Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer Road Trip: Utah and Nevada

We continued our journey through the states and made it to Utah. The first visitor center had a nice sign for photos just on the other side of the parking lot. Not sure if you noticed, but we stopped at a visitor center in each state because Adam insisted we had to stop to pick up a state map. Never mind the fact that we had a current Atlas for us, atlas' for the kids, google map print outs, a GPS, and maps on my phone. He has turned into a total DAD on these trips! Why do they all need more and more maps???

D and L were super excited to see more prairie dogs running around by the building eating food that had fallen.

One of the places along the route the kids were most excited to see were the Bonneville Salt Flats! Have you watched the movie The World's Fastest Indian? It's a great movie that takes place there and talks about the racing that has occurred in the area for decades. D was the one that was just itching to get out there and run on the salt flats, and Adam was happy to let her! We just pulled off to the side of the road in a safe place and let them run. We scrapped up some of the salt on the top layer and brought it home for my dad. My dad has a love of cars, racing, and travel and has not yet made it out west yet even though he has dreamed of it for as long as I can remember. It was the least we could do.   I found it really interesting to see all the tires marks as we drove along. People get out there and drive around all the time. I also thought it was really neat all the messages people left either spelling it out with rocks or writing in the salt. Very cool stuff!

And just like that, we cross into Wendover Nevada. You can tell that gambling is all the thing here, there are slot machines in the bathroom!!!
Once again we found a camp site through the free camping website. This was South Fork State Recreational area in Nevada just south of Elko. We got in later than we wanted, we got lost in the park trying to find the tent camping, and tensions began to run high. We finally found our location, set up camp for the night, and ate a quick dinner. The kids and I got in the tent while Adam cleaned up, we had a lantern on inside the tent while we wrote about our day in our travel journals. It sounded like it was raining, and that was when I realized it sounded that way from all the bugs hitting the outside of the tent. YUCK!!!!
We set up the tent on the gravel by the picnic shelter because we saw tons of prairie dog holes in the ground. We didn't want to take any chances. In the morning, L had noticed that the prairie dogs has closed up their holes overnight. Hmmm, I guess we didn't need to worry. We packed up with the exciting knowledge that by that night we would be at our friend's house in the Bay Area! California here we come!!!
This casino houses the world's largest dead polar bear. We had heard that they have postcards with him on them so I headed into the casino to take a look. The place was pretty empty, and I struggled to find a worker, much less one that spoke English. I found the bear, looked around, and didn't see anything. The bartender finally saw me and asked if I needed help. I asked about the postcards and she looked at me like I was crazy. I explained how I read they had some postcards, and that maybe they were out of them. She laughed and said they haven't had those for about 40 years. Oh well!

This was at a really pretty rest stop along the way in Nevada, pretty much right in the middle of the dessert. The bathrooms themselves were horrible, but the rest of the area was really nice.

And finally on our last travel day before we arrive, we stopped at a pizza place for a pizza buffet lunch just outside Reno. The kids thought this little guy was so cute they needed their picture with him.
California bound, here we come!!!!!


Melissa Gephardt said...

So fun! I've been through that area-salt flats, Wendover, etc many times! We lived just a few hours north in Idaho. And you got to see whistle pigs! That's what those little critters are called because they whistle out to each other when someone is near. They're technically called Paiute Ground Squirrels, but everyone calls them whistle pigs. They're fun to watch. :)

Hippie Mama Kelly said...

Whistle Pigs! How fun! They were a blast to watch, and I really love watching the landscape along this section. Thanks for the comment!

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