Home » 2013 Cross Country Road Trip

Drive through Wyoming to Ogden , UT

Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 11:30am by Lolo
507 miles and 10 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Parting Ways with Andrew and CelesteParting Ways with Andrew and CelesteDrive, drive, drive. That’s all there was on the itinerary for the day. Originally, we had planned to break up the day and spend the night in Firehole Canyon, part of Flaming Gorge Recreational Area, but the kids were getting antsy to get to their final destinations.

We picked up Andrew’s supposedly fixed car in Fort Collins, where the manager mumbled something incoherent about what they had done to resolve the problem. We were not very confident.

Andrew had to prepare a presentation for an interview, so I drove his car while he rode in the motorhome working on his laptop. I must say I kind of enjoyed cruising across Wyoming by myself, just watching the scenery go by and listening to the radio. After scanning through all the available radio stations, I soon came to realize that my content choices were limited to songs about Jesus or the price of cattle and pigs. I spent the next hours flipping back and forth between the two. You certainly can learn a lot about a region’s priorities by listening to what they broadcast.

As I was driving Andrew’s car, I didn’t think too much about his air conditioning, so the fact that cool rather than cold air was blowing out of the vents didn’t really alarm me. I was comfortable enough. Also, since I was driving behind the RV, I kept my mph under 60, unlike Andrew, who when driving tended to zoom ahead of us at about 75. This would become an important piece of evidence later.

Camping at Ogden UtahCamping at Ogden UtahWe met up at a rest area along I80 near the western border of Wyoming to make the transfer. This was the spot where we would part – Andrew and Celeste continuing on the San Francisco, and Herb, Tommy, and I to Seattle.

The weather had turned a bit scary – ominous clouds on the horizon and very strong winds. We quickly made the transfer of belongings – moving all of Andrew and Celeste’s stuff from the RV to their now very overstuffed Honda. Well, almost everything. We still had custody of Celeste’s yoga block.

The threat of the approaching storm cut our goodbyes short, which was probably a good thing. I don’t think I could have taken a long drawn out one.

We headed back out on the highway and soon lost sight of Andrew’s car, which sped ahead. Tommy continued along behind us. Less than a half hour had passed before we got the dreaded phone call from Andrew that his a/c was cycling again and occasionally blowing hot air. We had had enough experience with this since New Jersey, so we knew that it wasn’t a good sign. We told him to stop in a rest area and we would meet him. Herb and I tried to figure out why the a/c had worked for me, and we came up with two theories. 1) I was too oblivious listening to the price of pork bellies to realize that it wasn’t really working right, 2) Andrew drives faster than me and his little overloaded car just couldn’t handle the extra effort. It was probably a combination of the two.

At the rest area, we found a discouraged Andrew and Celeste cooking Annie’s Mac and Cheese on a camping stove. Herb looked at his car, but basically had no suggestions except to bring it into another Midas shop when they got to California. In the meantime, the best way to prevent breaking down again was to not run their a/c and risk the chance of breaking another alternator belt. Easy to say, but not so easy to do, as the Nevada desert, which was currently experiencing record high heat, lay between them and California. I was a wreck. I suggested following them to California, but that idea was quickly shot down by everyone.

Andrew said they would just drive as far as they could during the cooler temperatures of the night. Unfortunately, we had already been on the road for about 7 or 8 hours, so I wasn’t sure how much driving stamina they had left. Fortunately, I had driven Andrew’s car for a good portion of the day, so he was a bit rested. Also, Celeste could take a turn at the wheel. From Salt Lake City to Reno was 532 miles, and the towns along I80 through Nevada were often separated by 50 miles of nothingness. I was really nervous now.

We said our goodbyes again, but only after the promise that they would call us frequently with updates on their progress.

They made it as far as Elko, Nevada that night, which still left them with 300 more miles to Reno the next day. Elko and its ubiquitous casinos was not exactly their cup of tea, but Andrew did manage to win $1. Maybe things were picking up.

Meanwhile, we continued on and found a nice campground to spend the night in Ogden, Utah. It was late, so about all we had time for was dinner and more worrying about Andrew and Celeste.


The Century Mobile Home and RV Park is a commercial campground in Ogden, Utah, right off I15 with a nice pool and pleasant sites.

Drive through Wyoming to Ogden location map in "high definition"

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