6427 Miles: A Tour of America by Car

By Gerard Forgnone

Day 9

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Winnemucca, NV to Ogden, Utah

Good morning!

Ahhh...my first morning after camping in the back of the Mounty!  It was interesting!  Hard to get up when it's cold and there's not a lot of room.  I slept well, though.  Here are some images of my first morning camping.

Hey, what a view!!!!  On arrival at this campground in Winnemucca, it was dark.  This was my view that first morning.

One of many mornings right in the back of the Mounty!

Not awfully exciting camping...it sure wasn't Yosemite!

Ahhh!!!  Breakfast!  Since I had arrived late, I had to wait for the campground office to open to pay for the night's stay.  They had hot coffee, and I had Pop Tarts, so that was breakfast, and it was YUMMY!

Ok, everything is back where it belongs, and I'm ready to hit the road again.  If you see any more photos of the back of the Mounty as the trip goes on, note that the box of food on the right doesn't get much smaller!  I never really ate much besides something for breakfast, and snacks while driving.  Since I'd arrive late at campgrounds, I'd never cook.  All the cans of soup in the bottom of that box stayed right there the whole time.

Winnemucca Nevada is the home of one of the few branches of the Forgnone family.  They've been there long enough to name their own road!  I was there on a Saturday, so their repair shop was closed, and I didn't want to bug them, so I just took a photo.  I think next year, I'll make some more time to visit.

Nevada is DESOLATE!

A buddy at work and I joke about cool names all the time.  I thought this was a pretty cool name.

After rolling down the Sierra from Truckee and crossing the desert, I made it to Wells, Nevada on just one tank of gas.  20 gallons, 400 miles, 20 miles per gallon, it was the best mileage I'd ever gotten with the Mounty, mostly due to the 50 miles or so from Truckee downhill into Reno. 

Anyway, I had to take a photo of this hotel, because Sharon hates her name so much she changed it.  She didn't want to be a verb.  You know, sharin'!

The photo below is significant because of what happened here during WWII.  United States Army Air Corps Colonel Paul Tibbets chose this place, Wendover, Nevada, to train his crews to drop atomic bombs.  It was, and still is, very remote, the perfect place to train aviators and maintainers for a secret mission.  The old airbase is still being used for its runways, visible near the center of the photo.  Their secret missions ended World War II.  Paul Tibbets was the man who ended the worst war our planet has ever seen, saving millions of lives on both sides.

Ahh, Speed Central!

Just east of Wendover are the Bonneville Salt Flats, where almost every land speed record has ever been set.  I just HAD to go here, even though the Transcontinental Railroad didn't come this way.

Ok, can someone tell me who this "Frontage" guy is, and why he gets roads named after him every place you go?????

It's SUPPOSED to be dry and flat here!  Apparently, a big rainstorm had just dumped a bunch of water all around, and since the salt flats are, by definition, the low spot of the valley, here's where the water ends up.

A little bit further west from the racing area, it was higher and drier.  Here I am ready to set a new Land Speed record for stock Mercury Mountaineers!  Let's go!

From Bonneville to Salt Lake, it's one of the longest, straightest roads on the planet.  They have billboards telling people to stop and rest if they get sleepy.

Off in the distance is Salt Lake City, and my next stop, Ogden, Utah.

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