Day 1: leaving home, bound for Cedar City, Utah
The short-term goal for the first day of travel was Vegas by lunchtime.
Vegas in the early afternoon on Saturday isn't all bright lights and glitz - it's more like just plain gaudy. And HOT, and crowded. The crush of people proved to be a little much for the kids; we changed our plans to have lunch at one of the casino restaurants and headed for the familiar red-white-and-yellow safe harbor of our beloved In-N-Out Burger.
Our detour to the Zion National Park later that day took us through the interestingly-named towns of Hurricane (in Utah?) and Virgin. The rock formations in the small corner of northwestern Arizona that we drove through on the road to Utah were gorgeous, but Zion was simply awe-inspiring.
One good thing we noticed pretty quickly once we left California is that gas really did get noticeably less expensive. By the time we reached southwestern Utah in the evening, we were seeing per-gallon prices for premium that were less than $4.50; we're paying more than that for regular at home now.
Day 2: Cedar City to Logan, Utah
There's a lot of nice ranch land in central Utah, but not much else. Sunday is a quiet travel day, and many businesses are closed. This was particularly suprising to the kids, who are used to the 24/7 culture of Southern California.. As we discovered that I-15 really only skirts Salt Lake City, lunch was at a Chili's in Bountiful that wasn't especially busy - after turning away from yet another Subway that was closed. After lunch, our detour for the day was to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake where - yes - we actually did see three antelope, plus one bison.
After big breakfasts and lunches, no one was really hungry in the evening, which was just as well - because, again, we didn't find any open restaurants. Tall Paul and I took a walk for a few blocks down Main Street - yes, our motel was on Main Street - and felt like we had traveled back to 1957. It wasn't just because of the old buildings, but because the streets were so quiet and no businesses were open. We decided that in come ways, we really liked it
Monday's plan calls for a scenic-highway drive into Wyoming, with a stop in Jackson, and arrival at the Lake Yellowstone hotel that evening, where we'll settle in for three Internet-free nights.