Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Last Legs of the Trip

Home at last!
Home at last!
Thank God Almighty, I'm home at last!

OK, that's a little dramatic, but after setting all new land speed records across three states, I'm finally home. It was a great trip, but it's good to be home.

Turns out I didn't miss anything in Western Wyoming. From Laramie west it was desolate--for the most part not even hills or mountains to look at. Things didn't improve until about 30 miles from the Utah border, although driving through a summer rainshower was quite refreshing.

Stayed at a friend's place in Salt Lake City. We watched V For Vendetta--very interesting movie, difficult to follow if you don't pay close attention. In that regard, and in the way the story unfolded, it reminded me of The Usual Suspects.

I left Salt Lake entirely too early this morning, heading west on I-80. A couple of years ago I heard about an interesting pair of cities, and I was curious about driving through them. See, there's Wendover, UT, and West Wendover, NV. For all intents and purposes they're one city--in fact, the Nevada part stays in Mountain Time since the city is closer to Salt Lake than to any other Pacific Time city. Anyway, the Utah city is dirt poor, and it shows. You can tell by looking. Cross the line on the street into Nevada (I'll post pictures later--I think the walls of the casinos actually border the state line) and you get into a nice place. Decent looking houses, trees and grass, the whole nine yards. One of my quickie ways to tell if there's a lot of poverty somewhere or not is to see how much greenery abounds--the more greenery, the more green :-) There was lots of greenery on the Nevada side of the line.

What makes these two cities interesting is the constitutional situation they afforded. Those who live in Utah have it crappy--not much money for local police, schools, etc. Those who live in Nevada have plenty of money for quality services. So there was talk of redrawing the state boundaries such that Wendover, UT, would become part of Nevada. This is allowed if both state legislatures approve, and then Congress must approve. Either both didn't approve or it didn't get that far, because there's still poor Utah and relatively rich Nevada.

From there I raced home. Gas in Winnemucca, and the next stop (besides the usual traffic in Roseville) was home.

By far the worst roads I traveled were in California. They don't need the "Welcome to California" sign on 80 after Reno--you can tell you've entered California by the crappy condition of the freeway. I admit, the resurfacing after Colfax was nice, but it's a long way from Floriston to Colfax. thudthudthudthudthud.... Crappy.

So I'm catching up on snail mail and email tonight--perhaps I'll get some pictures posted tomorrow.

It's good to be home.


Coach Brown said...

Hey Darren,

If I left Sacramento at about 7 in the morning, how far east could I get in a day?

Darren said...

Well past Salt Lake, apparently! If you take 80, I'd say into Wyoming but not anywhere there's people! I'd recommend stopping in Rock Springs for the night; there are a couple thousand people there.

It's odd. Wyoming is a huge place, yet it has fewer people than Sacramento County.

Walter E. Wallis said...

I guess the Wendover SAC base is closed, but how about the salt flats? No races?

Darren said...

I saw no signs indicating any SAC base--oh, and I think SAC and TAC merged to form Air Combat Command, ACC, a few years ago. Some air force weenie can confirm or deny that :-)

Salt Flats are still there--named after a West Pointer, I might add :-) And before some joker asks if his name was Salt or Flat, it was Bonneville.