Utah – A Land of Transitions

Western Utah

Utah contains landscapes similar to those of many of the states that surround it. Perhaps its most famous area is in the south, where you find all of the fantastic national parks with their brilliantly colored rock formations, which are reminiscent of northern Arizona and New Mexico. But not all of the state is like that. To a large extent, central western Utah resembles Nevada, with its brown hills dotted with shrubs and its wide expanses of desert.

Desert Utah

This is pretty far south of the Great Salt Lake area – but even here you can smell the salt in the air. At least here it doesn’t get all over your feet and car!

Salt Lake Mountains

Sunrise comes slowly in the shadows of the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City and its many suburbs. I was surprised by the amount of traffic that now pervades the area – it really seems to have grown in recent years. Not, in my opinion, an improvement.

Route 6

Route 6 east of Salt Lake City – the road leading towards Wyoming, as you can tell by the greener, more tree-filled landscape. There’s far more traffic through here than one would imagine. A truck came barreling down the mountain on me so fast it nearly ran me over! Fortunately I realized the driver wasn’t going to be able to stop in time, and I took advantage of a nearby pullout to get out of the way.

Descent into Price

The descent into Price, Utah. Those are some rocks! Perhaps one of the most incredible things about Utah is the way the roads have been built. They did an astonishing job of putting highways in where it seems no highway ought to go. This reminded me of the drive along I-15 from Arizona, where the cliff faces hover so close over the road that they nearly seem to be trying to crowd you off it.

Stratified Rock Layers

Stratified rock layers in the so-called “Dinosaur Diamond” in the upper northeast corner of Utah near Colorado. All along the highway you see signs identifying the age of the layer of exposed rock and the fossils that can be found there.

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9 thoughts on “Utah – A Land of Transitions

    1. lorilschafer Post author

      Yeah, it’s funny how the big national parks are all so gorgeous and golden, while the fossil areas are rather plain to look at. But I guess that make sense in terms of paleontology, since the fossils are by their very nature contained in old sediment. And you’re not kidding about the mountains – I mean, I know the Sierras are plenty big, too, but they don’t seem to loom over the landscape in the same eerie way.

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  1. Charli Mills

    CW McCall would be perfect music for your travels! He also has another funny one–Wolf Creek Pass which will remind you of the truck hot on your heels. But he has some sweet songs, too that still make me weep like Rocky Mountain September and Glenwood Canyon. Listening now as I read your blog! Enjoying riding along.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. TanGental

    Loving this journey. We did the touristic bits around Bryce and the Grand Canyon a few years back but it s great to see the other parts. Never knew the salt in the salt lake left you and your car covered. Grim! And really, while the traffic may have grown you ain’t got nothing on our crowded little island! Well apart from you cities which, Bangladesh apart have got to be the most choked! Reading this puts me in mind of ‘Convoy’ by CW McCall. Loved that as a kid. I wanted my own handle too!

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    1. lorilschafer Post author

      Ooh, is that the same “Convoy” that was used in the seventies movie? I always loved the image of the trucks gathering shoulder-to-shoulder (so to speak) against a common enemy.

      Traffic is awful. What a shame, isn’t it? Seems like such a small thing, and most of the time you simply accept it as a part of life… until suddenly it’s gone. Such a relief to be in open space!

      Love the Grand Canyon area. Amazing how it’s probably the biggest tourist attraction in the entire United States, yet it’s still out in the middle of nowhere. Good choice for a visit!

      Like

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