Vacation wrap up
This is the wrap up to my vacation blogs. Starting next week the focus will be sports and a 31 year career covering them in Arkansas.
When I was planning my vacation I wanted to knock out a couple of the states I haven’t been in. I’m now down to five after making it to Wyoming and Montana.
I originally thought about including a drive through North and South Dakota (which would leave me New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont), but that would have been far too much time in the car.
As it was I drove 1,490 miles, or approximately from Little Rock to Las Vegas.
It should have been around 1,000 miles but I made a mistake. I should have flown into Idaho Falls, Id., or Billings, Mt., instead of Salt Lake City, but live and learn and when I go back, and I will go back, I won’t fly into Utah.
As you have probably guessed driving Beartooth Pass was the highlight of the trip, although I still get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about those hairpin turns where the snow was piled so high you couldn’t see if there was any traffic coming.
I have an all new healthy respect for deer crossing signs after almost getting my first three deer in a 10 minute span.
One of the saddest moments of the trip came while driving through the eastern side of Yellowstone and I was suddenly in a part that had been ravaged by the forest fire.
The smell of burnt wood was still strong.
A few miles later it was replaced by the overwhelming odor of sulfur at Sulfur Springs. A lot of people actually got out. I saw, and smelled, all I needed from the car.
I finally found a baseball cap with Montana on it. Found it at a truck stop in Butte, which was the start of a long, boring drive to Salt Lake City.
Not just that drive, but the entire thing, I was never sorry I had rented a full sized car.
It was a Chrysler 300 that ran well _ although the engine changed sounds around the top of Beartooth Pass _ and it got good gas mileage.
A few things I learned was Wyoming and Montana don’t have sales tax.
Utah has huge taxes on rental cars (the rate of $248 for a week became $361 with one tank of gas and taxes).
Wyoming and Montana are gorgeous, at least where I visited and everyone should experience Yellowstone National Park.