Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Driving to Oregon

I thought it would be fun to blog about my drive to Oregon, since I never put photos in my blogs and they're always about either politics or how dating in Utah is as cool as wearing socks with sandles I thought I would try something new.

So I started in Layton and I packed my car up about as full as I could comfortably get it.

On the way there, I saw a whole bunch of Porsche's

I decided I would join them in my Hyundai.

It was mostly just because there was about 20 of them and they were hogging both left lanes, it was most obnoxious.

After a brief stop at Joe's for a BBQ which never happened due to technical assembly difficulties (believe me, having put a grill together last week I understand these difficulties all to well) I set off west on I-80. My first (and last) exciting thing to see was the Magna Smokestack, which is actually the tallest free standing structure west of the Mississippi River (really, it's true!)

Finally I arrived at the ocean.

No I'm kidding, that's actually just the Great Salt Lake.

It didn't really hit me just how long and boring of a drive this was going to be until I read this sign.

I saw some lake terraces and thought a trip to geology just wouldn't be complete without some Bonneville Terrace pictures.

Next I came across some Aragonite, however it was a freeway exit rather than the mineral.

After more driving I came to the Salt Flats. They're actually flooded in parts right now, something I'd never seen, but it was kind of cool to witness how they form. The salt from the GSL overflows into the flat basin and deposits when the water evaporates leaving behind layers of salt.

Towards the western edge I came across the "tree" of gambling. This is more representative of what the salt flats normally look like.

I chased the sunset and I almost won.

This is the only tunnel I think I've ever seen on an interstate, so I felt it necessary to document.

Along the way, as you can see in the prior photo, I hit the biggest swarm of bugs known to mankind. It was so thick that at first I thought it was raining and turned my windshield wipers on. This was not a smart idea. When I stopped in Winnemucca to get food I noticed my bumper and was absolutely amazed at the disgustingness of it.

Since Nevada is boring beyond words I actually didn't take any more photos until I got to Reno. Reno is less boring. It was about 3am and the town was alive still.

I ran from the sunrise and I almost won.

Then the fog came. The fog was thicker than any fog I had seen before in my life. Though being that in Utah fog almost never happens this probably isn't saying much.

It was pretty freaky to drive in. Give me snow any day over this crap.

I just felt this was really pretty.

I got to some junction of random state roads and needed gas, so I stopped at the only station I could find. It was incredibly expensive.

I was a little weirded out to see that they were out of two types of fuel. I'd never seen that before.

Unfortunately they were also out of regular unleaded.

However my car gets good gas mileage and I figured I had enough to get to the next town so it wasn't a huge deal. On the way there as if out of no where Mt. Shasta appeared on the horizon and was almost the most amazing thing I'd ever seen.

I stopped in the town of Mt. Shasta for fuel and a McDonalds bagel. It's a nice quaint town. The sleeping giant is amazing still. I'm fairly certain it's the biggest mountain I've ever seen in person at just over 14,100 feet. Oddly enough I didn't see Shasta Soda for sale in the gas station.

There was an interesting black volcanic looking things a little distance north of Shasta. I don't know what it is.

Yes, this is actually exactly what I think when I think of Northern California...

Except instead of "3" I think "every"

I was almost there, I could see airplane trails, likely coming from Medford. It was the first sign of actual civilization I had seen since Salt Lake City. (Reno doesn't count as I am pretty sure that they still observe an anarchy system of government)

There were some terraced rocks with a sign that said "rocks" and I thought it was kind of funny.

Oh yay! I can almost unpack and fall asleep.

I hung my flag and declared it nap time.

The end.

Anyway, so far it has been all right. Ashland is a very different town. The mountains are kind of little. They have water that tastes like ass (not that I taste that on a regular basis) running from fountains downtown and people that get high and walk on train tracks with drums. I got some yogurt and a beer (not together of course) and I have done plenty of geology. I've made a few friends and it's really nice being around all of the diversity from out of state. I'm the only Utahan and the only Mormon. I really like it and it makes me want to leave Utah even more.

Weird - since I've been here I identify myself to people as being Mormon when they ask. Someone even insulted Mormons and I flipped him off and he was like, "Oh you're Mormon? Sorry." I never identify myself as being Mormon. I often find myself hating on Mormons. Yet for some reason being around people who are not Mormon makes me feel like it's part of what makes me who I am. Which is just the opposite of being in Utah where I feel like being indifferent to the invasive religion is part of what makes me who I am. I guess it's all just relative. My ideology, compared to many Utahan's, is rather liberal and I hate being around Mormon functions. Around normal people I feel like my ideology is, well, pretty much LDS and kind of have this sick desire to go to church or something. This kind of makes me want leave Utah also.

I wonder what Mormons are like in Oregon. They are probably still mostly unable to see anything beyond what they're force fed in church, but still, I am curious. Maybe they'd be more accepting of me.

I doubt I'll really have time to find out.

Anyway, it's a little past 11 and I really should probably sleep since I've been feeling like a zombie intermittently throughout the day since I got here.

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