Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Highway 84’

 “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” E. B, White

Thirty-thousand years ago, only the very tallest peak of Antelope Island, which now sits in Great Salt Lake, would have been visible when Lake Bonneville covered nearly all of Northern Utah. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

My laptop computer finally began misbehaving too badly to ignore any longer. Since it’s my lifeline to the world as a full-time RV-er and daily blogger, and because it had given me four years of decent service, I decided it was time to retire it.

Since I’m rather in the boonies here at Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park, 45 miles away from the closest Best Buy, I decided to drive 160 miles instead to Ogden, Utah, where I had a geeky-in-a-good-way friend whom could help me set up a new computer.

The historical marker at an Idaho rest stop that got me pondering the ever-changing face of the planet we live on.

It was a beautiful drive, sunny albeit a bit windy, mostly through land that 30,000 years ago lay beneath Lake Bonneville. A large historical marker at a rest stop just north of the Utah border tells travelers all about the prehistoric lake, whose shorelines are still in evidence along Interstate 84 which I was driving on this day.

The majority of the 1,000-foot-deep prehistoric lake was in Utah and its two distinct levels were clearly visible from my front porch when I formerly lived in Ogden. I can’t help but notice the ancient shorelines – there’s two distinct levels – every time I return to this city I loved.

The lake took up a huge portion of Utah and smaller bits of Nevada and Idaho until it broke though Idaho’s Red Rock Pass east of 84 about 15,000 years ago.

Great Salt Lake is all that’s left of Lake Bonneville today. It’s average depth is only about 25 feet.

Because I had stopped at the rest stop and seen the sign, I pondered as I drove, about how Mother Nature, with her floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and water and wind erosion is constantly changing the nature of this planet we live on.

I had long ago given up believing I was ever fully in control of my life, and now felt sorry for all those who hadn’t yet reached that conclusion. All we can do is take life a day at a time.

This day was a good one. I even got into Ogden in time to purchase my new computer. It’s a beauty, with more bells and whistles than I will probably ever use. But, everything didn’t go as planned.

Murphy showed up just to show me he could. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

.

Read Full Post »

My first sunrise for the year at Lake Walcott reminded me of lemon and blueberries. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.” — Laurence Olivier

*Travels With Maggie

The wind blew last night, hard enough for my RV, Gypsy Lee, to rock and roll. I thought about sticking around Ogden for an extra day, but decided to drive to Idaho’s Lake Walcott State Park as planned. It was only 160 miles away after all.

Yup! Just 160 miles that took me through three dust storms and wind that almost blew me off the road before I exited Interstate 84 onto Highway 24 to Lake Walcott, with the wind continuing to taunt me the entire way.

Except for that, it was a nice drive beside the Wasatch Mountains, through farmlands, and past Snowville, just south of the Idaho border. The route then took me over Sweetzer Pass, either side of which is where the wind blew hardest, and finally over the Snake River.

Interstate 84, which follows Interstate 15 north to Tremonton before splitting, is nothing like the interstate south of Ogden, which snarled me in traffic last week on my way north. While there were occasional big semis, this four-lane highway from Ogden to Idaho was mostly a peaceful, scenic and uncrowded route.

A cheery robin outside my RV welcomed me back, too. -- Photo by Pat Bean

When I arrived at the park, I noted that while I had left Texas just as “summer” was arriving, spring hadn’t fully visited Lake Walcott. Many of the park’s grand big trees were still leafless. The lake, meanwhile, with its waves being influenced by the high winds, looked like an ocean. .

I though about about getting some photographs of the water lapping over the boat docks, but decided to rest awhile from my difficult drive first. By the time I awoke from a short nap, the winds had calmed and the lake was almost back to normal.

I was sorry I had let the opportunity pass, especially after park workers told me that the lake had been the worse they had ever seen it. In fact, the wind storm actually did some damage to one of the boat docks here.

Even so it felt good to be ba.ck. Last summer I was a campground host here for six weeks. This year I’ll be here all year. While park workers greeted my return with enthusiasm. Also extending a welcome note to my return was a spectacular sunrise and a cheery robin when I awoke to the next morning.

Life is good.

*And so ends my month long, 2,600-mile zig-zagging, sight-seeing journey from Texas to Idaho. Thanks to those who came along for the ride. But please tune in again tomorrow, the adventures are not over yet.

Read Full Post »

This remnant of the Natchez Trace took me back in history -- and made me think of fairy tale warnings about dark forests. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Travels With Maggie

 I was in Mississippi, headed west on Highway 84, with no campground reservation for the night. I was hoping the road would provide – and it did. Just outside the city of Natchez, I came across signs pointing the way to Natchez State Park.

 The public campground was yet another of those southern gems that had been enriching my travels for the past couple of weeks. It sits near the western terminus of the Natchez Trace, a 440-mile long ridge-line trail created by prehistoric animals traveling between bottom grasslands along the Mississippi River and salt licks near what is now Nashville, Tennessee.  The animal foot path was discovered and used by the Indians, and then by early European explorers and settlers.

I found the park so delightful that I spent three nights before altering my route to drive a short section of the trace. My eagerness to do so might have been influenced by the fact I had just recently read Nevada Barr’s murder mystery “Deep South,” which is set along the parkway, and the images she had painted of the scenery were still vivid in my mind. 

 It was a pleasant drive with almost no traffic through a landscape where human development has been banned. When I came across a place where the original trace was still visible, I stopped for a closer look. A National Park Service marker here informed me that “… The Natchez Trace was politically, economically, socially, and militarily important for the United States in its early development. Among those that traveled the road were American Indians, traders, soldiers, ‘Kaintucks,’ postriders, settlers, slaves, circuit-riding preachers, outlaws, and adventurers.”

Road marker along the parkway -- Photo by Pat Bean

 I felt like one of the latter when Maggie and I set foot on the remnants of that old footpath. It was if we were walking back in time. This section of the trail was closely hemmed in by trees whose limbs formed a roof above our heads. It was like walking through a tunnel, and the dim light that penetrated the ground brought to mind all those fairy tales that warned about being caught alone in the forest.

Back in my RV,  I followed the path of the Natchez Trace on my map all the way up to Nashville, but left it physically after only 28 miles. Driving the trace in its entirety is now on my bucket list.

Read Full Post »