Four days, four Motel 6’s

On our way out to Los Angeles last year, we were pretty straightforward about it; We asked Google Maps the quickest way to get there, and that’s the way we went. We decided that this year, we should take our time and see a little more of the country on our way out. So on New Year’s Day, January and I packed up the car, packed a cooler with water and 5 hour energy shots, and headed west toward our first stop: Omaha.

If there’s one thing I can say about Omaha it’s that it’s cold. Or at least it was during the night we spent there. The temperature was right around zero, but the wind chill brought it down to the negative 20 range. As I unloaded our overnight bags into the Motel 6, I was seriously concerned about frostbite. I’ve been told by Nathan that this is absolutely normal for this time of year. No wonder he left.

We spent the next day dilligently driving through Nebraska and Wyoming, which is about as exciting as it sounds. In general, the landscape was nice, and I’ve never seen so many cows in my life, but it got a little old after the first couple of hours.

At the end of day three, we rolled our way into Salt Lake City and settled in at the downtown Motel 6.

After my blog post last week about our tentative travel plans, a friend from Twitter who lives in Salt Lake City volunteered to meet up with us and show us around the city. Christian is actually a local elected official who lives just a couple blocks away from the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, so he was the perfect person to show us everything we wanted to see.

We started the day off up in the hills above the city where we were able to enjoy this amazing view of the whole valley.  Afterwards, Christian guided us around the various historical parts of the city, including a recently built LDS temple, the big downtown temple at Temple Square, and the uber-massive Convention Center where Mormons gather twice a year for teachings. We were able to see everything we had wanted, and with the added bonus of having someone who knew what everything was along for the ride. January has all the really good pictures, so I’ll leave those for her to tackle in a more detailed article, but we had a great day visiting Salt Lake City. Thanks for showing us around, Christian!

Early afternoon, January and I hit the road again and made our way through the Salt Flats of Utah. Apparently, back in the day, the Great Salt Lake extended all the way across Utah. Eventually the water dissipated, leaving behind miles and miles of salt, up to six feet deep in some places. We stopped at a rest area about an hour outside of Salt Lake City to check it out.

At the bottom of that picture is actually snow, and you can see where it just stops immediately where the salt flats start. Looking at it, you almost expected it to be 20 degrees warmer stepping across the dividing line.

After another night of driving, this time through Nevada and the winding hills of California, we reached Motel 6 #3 in Oakland. It was right on a harbor and was actually pretty cool, but we were really too exhausted to appreciate it. The next morning, we worked our way into San Francisco for a brief self-guided tour of the city. We eventually reached the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped to get a few pictures and contemplate walking across, which we ultimately decided against.

The weather was amazing; Although it was only in the upper 40’s, having passed through Nebraska and Wyoming really made us appreciate it. Gus also appreciated that, as we worked our way down California 1, we kept our windows down so he could enjoy the breeze.  As we approached Monterey, home of our fourth and final Motel 6 experience of the trip, we took the time to stop at one of the fresh fruit stands on the side of the road. I’m pretty sure that if I lived out here, I wouldn’t eat anything except oranges from these stands.

So here we are, tucked in at the Motel 6 in Monterey California. In the morning we’ll get up, load our overnight bags back into the car, and stop off at Monterey Bay to catch the sunrise before we work our way down the Pacific Coast Highway toward our eventual destination in Venice. We’ve got a lot more pictures (and videos) from the trip, so we’ll have to compile something once we get settled in, but we wanted to give you a little taste now. I hope you’re enjoying following along with us, and if you haven’t yet, you can see updates and pictures from along the way on the main Team Soell page.