We woke up to news of the DOMA and Proposition 8 Supreme Court decisions. We were having breakfast in the Days Inn, located in Brigham City Utah. We were notified by the Fox News reporter while we noshed on bagels, waffles and cereal. The continental breakfast was pretty good for a side of the interstate. I’m thinking our luck tomorrow morning won’t be as good.
This trip was hopefully going to check off some items on my bucket list. Traveling with two people who know me very well, I felt ok trying to suggest things that might be a little out of the way, but worth their weight in experience points.
My art history classes in college were hit and miss. There are tons of names and dates and ideas that I can rattle off, but not much that really sticks with me a long time. One of the things that had an effect on me was Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.
It’s located on the Great Salt Lake, about 40 miles away from Brigham City. The idea of public art that is made out of something natural strikes me in a way that paintings and photographs don’t. In my research of the Spiral Jetty, I found that the Golden Spike National Historic Site is on the road to the Spiral Jetty. Nerd-Do-Well Ashley is fascinated by trivial history as well as historic sites.
Jessica drove out to the Golden Spike National Historic Site first. We crossed over some railroad tracks, but I wasn’t expecting much other than a general marker and a visitors center. Doing research I found they were one of the places that sold the Interagency National Park passes ($80, a year of National Parks, Forests, State Parks, etc). When we got inside the visitor center we met a really nice ranger that upsold me to the park pass which I was already going to buy. He was super nice and laughed at my Sheldon Cooper joke. Why do you ask I made a Sheldon Cooper joke at a National Historic Site? Because the trains were on their way! He told us that we were on time to see the arrival of the 119 Steam Engine, a replica of the engine that was there at the finishing of the transcontinental railroad. We looked at an exhibit while we waited for the train to arrive.
There was a nice selection of photographic memorabilia on the wet plate process. The train arrived at about 10:15, and we were able to see it in motion as well as when they parked it, we got to see it up close.
We bought some postcards and played with some stamps before making way to the spiral jetty. (This was before Dale and I decided to get Betty her passport, and before we realized that cancellations at all the National Parks were something we would love).
There’s about 17 miles between the GSNHS and the Spiral Jetty. We passed some horses and some dead cows on the side of the road. When we got out there, after all we passed was the dead cows and the broken concrete that said “aliens” we actually met some rangers out there. They were from the BLM and they said that even though this was included in the land they cover, they had never been out there. We discovered a guest book under a rock that said guest book, and climbed down the rocks to the waters edge.
I wanted to walk all the way out, but the rocks have broken up since it was created and there weren’t enough spaced close enough for me to not fall in the salty pink water.
From there we got back onto I-15 North, passing a gigantic NASA rocket and a fireworks manufacturer. We drove through Utah into Idaho and stopped to have lunch in Malad. Nothing hits the spot better than a $5 footlong from Subway. We kept on going all the way through Idaho Falls (still no clue if there are waterfalls there) to West Yellowstone. We dipped into Montana and then into Wyoming and the corner of Yellowstone before following the Gallatin River up into Montana again to get to Bozeman.
West Yellowstone looks like a great place to fly into in the winter time. I’ll have to put that on my list. I’m still a good 15 hours away from seeing any other parts of Yellowstone, but I’m sure it’s even better in winter time. The Gallatin river was picturesque. The rivers here are flat and mild. You can see the river rocks that go into so many chimneys here.
We ended up at the TLC in in Bozeman. It’s a little janky, but I think it will do. We’re going to a tapas place for dinner tonight. We’re going to hit the grocery store tomorrow morning before we head out, and try to get to our campsite while there’s plenty of time to see other stuff in the late afternoon. I’m still crossing my fingers that our huge tent fits on whatever site they give us.
(Post Dinner Post)
Just got back from dinner at Over the Tapas. We had a fantastic meal prior to starting our four days of camping. There were more than a couple beers on tap with a substantial wine list. We ate curried lamb empanadas, steak and manchego cheese with chimichurri sauce, morrel mushroom croquettes, vegetable tangine, patatas bravas, fried plantains, lamb sliders and crab cakes. Even though we would probably fall into bed from the 1200 miles we’ve driven in two days, the food will definitely make us sleep well.