Here we are in Beef Country. Along with its nickname, which we were informed of just after we crossed the border (and which automatically makes it my favorite state of course), Wyoming also seems to be full of a lot of wide-open space. Being girls from the West Coast and growing up in towns where mountains close in around us like a security blanket, we have been obsessively taking pictures – of bright blue skies that go on indefinitely, red rocks that are so huge and flat you could build a football field at the top, and miles and miles of land that stretch out until your vision fails. We have about 3 hours to go until we reach our friend Jyndia in Denver and if we see another billboard telling us to come to this place called Little America because of their new shower heads and spotless restrooms (yes, some of the ads do actually say that) we might throw ourselves in front of one of those million semis.
I am currently sitting in the car while Adrienne drives and guess who we have chosen to listen to off my iPod of 10,000 songs: the Jonas Brothers! Now before you start judging us based on our adolescent, teen-pop musical taste I must remind you that we have now been on the road for two days and have already gone through the musical likes of everyone from Bon Iver to Brand New and even a little Coldplay. We have also been driving on the same strip of flat road for the past 5 hours, passing about a million semi-trucks and plateaus – probably going a little bit crazy. So if the Jonas Brothers are the only ones who can keep us awake and driving we are going for it! (Note: After about 3 songs, we have realized our insanity is only getting worse and switched over to something else.)
Yesterday we drove 580 miles from Lake Tahoe to Salt Lake City through Nevada, my least favorite state in all of America. It was boring and flat and I got a speeding ticket from a incredibly rude and patronizing police officer for driving too fast in a construction zone that I didn’t even know was a construction zone. Whatever, Nevada. The only cool part about the entire state was when we finally saw the “You are now leaving Nevada” sign. We then proceeded to drive through the Bonneville Salt Flats, which was actually rather beautiful with its vast plains of white desert and low mountains that seemed to float on the horizon line. Passing by Great Salt Lake, I was reminded of Terry Tempest Williams and her narrative of natural life in Utah, which I have now come to believe is a vastly, underestimated state. It was probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Salt Lake City was pretty amazing too – a city that both Adrienne and I wouldn’t mind living in if we ever wanted to live anyplace other than the West Coast. This morning we headed over to the Mormon Temple for a whirlwind tour of the Tabernacle with perfect acoustics and world-famous choir (Mormon Tabernacle Choir, of course), and a quick walk around their Temple Courtyard. Incidentally, we saw three different sets of wedding ceremonies taking place and some pretty awesome statues of Joseph Smith.
We just passed yet another sign informing us of a nearby state penitentiary and that we are not allowed to pick up hitchhikers for the next 2 miles. Damn, we were just about to pick up a nice-looking man in an orange jumpsuit.
See you tomorrow.