A quick trip to Utah

At the end of July we made a quick trip to Utah. We got up Wednesday morning and got loaded up in the car and headed out. We stopped at the Donner Party memorial to stretch our legs and then continued on to Winnemucca for lunch.
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After lunch we filled up the tank and pressed on to Utah. In case you were wondering what Nevada looks like at 80mph:
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And what does it look like once you've driven through it? Mostly the same as before you've driven through it, but this time in a mirror!
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There are some occasional hills:
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Can you tell that the drive is pretty boring? Jess drove from Winnemucca in to Utah, so I got to play around with the camera. We actually listened to Harry Potter off of Jess' iPod most of the way. Having something to let the 80% of your brain not needed for driving in a straight line concentrate on was rather nice. The miles seemed to go by more quickly. We got to the hotel in Orem around 10:00 or so I think.

On Thursday I went to campus to work on upgrading the Board server to the latest and greatest software we've been working on. In the evening we drove up to Pleasant Grove to attend Brady's wedding reception. It was good to see him and meet his wife. Josh came up from L.A. too and we all got to chat.
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Friday involved hanging out at Erin's house and doing more work to get the Board server ready to run. That evening was the Board 5.0 launch party where we officially started the new software. It's been a lot of work, but we've made massive improvements to the system and built it on top of the incredibly well designed Django framework. This change will allow us to be far more effective with our time and hopefully find a new developer to take over responsibility of the server.

Saturday we had lunch with Erin, Bryce, Will and Sawyer at Tucano's. Then we spent some time hanging out with friends. For dinner we met up with Brady, his wife, Josh, Josh's brother Aaron, and Aaron's wife. We went for the traditional California Pizza Kitchen cuisine and enjoyed having more time to hang out with everyone.

After dinner we went down to campus to try to get a picture I want. The glass front of the new JFSB building reflects the mountains brilliantly at sunset when the sky is darker but the sun still hitting the mountains. It was kind of cloudy so I didn't know if I'd get the image I wanted or not, but we setup the camera and waited around for awhile. The light never really did cooperate so I didn't get quite the picture I'd hoped for. All well, maybe another time.

I tried some pictures of the fountain in the JFSB courtyard. I got three shots off when the bell tower chimed and the fountain shutoff.
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As we drove away from campus the sunset started making some nice colors so I snapped a few shots to see what I could get:
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Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel and piled back in to the car. Along with 9 loaves of Grandma Sycamore's bread, which Jess loves and laments being unavailable in California. So we stocked up and loaded it into the freezer when we got home. The drive back was just as uneventful as the drive out. Though passing through Truckee is a bit stressful. They've got the mountain pass under construction and for much of time you're driving through a windy, one-lane gauntlet created by concrete barriers. That part is not particularly fun.

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Oh, you see how those cement barriers are smaller sections than you normally see? They've got this huge machine that trundles along moving the entire barrier a lane at a time. It was the craziest contraption I've ever seen on the road. We came up along side it and it looked like it was just magically spitting out cement barrier. But as we passed it we saw it was acting kind of like a zipper, taking the cement barrier from the left side of the lane and lifting it up and pulling it over to the right side of the lane. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It blew our minds.

Sweet, I found a picture! (from this site)
moveable_01That was pretty much our entire trip. It was quick and tiring. But it was nice to see friends and family. Will and Sawyer both seemed to recognize each of us so I guess we haven't been gone for too long yet.

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