“If travel is like love, it is in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” – Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel.”
Adventures with Pepper: Day Five
Today’s drive down Highway 40 from Jordanelle State Park to Vernal was one I’d driven quite a few times before. The fact is there are very few roads in Utah that I haven’t driven.
I lived in the state for 25 years, and many were the times an itchy foot would attack me early on a Saturday morning. I would throw a few things in my car, gather up my canine traveling companion, and take off for the weekend. The road was always calling to me as far back as I can remember. After a divorce and after my children had fled the nest, I started answering it back every chance I could.
Highway 40 might haven taken me to Heber, where I might ride the Heber Creeper to Bridal Veil Falls; or to Rockport State Park, where I might set up my tent for the weekend; or to Flaming Gorge, where if I had timed it right, I might watch ospreys feed their chicks.
Highway 40 held the key to many of my memories. There was the tiny town of Myton, which recalled my float trips down the Green River and the rough, unpaved road trip back from the Sand Wash take out to Myton, where civilization began again.
Just past Roosevelt, I thought of the fancy Bottle Hollow Lodge, which I discovered no longer existed. The tourist attraction was a joint business project in the 1970s between the Ute Indians and Utah State University’s Extension Services.
I was working as a writer for USU at the time, and wrote about the venture as part of a marketing campaign. I recalled sleeping one night in the huge round beds that were the standard in the motel’s unique round rooms.
Up the road from where Bottle Hollow had been, there was a neon-lit motel, a bare step above a Motel 6, that now provided passersby overnight accommodations. I was glad I wasn’t stopping there.
I ended my day instead at Steinaker State Park, located just seven miles up Highway 191 from Vernal. It was my virgin visit to the park – and it was awesome.
Book Report: Travels with Maggie, 49,387 words.
Bean’s Pat: 23 Thorns http://23thorns.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/frog/ Ribbit. A long blog, but I loved it. I was hooked when the writer began to explain why his family wasn’t like other families.