Date: March 30, 2012
Tonight’s Location: Mountain Home, Idaho
Mileage: End - 105812
Start - 105461
Total Miles for the day: 351
Weather: a few showers, mild
Temperature: start 49º
Wildlife count: Pied-billed Grebe, Canada Geese, Pigeons, Magpie, Kestrel, White Pelicans, Ring-billed Gull, Killdeer, Meadowlark
We didn’t want to leave Springville too early this morning, because we wanted to avoid Salt Lake City rush hour traffic. So, we went to Denny’s down the street for a leisurely breakfast, and left around 9 am. Actually, the traffic was not too bad, except at the beginning of the trip – there was major construction in progress. However, once we actually hit the Salt Lake City area, we almost had the road to ourselves.
The disadvantage of driving through there is that the metropolitan area is very LONG, south to north. It took almost 70 miles to be out of metropolitan traffic – that is a LONG way. Greater Salt Lake lies in a long valley between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake. There is lots of industry, including aging refineries, that produce an incredible amount of yellow smog over the city and lake, which surprised us. Downtown, where the Capitol is located, is really quite small. We didn’t see a building over 10 stories! Houston has a MUCH larger downtown than Salt Lake, even though Salt Lake City is so spread out.
It was intriguing to drive past the Great Salt Lake, the largest hypersalinated lake in North America, because we have visited the Dead Sea in Israel, as well as the Laguna Madre, the hypersalinated Intercoastal area off the coast of Texas. The Great Salt Lake and the Dead Sea are formed by rivers running into the lakes, but there are no outlets; so the salts that are carried by the fresh water rivers are highly concentrated in the lakes. The Great Salt Lake’s salinity is similar to the ocean, but much less than the salinity of the Dead Sea. The waters of the Dead Sea feel slimy! One really interesting fact we learned was that both the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake have a ‘Jordan River’ running into them – who knew?
The rest of the trip was delightful, even with a few sprinkles of rain. We enjoyed the rolling hills and snow-capped mountains of northern Utah and southern Idaho. We arrived at our rv park, Mountain Home RV Park around 3. We had stayed here before and knew it was a lovely spot in a small town, right on the edge of the prairie.
After a fuel stop and a Walmart run, we had dinner at AJ’s restaurant, which was excellent food. We are now home for the evening.