I was first introduced to Utah in 1975, courtesy of the United States Air Force. Hill AFB is in Davis County, Utah, and is surrounded by the towns of Clearfield, Layton, Sunset, Roy, Riverdale and South Ogden. The base occupies a rather large chunk of land - about 13 miles around Perimeter Road - atop a hill ... hence the name (isn't our government just SO creative?). In 1975, the main road linking Layton, Clearfield, Sunset and Roy was full of potholes, and (it seemed like) almost everybody had a Bear Front End Alignment machine. Every service station (this was back when they actually did something resembling "service"), tire shop, inspection station ... maybe even Rite Aid, and Sacco's Produce stand.
Well, I'm pleased to announce that those potholes on the main drag have, for the most part, been eliminated ... and replaced by man-made potholes on the intersecting side streets. Apparently some clever construction company got a contract to countersink all the manhole covers (and they average about 2 manholes per block, with each one being offset from the previous and following one)! Does someone not understand the concept of flush mounting? Or did the county hire a civil engineer from the Bubba's Skule Of Enjinearring? Who did they pay to set all their manholes 4" to 6" below the road surface?
Okay, now try to imagine navigating this asphalt slalom course on a motorcycle, on roads where the "speed limit" is apparently a suggestion, and if you aren't going at least 10mph over the speed limit, you will either have to move your tuchas into the slow lane, or find yourself discovering the joys of organ donation! I can remember the days of Sunset Officer "Ticket Tommy" Reynolds, the fastest pen in the west, so I'm a bit leary of exceeding the posted speed limit in this area, even if it is just a suggestion. And nobody would want my organs ... but that's a whole different story in itself. It's obvious that Davis County, Utah has spent the revenues from the gasoline road taxes, vehicle registrations, on anything but roads! Perhaps they had a giant Postum party at the State Capitol. And then, there's the exhorbitant and ridiculous (and quite possibly illegal) practice of charging new residents UTAH SALES TAX on vehicles brought into Utah by them if they come from a state without sales tax. And, they don't care how old the vehicle is, or how long you owned it before moving here! How does the Utah DMV figure that they have the right to tax something that somebody bought elsewhere prior to moving here?? Where IS the logic?
Complaining aside (and I've been told that I'd complain if I were hung with a gold rope) oddly enough, returning to Utah is always like coming home, and I've been gone for 10 years now. Sure, Utah has it's problems - like goofy rules, odd laws, and corrupt politicians, but so do most places. I was born in New Jersey, and have lived in 11 states and 4 foreign countries, but I have never felt more comfortable - more 'at home' - than I do when I return to Utah for a visit with my kids, and my numerically insignificant but absolutely wonderful (I consider each one a personal blessing in my life) friends! To borrow a line from The Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."
P.S. And, especially if you ride a motorcycle, there are some MAGNIFICENT rides in Utah!!