Boise, ID to Green River, UT – I call this section of the trip, The Drive through Nowhere #1. Outside of Boise, you follow I-86 and then drop down to Logan, UT, on I-84. Even on the map, the road is mostly straight. It is also flat with almost zero exits and I was lower than a quarter tank of gas. This always unnerves me a little. I finally found an exit that had services and pulled off. The window of the minimart said, “Middle of Nowhere”. A fenced-off alpaca pen with info sign about these members of the camel family ran across the front. It turns out the middle of nowhere has alpacas I guess. Inside, all the Idaho kitsch you could ask for lined the shelves including joke rattlesnake eggs for two dollars that needed to stay refrigerated or they would hatch and petrified Idaho potatoes that looked incredibly like round rocks. You’ll be lucky if you leave without purchasing something.
Enter Utah. Now in my opinion, Utah knows she is beautiful and she really is not that good of a driver. People cut me off and it was pretty but manicured. Everyone drives a nice car and looks like they jumped out of a Patagonia magazine. I decide that Idaho is her younger sister who drives a Camaro and sometimes forgets to brush her hair. She drives on instinct but Utah follows the rules and always considers what is the right thing to do.
To cut off some time, I decided to take Highway 6 through Provo and Price and spend the evening in Green River. Maps don’t do this route justice and it turns out that this winding road through the mountains is the deadliest highway in Utah. Back in the hills, there’s an operating carbon mine and a little further, another one which is an exact carbon copy. Just kidding, I only saw one. I stopped in Price, UT, to call the KOA and make sure they had room for me. No problem. The woman told me I had an hour to go and to have fun driving through the middle of nowhere. The earlier drive had been so interesting I doubted her until I turned the corner out of Price.
Fill up with gas in Price. The drive from Price, UT, to Green River was the most incredible amount of nothing I’ve ever seen. All I saw for an hour was grey dirt, sometimes in hills, and sparse, dead tufts of grass. I would’ve stopped at the closed gas station complete with steel siding blowing in the wind to take a picture (mood=dismal) but was worried I would break down and no one would come by to find me. The most interesting part of the landscape was the BNSF cargo trail trucking through in the distance like a lazy caterpillar. I danced a little with it, seeing where it would be compared to me when I came out from behind a hill. Slowly it fell away in the distance, the sun went down, and I continued to drive through dirt seeing only two crows.
At the Green River KOA, the young woman behind the desk tried to explain the rules and price to a family who only spoke French. She continued to reiterate that they couldn’t eat in the bathrooms and finally ran out to show them their site. They followed in their CruiseAmerica RV and she returned once she knew they were settled. I told her I didn’t plan to eat in the bathroom. Eating in a campground bathroom was kind of like biting your toenails, wasn’t it? She agreed but said the other week she had to clean up sausages and strawberries from in there and didn’t think this job paid her enough to include that as “other duties as assigned”.
“Who eats weenies in a bathroom?!” she said as she drew a line to my site on the map. After some confusion of someone in my site, we all found our places and settled down for the night. An owl hooted in the tree. It was peaceful there.