I spent some time last night trying to book a room for tonight and tomorrow night in Salt Lake City. I'd find a room at a half way ok price and by the time I'd checked out the reviews the rooms were all gone! It was mental, I've never seen anything like it. I finally managed to get a place but not cheap $90ish first night & $125ish the second. Bit of a scam they put the price up cos there's a high demand.
We woke to a clear sunny but not hot day. St George is surrounded by dramatic high red rock cliffs with large homes perched high up along the edges.
Setting off for Salt Lake City we took the highway out of town past soaring mountains and rockscapes. There was a big accident with a truck being winched back onto the road as we passed but we had soon had enough of all that and set the GPS to avoid highways. As usual it'll take longer so lovelands might have to be tomorrow.
We wound through rural areas, often on dirt roads passing corn fields. After a small salt flat we rounded the corner to find ourselves in Parowan Gap where we stopped to view the ancient petroglyphs. They were pretty cool, some showing large headed people (aliens?) others animals and some seemed to me to be simply abstracts. I couldn't help but ask the q when we saw other inscriptions from early settlers and what we call graffiti from modern vandals: were some (most?) of the ancient ones really per scientists either art or story telling or simply ancient teenagers leaving their mark? In other words, the work of ancient graffiti vandals?? In centuries to come when viewed will today's vandals similarly be seen as storytellers?
We passed through small towns many with plaques stating they were founded Iin the 1870's, 1880's etc After one such town, Milford, there was a road leading to a geothermal power plant. On the other side of the road we were on there was a solar farm and a little way on a really huge solar farm and a large wind farm. In this area they seem to have all but hydro covered when talking of sustainable power options. There are a number of hydro systems in Utah too but not in the area we were travelling in I don't think. Maybe not so sustainable but there were several small fracking operations here and there too.
Here and there cattle grazed on the salt bush, signs on the road reminded drivers there were no fences to stop them wandering into the road as one did causing us to use the other side of the road to get by.
Wildlife spotting for the day, Eagles, quails, prairie dog holes but no critters to be seen and a couple of vultures circling while we ate lunch. Deseret Fort is where we stopped to make lunch, an old Adobe brick fort dating back to 1866 built to protect against the Black Hawk Indians. Now it's mostly gone with just a few outer walls remaining to one degree or another.
We watched for a few hours as a big cloud bank crawled over the hills to the west, dumping rain to get the necessary lift to get past them. Our side remained sunny and close to cloud free. We were at about 5,500 feet elevation so it was quite the climb for the cloud bank.
At first we thought we were seeing things but slowly Utah Lake revealed itself. A gorgeous many hued body of water nestled at the foot of the mountains to our west. The first settlement of any substance was Saratoga Springs which looked very prosperous if a little Stepford like in that most of the houses were of a similar flavour and all the gardens were perfect, green grass abounded where til then we were used to dry conditions.
Petes not feeling too good, he seems to have some sort of a cold so we decided to not do anything this arvo. We will be here another day so can check out a few things tomorrow.
Before we got to our hotel we did some grocery shopping. Once there I asked why the room shortage and was surprised to be told it's an essential oils convention! What the?? Settled in our room we had a couple of issues, the extractor over the stove wasn't working and I wanted to cook some steaks. I got the manager to check it out and she had no clues but said go ahead, just point a fan out the window to try and suck it out.
It didn't work. We had the fire alarm going mental! Ah well I got dinner cooked and a curry on in the slow cooker for tomorrow night.
It wasn't a late night, Petes got quite a high temp so we are hoping to get him to sweat it out a bit with a good sleep.