• Nick Gianetti

Moab, UT

I forgot my bike.


I picked up my uncle in Watertown and headed back to Dorchester to snag it. What's 30 more minutes on a 72 hour drive to Utah? We looped back onto 93 North, found the Mass Pike and aimed my front end at the W. I wasn't sure if we should shoot straight across along I-90 towards Albany, or veer south on 84 diagonally through Connecticut and get down through Pennsylvania. We had about 2 hours to mull it over.


As long as there was a spot to pull over and sleep in the tent latched onto the roof racks of my car, we didn't need any other details.


Roadside meal somewhere in Pennsylvania

Roadside meal in Pennsylvania

Overlooking the city of Pittsburgh

We finally busted through the rain and fog and into Pittsburgh, PA. Both my grandparents grew up here, and went to U. Pitt. Uncle Dave grew up as a huge Steelers fan because of it.

Heinz Field in Pittsburgh
Columbus, Ohio from the highway

Getting caffeinated in Columbus, Ohio...


Road coffee

On Halloween.



Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis

The gateway arch was much more impressive than I had imagined. But the city surrounding it was empty and bleak. Even on a warm 60 degree November afternoon. Maybe they were all inside watching football. We had a good stroll through the park for about an hour, and fashioned a little dinner from our stash


Looking up at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

Originally, I had planned to camp out in the Kansas City area, arriving around 9 or 10 at night. But we decided to power through and pull over whenever we encountered somewhere reasonably safe and quiet. That ended up being in Topeka. About an hour or more west of KC.

Nightfall on the road. Somewhere in Kansas

Pretty risky move going 100. But ain't nothing out there to stop us under the cover of a pitch black night. It wasn't even the top speed of the trip (Dave hit 108 in Utah).

Need for speed

Kansas was just hay fields and wind mills. The occasional agro-town.

Windmills and rusted out abandoned cars

Hay bales in Kansas

We finally hit Denver and stopped in to see some friends (which I don't have pictures of). We grabbed a burger and a beer for dinner. It was a chilly but nice afternoon, and again we decided to power on, rather than spend a night in the thin 28 degree mountain air. It was the first week of November and the weather was finally getting cold. But we were really in the West now. Cold nights would be the norm, and we were prepared. But we figured if we're going to camp out in it, we might as well wake up at a destination point. And steal an extra day of adventure.


Denver to Moab, UT was a 4 hour drive. Leaving Denver around 6 would put us in Moab at 10-ish. Barring any sort of impediment.


So of course we hit a snow squall about a half hour west of the city on I-70. Smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Luckily, I had driven this road 3 or 4 times. And I remembered a mountain pass my friend Joe had showed me once. We happened to come to a dead traffic stop just in front of that exit. Dave got out, walked around and did some research with the nearby drivers. After about 20 minutes we decided to risk it. Up the Pass we went.

A snow squall in the Rocky Mountains

Finally descending, the snow lightens up

The snow was much heavier than these photos show. I was more concerned with operating a motor vehicle than snapping pics.


Over the pass we finally reached Summit County. 3 small mountain towns surround a giant reservoir—Silverthorne, Dillon and Frisco. The sun started to poke through and we took a walk down one of the more picturesque main streets in the States. We grabbed a beer at a joint in Frisco, Colorado, hit up a grocery store and got back on the road.

The clock in Frisco, CO

Main Street in Frisco, Colorado

Off to Moab, UT.

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(c) 2022 Nick Gianetti