First I am going to tell you never to do this. Then I am going to tell you that we decided to do it again.
We got up Tuesday (October 27) at midnight and hit the road at 2:00 a.m. Our goal was to get from Dewey, AZ to Riverton, WY before dark. That didn’t happen. Wasn’t even close.
It took us 18 hours.
We made a lot of stops to switch drivers and take our little dog, Maddie, for walks. She was a real trooper. She slept in her doggie bed in the back most of the time. But she sure was excited every time we stopped somewhere. I think Wendy’s was her favorite stop because she got some of an unsalted, all-beef patty. It was Bernd’s favorite stop because of the baked potatoes.
We have made the drive to Flagstaff, AZ from our home in Dewey quite a few times and know the scenery is pretty so doing it in the dark wasn’t a disappointment. It was just getting light when we made it to Page, AZ so we got to see the Glen Canyon Dam. Pretty impressive topography in that area. Pretty impressive dam.
From there it wasn’t much longer until we entered Utah. Utah is pretty. Lots of meandering rivers. Great mountains. Nice people.
Provo and Salt Lake City are horrid to drive through though. The freeway is every bit as nasty as the freeways in Phoenix, AZ. We don’t go to Phoenix much. Way too scary.
As in Phoenix, there are at least five lanes each direction, the speed limit is posted at 70 miles per hour and everyone seemed to want to go faster than that. I was so happy to switch to the I-80 and start heading east to Wyoming. Both times, going and coming, I did the driving through Provo and SLC, and I’m going to have to do it at least one more time. Not really looking forward to it.
We had decided to move to Wyoming. Riverton to be exact. And the trip was to find a house to buy. Which we did. That’s another long story.
It’s a small town. The people are nice. I think we are going to like it there very much. It is still much the same as the Prescott area was here in Arizona when we moved here 27 years ago. Quiet. Laid back. Very little traffic. Low population density. Clean air. Friendly people. All that good stuff.
There are no Costcos in Wyoming. And Riverton doesn’t have a Home Depot. But there is a Walmart Super Center that is very nice and a Sutherland’s for home improvement stuff.
Based on how we felt when we finally arrived in Riverton, we thought that maybe we would take two days to drive home. We discussed it and we discussed it some more and finally decided to do it in one piece again. Our reasons were many and good, even if not entirely sane.
The return trip took 19 hours instead of 18 because we took an unintentional detour. And it was studded with several deer encounters that were unnerving causing us to drive a lot slower than the various speed limits.
We were passing through a small town north of Kanab, UT. I was driving under the speed limit. We were enjoying the scenery. It was getting on toward dusk and the lowering sun was casting shadows and making dramatic lighting.
Out of the blue, something slammed into the rear quarter panel on the driver’s side of my car. Scared the you know what out of all of us. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a deer running off. Apparently, it had bounded onto the road and run right into the side of my car.
I pulled over and went in search of the deer and Bernd checked out the car. I couldn’t find the deer anywhere and Bernd found no damage to the car. I was happy my car hadn’t killed the deer. Bernd was happy the deer hadn’t damaged the car. Win-win. Bernd decided to take over the driving figuring I was shaken up. Maybe I was. I don’t know. But a little while later, he sure was.
Just north of Kanab, UT, a deer jumped into the road right in front of us. Bernd slammed on the brakes. Everything in the back slid forward (and we had a lot of stuff back there) including Maddie. But she stayed in her bed as it came forward and landed on the center console.
We did not hit the deer. None of us were hurt.
We pulled over as soon as we could and straightened out the cargo area and continued on into Kanab.
In the town itself, we had another deer jump into the road in front of us. But this time it was not as close and Bernd did not have to slam on the brakes. Not 100 feet further, there was another deer standing beside the road. And this was in downtown Kanab, early evening, with lots of people out and about. Maybe they are all used to it. The people, I mean. I’m sure not. Goodness only knows what the deer think about it.
Luckily, this deer stayed put. Also luckily, that was our last deer encounter the rest of the way home. Didn’t stop us driving really slowly though.
On this trip, we saw more of our home state than we’ve seen in 27 years of living here. We also saw more of the United States. We are not big travelers. We prefer day trips and then getting back to our cozy and comfortable home.
It was interesting and educational. It was scenic. But I don’t recommend trying to drive 875 miles all in one day.
Nope. Not at all.