What a long strange trip it’s been – part 4

American reader Andy Kopral bought a 2007 997 Turbo unseen on the Internet and drove it across the USA. In this and other posts, he describes his adventures.

I arrived in Larmie on Monday afternoon around 5:00 p.m. I had not made any
hotel reservations because I wanted to keep my options open (if the weather
was really bad I was going to take a more southern route and drive through
New Mexico; luckily, the weather was pretty good after my first day through
Pennsylvania, but in Larmie there were still large piles of snow in parking
lots because they had a pretty good storm the week before). So it took me a
while to find the right hotel, with the main criteria being a safe place to
park my Turbo. I finally settled on a brand new Holiday Inn near the
University of Wyoming campus. It turned out the be a great choice. The hotel
receptionist assured me that I could even leave my car unlocked, it was that
safe. Well, I of course wouldn’t think of doing that, but my car made it
unharmed through the night. I was pretty relieved the next morning because I
knew this was the last time I had to leave my car parked in a hotel parking
lot on this trip. The remainder of the trip would be spent at my friend
Steve’s house in Ogden, Utah.

After unpacking my things I asked the hotel clerk to recommend a decent
restaurant that wasn’t a McDonald’s or Burger King, and he asked if I liked
beer. Oh yeah! So I ended up walking about 15 minutes to a place called the
Library, which was a brew pub that had won some awards for the best beer
around. The place was great, and it was Monday night, so I was able to drink
great bear, eat a burger, and watch Monday Night Football on a large screen
– perfect! This being Wyoming, a number of the patrons in the restaurant/bar
were wearing cowboy hats, and of course in Wyoming this doesn’t seem out of
place at all. The funny thing is when I left the restaurant to walk back to
my hotel, there was a Smart car parked in the parking lot. So this was
another of those interesting contrasts that I kept experiencing on this
trip.

The next morning I was looking forward to a good breakfast again and went to
a Perkin’s that was attached to the Holiday Inn. I had a life-changing event
at Perkin’s on this particular morning – the breakfast menu included a
number of choices for seniors, defined as anyone 55 or older. Hey, that’s
me! For $5.79 I was able to get a senior breakfast that included an omelet
with cheese and mushrooms and bacon, and coffee and orange juice. Can’t beat
that! I told the waitress I was a senior and would like the senior
breakfast, and she said she would need to see my ID card. I said “Are you
serious?” She laughed and said no, she was just teasing me, that anyone who
admitted to being that old must really be that old! Being old is better than
I thought!

I hit the road after breakfast looking forward to the day, because I had
planned another relatively short driving day through Wyoming and Utah and
would get to spend the night at Steve and Kathleen’s house in Ogden, Utah.
The scenery starts to get a lot more interesting in Wyoming. I crossed
several high passes (I think the highest was over 8,000 feet) and the
Continental Divide, but the highways were clear and the weather was pretty
warm. I stopped in Rock Springs to find a mocha, and sure enough, there was
a cool little shop that sold coffee and bicycles, and made great mochas.
Wyoming fascinates me – this is a very rugged place, and is really still a
frontier kind of culture, with real cowboys and hunters and tough mountain
men that you don’t want to mess with. I passed these huge mining operations
during my drive across southern Wyoming that really gives this state a sense
of macho industry that is not for wimpy men who like cultural things like
plays and musicals and good books (I’m NOT describing myself, by the way!
I’m somewhere in between macho and sissy!). A lot of men (and probably
women, too) still hunt for food in Wyoming, and I can understand why.

After four or five hours of driving across the state I finally arrived in
Evanston which is right on the border with Utah. If the roads were OK, I had
planned to take back roads from Evanston, over the mountains (the Wasatch
Range), and into Ogden via Ogden Canyon, which I knew is a spectacular drive
if the weather cooperated. It turned out to be OK – I did run into some
snow, but nothing too bad, and since the Turbo has all-wheel drive I wasn’t
too concerned. I finally had the opportunity to stretch the Turbo’s legs a
little, since I was now in back-country with absolutely no traffic or towns
or any kind of civilization, so I felt pretty safe in getting into the
triple digits. This car is spectacularly fast!

Continued in part V…DSC_3384DSC_3388DSC_3388DSC_3384DSC_3393DSC_3396

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