I headed south from Ely. More of the same desert landscapes—I find them endlessly interesting. Today it was mostly valleys, only occasional hilly passes. I felt more in tune with the land. Yesterday I stopped to look for sage growing near the road, but couldn’t tell whether the plants were sage or not. Today I recognized it right away. I stopped and picked some, got myself in a meditative state. I always am careful not to take too much from any plant. Maybe it’s silly, but I talked to the plants. Anthropomorphic, I guess. I don’t believe that plants, or rocks, have consciousness or a sense of identity at all like people do. Other kinds of consciousness, sure, depending on how you define the word.
I took the business loop through the small town of Pioche. It was quaint and cute but I didn’t see anything to stop for. A little further down the road, I saw a sign for restrooms on the right, Cathedral Gorge State Park, and took the turnoff. I was glad I did—it was one of the peaks of the trip (see separate review).
Outside Panaca, I got stopped for speeding. They must have a radar sensor that reports back to the police car, because the cop came out from town to stop me as I was driving in. He was not nice, the kind of guy who is a cop so he can bully people, but I just deflected that (easy enough when you’re old enough to be his mother). He said I was going 12 miles over the speed limit, 57 in a 45 mph zone. He let me off with a warning, and said the ticket would have been $155. I drove within the speed limit (or almost so) for the rest of the day. I got to Cedar City, Utah, and spent the night there.
The next morning I had a very pleasant drive, about an hour, from Cedar City to Zion National Park (see review), where I spent most of the afternoon.
I drove east out of the park through the Mt. Carmel junction, then Fredonia and Jacob Lake, and then over the bridge over Marble Canyon. Here I realized I’d miscalculated. I thought I’d be able to find a hotel there, but I hadn’t looked closely enough on the web. I only saw one motel and wasn’t moved to stop there. So I had to keep driving. It was almost dark when I decided to turn off to Tuba City, and fully so when I got to Tuba City. This was the first, but not the last, time I broke my rule about driving only in daylight.