October 6, 2005


Start: Page, Arizona

End: Salt Lake City, Utah

Miles: 424 miles

Route taken: Route 89 north to Route 28 north to Interstate 15 north, exit at Salt Lake City

 

It was apparent to me that I was in the final days of my trip and there was a definitely mixture of anxiousness and sadness. I wanted to keep going, felt I hadn’t seen enough, knew there was more out there for me to explore.

The feeling I guess, is often like when you are nearing a vacation’s end and wonder if you saw everything you should have.

The other thought is what awaits you when you return. I knew I had a stack of bills sitting at the post office for me to pick up and my attention was on those as well.

It was difficult pushing those out of my mind, but I was going to have to do so if I was to make any success of the remaining three days.

Lake Powell Dam, just outside of Page, Arizona
 

Fortunately the Southern part of Utah helped divert my reflection on domestic matters. Utah is a very pretty state and taking the highways that parallel Interstate 15 was a good idea.

This was a bit out of my way, but I wanted to go this way for two reasons. One, I haven’t seen this section of Utah, and secondly, I needed a healthy meal and knew I could get one at One World Café in Salt Lake City.

That pushed me on as I wound my way up through Fishlake National Forest.

Then I came across the Big Rock Candy Mountain after the town of Marysvale and got that stupid song stuck in my head.

I had no choice, my iPod had finally quit on me after nearly three years and I was humming a variety of annoying songs that would stick with me for miles at a time.

The rest of the way to Salt Lake City was pretty, but arduous and by the time I got there I was fairly exhausted, but I had to go eat dinner at One World Café.

I checked into the motel and shot over across town to the café. I love the fact that the street signs are all numbers and tell you how far you are from the temple. It is impossible to get lost and for someone who enjoys logical thinking it is brilliant.

My stomach was growling pretty hard when I reached the café. New wave music played in the background and people are moving in and out of the small venue.

No one seems to be in a hurry and the two guys behind the counter are busy attending to the food.

        In front of me is a college student who is also a musician, meaning he is doubly poor. He gets his food and retires to one of the tables by the front door. I get as much food as they will give me. They have penne pasta with Swedish meatballs, black eyed peas and brown rice, steamed vegetables with seaweed and pork and cold salad soup.

        I eat everything and am extremely satisfied. I take my dishes to the counter and place them in the bin and take a $20 bill and put it in the box.

        The box is where you settle up your account. At One World Café there are no menu prices. You pay what you think the meal is worth.

        It is the brainchild of Denise Cerreta, who has owned the restaurant for several years. She believes in the philosophy of community and if people can’t afford to pay for food, they can do other things like wash dishes.

        That is what the musician is doing. He is behind the counter washing away, singing happily while he is doing it. I do a little writing while sipping some water and let the meal digest. It was the most satisfying food I have had on the trip.