Bless America…and 75 mile per hour speed limits.
MUNI Guy and I bid farewell to Ely (which is deceptively pronounced
E-lee) and pointed the MINI northward. Ten miles north of Ely rests
the decaying bones of McGill; then, over a hundred miles of nearly empty
space to the border of Utah.
Northern Nevada is an excellent place to ponder the existential questions
of life. Standing next
to the road, the landscape framed by distant mountains, the only sound
the crunch of the gravel under my feet, perspective begins to change.
The silence is pure, the lines of distant hills recall a time long before
I was born, the stillness a marker of time proceeding indifferent to my
slopes downward as we reach Utah. The brush and mountains change
to empty, white salt flats. The bleached white salt stretches to
the horizon and is interrupted only by the mangled
ruins of a trailer.
Once settled into the Salt Lake City Shilo Inn, I drag MUNI Guy to see
holy temple of Mormonism. We arrive in time to catch the 3:30
pm performance of the Holy
Rolling Crazy Christians, apparently related to the funeral-picketing
cretins who visit San Francisco from time to time. The loudest of
the duo spews forth an obnoxiously loud anti-Mormon speech while wearing
a six-inch wide “No Homos” sticker. At least he and the Mormons agree
on one point.
are greeted several times by young Mormon missionaries from around the
globe, all female, all wearing matching tight white blouses, tight black
skirts and nametags bearing the flag of their home countries. Oddly,
there are no homely, heavyset, older or male missionaries in Salt Lake
City today. I even got cruised on the Temple grounds.
Much to my dismay, the old Union Pacific Railroad Station, while still
grand inside, has been converted into an Orange County-esque mall,
decked from side to side with American flags and a dancing
water fountain that performs on the hour to “God Bless America”.
now delivered MUNI Guy to the airport for his return to San Francisco,
washed the MINI and am considering Karaoke night at the local gay pub.
With Will and Grace on the side
of every bus and train in the city, I’m thinking this might not be
the same Salt Lake City I remember from fifteen years ago.
Tomorrow, onward to Idaho
Falls and an adventure in nuclear power…