We started the morning at the Rocky Mountain Raceway in Park City for a rocket car demonstration. The raceway itself was a sprint-car/demolition-derby track with stunning Utah mountains as a distant backdrop. Apparently rocket cars are rare and a bit quirky, so it took them a little time to light the candle. I began a Facebook Live video and when they pushed the afterburner button, nothing happened. This made me feel a little like Geraldo Rivera during one of his TV specials. The announcer keep the crowd engaged with some humorous banter, and after a short time and an afterburner switch replacement, they were ready to go again so I went live for take 2. Here it is:
While at the raceway we had a special visitor who had taken a break from her own cross-country tour to meet us. My friend Sara is driving an RV across America with the goal of visiting all 48 states in the continental U.S. and all the national parks in those states in one year (366 days, because of leap year). Her family owns Sign Solutions in Tampa and they did all the graphics on the Beehive. They’re British so they love the MINIs and Sara has a MINI too, which she adopted from me. She kindly changed her route so we could cross paths. You can follow her adventure at 48in366.com.
After visiting with Sara we diverted to East High School in Salt Lake City so Hope could stand on the hallowed ground where Disney stars of her youth filmed the outdoor scenes for “High School Musical.” Hope said the front of the school looked almost identical to the way it was in the film.
And then we were off like a rocket to Las Vegas and headed into some intense heat of our own. Once again I decided to take the Interstate route because of the length of the drive. The Utah scenery was still beautiful from this route and eventually we dipped into Arizona for a peek of things to come. A quick stop at the Silver Reef Ghost Town in Leeds, Utah provided a glimpse of what we would see in Arizona.
Sara had told us we would pass through a nice canyon as we entered Nevada, so I stopped just before to rig a Garmin Virb XE on top of the Beehive to record the passage. It was my first canyon run, so it seemed fitting that we passed through the Virgin River Gorge. What a blast! The temperature was 114 degrees!
A little more than an hour later we were in Las Vegas and we made a beeline to our RV park, which was attached to a casino and hotel called Sam’s Town. It was kind a strange setting compared to the other parks along our journey, but hey, they had a free shuttle to the strip! It was early so we unhitched and hooked-up to get the Beehive cooled off in the stifling heat, then caught the shuttle so Hope could see the strip at night. The main goal was to catch with the Fountains of Bellagio and get some dinner. A MINI friend and fellow Motoring Advisor, David Lata, was getting married to his partner at one of the Vegas chapels and we wanted to attend, but we ran out of time before getting set up and cooled off.
We took a quick Uber back to Sam’s Town and returned to a chilly Beehive for some rest. The heat outside was horrible and I’m not sure how people live in it. Even at 9 PM when were watching the fountains it was still 100 degrees! Don’t believe what they say about “dry heat” because 100 degrees is just hot! I felt like a walking baked potato all day.
Tomorrow it’s off to Palm Springs and the completion of our track-to-track trip. Woohoo! Almost there!