We stayed local today as after over two-thousand miles of driving it's time for a little amble.

Ten minutes in the car took us to the Springville Museum of Art.


Someone (it was me) left their spare camera battery back at the hotel so we drove back, then went on to the Radha Krishna Temple.  I had some interesting conversations.


Back to the hotel again to start packing.  Somehow we were massively over our luggage allowance so rather than leave things behind we paid for an extra suitcase.  Off to the Mighty Walmart to grab a cheap one.

Near to to Walmart was a large field of what looked like watermelons.  I went to take a photo but no - they were something else - hundreds of crazy sharp burrs.  So sharp were they, they drove right through the soles of my shoes and into my feet.  It hurt every bit as much as you'd think.


With our new suitcase, it seemed a shame not look for books.  Popping into a bookshop we found it was a Mormon shop.  If you want a painting of Jesus this is definirelt the shop for you.


Day 18: Helper to Springville


Yesterday Afternoon.

Me: Do the trains run all night?

Motel Owner: No, they shouldn't do.





We had breakfast at the Balance Rock Eatery & Pub.  We'd had lunch there at the very start of the trip.  The food is great, but the music choices are... not.

All fed with potatoes and egg we drove down the end of the town to walk around the Western Mining & Railroad Museum.  We figured it was a tiny little one-room museum, but it was huge and we spent about ninety minutes looking around.  Everything in the museum was donated locally.


For the final two nights we're going to stay in the same hotel that we first stayed in on our first night.  

The evening was spent trying to get our luggage packed and down to the right weight.  The plan - currently - is the pay for an extra bag.

Day 2: Springville to Moab

We may have been in bed early but alas - jetlag - for me.  I woke up at 1:30am and could I get back to sleep?  No.  Not at all.


I read until it wasn't too stupidly early to leave and we had breakfast and set off for Moab.  I'd read there was a ghost town en-route in a place called Soldier Summit.  On the way to the Ghost Town we passed an iron archway to Mill Fork Cemetery so we did a completely safe u-turn and went to have a look.

To get the cemetery you walked over a bridge, which this morning was coated with a thick frost.  The cemetery was pretty small (I looked it up on a website and the official internment count is just seventeen graves, though the findagrave website lists 46).  

You can read the story of the cemetery over www.thedeadhistory.com.  If you want the short version - A mother and daughter fleeing a town with an outbreak of Scarlet Fever didn't know they were infected and so infected most of Mill Fork.  Further tragedies ensue.

Leaving the cemetery behind we got to the "ghost town" in Soldier Summit.  All that was left behind were signs saying; "Private Property" and some brick outlines of buildings.  I suspect they've mostly been cleared away for some new rebuilding work.


We both very much wanted a coffee so we pulled into the nearest town.  This turned into a nice hour walking around Helper.  Surrounded by mountains it was a nice find and after a late (bigger) breakfast we had a wander around.  


Tiredness was starting to creep in and Moab was still hours away so we plugged on through.  Stunning mountainous scenery made the journey go pretty fast with Jane clicking her camera through the window.

Moab doesn't feel like an overly tiny town but if you look it up on Google Maps you can see it's really in the middle of nothing.


It's most unlike us on a road trip, but we're actually in the same hotel for three nights running so we walked across the road and grabbed food for the fridge.  Job done we wandered over to the Moab Brewery for a beer.  We both wisely plumped for "Dead Horse".  For an ale it was pretty nice.

Back to the hotel by 7:30pm (yes, lightweights) and an early night.

Welcome to Utah


Picked up by taxi driver Simon at 11 am. He described America as both; "Wide open spaces surrounded by teeth" (a Charles Luckman quote) and "The place where they think a hundred miles is a short distance, and a hundred years a long time."   The actual quote, by Diana Gabaldon, is; “An Englishman thinks a hundred miles is a long way.  An American thinks a hundred years is a long time.”

We arrived, checked in, went through security, fed ourselves and wandered over to the departure gate by 1:30 pm and were pretty much straight on the plane.

Sitting on the plane to Salt Lake City I wondered what percentage of the passengers where Mormons.

My attention span is rubbish and I wondered whether I could finish a book on the flight.  "The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides is only 280 pages and the Kindle says I can read it in five and a half hours.  We'll see Kindle - Oh, we'll see.

The first distraction was a great documentary on called; "Score: A film music documentary."  Well, there was ninety minutes gone (ignoring the three times they had to reboot the whole entertainment system a few times at fifteen minutes a go).

Distraction number two was thinking about NanoWriMo.  For the uninitiated, it's a yearly challenge where you have the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel.  Last year I tapped out at 35,000 words.  This year I'll be failing to write a sci-fi thing.

The third and final distraction was to go back to reading; "The future of mind" by Michio Kaku in which I learned that on our transatlantic flight we'd experience about a millirem of radiation per hour - equivalent to a dental x-ray.

Salt Lake City airport is pretty small so we were through security in short order and had the hire car within about thirty minutes.

An hour's drive to the first hotel in Springville, Utah we threw the stuff in the room and headed over to one of the two options for some food.  Cracker Barrel.  Try the grits. *

In bed by 9:45pm - which, of course, in proper English time is 4:45am.  

A three hour or so drive south to Moab in the morning.

* Don't try the grits.

Booking Hotels and Planning/Not Planning

It's most unlike us to book many hotels in advance but we've actually booked three hotels (well, two hotels and a house) for the first six nights.  A night in Springville, then onto Moab for three nights where we can drive out to see the ghost town at Cisco then onto stay in a house for a couple of nights in Monticello.  Then as we're meeting Jules for a photoshoot in Albuquerque we've booked a hotel near the airport for picking up duties. And finally, we've re-booked the hotel in Springville for the return flight at the end of the trip.

As with Route 66 last year we're trying to draw the line between planning so we don't get back home and realise we were ten minutes from something cool, but equally not letting serendipity taking care of things.