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Posts Tagged ‘Interstate 15’

If you think adventures are dangerous, try routine: It’s lethal.: — Paul Coelho

Mount Ogden reflection on the new Standard-Examiner newspaper building back in 2000. Sadly, the newspaper has shrunk since I left, as have most newspapers all across the county. But the mountain is as majestic as ever, still having snow on it during my July visit because of good winter snows. — Photo by Pat Bean

Awesome Mountains, Nasty Traffic and Friendship 

Day 8 Continued: We made good time for the first 300 miles of this day’s 350-mile journey from Battle Mountain, Nevada, to Ogden, Utah, coming into Salt Lake City about 3 p.m.

As usual, I got a bit misty-eyed on first seeing the string of Wasatch Mountains that dominate this eastern Utah landscape for 160 miles.

Personally, I think these mountains, which form the western edge of the Rockies, are among the most beautiful in the world. I worked and played in their shadow for 25 years, and climbed and hiked many of them during that time. While I left them 15 years ago, they are still in my heart.

I-15 traffic near Salt Lake City. — Salt Lake Tribune photo

But just as happy as I was to see these mountains once again, their appearance came with a dark side – Interstate 15. Our up-to-this-point pleasant drive changed moods when it intersected with this freeway. Construction and mind-blowing, horrendous traffic often slowed our progress north to less than 10 mph. It took nearly two hours to drive the less than 50 miles between Salt Lake and Ogden.

I had never enjoyed driving I-15 when I lived in the area, but traffic on it seems only to get worse with every passing year, especially between Ogden and Provo – what is known as the Wasatch Front where the vast majority of Utahns live. It was 5 p.m. when Jean and I and our two doggies, Dusty and Scamp, finally reached Kim’s home.

Kim and I hamming it up at a photo booth at her son’s wedding reception.

My best-friend-forever Kim and I have known each other now for 40 years. We’ve worked together, cried together, hiked and rafted together, went on an African safari together, climbed to the top of Zion’s Angel’s Landing together in all kinds of weather, gotten drunk together … well, this list could go on and on. Needless to say, there was a big hug awaiting me when I finally arrived – and a hug for my friend Jean, too, and welcoming pats for our canine friends as well. Like me, Kim is an animal lover.

The three of us lazed around for the rest of the evening, sitting outside in Kim’s fenced backyard where Scamp and Dusty got to stretch their legs once again. We spent the hours catching up on each other’s lives and drinking Jack and Cokes — Kim, who knows me well had stocked up on my favorite adult beverage.

Being able to once again spend time with a good friend, while lingering outside to watch the sun cast its rays on Mount Ogden and Mount Ben Lomond was well worth any traffic hassle I had to overcome to get here.

In my book, the day was as perfect as any day could be.

Bean Pat: Hootie Bird’s Art Journal https://hootiebirdsartjournal.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/this-is-why-i-am-not-a-portrait-artist/  I love this.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Checkerboard Mesa

Checkerboard Mesa

 “A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.” — Tim Cahil

*Travels With Maggie

The fastest, shortest way to Ogden, Utah, from the Watchman Campground in Zion National Park is to head west to hook up with Interstate 15.

The longer, more scenic route with minimal truck traffic is to head east from the campground on Highway 9 and then take Highway 89 north as far as possible – which is of course the one I took.

"...at the lemonade springs, where the bluebird sings, oh the Big Rock Candy Mountain." Not just a song, but a place. Highway 89 passes right by it at Marysville. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This choice required me to backtrack up twisting hairpins to the mile-long mountain tunnel and then to retrace my route of a week ago through the park’s fantastic scenery, like Checkerboard Mesa. Unless I’ve been extremely pressed for time, its always the route I’ve taken between Zion and Ogden, where I lived from for over 20 years.

I had 360 miles ahead of me, the longest day’s driving since I started this journey. But my week in Zion had left me well-rested, and I wouldn’t be stopping to do any sight-seeing this day on this very familiar route.

Instead I would satisfy myself with simply seeing the world around me from behind my RV, Gypsy Lee’s, steering wheel. As I watched the familiar sights, and of course the birds along the way, Maggie snoozed beside me.

In the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains, I always feel at home. This is the view from my friend, Kim's, backyard. -- Photo by Pat Bean

As usual when driving, I don’t listen to music instead choosing to let the symphony in my mind entertain me. It was quite pleasant communing with my little gray cells until Spanish Fork, where Highway 89 meets up with Interstate 15 for the last 90 miles of my journey.

My timing at this point was as bad as it gets – Friday during rush hour when everyone wants to get home or away for the weekend.

Although Interstate 15 had been widened to eight lanes in many places, it still didn’t seem enough to handle all the vehicles on the road. While I was ready for my journey to include people again, I wasn’t ready for this fallout that came with it.

Maggie awoke when I finally turned off the interstate, and begin getting excited. It’s what she always does when Gypsy Lee gets close to familiar places. And when I finally pulled into the driveway of my and Maggie’s friend, Kim, we both felt we were temporarily home.

Maggie renewed her acquaintance with Neo, Kim’s dog that is six times as big as Maggie but whom she thinks she has to boss around. I, meanwhile, got caught up on all the latest news from Kim, who eased my long day’s drive with fried chicken and a Jack and Coke.

Everyone should have such a thoughtful friend.

*Day 18 of my journey, May 6, 2011.

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