Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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Sunrise at the airport in Luxembourg I got to the Luxembourg airport at about 6:10am, with ample time to my 6:50am flight to Amsterdam. There was still a bit of fog on the runway as I waited for boarding, but it quickly cleared as the sun rose. Even though KLM still uses a Fokker 50 for those kind of "cityhopper" flights - and I don't like that type of plane for some reason - the flight was mostly uneventless. I didn't even mind the kid behind me suddenly going into a "mommy, mommy, I wanna land now" wailing. My seat neighbour on the cross-atlantic flight was more annoying - when I got up at one point and returned to my seat a few minutes later, I found that he had spilled coffee on my seat. He offered to trade seats, but there was no way I was going to give up my corridor seat, and sit between him and his wife, who looked kinda pale (if not downright ill) throughout most of the flight.

Eventually, the plane touched ground in St. Paul, Minneapolis and I proceeded to immigration. A Portuguese traveller asked if I could help him with his I-94 form and I lost some precious time because more lines were opened just as he got a new form - this after I had agreed I'd watch his hand luggage for just a second and couldn't move. I suppose that's what I got for trying to be helpful... In the end, it didn't matter much because the actual immigration procedure went flawlessly and I still had time to spare until my connecting flight. When I retrieved my luggage to re-check it I discovered that my bag had been opened by security staff - which was not surprising, seeing how it contained a tripod, a monopod and two hiking poles.

On the Minneapolis to Salt Lake City flight I talked with a woman from Montana who was sitting next to me, and she gave me a few tips on camping around Yellowstone. After landing, I retrieved my luggage and then proceeded to the car rental counter. There were no problems there, and I got the standard car for the category I had reserved: a Chevrolet Trailblazer. I was also relieved to find out that Alamo was open 24 hours a day for returns - my return flight was leaving very early, and the information I had found on their website indicated that they wouldn't be open early enough to return the car that morning, and as such I would have had to return the car the previous night already. With them being opened all the time, this wouldn't be an issue.

My plan for the remainder of the day was to drive north on Interstate 15, do some shopping and then check into my room at the Motel6 that I had reserved from home. There was a traffic jam on I-15N, so I took Hwy 89 S, then N again in search of a shopping centre. I didn't have any success, so I got back on I-15N and found a Target some time later.

My rental Trailblazer parked next to the Motel6 in Ogden, UT I bought enough food and drinks to last me for at least a week and then drove on to Ogden. There was a bit of a wait at the Motel6 - there was only one person behind the counter, but several other persons in front of me waiting for their rooms to be assigned. After this was done, I still walked around the motel for a bit, but didn't find anything interesting to photograph. My big lens caught the attention of a fellow staying at the Motel6, who asked me if I was into wildlife photography. [I told him I wasn't, even though that would change a bit during the upcoming trip.]

I was in bed around 9:30pm, trying not to get too much of a jetlag effect by immediately adapting to the new timezone. Prior to the trip, I had wasted entirely too much thought on all the perceived problems I thought there may be during this first day of my trip; but I was relieved to find that everything worked flawlessly.

Miles driven: 52mi (84km)

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Motel6 (Ogden, UT): $43.83

Summary written early morning on August 13 in the Motel in Ogden, UT; minor revisions on May 3rd 2007 in Bivange, Luxembourg.