Car Day – Day 12

It has been a loooong day today!

We woke this morning to snow and a white Gardiner with the temperature at -1C – not good weather for the long drive to Salt Lake City.  Our original route was through Yellowstone and this had been changed because of the Park closure due to the US Government shutdown; that however was now irrelevant as we would not have been able to get up and out through Yellowstone as the roads would have been impassable with the snow and temperatures of -4C.  So what should have been our shortest drive day at 407 miles became 600 miles and took us 10 hours with just one 30 minute stop for lunch in Lima, Montana.

During the first part of the journey the snow eased and stopped as we headed towards Livingston.  Once on the US 90 the snow started again but was not too bad, we then needed to head off down the US 55 which became increasingly snowy and  by the time we got to Twin Bridges there was a lot of snow on the road and it was still falling fast.  We missed our turning to stay on the 55 because the road signs were unreadable due to snow covering them!  We came upon two perfect looking old towns – Nevada City and then Virginia City – before realising we had to turn back to Twin Bridges so we could find the Interstate 15.  These two old towns are ex-gold mining towns that have been restored and preserved as national outdoor museums.

Weatherwise worse was to come – as we climbed higher through the Montana Rockies the snow got heavier, visibility got poorer and the roads became more difficult to drive.  The snow ploughs were out and the bits of our road which had been ploughed were not too bad but where this had not been done recently the roads were becoming increasingly treacherous to drive.

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We pushed on for 5 hours and 300 miles before stopping for lunch at Lima as we wanted to try and get ahead of the snow storm which was coming in from the north.  Whilst eating lunch Lima was becoming more snowy, so time to set off again.  Finally, as we enter Idaho we managed to leave the snow behind.  The rest of the journey was not too bad in respect of the weather, just occasional bouts of rain intermixed with some blue skies and sunshine.  Most of the drive through Idaho was boring flat scenery – looked like the Fens!

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Once into Utah though the scenery changed and we got good views of the Rockies once again.  This time though the mountains were covered not only with pines but also with gorgeous trees coloured reds and oranges – not sure what they are but will check this out tomorrow.

We finally arrived at Little Sis’s at 7pm.  Mr L as always did a brilliant job of driving us here to Salt Lake.

The plan for this evening was to drive into Salt Lake to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing at their rehearsal.  There is a big Mormon conference on this weekend so there is no way we can see them then.  Great acoustics in the conference hall and it was good to hear them.  Mr L and I really appreciate being taken in to see them by my sister and niece.

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Weary now after the long drive but looking forward to exploring more of Salt Lake and the wider area of Utah tomorrow and over the weekend.

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