|Dramatic spire points a finger skyward from the rocky buttes and rolling hills outside Price Utah.|
"Go to the market across the way. They have a decent deli counter," she advised. We did and were quite satisfied. We didn't get off as cheap as we'd have liked, but that's what happens when you shop hungry. We left with a decent dinner of salads, chicken and lots of easy-to-eat road food that would constitute several meals for us.
The next morning, I was the first person there to gather our breakfast, and was able to ask about the two gowns displayed in the hotel lobby / breakfast area I'd noticed checking in the night before. They were colorful, a swirl of vibrant red and black and white, trimmed with lace and paired with bold necklaces. I asked if they were Polish, a part of my ancestry I had little exposure to. Diane had fond memories of her Mom, Sophia, wearing them to celebrations when they lived in Chicago. I wished I had more time to get a better sense of what that was like and what brought them to Price. We exchanged emails, so perhaps I can learn more.
Sophia gave me a warm hug when I turned in our keys for checkout.
|One last snowy pass on shortcut highway 6, before we dropped into the Salt Lake City area.|
Again we wondered about the demise of so many small frontier towns. Some were hanging in there, like historic Helper, Utah. When I first saw the billboard for "Historic Helper" I was thinking it was some new phone application to help me learn more about the history of small towns, which would be really cool.
Nope. Turns out Helper is a former rail town, which later became a coal mining town, a veritable hotbed of ethnic diversity in its heyday, as is often the case where much cheap labor is required.
Again, we wondered, what made places like Spring Glen and Salt Lake City a mecca for the then far more exclusive Mormons? It's a mystery for folks like us, speeding through.
Approaching Salt Lake City, it was kind of depressing after so many far flung small towns, to enter the ugliness of sudden suburbia with its big squares and rectangles of homes and strip malls, seemingly fighting each other for limited space.
Fortunately, in Salt Lake City, we were connecting with a friend, Holly Stokes, who relocated back to the Salt Lake area, where most of her family lives, from Vancouver Washington.
it was good see Holly happy, and healthy, her wellness business re-establishing itself quickly there. She was tickled that she could easily take a half day off work to get in skiing and scarcely had to leave her neighborhood to do it.
|This wind farm sprouted as we descended down and passed through a tunnel. |
It was good to see some clean energy taking hold in the heart of this coal country.
We still kept close to our $100 maximum for a room, but by trading off a stroll in downtown Boise, we got a pretty cush room at Candlewood Suites in Meridian, Idaho. A few seconds essence of eau du cow outside was a reasonable trade for a super comfortable king-sized bed in a nonsmoking room with real plates and silverware, a full-sized fridge/freezer, microwave and a dishwasher.... We didn't take the time to use the gym or hot tub or check out the board games, but we didn't rush out the door in the morning either. It was a good splurge. The room was just too nice not to appreciate it. I spent a month at a Residence Inn when I first started working for Hewlett-Packard. Candlewood Suites was definitely giving Residence Inn a run for the money.
|Utah's portion of the Rocky Mountains (as seen from our car window, underway).|
We're docked at St. Helens Oregon at the moment, though still playing catch up on one or two more posts of our road trip from Florida to the Portland area. Keep following it to learn about what it's like to return to a boat after leaving it for eight months.