Friday, October 23, 2015


Dearest Readers,

8 am Mountain Time. Beautiful Ogden Utah
Approaching Ogden Utah
Spectacular desert journey yesterday from Rawlins Wyoming to Ogden Utah.  I’m in the thick of the Rockies in all their stark awesome beauty now. The mountains rise up like giants erupting right behind the city. The desert terrain adds to the rocky alien splendor for me. I’m used to thick stands of mountain-loving hardwoods and tall pines . There are almost no “normal-sized” trees in the desert I passed through. 
Sagebrush and gnarly bushes at a rest stop along I-80 in Coalville UT
At a rest stop a nature sign described the sagebrush as “Mama Sage”.  There are 13 varieties of this hardy plant that can survive on less than 6 inches of annual precipitation. It provides food and shelter for 150 desert species from wild horses to antelope, jackrabbits, tiny rodents, reptiles, birds, and insects.
Etta inspects little creature holes 

Wyoming's Great Continental Divide Basin
I crossed the Continental Divide twice in Wyoming at 7,000 and 6,900 feet elevations, then dove down into the wide open desert basin with its infinite stretches of earth and sky. I decided to enjoy the ride, and the imposing mountains up ahead along the horizon. I gave up trying to do the 80 mph official speed limit. The Scion toaster car was struggling to get up the mountains loaded like she is. I rolled along at 60-65 mph letting the trucks and cars sail past me.There wasn't much traffic.

Utah, and Wyoming near the Utah border provided the most dramatic mountain scenery. Buttes, bluffs, sand dunes, clay formations, mesas (table-tops), red clay striated mounds, and lovely pastel striped geological sedimentation.
Here's a sampling:

I left old man I-80 West around Ogden and will continue west and north on I-84.
My cross-country trip has been a delightful process of dramatizing a new phase of my life.

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