MAY 31, 1996: FRIDAY


Scheduled trip: Fallon, NV - Grand Junction, CO
Actual trip: Fallon, NV - Escalante, UT (540 miles)

Going Utah
In the first few days of the trip, we had established a morning ritual, which we didn't break away from much. Usually it was up to Niels to decide when it was time to get out of bed. Naturally this had its advantages too. Thus he had the right to 'baptize' the bathroom, i.e. take the first shower of the morning. By shower number 3, the room would be more or less submerged. Even the clean towels could be wet.

Mostly Niels's fellow travelers were sound asleep when he returned from the hose-down. This was easily corrected though. The TV was switched on. Deep moans and the occasional loud curse usually followed a few seconds of MTV. It worked every time. Next there would be a scramble for the bathroom door; who would do the 'confirmation'? Usually that privilege fell upon Manuel, which left Dave and Mark to administer the 'last rites' of the shower.

We bought groceries in a local market. It was a sunny day so we camped right in the middle of the parking lot and ate our breakfast.

As we headed East the terrain was rising gradually. We crossed the low Shoshone Mountains and the Monitor Range. However, these were mere bumps in the road compared to what we would encounter later.

The drive through Nevada was rather uneventful. We crossed into Utah that afternoon and by this time we knew it was impossible to reach Grand Junction, which had been our intended destination. Distances on a road map can be conceiving and once again we had thoroughly underestimated the great expanses of the American West.

Instead we headed for Bryce Canyon. We arrived just before sunset and discovered that this was the perfect time to see the great gorge. Dusk arrived as we descended the canyon. Some places the path was so steep it was difficult walk on. The ascent was a test of one's physical condition but we all lived to tell about it.

Then we had to find a motel. We knew it could be difficult because we were in a scarcely populated area of the state; it was far between towns. We tried the nearby Cannonville but without luck. The question was whether we should double back to Cedar City, the largest town in the area, or if we should continue eastwards. We went east. After 25 miles we reached Escalante and found a motel.

<<May 30, 1996<<


Day 00: Prelude
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville, CA
Day 08: Long Beach, CA
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand Oakes, CA
Day 11: Malibu, CA
Day 12: Lompoc, CA
Day 13: Lompoc, CA
Day 14: Palo Alto, CA
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby, KS
Day 21: St. Louis, MO
Day 22: Knoxville, TN
Day 23: Burlington, NC
Epilogue: Author's notes



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