regardless. I pick out the snacks today, and it's coffee, kind bars, string cheese, and Cheerios. We continue on; next stop, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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