California to Colorado

Time to go home! We’ve been on the road for two months and enjoyed every day of it. But overdue maintenance is evidence, and our little Colorado cabin misses us. I wish for winter. So we parked our trailer in Sacramento, detached the 5th wheel hitch. We transformed ourselves into normal traveling people, sleeping in hotels, carrying suitcases and eating in tourist traps.

The most direct way back home is 1400 mi = 2250 km. We’ll reach La Veta in 5 days with stops in Reno, Elko, Salt Lake City, Durango. We had a southern alternative route, but I wanted to drive on new routes, and the weather forecast optimism was contagious.

Driving home was like watching the two last months in fast forward. We switched from the sweet Bodega Bay bathed in Mediterranean climate to a snowmageddonned highway 80 near Lake Tahoe. Then high deserts or Reno, Bonneville salt flats, the Great Salt Lake, the Utah gorgeous nothingness, and the most beautiful of all : Colorado. Vegetation! Mountains! This country is huge and contrast striking.

The local dive car park view, in Bodega Bay. Low tide.
next day, the sun slowly sets while driving to Rena, NV.
It has been snowing last week. Gimme a snowboard, or death!

Reno is a mix : officially of a small and big city. To me, it’s more of a mountain resort and a Nevada casino mushroom town. We’ve found a nice brewery at the old train depot, with some interesting crafted beers.

Reno by Night. It’s around zero degree Fahrenheit.

Inspired by Las Vegas strip, pink neon and flashing lights are gambler magnets.
The depot brewery
Reno by Day.
Reno also hosts in September a renowned airplane race. :)_

Nevada is big and empty. The two days drive from Reno to Salt Lake City is an immense wasteland : just hills and desert vegetation. Close to the north is the Burning Man “Black Rock City” site. A few small towns are scattered along the I-80 highway. We made a stop in Elko, seizing the opportunity to have the oil leak on transmission fixed – it’s probably not too good to have a breakdown around here.

Between Reno and SLC is a stretch of Nothing. Nothing is beautiful.
old small towns and the life along the highway.

We had not much time to stop and explore on the way. As I’m busy with my computer projects while we’re traveling, I miss some opportunities to experience the surroundings. We’ll get organized better for the next trips : have more spare time and less random wandering, maybe. The most important thing is to avoid tourist places at crowded times. Anything else makes any travel and enlightening experience .

We reached the Bonneville Speedway – but our motorcycles are in the trailer. That’s the kind of missed opportunity I was talking about…

They say you can see earth curvature on salt flats. I think here it’s just the camera lens.

No Lola, it isn’t snow!

Lola doesn’t even care the supralateral arc.

Salt Lake is a big city, sitting between a big lake and a mountain range. Looks a nice place for the outdoor-ish crowd. But the local regulations restrict the content of alcohol for tap beer. To know how it feels, take your fave beer, dilute it with a big glass of water and enjoy. I suspect this is another quantity vs. quality challenge. I experience it sometimes myself.

we followed that mirage for a while. About 100km of a salt flat.
100km of perfectly straight road.
Amagad! Snow! Lola loves snow. She loves everything, anyhow.

Entering Utah…

It gets rockier here

We spent a night in Moab, it’s a nice place to stay when off season. Fix of the day : Jess’s glasses.

Visiting and picnicking in a small town in Colorado.
The excellent Ska Brewery is a 20 y.o. institution in Durango, CO
behind this rock is Wolf Creek Pass, then Alamosa, then La Veta! Home!