Thursday, October 15, 2009

When drinking is outlawed, only outlaws will drink

We bid adieu to Utah today. It's been real. It's been fun. But it ain't been real fun.
Actually, it was pretty darn cool. Much better than we expected. (Nikki - "Moab? Where's Moab")
However, one tiny little fact hindered the experience from being all that it could be: the state controls the liquor. We've all heard the rumors about the booze scarcity in Utah, but I never could have fathomed the iron-fisted grip they keep on their spirits in that state.
After a few days in the canyon, we headed back to town to stock up. A woman at the local grocery store gave us directions to the Moab State-run liquor store. However, Monday was Columbus day and the store was closed. So we headed into the Canyonlands with a tiny little bottle of grappa Nikki had been saving. No big deal.
However, by the time we completed the drive to Salt Lake City we were thirsty. I mean, that's a long drive, you just need to unwind every once in a while.
We were going to be spending the night in the (crazy spooky) SLC Walmart and decided we should just get some beers. Or so we thought. In Utah they can only sell beer that has 3.2 percent alcohol in grocery stores. Oh, cruel, cruel world. What a rip off.
Dismayed but not daunted we roamed the streets of SLC looking for a bar.
After charging or computers at a Subway we stumbled upon Duffy's, and for $1.75 a piece we were each handed a nice, frosty glass of beer.

Little did we know how lucky we were, because every other bar we came across was members only.
Recharged, we headed home for the evening after a little stroll through SLC's south side.
The next day we rode our bikes through downtown SLC. It is nice, neat and clean, and you always have a view of the mountains to the east. Also, we found two of the best bookstores Nikki or I have ever been to.

After several hours roaming shelves we retreated to the Dod and made our way out of town. But first we wanted to see the "Great" Salt Lake.
Did you know that "Salt Lake City" isn't even on the Salt Lake. BS, right?
In my head I had always pictured a bay or something.
So we drove 20 miles out of town in our attempt to find this so called Lake. And after 30 minutes of driving around corn fields and horse pastures, we found it. Almost.
Salt Lake has an island in it. It is a state park. There's a long bridge that goes out to that state park. Five miles before you even get to the lake, they want you to pay $9, just to spend the day there. Not only does this state guard their booze with the totalitarian zeal of a despot king, they keep a lock on the Salt lake too.
We asked the attendant at the gate if there was any public access to the lake near by. She told us No, but if we wanted to drive down I-80, towards Las Vegas, Nevada, we could see it from the expressway.
Well, I've seen enough lakes in my day that i wasn't about to give Utah my nine bones. Heck, I lived smack dab in the middle of the gol-darn Great Lakes. Bodies of water actually deserving of the title.
Forgive me, I'm just a little bitter.
Needless to say we continued down the road. However, within an hour we could see the shimmering waters of the Salt Lake and we took the first exit we found to try and once again breach the state's defenses.
Now they wanted $10 from us to see their lake. Except this time the guard shack was unmanned, so Nikki punched the gas and we busted through.
And then there it was, the Great Salt Lake, rimmed by mountains to the west. I stuck my feet in the cool waters and Nikki did a cartwheel in the sand. Then we hightailed it out of there before we got caught.

All in all, we had a pretty good time in Utah. But we must be moving on. We're making a pit-stop in Burley, ID for the night before continuing on to Boise. Then it'll be another trip through the mountains before Washington. However, now that we're out of the canyons we should be able to post more often.
Until next time.

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