We’re finally made it…Quite a challenging road trip…Tomorrow, details of my upcoming appointments at Cleveland Clinic…

The snowstorm was much worse than shown in this photo as we left Layton, Utah.

We finally made it to Minnesota and arrived at the hotel last night at about 6:00 pm. It was a relief the long and stressful road trip was over after encountering 2½ days of challenging driving during a blizzard in Utah and Wyoming, the longest stretches during the four days of travel.

I tried to take photos during the blizzard but found it impossible during “whiteouts.” I was so busy hanging onto my seat that I couldn’t get a photo through an open window when the wind was blowing at 70 to 80 mph, nor could I get a photo through the windshield, which was covered with snow between each fast swipe.

Numerous accidents along the highway often slowed us down for long stretches, including cars, but more so semi trucks that toppled over in the high winds. What an ordeal. I couldn’t imagine how we’d get through it without being scathed. If we got trapped, we had a big blanket in the SUV, our mugs of Crystal Light iced tea, lemonade, and some protein bars. We were as prepared as we could be.

The Virgin River Gorge in Utah.

But, thank God, we made it through with Tom’s expert driving skills, although at times, I thought he took too many chances and asked him to slow down on several occasions. He was determined to get through it. We had a couple of close calls when vehicles started sliding toward us.

Thank goodness, living in Minnesota most of his life, he had acquired excellent driving skills in inclement weather. But, even for the more expert drivers, driving through this nightmare was a real challenge. After the blizzard, the high winds remained, and more accidents occurred.

Getting out of the SUV to go to the restroom at a petro station or rest area almost blew me away. I hesitated to walk outdoors on the way back to the car. Whew! The winds continued after we arrived in Nebraska but finally died down on the final day.

The Layton Utah Temple is a three-story, nearly 94,000-square-foot structure. It sits on a slope between the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains and the valley floor at 1400 Oak Hills Drive. The sacred structure is the second house of the Lord in Davis County.

We had a great dinner and breakfast with Marylin and Gary in their hometown of Layton, Utah. It was a charming town of 82,000 people with a strong Mormon influence. They drove us to see their new temple and showed us the snowy, peaked mountains surrounding the quaint and charming town.

When we went to dinner at a Mongolian-pot-type restaurant, I proceeded to order a glass of wine, reminded that no alcohol can be served in Utah unless under exceptional circumstances. I ordered an iced tea and forgot about the wine, or lack thereof, in seconds.

In the morning, we met up with them for breakfast and then were on our way. The skies were cloudy, and a light dusting of snow covered the car. An hour after leaving Layton, we were entrenched in what became the most challenging long drive in a blizzard neither of us had experienced, especially for such an extended period. As we read along the way, Wyoming is one of the US’s most deadly locations to travel. We certainly got a taste of that.

As mentioned above, once we reached Nebraska, the blizzard ended, and many miles later, the winds died down, and we could enjoy the remainder of the trip. We drove through Nebraska and Iowa and then entered Minnesota, encountering traffic. The last few hours seemed painstaking.

The Wasatch Mountains, also known as the Wasatch Range, border Layton, Utah, to the east. The Wasatch Range is a 160-mile mountain range from the Utah-Idaho border to central Utah. It’s the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and the eastern edge of the Great Basin region. The Wasatch Mountains are the most prominent landmarks in the area and define the east boundary of Davis County. The mountains are still rising today due to the Wasatch fault, which causes the earth’s crust to shift suddenly. It was beautiful to see.

Since Tom was still full from a massive breakfast at Perkins in Lincoln, Nebraska, he wasn’t hungry for dinner, but I’d only eaten a small omelet and two pieces of Tom’s bacon for breakfast. Nine hours later, I was ready for something for dinner. We walked across the parking lot of our hotel to the Pizza Luce restaurant, where I had an appetizer size of gluten-free meatballs with sauce and mozzarella. Tom ate my garlic toast.

Back at the hotel, I set up the room’s TV to work with the streaming apps on my phone, and we relaxed and watched a few shows until bedtime. We both had an uninterrupted good night’s sleep. This morning, we ate at the hotel “included breakfast” and met a lovely couple our age. We enjoyed a lively conversation with them for over an hour.

Tom headed out the door 30 minutes ago when he noticed a retiree lunch for railroad guys starting at 11:30. He didn’t tell any of them he was coming, and it will be a fun surprise for his old railroad buddies. At around 5:30, my son Greg will pick me up to join them for dinner and a musical at the Minneapolis Children’s Theater after that. All three of my grandchildren and Greg’s lovely girlfriend, Heather, will be attending. It will surely be a pleasant evening.

In the future, we’ll be posting daily as we have in the past. Tomorrow, I will share the details and dates of my appointments at Cleveland Clinic.

I appreciate your patience with the lack of posts in the past few weeks.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 9, 2014:

My friend Joan posted this on Facebook last night, and it caught my eye this morning. So true. For more photos, please click here.

Comments and responses We’re finally made it…Quite a challenging road trip…Tomorrow, details of my upcoming appointments at Cleveland Clinic…

  1. Janet Reply

    WOW!! What a harrowing drive for you both! Kudos to Tom’s excellent driving skills. So glad you made it safely to your next destination. Now you have another excellent tale to tell on this adventure. Be well.

    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Janet, thank you for your kind words and thoughtfulness in writing. We are relieved to have made it safely.

      Warmest regards
      Jess & Tom

  2. janice portukalian Reply

    i love pizzaluce – telasagna is ujnique
    what unb elievable b lizzards andwind
    how did he nvigate whiteouts must have had 4 wheel drivew and solid tires
    sorry typs – v ery tired
    praying foryou
    almost 40yrs of y 73 in minnesota and 1 in WI

    • worldwide-admin Post authorReply

      Janice, I was able to decipher your message and am grateful for your kind words. You are so thoughtful to write.
      You take care, too.

      Warmest regards,
      Jess & Tom

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