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James R. Stout

Day 11 of my 2019 Big Adventure

            Day 11 of my adventure is coming to a close. It’s been a long day, but a very good day. We left Ely, Nevada at 6 a.m. this morning. The drive between Ely, Nevada and Beaver, Utah was terrific. I wasn’t expecting that part of the drive to be so good. There were some parts that were vast areas of nobody and no buildings etc. Vistas of the highway fading into the distance between mountain ranges were stunning.

            We got to Zion National Park about 1 o’clock. The views of the scenery lived up to the hype. The only negative was the overcrowding. The main scenic loop was by bus only and had a couple of hours wait. We decided to forego that due to time constraints. We did go to the visitor center and spend some money on souvenirs, drive through some amazing scenery, and Sofia was thrilled with the over 1-mile long tunnel. We got to our hotel about 5 o’clock this afternoon and we’re beat.

            Some thoughts now on different aspects of my trip so far. First, the people. By and large the natives in all states that I have been to have been very friendly and pleasant to meet. The only thing different that I have noticed is that they are not as likely as Texans to say “Hello or Howdy” until I have done so first. Waving at someone who is coming from the other direction is generally met with a look of abject amazement. I have tried my best to be a good ambassador for Texas. As much as I have loved all of the places that I have seen, I must admit that I’m homesick for Texas (and my own bed!).

            Second, the gas prices have been considerably higher than Texas. I filled-up my tank in Texas for about $2.50 a gallon. The most that I paid was in California at $5.19 a gallon. Nevada was mostly in the $3.60 range and Utah is about $3.25 so far.

            Third, the state highways and roads are generally pretty good, but not as good as Texas. Interstates are basically the same. The state park roads are best in Nevada so far. Can’t say much else on that subject.

            I’ve noticed a few other things. For the most part, any old dilapidated buildings and sites are fenced off so that you can’t get pictures of them without the fencing in the pictures. We stopped at one in Nevada called the Stokes Castle. A mysterious and wonderful old site, but I had to stand on a rock and take pictures between barbed wire above the chain link fencing. We also found a ghost town called Frisco, Nevada. Some great old buildings and a mine long abandoned were interesting, but again fenced off. I understand why – vandals and idgits, but it still disappoints.

            Sofia has really been having a great time. She seems to be exclaiming “oohs and wows” non-stop. It’s a trip of a lifetime for her. Me too. We stopped and made PB&J sandwiches a couple of times and enjoyed the cooler weather than what we are used to. Tomorrow we will drive through Bryce Canyon NP and start heading back. We’ll still visit Carlsbad Caverns on Saturday and probably stop and check out many things along the way. I promise that I’ll be posting some pictures from the whole trip after I’ve recovered!

Goodnight to all and to all a good night!

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