DAY 36 - CEDAR CITY UT to HOME - 480 mi, 9-3/4 hours
Rise and shine at 4 am MDT this morning. We were actually ready earlier than our planned 5:15 departure time, but by the time we went across the street, bought ice and loaded the big cooler, it was right at 5:15 when we left.
It was still dark when we took off, but you could see light starting to come up. Arriving at St George not quite 45 minutes later, it was just getting light and the Cracker Barrel was just opening. We were their first customers. Hubby had a tall stack of pancakes and bacon, while I had the Good Morning Breakfast and Multi-grain toast. What we've found on this trip is that iHOP and Cracker Barrel are our breakfasts of choice. Oh, we took advantage of the motel breakfast a number of time, but after awhile, you want something cooked just for you, and sorry to say, hotel waffle maker mixes are not exactly tasty (to us).
The Virgin River Gorge was as pretty as ever, and the river was really flowing. That didn't surprise us since we'd heard that Zion closed part of the park including Kolob Canyon because of the flash flood danger. Pictures of the Gorge area will follow.
Next stop was just north of Las Vegas, at the Chevron station on the Moapa Paiute Indian Reservation. At $3.12/gallon, we knew we should “top off” before heading home. Sacramento recently raised taxes on fuel, with a whopping 30c per gallon raise for diesel, so prices have gone over $4/gallon in most places in CA.
The first of the traffic issues started in Las Vegas. Slow. Stop. Go. Go fast. Stop. Go.
The traffic was lighter from there down to about Victorville. We were rather surprised, since we'd taken a chance on lighter traffic by NOT leaving at midnight like we sometimes do when departing from southern Utah. However, right after Victorville, as we started to head down from the Cajon Pass Summit, traffic came to a creepy crawl, for miles, all the way past the exit for CA-138. Apple Maps blamed it on a morning accident, but there was also evidence of construction.
We thought we were okay until we got to the junction with CA-91. Once again, we came to a stop, then crawled all the way down to Temescal Canyon Road. Fortunately we could get off the freeway there long enough to make a pit stop. Apple Maps said it had been an accident, but we only saw evidence (again) of construction.
Thought we were home free again, though we'd already wasted 30 minutes crawling in traffic, when we came to a halt again in Lake Elsinore. What's going on?!?! There was no evidence of an accident or anything like that on Apple Maps this time. We crawled from Lake Elsinore to Rainbow Valley Road, 23 miles, taking more than 45 minutes to do that.
Thankfully, from there on home, it was soupy but moving. When the express lanes started, hubby got in them.
Arrived home at almost 2 pm, about 75 minutes later than we expected. Ugh. But everything at home looked great, just warm. We turned on the AC. We unloaded the truck but are taking our time unpacking suitcases, etc.