States: Utah, Nevada, California
Miles travelled: Let's not think about it. I'll just use Mapquest if I ever want to know.
While we were in Salt Lake City I thought we might as well check the place out a bit, so we went and saw Temple Square. We were only accosted by one pair of Mormon girls, and they were really polite. Nice architecture there, anyhow. Also Jesus in Space, which I wasn't allowed to take a picture of. run away...
Then we drove by the Great Salt Lake and through its neighboring desert. You'd think it would be more touristy and built up around such a national landmark, but there was just a little industrial and military development and that was it. What we saw of the lake was marshes caked with salt, and then a desert made of salt (looked like snowy tundra...) that took about an hour to drive through, with no exits. Lots of highschoolers had written their names in the salt with rocks, and there was also this weird piece of public art in the middle of the drive. We saw the Bonneville Speedway, but it was at such an angle that I could only see a shimmer of asphalt. Once we got through the desert we stopped at a casino town on the Nevada border and bought some bread and peanut butter at a sketchy grocery store.
Our sanity tested by the Great Salt Lake Desert, we began the drive through Nevada. The landscape was similar to that of Wyoming, maybe a little greener, and we went over some mega hills on the eastern end of the state. On the western end of the state there were names written with rocks in the sand, which did not seem to be as striking a canvas as the salt. Similar population density; for example, McDonalds was advertised via billboard one hour in advance. Battle Mountain turned out to be a great place to stop, but there weren't too many towns like it. This was the first day in which I really started to get bored. I wanted the trip to be over but at the same time I didn't want to think about everything I had to do in California, so I got a little bit stressed out.
We were going to stay someplace east of Reno, but there just wasn't any place to stay, so we kept going. We aimed for the KOA in South Lake Tahoe, but it was dark by the time we got there and also pricey, so we stayed at Motel 6 instead. Anyway, Lake Tahoe is amazingly gorgeous in the sunset and twilight. Tall conifers were silouetted above the lake, and there was even a crescent moon.
I had a headache and nausea from dehydration earlier in the day in Nevada, but plenty of water and some delicious KFC helped with that.
We had a relatively short drive from South Lake Tahoe to Davis. Dad remarked that those mountains reminded him of the White Mountains in NH, and I have to agree. Lots and lots of conifers, which weren't too tall but still made me happy. They were pretty diverse too, with multiple species of pine, cedar, and spruce (or fir; I'm still learning to tell the difference). I know where to go now if I find myself missing New England, although it probably wouldn't be wise to take my Corolla up there in the winter.
Got to the apartment and unpacked the car! (Hey, now I can do a shoulder check and see something other than my luggage!) Met my housemates- Kelly is the one subleasing to us and seems really nice although she was stressed because she had to leave unexpectedly, and Cara also seems nice and has a yellow lab puppy. The dog is about halfway between puppy and adult, it seems, and is awesomely friendly. She's about as well-behaved as a dog with that much energy can be, and I have gotten many run-by lickings.
Went to Ikea for furniture- holy crap is that place overwhelming, but I was happy with the end result. Bed frame and slats, dresser, and computer desk were all taken care of for $340. And it all fit in my car except for half of the dresser, which we came back for today. You assemble it all yourself, which is kind of fun.
Today I took care of changing my car insurance over and paid some bills. We assembled more furniture, then went back to Sacramento for some more stuff. There's no Wal*mart or Target in Davis, so we found both in Sacramento since we were going there anyway for Ikea. The area they were in was Evil Sprawl of Doom, and I would have much more colorful things to say about it if I weren't including this in my G-rated travel journal. I hate driving in that. Davis has some sprawl too, but I think I will be able to avoid it in my day-to-day life. I had a little moment of appreciation for my Tracker class- I realized towards the end of this adventure that I had shut my awareness down to just about nil due to the overstimulation from the strip malls and department stores.
My room is coming together nicely with a green and blue theme. Mostly I decorate with objects of sentimental value though.
Hmm, is that it for the day? I did get a very sweet blitz from icemissionary, who thought of me while planning for band recruiting.