Thursday, July 23, 2009

Soda Pop Fizz and Popped by the Fuzz

Pretty atypical day on the road for Melvin and me. First off, we usually plan our trips in great detail and the only event planned for Wednesday, besides the drive to Ogden and Salt Lake City, was picking up Mel's girlfriend at the airport. However, work and other pressures led to her changing her mind about joining us for part of the trip. Second, we have never planned our itinerary or route based on scenic beauty. Narragansett, Rhode Island, is beautiful, but we went there to see the Point Judith Corrosion Test Site. While we were in Boise, residents suggested a route south that we partially followed through valleys framed by mountain ranges, past Bear Lake and up and over the mountain in the Cache National Forest.

Before we did that, however, we visited Soda Springs and Hooper Springs, Idaho. Soda Springs is home to what is presented as the only man-controlled geyser in America. Unlike "Old Faithful," which does its thing when it feels the urge, the geyser in Soda Springs blows every hour on the hour. It is probably not as large as the geyser in Yellowstone National Park, but we pulled right up to the free parking lot and shared the experience with seven other visitors. Good enough for me. Looked pretty much like all the pictures I've ever seen of the more famous geyser to the north. Well, I don't remember if those pictures showed all the organic forms created by the minerals deposited by the water.

Speaking of the minerals in the water, if you go to nearby Hooper Springs (by the phosphorus plant), you can sample the water in a pool originally built under the Works Progress Administration. I thought it tasted like club soda, only stronger. Melvin found it reminiscent of Cel-Ray Tonic, a celery flavored soda you can still find sometime. He thought it would make a good gin fizz.

Before we did that, however, I got pulled over, allegedly for speeding. While I might admit to, oh, let's call it driving at the speed of the predominant flow of traffic while on the Interstate, I made an effort to obey the local speed limits once I left the highway. I suppose it is possible that I missed a sign. If the restrictions were as described by the polite young deputy sheriff, the speed limit went from 65 to 45 to 65 to 45 and back to 65. If that is the case, I am sure that is for safety reasons and not just to create a speed trap. But what was curious was how the conversation between the sheriff's deputy and me kept coming back to the subject of drugs. It really started to feel like we had been pulled over based on a profile. On last year's trip to Texas, we saw an art installation that included a fake methamphetamine lab, but that and that Bruce Springsteen song are about all I know on the subject. Anyway, in the end, we left with a written warning and were out of that county within minutes. As I said, a pretty atypical day on the road for Melvin and me.

No comments:

Post a Comment