I took this picture at a rest stop in Utah. We'd been driving through the most beautiful country. This is just a taste of the sights we saw in the mountains outside of Salt Lake City.
This little guy let me walk right up to him.
Little did I know that this rest stop was the last moment of peace we'd have for a long time.
Once we hit the mountains outside of Salt Lake City, it felt like we were driving in a speed race. We had to be going over 80 miles an hour just to keep up with the other drivers, who were going much faster. I've never been so terrified and...thrilled, to be honest.
Whipping around those corners, speeding up to pass slower drivers. OMG, it was amazing. I've never gone so fast before. When we came out of the mountains, and I saw the lights of Salt Lake City on the horizon, fireworks shot into the sky (literally). It was 4th of July weekend, but it felt like they were just for me. I've never been so happy.
Then I follow Mom into the city. By the time we hit the freeway, it was fully dark. I could barely see Mom's jeep because of drivers pulling in front of me. Some guy in a white truck almost ran me off the road. Traffic moved fast.
Mom got confused by the signs and ended up turning onto Hwy 80 for Reno. Next thing you know, we're lost. Trapped on a two-lane freeway with no way to pull off. We end up passing the Bonneville Salt Flats (which stink). It was close to midnight. I was exhausted and upset that we'd ended up an hour off course.
Mom finally noticed my frantic signaling and pulled off at a small gas station. The lights were off inside. Nobody else was around, but us.
Mom climbed out of the jeep and started to walk toward me. From the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of red. A pick up truck pulled in and parked next to us. A old guy in tattered overalls got out of the truck. He had shoulder length hair and a beard. No shirt (of course), because we'd just entered bizarro land.
More pick up trucks pulled in and parked. It must've been a family caravanning, unless we stumbled across the gas station where the Salt Flat People held their parties. I say that 'cause the next thing I know, I'm watching a bunch of their kids dancing on top of the pick up trucks. It was the oddest thing I've EVER seen outside of a movie like Deliverance or The Hills Have Eyes. I wish I'd thought to take a video, but I didn't want to draw their attention.
Mom and I pulled out of the gas station and parked in a nearby field. We still needed to figure out where we were. And how to get back to Salt Lake City without being cannibalized by the Salt Flat People.
So, the trip is already half over. What else can go wrong? I actually thought this as I laid down to sleep in a beautiful room at the Comfort Inn a few miles back the way we came, in Tooele, Utah (home to some of the nicest people on earth).
Scroll down to enjoy a teaser DARK EMBRACE (Dark Paradise, #4). It releases Tuesday, July 14th, and is available for pre-order. :)