Click for larger imageGod 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 presence.

Click for larger imageThe road 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 the high 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.

Click for larger imageWe 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”

Click for larger imageI’ve 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…

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Road Trip 2003 Statistics
Day Number
Salt Lake City
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Miles to date
See Above
Funds Raised
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San Francisco to Maine, twenty two states, two countries and 8,000 miles...[More]
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