This past October, Danny and I took a road trip from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco, California, traversing through parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada along the way. Although the reason for the trip was ostensibly to cover the Treasure Island Music Festival, it was really more of a pretext for taking a leisurely vacation together and embracing the charm of the highway strip.
There is something wonderfully meditative about the open road. It’s no wonder so many songs have been written about hitting the pavement and letting the scenery unfold. Wyoming’s mountains and valleys were simply breathtaking in their autumnal state.
The area outside Salt Lake City was especially unique, with the lake’s mineral deposits reaching out and nearly touching the road in certain spots. After taking a wrong turn off an interstate off-ramp, we would up in a run down industrial area where we found the skull below.
As anyone who has been there knows, San Francisco is such a distinctive city, both in terms of its architecture and its topography. I suspect that if we lived there, our leg muscles would be much better toned. That or we would construct complex cognitive maps to navigate from point to point without too suffering too many of the city’s treacherous inclines.
On our final day in the city, we toured a very large chunk of the city by foot, exploring a wide portion of the city near the Embarcadero and base of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a gorgeous day for those who took their sailboats out of the marina, and we had a fun time imagining what life was like inside the houses which overlooked the bay.
My friend Miles works for George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic and was kind enough to give us a tour of what is quite an exceptional workplace. Props, matte paintings, and all manner of memorabilia line the hallways of the ILM campus, like the original painting from the second Ghostbusters movie.
On our way back to Denver, we spent a day at Yosemite National Park among the grandeur of the sequoias. We have been inspired to visit all fifty-eight National Parks, but even visiting a fraction of them would be a tremendous treat.
The vista above was photographed just outside Yosemite during one of those moments when fate conspires to produce something poetic and perfect. We were treated to an ideal sunset going down over rolling, green hills and sparsely traveled winding roads. That night, we camped in Reno, Nevada, which felt a world away.
Much of downtown Salt Lake City, where we spent our final night of the trip, is owned by the Mormon church. It is a little unnerving, especially given the Disneyfied architecture of much of their buildings, such as the main temple above. Still, there is no denying its idiosyncratic nature.