I awoke at 3am to prepare for my departure. Sadly, I said goodbye to Therese and then "Susan", my brother-in-law, drove me one hour away to the Syracuse airport. Here I will digress to talk about "Susan". I was talking with Therese and "Susan" one night when I mentioned I was writing a travel blog about my trip.
"So, you are going to talk about your time in New York?" Susan asks.
"Yup," I reply.
"Are you going to use my real name, or are you going to change it?" Susan asks, kind of jokingly.
"Well, I was going to use your real name, but I don't have to, if you don't want me to." I say.
"What do you mean? You might change someone's name and use something else instead, like 'Susan'?" Therese asks.
"Sure, just like 'Susan'. I can change Jason's name to 'Susan'!" I say.
We all laughed. That is how I came to have a brother-in-law named "Susan".
|Approaching Salt Lake City from the airplane|
"I think in Delaware you can still opt to be put to death by hanging." I say.
"Really? That's crazy." he says. Yes, it is.
"Well this was a cheery conversation" I say. He laughs.
I would have to confess that it did cross my mind. "Then why didn't you do anything about it?" they would say. Oh and why didn't I? Because I would have had to FedEx my keys overnight to Mandy and have to ask her to dig four propane tanks out of the back of my hatchback. I could have taken every precaution. I was going to go to jail for negligence. The whole thought stream seemed crazy, so, I tried to let it go. But I was sweating bullets. When I got to New York, I checked the weather forecast for Salt Lake City, it was supposed to be in the mid-eighties. I felt relieved, but I kept checking my cell phone, waiting to get a call from Mandy telling me that my car blew up. Then, I realized the propane tanks probably wouldn't blow up, and they probably wouldn't ignite a fire, they would probably just start to leak. But I will say, when I did see my car, sitting outside her house, completely intact, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The only thing different about my car was that it now looked like a dalmation, dust build up and rain drops had made it spotted.
START: 1384 miles.
I am back on I-15, driving south, getting away from the highway construction and congestion of Salt Lake City. Then I am free from the interstate, on Highway 6, driving through mountains of gray rock, made green by the shrubbery and trees. It gets more and more remote as I wind along the road heading southeast. It becomes lush and the mountains flatten out a bit and the gray rock starts to mix with red rock. Puffy white clouds appear in the smog-free, blue sky. Such a contrast from the hazy, muggy skies I had last seen in New York.
I drive up a long, not too steep hill and just over the top, the landscape changes drastically, from lush and green to dry, thinned out vegetation, exposing bare rock. The road sweeps through turns of red rock valleys. I drive up, I drive down, I drive along train transporting things to far off places, and the road descends softly into a valley below me.
I wonder if I can just forget myself, part of me wants to, and just melt into this world, into the landscape. Who would I be? What would I be? What would I love? What would love me? Would I love it all? What things about me would I forget? Would there be anything to remember? What would be left?
What would be left.
My friend Becki has lived here for seven years, which boggles my mind. Becki is my closest, dearest and best friend from college, where she majored in hospitality. She lives in Bullfrog with her boyfriend, Mike and her dog, Pancake. It was good to see her.
I am in the smooth, orange rock desert of southern Utah. Yesterday I was in French-speaking Montreal. How miraculous, that in the span of one day, we can become so far away.
END: 1762 miles.
Salt Lake City to Bullfrog, Utah:
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