Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
I spent a night at a motel in Ogden to get a proper shower, do laundry, and chat with the Mexican girls at Denny's. Incidentally, you know you've been on the road too long when Denny's automatically logs your phone into their WiFi.
I'm on the Interstate from Ogden east through the mountains then out into Wyoming. My grandfather grew up in Lyman, WY, one of 13 children to a Mormon ranching family. I have a transcribed copy of one his sister's diary of the family moving by covered wagon from Utah to Wyoming in the late 19th century. Looking at this landscape I can imagine them struggling across the plains and mountains; surely worried about food, water, broken equipment, maybe even marauding Indians. Here I am flying across the pavement, only stopping for gas and a sandwich at a Subway, checking the stock market on my cellphone. Amazing change in just a few generations. I stop in Lyman to have a look. It's a small ranching town, not much to look at, the place where my grandfather was born and went to school. He went on to become a botanist of some renown at Harvard University. He rejected the Mormon faith of his youth but most of the rest of that side of the family are still practicing members of LDS. I wonder what life would be like, or if I would even exist, if he had stayed with the church.
After Lyman I'm back into the mountains and back into Utah on the road to Flaming Gorge. In a canyon I come across a couple of campgrounds. The first is full of RV's, the second is completely empty. Guess which one I pick. I saw people having fires in the first campground and I see no signs about fire restrictions: I get to have my first campfire since Minnesota! Someone was nice enough to leave a big supply of wood in my site so all I need to do is chuck a paper receipt under the wood and light it. Too easy.
As soon as the sun sets the temperature drops precipitously. I'm doubly happy about having a fire to ward off some of the chill. I don't know what altitude I'm at but it must be high to be this cold so early in the fall.