Well now that home is in the Coachella Valley of the Southern California Desert, my drive back to the hometown means I come in from the South. And although I was just in Salt Lake a month ago, that time I again approached from the Northwest coming down from Seattle. Now I'm back again, and this time I came in from the South. And it struck me on the drive in, this is "new". Well new to me for the most part. I've driven just about every road out of Salt Lake City in every direction, but this will be the new "route home" -- coming up from the South. I have a few ways to wander and I'm sure I will, but this time it was just a straight shot on what will most likely become the "normal" route -- the back roads across the empty Mojave to Las Vegas, then up Interstate 15 to Salt Lake.http://grgardner.livejournal.com/2015/12/25/ But I know I'll go back someday -- to see if things are still the same, as Tom Paxton sang.
Just like the route down from the Northwest, this new road runs through a vast and empty land, starkly beautiful in it's own way. I love this part of the country and I always will. But approaching from the South brings up different navigational challenges too -- it's not quite "auto pilot" yet. And unfortunately there isn't a good "half way" stop to spend the night or visit relatives. I still need to figure out the best places to stop and stretch or gas up, get a bite, or what side roads to wander. And I'm sure I will. It's a lot closer to "home" now -- the drive not as long. As I age, and my parents age, the trip will become a little more frequent -- and no doubt, a little more familiar. But, I'm still a wander and I'll still be driven to see what I've already seen on this road home -- just to see if it's still the same.