Journey to Branch: day 2

Apparently I’m bad at watching the gas gauge, because I was on empty when I pulled into Salt Lake City at around 4pm. I found myself downtown, with not a gas station in sight. I was having trouble shifting, too; the hundred-degree-plus heat was taking its toll, and at one point, while stopped at a light, I had to forcibly crank my truck into first, with both hands and all my might. Fortunately there was no one behind me! Desperate, I made random turns, hoping to find a gas station. I did, blessedly. Red faced and sweaty in my white and red polka-dotted sun dress, I cleaned the cake of crushed bug-pulp off my windscreen, and tried to decide what to do. I’d gotten a phone number from my hosts in Boise; I called the woman, who called a woman, who called me. I didn’t like the sound of her on the phone; she seemed overly anxious and potentially pushy and invasive. True, it would be a free place to stay, but I knew there’d be a price, and at that point, I would rather have paid in cash.

My dad ended up finding me a hostel online while I sat on the grass outside of a duplex on a residential street near the university. It occurred to me to simply ask the nice looking young man who was (seemingly) being visited by a bike-riding pot dealer for lodging, but I’m not quite that bold (although I might just be that foolhardy).

Salt Lake kitty

The Camelot Inn was in what I think is probably the bad part of Salt Lake, though I couldn’t be sure. Car dealerships and factories dominated the landscape, foregrounding nearby mountains.

Street the Camelot was on

Yards were filled with plastic kid’s toys and cast-off furniture, and the reek of garbage mingled with the perfume of honeysuckle in the warm night air. I wanted to go out and get a beer, but the numerous bars I’d passed on the way to the Camelot Inn had grown sparse. I left the hostel after settling my cat in and eating a quick dinner of tortilla chips, celery and almond butter, and took a walk around.

After making a wide circle and feeling mildly threatened by a young man yelling at me from across a street (I became uncomfortably aware of the growing dark and the lack of other pedestrians in that area) I headed back towards the hostel. For lack of saltier options (the gay bar I’d spotted earlier turned out to be a member’s only affair, to my great disappointment) I settled on a generic sports bar called Legends.

Members only 😦

Too scary, even for me

The bartender was generous with his sample pours, and I got a kolsch-style lager that, after the third sip, tasted like strawberry sour-patch straws. I also got a “kid’s cup” of delicious pale ale, and headed back to the Camelot for a good night’s sleep with notably bizarre dreams.


About ea

Reluctant technophile, immoderate lover of words, food, cogitation, the sensory world. We are not done evolving and there is no free will.
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