US 40 Through Utah


As two lane highways through places less traveled go, US Route 40 through northern Utah between the Colorado border and Salt Lake City is one of the most stunning visual effects God blessed this country with. Waking in the crispness of an October morning under willows, aspens, and maples all vivid in their leafiness, the trail headed west all morning through stunning crimson, mustard and slate gray mountainsides, horses and cattle grazing away their end of season and the desert began creeping through the foliage. Mesquite trees began to dominate. No sign of mormons or much other life for miles. The bus got up to 65mph, 70 mph for the first time in our life together.

I disappeared into my own head and watched all of the gorgeous sites, inside and out of the old metal mother girl, snacking on grapes and peanut butter M&Ms.

Salt Lake City was drab, a nearly lifeless city even on a weekday downtown, and when ordering mimosas for an afternoon happy hour the waitress made it known that no fewer than two of the tall, pulpy drinks could be ordered per customer. Luckily Utah waters down their alcohol bigtime and so we remained roadworthy as our route went more southerly to connect with my favorite highway in all of America: The Loneliest Highway, Route 50 through Nevada and Western Utah. The sun set for hours over the mountains dividing the Silver State from the Beehive State and I’ve never melted over the sun’s dipping descent more than that day.