Salina, Utah

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There are no gas stations, truck stops, or motels to distract you, as you make your way across 110 miles of pure Utah desolation, along Interstate 70.  That solid hour-and-a-half drive gives you ample time to admire the scenery, stare thoughtfully at your gas gauge, and most of all, dream about what might lie ahead in the town of Salina — the official end of I-70’s long, lonely journey.

Maybe that’s why, for me, Salina was a bit of a disappointment.  Maybe after all that anticipation, any town would have fallen short.

Salina’s downtown is assembled around the crossroads of US 89 and US 50.  It’s obvious the most prominent landmark is Mom’s Cafe.  The liberal use of such words as “Famous” and “Best Food In Town” certainly set a high standard.

I only took pictures of Mom’s Cafe; I didn’t eat there.  But if I had been hungry, it would have been one of my very few options.

The rest of downtown Salina had an abandoned feel.  Sure, the cold, damp weather wasn’t exactly helping lure people onto the streets…

… but most storefronts either appeared to be closed for the day, or closed forever.

From the traffic light at the center of town, US 50 takes a turn, and heads west and north.  Unfortunately, highway 50 can’t follow a straight path to Nevada — it must first zig north to I-70, then zag south, then north again to Delta, then slightly south again.

The problem is the mountains.  Willow Creek Peak, Jacks Peak, Pioneer Peak, and Mt. Catherine are just a few of the big hills that get in the way.  While they will cost you a few extra miles and minutes, they do make the scenery quite nice.  As you leave Salina, the Pahvant Range is directly in front of you…

… then the road turns and follows the basin north, with the mountains looming out your driver’s side window.  Unfortunately, most of them were shrouded in fog and snowy clouds during my drive, but it was still fun to see whatever peeked through.

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