The old country singer Willie Nelson has a song that I consider to be the epitome of road trip songs. The song is called “On the Road Again.” It begins with the words:
On the road again –
Just can’t wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.
For me, at least, it would be a stretch to say that I can’t wait to get on the road again. To be honest, every time I’ve gone on a long road trip I’ve said to myself, “This is the last one.” And to say I love making music with my friends would be an outright lie, since I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. But still, the road has some sort of magnetic allure. Even though I swear off them, I always end up back on the road again.
This time around my friend Ray was heading out to Colorado for ministry training. He was planning to fly out there, but sort of at the last minute we decided to drive out there. It reminded me of the cross country road trip I did with Sam a few years back. In fact, the route we’re taking is largely the same, taking interstate 80 into Salt Lake City.
There’s not a whole lot to see on the interstate 80 through Nevada. The most amazing thing I saw was a group of bikers. It seems like they were doing a cross country ride, since I could think of no other reason why they’d be biking out in the middle of the desert on highway 80. They must have a support van, since they didn’t have any panniers on their bikes.
We stopped for lunch at a small town called Winnemucca. We had seen billboards all along the highway for cheap food at a place called Winners casino. When we got to the casino we saw a crowd of people waiting outside. Apparently there was a parade about to roll through town, so we stopped and took some pictures of it. The parade was to kick off the start of the town’s Basque Festival.
The driving afterwards was pretty uneventful until we crossed over into Utah. There we took a quick detour to drive on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I took some video of Ray doing some doughnuts in the salt, but because the lens on my camera was so wide, it didn’t really look all that fast. But it was pretty fast and fun, you could really feel the lateral G forces.
We had dinner in Salt Lake City then headed southeast toward Moab, our destination for the night. Ray had reserved a cabin. When we got there we found that we would be spending the next couple of nights in jail. For the price, though, it wasn’t a bad place to stay.