Part two of Arizona to Idaho: Spoiler Alert: We made it!
After 3 hours of sleep and 22.5 hours of driving through 5 States.. Essentially the same distance as driving from London to Rome.. we pulled up to our RV trailer in the small town of Arco, Idaho.
Leaving Utah at 6am, Emma took the wheel and drove the first 70 miles on Interstate 70. Rightly terrified, she safely delivered us to our first stop, a small parking area, just inside the Colorado state line. The Trail Through Time is a hike through a prehistoric landscape, dotted with dinosaur fossils and facts on how this area of the country came to be. It was an interesting walk, but we were haunted by the feeling we were being watched by a predator; we cut it short and ran back to the car fearing for our lives.
Leaving the prehistoric desert behind us, the route took us into the Colorado mountains and the scenery became evermore alpine. There’s a lot of dinosaur themed towns and exhibits in this part of the world, so if that’s your kinda thing, then you should consider exploring. We, on the other hand, like childish humor and stopped at the Kum & Go for some gas and merchandise.
We could have driven from Green River to Arco on the Interstate in around six hours, but there’s no fun in that, so we continued north, back into Utah. Climbing ever higher into the mountains, the vistas were spectacular. Alien-like rock formations gave way to dense pine forests, beautiful lakes and an amazing dam. As the road continued to rise. After 100 miles or so, we crested the peaks to see the road drop into rolling hills of grassland. As if someone had got bored of creating insanely stunning scenery, the landscape was left as a project to complete later. Welcome to Wyoming.
The scenery change from Utah to Wyoming was as dramatic as an on/off switch. I hate Wyoming, from a previous trip that took us on the most boring 100 mile detour you could possibly imagine, I prayed the route I’d planned this time would balance out my previous animosity towards The Equality State – seriously.
No. Apparently southern Wyoming is so aggressively bland, it’s impossible to spice up in a metaphor.
I’m sure even the sat nav tried to sleep at one point. Fortunately, the tedium of driving through fields of nothing, only lasts a couple of hours or so before the Teton mountain range begins to dominate the horizon.
Snow capped mountains ensure the rivers are still flowing strong in the summer and the drive down through the Tetons is definitely a highlight. Stopping by the river side to stretch our legs, it’s easy to see why this is a popular place to raft and camp… but there are also bears, so we jumped back in the car and crossed into Idaho.
Idaho is potato farms and mountains. Both cover vast expanses of the countryside in equal measure. The plains are expansive, we could see our destination in the distance, but it was still 30 miles of endless straight road ahead.
The long straight roads of America hold some romanticism when you think about road trips and escaping the daily grind; but after 13 hours on the road, my mind was somewhat more macabre. With the cruise control set, and knowing the lane assist feature of the car would prevent us from veering off the road uncontrollably, I took my feet off the pedals and hands off the wheel as we proceeded to swerve down State Route 20 like a 70 mph bowling ball bouncing off the painted lines of the road as if they were bumpers in a bowling alley.
We wobbled into town about 8pm, dumped our cases in our trailer and headed into town (only about 850 people live here) to one of the few diners. Exhausted, but the journey was amazing.