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Road Trip USA - Day 18: San Francisco, CA to Salt Lake City, UT

Date: 10 Aug 2002 Day #: 18 Miles Today: 810
Start: San Francisco, CA End: Salt Lake City, Utah
States Today: California, Nevada, Utah
Total Mileage: 5,339 Total # States Visited: 19
Points of Interest: Donner Party Memorial, Bonneville Salt Flats

I got up and packed up my laundry while Matt made breakfast: pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Sandia came over as well. I left around 10 am, stopping to get a car wash outside of Sacramento. McDonald’s for lunch, followed by a traffic jam on I-80 from some accident about a quarter to 1 pm.

By 2pm, I was at the Donner Party memorial, and over the Nevada state line at 2:25pm. If there were highways back when the Donner party got lost, they would not have been wanting for all the roadkill I passed. Several unknown masses, but I clearly identified a coyote, armadillo, two rabbits, a skunk, and a cow skeleton on my way through Nevada.
A fork in the Road: The Donner Memorial State Park

Seriously though, that was no party.
I had planned to hit the Bonneville Salt Flats right around sunset (8:16 pm), but totally miscalculated. I got to the Utah state line at 8:16pm…Nevada time, which is 9:16pm Mountain Time.  Pitch Black.
All of my on-road pictures are on the left, aren't they?
Sun's setting and I'm an hour away from where I planned to be right now.
Just barely caught twilight on the Salt Flats
It's a good thing they had this illuminated...
This was taken with a flash. There's nothing there.
Dark, flat, and fast...this could end poorly.
I saw Salt Lake City in the evening, but it was pretty much closed up for the night. It smelled kind of weird, I'm not sure how to describe it. The hostel was open, but no one was home. Also seemed kinda sketchy. I drove on down to Provo and slept in my car at Utah Lake State Park. I ultimately stopped driving at 12:30 am.

Read more about my Great American Road Trip adventure.

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