Blessing in disguise?

No gargantuan entry today. At least it’s not in the plan.

But we know how plans often go on this trip!

Starting on Tuesday, November 2nd, I’ll have my first (and possibly only, it’s looking like) passenger on my trip! My dad’s flying into Portland, Oregon to meet up with me so we can tour Oregon and Northern California. As the title states, this is somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It’s made me slow down. A lot. I wasn’t doing anything crazy like hitting 500 miles a day, but I was bouncing around the states fairly quick. I’m in Pocatello, Idaho right now and if I were to head straight to Portland, it looks to be roughly 660 miles. Any other time in the trip, that’s two days of traveling. So I could be there by tomorrow night, if I had to.

Instead, I slept in a little yesterday for the first time in a long time. Today too. And turned my cell phone off so I wouldn’t be tempted to check facebook, twitter, or texts. It was just a day for me.

After getting packed up from Ogden, UT, I went south a ways to hit Antelope Island State Park. It’s the largest island on the Great Salt Lake. Other than that, their claim to “fame” is that they have a herd of buffalo on the island and an intense trail system. I spent probably 3 hours there yesterday and it was possibly the most laid back 3 hours I’ve taken on my trip since Sunday in Baltimore. And it did a world of good. I hiked a mile, in and out, to the top of a peak on the island to get an overview of everything. It was cool to see the snow falling on Salt Lake City off in the distance (first picture).

For lunch, I just pulled into a parking spot overlooking the lake, grabbed a granola bar, and read some more of Into The Wild. It’s eerie how “right” of a time it was for me to get into that book. Just a “right place, right time” kind of moment. I started it in the waiting area when my truck was serviced on Monday and I set a goal to read a chapter a day, since I had been a little slack in my reading on the trip. Well, it’s Wednesday morning and I’m almost 100 pages into it. I should have it finished by the weekend. Very intriguing book. But I’m not sure it would have been as appealing had I not experienced what it’s been like to be out on the road. So thank you for planting that seed about the book before I left on my trip.

Anyways, while I’m hanging out in my truck, this couple pulls up next to me, hops out, and heads off on the quarter of a mile walk to the water. I didn’t think anything of it – just a couple out for a walk. Once they’re about halfway there, I had finished my chapter and lunch, grabbed my camera, and wanted to take a walk myself. When I get about halfway there, they’re at the water just looking around. And all of a sudden, I see the girl bend over and take her pants off. By now, I’m wondering whether I should turn away, not to be the obvious gawker, or if I should keep watching, wondering what on earth is going on. The top comes off next and she, sporting just a bikini, wades into the water. Keep in mind that the air temperature is 45 degrees and there’s a pretty hefty wind blowing. The guy’s on the shore snapping pictures while she heads further out into the water and finally sits down in it. I’m thinking it has to be freezing cold and trying to hold in a solid laugh at what I’m watching. From there, I go about my business and take some pictures of the lake while she runs back to dry off and warm up.

That’s foam you see in the pictures, not snow unfortunately.

By the time I turn around to head back to my truck, she’s dressed and he starts stripping down to boxers. And off he runs into the water, squealing about how cold it is, while she grabs the pictures. At this point, I probably had the biggest grin plastered on my face, just from the oddness of it all! Back at the truck, I pulled out the journal to do some writing. About the time I was finished, they both are back at their car, so I had to ask.

“Was it cold?”

Girl: “Yes, very!” Guy: “Not as bad as I thought it would have been.”

“So….I have to ask. Any reason why? Why’d you go in?”

Guy: “Well, we’re not from this area (license plate said New Mexico when they left) and we wanted to say we had been in the Great Salt Lake. We would have preferred it were summer… But now we’ve got pictures showing we’ve been in”

Fair enough, New Mexicans! Good for them, though. They wanted to go in the lake and they weren’t letting the temperature stop them! It definitely made my day. A little craziness was just appropriate for my new found laid-back-ness.

I ended my trip in the park on that note, thinking it wasn’t going to get better. I headed to Logan, UT to see Utah State’s stadium. I just happened to be there when the team was practicing, so I enjoyed scouting a little bit of that but didn’t take any pictures. I was wearing my bright purple Clemson wind breaker and a random guy taking pictures of team practices are sure to throw up red flags on a coach’s radar. When I left, it started snowing on me. I absolutely love this weather. Just hate the wind.

From there, I just pointed my truck to Idaho (37th state!) and settled in here in Pocatello, ID (it’s so fun to say!). I grabbed dinner at Wingers. I’m not sure if it’s like this at all of the locations, but this one was located in a cool, decked out diner here. I was a little bummed out because I saw Boise State was playing on tv when I got there. Had I known that, I would have pushed to get to Boise and take the game in. But who thinks to check and see if a team plays on a Tuesday night? Not this kid, for sure. I read some more last night (can’t put it down!) and crashed early after talking with my dad.

Overall, it was a solid day. And there’s nothing wrong with those!

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One Response to Blessing in disguise?

  1. RMJinAK says:

    Blessing in disguise? Ouch – what are you really thinking this is going to be? I was hoping you would see it as an enjoyable interlude on your solitary sojourn. Maybe I can just ride in the truck bed 🙂

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