Our Utah Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 861 miles, and drove for 16 hours and 33 minutes during our week in Utah while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Utah over the past week.

Famous Person: John Smith (Canceled Due to Inversion)

Famous Food: Navajo Fried Bread (Canceled Due to Inversion)

Roadside Attraction: 110 year old fruit cake

State Capitol/Museum: Salt Lake City (Canceled Due to Inversion)

National Park: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park

Historic Location: Donner Reed Museum (Canceled Due to Inversion)

Can't miss attraction: Doug’s Gun Store/Shooting range(Canceled Due to Inversion)

Made in the USA tour: Best Friend Animal Sanctuary (Canceled Due to Inversion)

Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Utah.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $ 116.00

$ 2.35 gal. in St. George, UT was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.76 gal. in Moab, UT was highest price paid.


Prices varied wildly throughout the state.

Groceries: $1.00

Walmart $1.00

Costco $0.00


We did great in this category

Dining out $31.00

Dairy Queen $4.00 (unbudgeted 2 soft serve cones)

Golden Corral $27.00 (unbudgeted and nasty)


We did better than usual, but are still eating out way too much.

Entertainment: $2.00

Hurricane, UT $2.00 (Admission to see fruit cake)


We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $0.00

Walmart $0.00 (slept in parking lot x2 nights)


We continue to do great in this category

Miscellaneous: $0.00


Of course, we did great in this category

Utah Expenses Grand Total: $ 150.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

We only spent 2 days in Utah, so our expenses were minimal.

Is Utah Our New Home State?

We already disqualified Utah as our new home state due to pollution in the North and nuclear radiation in the South. We will vote as a formality!

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 4

“The pillars of the state’s economy are tourism, agriculture, and mining, which is not a very stable or diversified!”

Lori: 7

“With an average median household income of $62.912, Utah ranks 13th in the nation. Very nice”

Economy score: 5.5

Cost of Living:

Nate: 5

“With a 5% flat rate income tax, and a 8.35 % sales tax after local surcharges, Utah sits in the middle of the road when it comes to taxation!

Lori: 5

“$2.29 is the national average for a gallon of gas. Utah average price for a gallon of gas is $2.45; the 9th highest in the nation. However, the groceries are slightly cheaper then the national average. It all balances out!”

Cost of living score: 5

Quality of life:

Nate: 1

“During the winter in Northern Utah, the inversion traps pollution and creates a thick brownish green smog making it necessary to wear a respirator. The ability to breath is an important quality in our new home state”


“The Southern and central part of the Utah have a 50+ year history of exposure to fallout from the Nevada Nuclear test sites. I don’t want to move here just to die from cancer a few years later”

Quality of life score: 1


Nate: 4

“Outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking and outdoor concerts are popular activities the Utes enjoy. With the exception of hiking, most are not of interest to me.

Lori: 3

“62% of the population are Mormon, and I am not. I worry social outlets would be very limited if Utah was to be my new home”

Culture Score: 3.5


Nate: 10

“Utah has 5 national parks, 40 state parks, 12 national forests, 8 wildlife refuges, and 8 national monuments! Need I say more?”

Lori: 10

“From its towering red rocks, to its multi-colored hoodoo’s, to its vast canyons to the summits of the majestic purple mountains, Utah was the most beautiful state I have visited on my cross country trip.”

Environment Score: 10

The verdict is in:

The final score for Utah was 5 and it will NOT be our new home state! Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9