Day Sixteen  
    Thursday, September 9, 2004
    Thousand Lake Mountain; Huntington Canyon; Sandy, Utah
Howdy Pard
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine
Day Ten
Day Eleven
Day Twelve
Day Thirteen
Day Fourteen
Day Fifteen
Day Sixteen
Day Seventeen
Happy Trails
10 Korun coin.
20 Korun coin.

We picked up more free coffee and bought fresh pastries at the Chuckwagon Deli and Bakery across the parking lot from our cabin. We ate, once again, in our little shared livingroom. Very nice. Anne and I paid $11.71 for our breakfast; Mirek and Hana paid $3.15 for theirs.

7:53 a.m.
We were packed up and ready to hit the highway. The morning was sunny, breezy, and cool.

8:10 a.m.
We stopped in Loa, Utah for gas at $1.999 per gallon. We put in 7.783 gallons, or $15.56 worth of gas. We have traveled 2,395 miles.

We turned off of Highway 24 onto Highway 72, which traverses Thousand Lake Mountain.

8:24 a.m.
We passed through the little village of Fremont.

8:40 a.m.
We stopped at the Highway 72 overlook that provides an excellent view of the Cathedral Valley portion of Capitol Reef National Park. You can also see portions of the San Raphael Swell, the Henry Mountains, and even the La Sal Mountains near Moab. The Sun was to the east, and the air was hazy below, so the view was not as spectacular as we’ve seen on other occasions. But it was still worth stopping to see.

8:59 a.m.
We spotted several Mountain Blue Birds flying across the road.

9:05 a.m.
We reached Interstate 70 and drove east on an access road to the junction with Highway 10 north.

9:10 a.m.
We got stopped by road construction just after we turned north on 10 and passed under the freeway.

9:15 a.m.
They let us pass through the construction area.

9:30 a.m.
We passed through the town of Emery. One of the programmers that I work with grew up here. It seems pretty desolate and in the middle of nowhere. Very exposed, with few trees. An old mining community, no doubt.

9:43 a.m.
We passed through the town of Ferron.

10:03 a.m.
We saw several cranes or herons in their slow, steady flight from a field.

10:06 a.m.
We reached Huntington.

10:09 a.m.
We pulled into a scenic turnout to use the restrooms. The men's room door was locked, so we all had to use the women’s side. The air was starting to warm, but it was still pleasant. We then headed up Huntington Canyon on Highway 31, a Scenic Byway.

10:44 a.m.
We passed the Old Folk Flat Campground in the Manti-Lasal National Forest. The campground looks to be shady and nice. We may have to try it sometime. As we progressed up the canyon the aspen became more yellow and the sumac more red. Very fallish and pretty.

10:50 a.m.
We pulled into a scenic view point along the stream with a great view of the fall colors. Anne walked down to the stream and said that she could see fish in there. My camera battery (which I had failed to charge the night before) ran out of juice. I turned off the display screen and was able to get one last photo of Mirek and Hana with some of the fall colors as a backdrop.

10:59 a.m.
We drove past Electric Lake. It is a reservoir and it is very low.

11:11 a.m.
We passed the high elevation point in our drive over the Wasatch Plateau at 9,700 feet above sea level.

11:26 a.m.
We passed through Fairview and took Highway 89 north.

11:54 a.m.
We reached the abandoned town of Thistle and our junction with Highway 6. Thistle is the town that was flooded when a landslide created a natural dam on the local stream. I believe that was back in 1983.

12:07 p.m.
We came out of Spanish Fork Canyon and drove through Spanish Fork to Interstate 15, where we headed north toward Sandy. The temperature was 87 degrees F. Once again we drove past the cities of Provo and Orem.

12:30 p.m.
We reached our house. The outside temperature felt hot. Everything at home seemed okay. The cats had knocked a wooden game to the floor and scattered the small pieces. But other than that everything seemed fine. There were three spots of cat vomit throughout the house, but it could have been worse. The plants in the backyard looked fine, like Troy had been watering them as planned, but the grass in the front looked dead. Anne has set the timer to turn on a sprinkler for half an hour every other day. She probably should have set it for every day. There was a bag of new phone books sitting on the front porch, which must have come since Sunday, when Christine had stopped by to check on the cats.

1:30 p.m.
After we unloaded the Trooper and cleaned up a bit, we drove to Tony Roma’s for a late lunch, early dinner. Mirek and I had the beef ribs, and Hana and Anne had the pork ribs. Anne and I had the spicy sauce, while Mirek and Hana had the original sauce. I think we all had baked potatoes. They loved it. I think Mirek, especially. He seemed to really like the ribs, getting the sauce all over his face. I’ve determined that I like the pork ribs better. They have smaller bones and are easier to eat, although they may be more fatty. I’m not sure.

After Tony Roma’s we drove across State Street to the Southtown Mall. Hana had indicated that she wanted to do a little shopping. We walked around the upper level then left.

3:30 p.m.
It turned out that Hana really wanted to go to Albertsons. So we drove there, stopping to buy our last tank of shared gas. It was $1.79 per gallon, or $14.53 to fill up. We put in 8.3 gallons. Our mileage was 2,603 miles for the trip.

At Albertsons Mirek and Hana bought a bag of Fritos Corn Chips, a bag of Blue Corn Chips, a can of pumpkin pie mix and evaporated milk (so that Hana can make pumpkin pie back home), a jar of Great Salt Lake Natural Salt, a box of Bigelow Tea (a fruit flavored sampler), a package of Fig Newtons, and a package of Strawberry Newtons.

Back home I tried to move photos from the various cameras over to my computer, using Mirek’s camera and mine. That part went okay, but slow.

Then I tried burning the first CD. It took over one hour, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. I finally figured out that it was my virus scanning software that was slowing things down. Once I turned it off the burning only took six minutes per CD. It took five CDs to contain all of Mirek’s, Hana’s, and my digital photos. I’ll leave their photos on my machine until I hear from them that all of their photos made it back to the Czech Republic in good order.

I also scanned Mirek and Hana’s American visitor visa cards for them. They will have to turn them in when they board the Czech Airlines plane in New York City. They wanted a copy as a souvenir.

I also scanned a 1000 Korun bill that Mirek had, just for fun. We also traded them $15.00 for 380 Korun in paper and coins. Just for a keepsake.

Mirek gave us $1.00 to use toward the lottery the next time we get a chance to play. We only had one number on the two tickets that we bought in Cortez.

Mirek and Hana had a cup of Constant Comment Tea while Anne and I finished creating the CDs.

We talked a little, but we were all tired, so we went to bed about 9:00 p.m. They completed their packing before they went to bed. That was not how I had envisioned spending our time with them. I had hoped that we could have gone out onto the back patio and enjoyed the plants and fresh air together. Ah well ... at least the major part of the trip went well, and it was important to assure the safe passage of their priceless “memories.”