Snowed all the way into West Yellowstone. From here I drove pretty much straight into Idaho and through to Salt Lake City. The landscape in Idaho - at least the part I went through - wide valleys, big "hills", the highway was elevated a little bit, so the views were great. There was one point where the landscape suddenly changed into black rock, broken and jagged with low foliage - Hell's Half Acre Lava Flow.
I approached Salt Lake City at dusk - I could see a bit of the Great Salt Lake to the west just before the sun went down. Pretty lights of the city, but its California or Bust! The drive past and across this part of Utah was bay far the most unnerving so far. It was pitch dark. Foggy. Visibility was not very far at all. Except for the occasional salt factory & oncoming car, all I could really see was just what was illuminated by my headlights. The highway median had pooled water in it, giving me the feeling that I was surrounded by water, and any false move would land me deep into cold dark salty water, not to be discovered for days.
This only lasted for a couple of hours, and suddenly I was into Nevada. WOW oh WOW, I can hole up in a cheap hotel, get liquered up, pay too much for a crappy buffet & prostitute, and gamble all my money away! Talk about an abrupt change! Once I got past the lights of West Wendover, The sky was perfectly clear, competing with the beauty of the New Mexico sky. 14 shooting stars! 14!! Most of these I saw while I was driving. I did have to stop a couple of times just to look up for a while.
I slept in the truck that night, I found the thought of staying in a motel so unappetizing. There are some good rest stops, where it is okay to sleep in your vehicle without getting harassed. Slept pretty good. When I was getting ready to go, just before dawn, a big truck pulled up, and a woman my age got out for a pit stop. I watched as she returned to her truck, a few minutes later, another woman exited the truck, duffle bag in hand. The truck drove away, leaving her behind. Whether or not I did the right thing by driving away I don't know. There is so much of a story there, though. How intense of a situation caused this woman to be dropped off at a rest stop in the middle of Nevada just before dawn with nothing more than a duffle bag?
The morning drive followed suit with this intensity. Cold, flurries, windy, saw several vehicles including one of those triple trailer trucks slid off the road. All single vehicle accidents. Made it through, they inspected the truck for fruit & bugs at the Cali border, gave me a card to prove it & sent me on my way through the Sierra Nevadas. Lets see, I am only a few minutes away from Lake Tahoe.
That was totally worth the stop! Took a random wrong turn & landed back on the highway. The drive through the mountains was, well this will explain:
Made it into San Francisco just in time for dramatic sunset......