the road to a red iguana

northern California

Last Sunday I returned to Brooklyn after a few months in Santa Cruz, and I traveled back in my favorite mode: a circuitous roadtrip. (This is the first post of eight, one for each day of the trip.)

Leaving San Jose on August 1st in the quiet of 5 a.m., I took my friend Matt’s advice and stopped at Ikeda’s in Auburn, California a few hours later, looking at the morning sky and leaving the market with granola, homemade fig bars, a bagful of peaches, and a razzleberry cobbler of raspberries and marionberries.

razzleberry cobbler (raspberry and marionberry) from Ikedas in Northern California

On into Nevada, I passed Reno and went on to Winnemucca, smiling at the retro lettering on the Sundance Casino,

fun food cocktails (like the retro lettering)

and then the rows of classic cars at their Sunday afternoon town festival (sadly, Chico’s Formal Attire shop behind this car wasn’t open).

classic cars in Winnemucca, NV

I found Nevada full of strangenesses—faded painted letters in Elko advertised “neon,”

"neon signs" in Nevada

while a nearby cleaners I would happily patronize had letters that seemed more likely to light up.


I crossed the border into Utah and a lighter brightness as the roadside began to shimmer at the Bonneville salt flats. One of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever taken, the afternoon light and the whiteness of the salt flats drew me down the highway,


and toward the great Salt Lake as I raced to pick my friend Karen up from the Salt Lake City airport on time—in an amazing gift of time and trust, Karen had only booked her flight two days before as I finalized the first day of the route.

on the road: the great salt lake

Into hilly Salt Lake City we drove, staying at a historic b&b and sampling mole at the excellent Red Iguana. I sipped Devastator Double Bock Wasatch beer (seemed appropriate) and we caught up, talking about the days ahead,


and driving out early on Monday morning, we passed the Temple spires on our way to Colorado where we would end up staying in a castle…


CategoriesNature Travel

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