Utah! Get Me Two!

When I drove through Utah Thursday and Friday I was in awe of the landscape, but this was all I could think of.

Thursday started out with a short drive to Golden, Colorado for the Coors brewery tour. I had never been on a brewery tour so I didn’t know quite what to expect. I enjoyed it, but was a little disappointed that the fresh tasting room was closed. Overall the tour was informative, the packaging line was mesmerizing, and it was free so there’s not much to complain about. However, I did buy an extra large shirt that was long enough to be an XL but was so tight you it could have been a medium. Oh well.

After leaving the tour, I started the drive to Salt Lake City. Can we talk about what an engineering masterpiece the interstate highway system is? Take I-70 in Colorado. Driving through Glenwood Canyon the views are not only mind blowing, but the bridge, viaducts, and tunnels are mind blowing. Words cannot describe what kind of work and ingenuity wnet into this stretch of highway while preserving the natural beauty of the canyon.

Utah is equally as beautiful, but not quite the engineering feat. There really is something special about driving through the desert and seeing these amazing mountains and mesas not quite flying by at 80 miles per hour.

Not bad, Utah

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Southwestern Idaho apparently used to be some sort of prehistoric lake and looking around with that mindset you can trick yourself into seeing the old banks of lake in the mountains and ridge lines. I’d show you a picture of what I’m talking about, but the only picture I took in Idaho was this one:

That's an Idaho plate that says GOTSPUD. I think they win the license plate game.

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Oregon and eastern Washington are a lot of yellow rolling hills and mountains slowly breaking into the brown of freshly tilled fields and the greens of vineyards before hitting you with the onslaught of rain forest green that is the Snoqualmie Pass. It’s hard not to lean forward and look up out your windshield at the mountains cut through the low clouds as you drive through the pass and into the greater Seattle area.

I’m in Mukilteo now. I’ve used the last couple of days to unpack and acclimate to my new environs. Today I stared applying to jobs. The goal is to get a job waiting tables as soon as possible while also looking for work outside of the service industry.

From hear on out, as far as this blog is concerned, expect about two posts a week on my job search, things I notice about living in the area compared to where I’ve come from, and just general musings.

Wind Farms, Happy Hour, and Cheese

When I left Kansas on Tuesday, I was ready to run into the boring part of the trip. Vast vistas of grassy nothingness. And those were there. Exits where the road turned to dirt as soon as you left the overpass. Corn fields as far as the eye could see.

But then there were the wind farms.

Not long after I left Manhattan, Kansas I came across two oversized truck towing blades from a wind turbine. A few miles past that, there were a couple more. In an hour, I probably passed a dozen of these trucks. I saw one cause a back up in the middle of nowhere as it tried to take a left turn off an exit ramp, but at this point I was in the middle of the first wind farm. Blades almost as long as a football field spinning on these turbines out on the flat plains. I was mesmerized. I thought they were beautiful in all honesty and it surprised me. They were just sitting there, stretching out on my right as far as the eye could see, spinning just out of sync. Everyone should go see a wind farm.

I pulled into Denver late in the afternoon on Tuesday. Prime happy hour time. I met up with a friend and we caught up over drinks and appetizers. I’ve gotta say, I could get used to this happy hour thing. Cheap drinks and cheap, yet outstanding, food? I’ll take it.

Denver is an incredibly walkable city, and I enjoyed that aspect of it. I walked from my hotel to lunch to the aquarium to Laramie Square and then back to the neighborhood I had lunch at to catch a second happy hour with my friend and had no problems at all.

I was a little underwhelmed by the aquarium. Stopping at aquariums are the touristy thing I do. I walk through, stare at the fish, take bad pictures, wonder what it would be like to live underwater. And I could do that at this one, it just seemed a little small.

Yesterday was a food day to remember. I went to Masterpiece Delicatessen for lunch and had this amazing pork belly, ham, and avocado sandwich. Then, for happy hour/dinner, we went to The Truffle Table and had a phenomenal experience. I tried some phenomenal cheeses and cured meets while wafting in the musky cheese aroma coming from the kitchen. I could go on and on about both these places, but just go to Denver and find out about both of them for yourself.

Today I hit the road again and head to Salt Lake City, but first I’ll make a quick stop at the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado to take the tour, something I’ve been looking forward to for some time. More to come!