Red, White, Blue, and Double-Yellow Lines

by Andrew Stein

The road from Rome to Deer Valley is short in time, but not in distance–especially when covering most of California in the process.  My yet to be named Prius is waiting at home in La Canada, CA nine-ten-eleven, and although it has been driven in my absence, the odometer reads only a couple hundred miles more than it did 5 months ago.  Little does the unsuspecting Prius realize that it will gain almost 5,000 miles in the next couple weeks.

After unpacking, packing, online tutorials for school, a fabulous family reunion in Santa Barbara, and two days of friends in the Bay Area, I pick up Gabe in Redwood City, and we set Park City, Utah into the GPS.  In the ten days that I was “home” in California before setting off across the country, I had no time to experience jet lag, culture shock, or sleeping in.

Deer Valley, UT

That said, before I know it, Gabe and I are enjoying our last In-n-Out Burger for a while when we pass through Reno, and it is more accurate if I pluralize “burgers.”  For lunch, we share a regular fries and animals-style fries, which I devour along with a cheeseburger, an animal-style double-double, and a Coke.  In between long stretches of open road filled with good tunes including a tractor playlist, “This American Life”, and in depth discussions about the wikipedia article on Mormonism, we make a couple more bio-breaks to refill the Prius and empty our bladders before eventually arriving in Park City.  Staying with a friend from university, we wake up the next morning to a beautiful day.  Our friend has to go to work in the morning, but her two roommates are gearing up for a hike and we invite ourselves to tag along.  We quickly realize that we should have waited for them to fully gear up so that the spandex, hardcore shoes, and camelbaks could have provided us a hint of what we were about to do.  Hiking up and around Deer Valley to about 10,000 feet, we learn a lesson about lung capacity while we enjoy the stunning views that surround us.

After a full recovery day in Park City of hiking, eating, cooking, and exploring Main Street, we leave for the very reasonable drive to Grand Junction, Colorado.  I am not sure if the hardest activity of the day in Park City was the hike or kneading the homemade pasta dough, but whichever the case, we had a fun-filled stay in Utah.