Our weekend on the road is drawing to a close. We’ll be heading home, starting the three-hour drive from Pocatello, ID to Orem, UT around 8:00pm. It’s been kind of nice having a holiday of sorts.
Yesterday Sandra and I enjoyed the rare opportunity to go out to eat together without the kids. Granted, here in unfamiliar territory we decided to settle on a franchise restaurant rather than something with a bit more local flair — Red Lobster.
I grew up in Florida, and my memories of Red Lobster were “I got overcharged for second-rate seafood.” Granted, there was a lot of first-rate seafood around, so I was kind of spoiled. I have to confess that I was pleasantly surprised by the Red Lobster on Yellowstone Road here in Pocatello: everything was delicious, and I only felt slightly overcharged. It’s possible the franchise is now doing a much better job of moving fresh seafood from the coasts to the heartlands, but I can’t say for sure. Mostly we had shrimp, and those ship well and are hard to screw up.
(Note: Two weeks ago I made the mistake of having shrimp at Sizzler with a couple of good friends, and said shrimp were awful. Hard to screw up, yes, but not impossible.)
Anyway, that was Sandra’s birthday dinner, and the two of us had a very nice time.
Right now I’m missing that time alone. The kids seem to know that there are only a couple of short hours left in which to play with their cousins, and they’re all dialed up to 10, hollering and shrieking fit to compete with a chimpanzee war band. *sigh*.
Anxious though I may be to get home, there’s one thing I dread — the air quality in northern Utah is currently awful. We noticed the brown skies on the road north, and they lasted all the way into Malad, Idaho, clearing up only after we went over the pass at Devil’s Creek Reservoir. The skies were blue and beautiful all weekend in Pocatello, but the internet tells me that brown, gritty skies await back in Utah Valley.
This, of course, explains the asthma attacks. It’s not about the cold. It’s about the AIR, which is full of tiny particulates, and which isn’t clearing up because the entire Bonneville basin is under a massive inversion; cold, dirty air is trapped in the bottom 1000 feet of sky, and it’s not going anywhere until a good sized storm flips the inversion and washes the sky clean.
Maybe when I’m back home I’ll take a half-day and drive up the canyon above the bad air and go for a nice hike… in 10-degree air and 8 feet of snow. *sigh*.