2012 Jeep Wrangler to Moab: The Last Leg
April 02, 2012
Our 2012 Jeep Wrangler embarked on the last leg to Moab, Utah after spending the night in tiny Ely, Nevada. But Nevada had a few more tricks up its sleeve. I was going to stop in Great Basin National Park, of which the peaks in the photo above are a part, but I decided to press on.
Mainly this was because I'd already made a side trip to a ghost town called Osceola, situated high up near the park's northern flank.
The wind was really howling by the time I got there, so I paid my respects at the ex-town's cemetery and moved on.
How windy was it? Windy enough that they're installing dozens of humungous windmills in the valley just below. I caught up with these semis hauling individual blades at the Utah border.
The strong crosswind made driving the short wheelbase Jeep a bit more entertaining, and Utah's baked asphalt stood out as rougher as soon as I crossed the border.
The Nevada-Utah border really does feel like you're crossing into another place. Sure, Nevada's highway 50 crosses through desert too, but the basin and range character of the land and the altitude make it feel less harsh.
Once in this part of Utah the mood changes. It feels bleak, dry and hot, as if the last shreds of moisture had been squeezed out of the atmosphere as the prevailing winds passed over the last high ridge in Nevada.
Highway 50 stays mighty lonely for the next 70 miles, but things perk up briefly as it nears farmlands west of Interstate 15. A few dozen miles after crossing I-15, highway 50 eventually dumps into and becomes Interstate 70, which runs just north of the Moab region.
You know you're in eastern Utah when the landscape turns all Wile E. Coyote on you. I love this part of the world.
There's time for one more picture at the Colorado River just outside of Moab before I check in to my hotel for some much-needed rest. Two solid days on the road will do that to you. Sure, they'll be driving tomorrow, but I won't be going anywhere but here.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 12,934 miles