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July 30, 2005

To Salt Lake City

We left Orlando bound for Salt Lake City via Denver. The change of
plane in Denver had less than an hour between landing and take off
and we were a little concerned about making the transfer.

When we
landed we were even more concerned to learn that the SLC flight was
from a different terminal. However, Denver airport is so well
organised with moving walkways and a very rapid automatic underground
train between terminals that we made the connection very easily
within the time we had despite the enormous size of the airport.

Arriving in SLC we had moved two time zones from Orlando and were now
7 hours adrift from the UK rather then the 5 for Florida giving an
extra couple of hours daylight vs our body clocks.

We proceeded to the car hire area to pick up the minivan we had
arranged with Hertz. I had got the best deal by paying for everything
back in the UK and went through the now fairly normal routine of the
car hire clerk trying to sell me an upgraded vehicle (which I did not
want), insurance (which I already had), a full tank of fuel (which I
already had) and to charge me for my wife as an extra driver (which I
already had). Having settled that I already had everything he could
sell me, we were given the keys and headed for the garage.

To ensure plenty of room we had gone for a 7 seater minvan for the 4
of us. We got an almost new Ford Explorer and kids were delighted
with the armchair seats they had just behind us complete with DVD
player that came out of the roof and their own air con and radio
controls for the back. We had purchased a portable DVD player before
we travelled to keep the kids amused on the long journey days and
initially we thought we had wasted our money. However, we discovered
that because DVD players are regionally coded, we could not play the
DVDs we had brought with us on the vans system and we had to use the
portable one.

I was fairly good at practicing what I preach (see absolute
beginners) and I carefully set all the mirrors up and worked out
where all of the controls were for lights, wipers, washers etc before
I set off. What I failed to do was to scan the outside of the vehicle
for scrapes and dents, when I did do this the next day there were
several blemishes that I really should have ensured were registered
by Hertz before I set off. Fortunately for me, the insurance I had
completely covered the vehicle, but be warned, if you have an excess
on your policy you really must check the vehicle before you set off.

We drove the short distance to our first stop a Motel 6 close to the
airport and the kids had a splash in the pool one degree C they
claimed for the water temperature just a little cooler than Florida
was the reality. While they were swimming I bought some food and
drink (and beer) from a nearby supermarket. I had been led to believe
buying alcoholic drink can be difficult in Utah, I'm delighted to
report I did it very easily ! We had a snack and then hit the sack
fairly early (by local time) but reasonable by our 2 hours out of
phase body clocks.

Posted by Graham on July 30, 2005 10:01 PM
Category: 2005 Going to Glacier ?
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