Part Two: Wyoming/Utah – Arguably Better than Nebraska
(Continued from Day Two, Pt.1)
After a haul through Nebraksa, we finally hit Wyoming.
Shortly after entering Wyoming we also hit our halfway point – a relief.
And shortly after the halfway point we also started seeing some really awesome mountains in the distance. A lot happened in a short amount of time for us, which was a welcome change.
Forty-five minutes into Wyoming and we topped out our altitude at something like 8500 feet above sea level. While we were up in the air, we stopped for some Arby’s in Cheyenne. It gave us a chance to stretch our legs, check on the cats, and get gas in the sparcest air either of us had been it. (To be honest, we didn’t notice anything amiss.) We switched so D could drive.
Then we started to hit the good stuff. Scenery kind of just exploded.
It was a welcome change after all the plains. You know what wasn’t a welcome change?
35+ MPH winds were eating all our gas mileage and making vehicle control pretty difficult. Since the speed limits out there are all 75/80MPH, controlling your fully laden, speeding car while wind blasts it from pretty much every angle got a bit tiring. This went on for the remainder of our trip through Wyoming (and got worse in Utah where they upped it to a 50+ MPH wind advisory.) It appeared that Wyomingites were taking full advantage of all of the wind advisories, though. There were windmills everywhere that went on for MILES.
A brief respite from the wind was also one of the coolest parts of the trip: I got to drive through a tunnel in a mountain!
It was the highlight of my day, for sure. The highlight of Darin’s, however, was probably our rapid decent into Salt Lake City. We switched drivers towards the border, where I got a horribly-timed and incredibly-blurry shot of the Utah welcome sign.
We entered Utah at roughly 6500 feet elevation, and spent the next half hour rapidly dropping about 2200 feet towards Salt Lake City…in the dark. Darin wasn’t thrilled, although I was able to get a neat shot of another beautiful sunset before we went spiraling down Utah’s maw.
We passed through Park City on our way down, and it was the most adorable little chalet town (from what we could tell – it was pretty dark). We both decided it was the cutest part of Day Two. Then we arrived in Salt Lake City, which was way bigger than either of us imagined, and we settled in at a Holiday Inn Express. (By the way, if you’re travelling with animals I cannot recommend PetsWelcome.com enough.) The cats got crazy for a bit, we checked some emails, then we passed out, ready for our trip to be over the next day.
Scenery Rating: 10 (Points for mountains, Dix, Park City, and DRIVING THROUGH A MOUNTAIN.)
Driveability Rating: 8 (Score reduced for wind, omg.)