After working a few hours early morning, we leave the Hotel at around 10:15am (Mountain time). I feed our navigation system the destination for the day: Idaho Falls. She calculates and feeds back that we have 508 miles ahead of us and that it will take us over 9 hours to get there.
It’s still HWY I-15 that leads us north, passing Zion National Park and later some wildfires around Beaver. We learn at the gas station that the wildfires have been going on for over a month already. There are indeed thick smoke clouds over the mountains and the air in the whole area is hazy. The gas station is combined with a Dairy Queen and even though it is not even lunch time we have a soft cone. Well, ice cream as a morning snack – why not?
Shortly after St. George the road starts to softly go up and after Beaver we reach elevations of 6,000 to 6,500 feet (about 2000 meters). The landscape is getting greener the further north we get and the rivers and lakes are not just blue spots on the map anymore, but indeed contain some water. We see cattle, sheep and horses grassing in the golden pastures and the bushes and trees are getting more in count and bigger in size.
A few hours later, in Salt Lake City we pass a team of 3 Highway Patrollers on their Harley Davidson bikes. I quickly grab the camera and try to take picture of them. When they see my camera, they even move lanes to come closer and wave their hands. But, stupid me, the battery of my camera is empty and, therefore, I’m sorry, no picture.
North of Ogden we are ready for some caffein and the car needs fuel as well so we stop at a gas station with McDonalds. There is no Starbucks close by, so our options are limited and we give it a go with McDonalds. We feel like stupid beginners as we try to order some blended, iced coffee. Eventually, we walk out with two iced lattes on the rocks (at least they are plain i.e. no sugar and no chocolate or other sirup). They taste good and fulfill the purpose.
In Idaho Falls we quickly find the hotel we stayed last year in June: the South Fork Inn. We check in, then go for dinner to the Outback Steakhouse and after dinner for a walk along the Snake River to watch the golden leaves of the trees and the Mormon temple in the sunset. It feels so good to go for a walk after sitting in the car for the whole day.
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