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April 14th 2019
Published: April 15th 2019
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Instagram: @vangogh50states

Weather: Sunny and 60s

States: Utah and Nevada

Miles: 519

Hours: 6 hrs and 56 min


Restaurant: The Olive Garden

Hotel/Home: Residence Inn Reno Sparks

Movies: Devil Wears Prada

Audible: Escape From Alcatraz

We opened the shades this morning to a panorama of beautiful snowcapped mountains surrounding Salt Lake City. We did not appreciate this beauty last night as we came in at dark unaware of them except for the declining switchback roads leading us into the city. The guide rails keep you from running into the mountain sides or off of their steep cliffs. Night makes this a little less unnerving to drive.

We woke up, had breakfast and hit the road to Reno, Nevada. Our first plan was to drive through Yosemite on the way to San Francisco but the west gate road isn’t open until Late May or early June. Bummer. So, we are detouring through Reno and on to San Francisco (“that’s fun to say, Fran-cis-co. Frann-ciss-co.”).

When you drive out of Salt Lake City, you drive on a split highway that runs right though the Great Salt Lake. The water surrounds the road but doesn’t quite look like water because it is so saturated with salt that it is crystallizing on the surface. We were driving along admiring the waters and mountains and the changing landscape when we were taken by complete surprise by a lake of water, still as can be, reflecting the mountains in the background. So startlingly beautiful that everyone jumped up and started taking pictures. Paul swerved in a parking lot for viewing. It was so beautiful. We weren’t the only ones feeling lucky to fall upon this sight. It is the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was like standing on the edge of heaven. See the picture of Ben looking out. We stayed and took pictures. Paul and the boys played ball for a few minutes with an incomparable background. Of course, the ball went astray and rolled into the water. Before I knew it, Paul and the boys were creating a body chain to reclaim the ball from the salt flats. I videoed in hopes of a wet mishap. They managed to retrieve the ball. Off we went. To Reno.

We are now listening to Escape From Alcatraz. We are going to visit Alcatraz in San Fran so we thought this would be interesting. Electronics put away and we are all listening. Right when we think they aren’t listening, they give a shout that they can’t hear it or when are we turning it back on. Happy sigh.

OMG! If you are learning now, when I start with OMG, I’ve got a story to tell. I took the wheel for half of the way to Reno. Elizabeth, my co-pilot. “I got the wheels rolliin’, radio scrollin’...” then, just as we are singing through the mountain ranges, the dreaded light comes on...OMG, OOG! Out of Gas. 40 miles till empty in the middle of flippin’ no where. In a bit of panic, “Um, Biddy, we might be running out of gas. Please ask Siri for the nearest gas station.” Nothing, nothing, nothing for 80 miles. We don’t have enough gas to get there. “Wait! Flying J’s and Terribles Casino and Truck stop...39miles.“ Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. We have 40 miles left and it is 39 to the gas station. Paul has his headphones on and may be asleep. “Paauuulll, we might run out of gas.” As always he is calm as a J-bird. Yes, Paul. He can get wound up about some things but these things, the ones that have me crying or angry or (like now) sweating, heart beating out of my chest, my hands sweating on the wheel, well, yup, calm as a J-Bird. Elizabeth and I were freaking out. We were watching the gas tank tick down as the miles to the gas station ticked in unison with only a mile to a mile and a half difference. I’ve never prayed so hard on a Palm Sunday as I did today. Paul was having fun saying, “+1 difference in milles,+1.2, +1.5,+1.” Then it got down to only a 1/2 mile difference in miles. Elizabeth just got her permit and was learning a hard lesson in keeping your taking full in BFE. Would this lowly gas station even be there? Maybe J is dead now. Maybe they aren’t open on Sunday. Please God don’t make Paul walk down the highway amongst the tumbleweed and, eek, the murdering like man all in black we just saw walking down the highway. Thoughts of Paul coming upon him makes me shudder. The man coming upon our van on this remote highway, shudder. Well,, we literally made it to the gas station pump at 0. I was shaking. My adrenaline was through the roof. We made it. OMG! “Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?”(Maren Morris Song-My Church- we were just listening to it.) Another story to tell.

We are now in Reno heading to another Residence Inn Marriott and then check out Reno.

We had dinner at this Italian restaurant..The. Olive. Garden. It was by our hotel. Now the boys are playing basketball and Biddy and I are watching Devil Wears Prada. We love that movie. We are settling in for the night to move on to San Fran tomorrow. Good Eve.

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