Thursday, May 26, 2016

The West

If Wednesday saw us moving from the the Great Plains toward the West, Thursday put us into firmly Western territory as we approached the Front Range of the Rockies went into the mountains, onto the high plains, ending up on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

Sweetcakes, our trusty GPS system, gave us an interesting option, taking us off the Interstate in  western Wyoming and onto a route used by Oregon-and-California-bound emigrants as well as the Mormons and Pony Express riders. It was more historical than visually interesting but it broke things up and we found a nice Mexican restaurant along the route.

But the main thing is that we are now back in the West. Now, don’t get me wrong, we both enjoyed the South (me a bit moreso than Sharon), but the West is where we grew up and live. And while the West of Wyoming and Utah could not be more different than that of the Pacific Coast, it’s the West.

This part of the trip is not about images and touring but here are a few scenes from the West
We were not aware that the route traced that of the Oregon and California trails, but there we were.
Just before I took this we came across a small herd of pronghorn antelope and I did not have my camera ready with the telephoto, so I set it up. The rest of the afternoon all we saw were cattle and sheep. Note the mine tailings in the middle distance. The land here is too arid for agriculture, but you can practice extraction and animal husbandry. The route is dotted with old mines and modern quarries.

For those of you who are not Westerners, this is purple sage, yes, it's real

There is water, in contrast to areas to the west, just not much of it

More purple sage, see above
Unlike the compact farms east of the Mississippi, these ranches are huge and sprawling
After we rejoined I-80, we crossed the high plains and began a descent into the valley of the salt lake and once again the geography changed. Because we were on the interstate and it was mid-afternoon these were shot by Sharon with the iPhone

Rosa, as tired as we are

The owner of the hotel we are in also is a privateer, racing Porsches with some success

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