Day 8 - Salt Lake City
|Tuesday, February 23, 2021: The morning started out fairly cloudy but we knew it would clear up by the time we went out.
|But for the first time in a week, we were in no hurry to move on. Debbie worked on vacation pictures while Tom read his book on the transcontinental railroad, "Nothing Like it in the World," by Stephen Ambrose. Debbie's dad had passed the book on to Tom years ago and this was his second reading.
|We headed out around 11:00 to go sightseeing in Salt Lake City. The influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) is everywhere.
|We headed to Navajo Hogan for lunch, and the skies were blue for us, right on time. Another one of the dozens of Seraph Young billboards was right there.
|Tom went in to pick up lunch for us. Tom had the traditional Navajo taco (left), and Debbie had the beef Navajo taco. This restaurant was recommended by a book our friends gave us for Tom's retirement, "Road Food."
|We headed through the city, ...
|... passing the Victorian-era City and County building in Washington Square Park, ...
|... more modern buildings, ...
|... the impressive Eagle Gate Monument at South Temple Road, ...
|... and then got a photo of the lovely Utah capitol building.
|We circled the capitol grounds, passing the Pioneer Memorial Museum and the headquarters of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, who placed so many of the historical markers we had seen and would continue to see around Utah (and even one in Arizona at Lees Ferry).
|This was a Mormon church that had gorgeous stone siding and colorful roof tiles.
|After we got to the back of the the capitol complex, we parked for a while to relax, kill some time, and enjoy the view over the city, but took exactly zero pictures of this time. Then we headed back down the hill, passing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center.
|We parked and headed out for a walking tour. SLC has a great public transportation system in the city, and we were amused by the bird statues sitting on top of the tram stops.
|The streetlights of downtown have the names of the streets marked on them. This one says South Temple.
|There's Temple Square across the street.
|As we headed toward the entrance, we spotted the Church History Museum, ...
|... and the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Family History Library right across the street.
|With the high walls and gated entry, we were a little wary of entering Temple Square, but in we went.
|Here is Assembly Hall, ...
|... the Salt Lake Temple, ...
|... and the Salt Lake City Tabernacle.
|This is the Seagull Monument.
|This sculpture is titled Handcart Pioneer Monument, a tribute to the Mormon pioneers who could not afford ox-drawn wagons, so they walked to Salt Lake City in the 1850s.
|Another pair of visitors were engaged in a conversation with one of the church members, so we made it out of the square without having to speak with anyone.
|This lovely building is the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
|We wandered through a pretty outdoor shopping area, ...
|... with a very cool water feature. Water falls over one side of the disk that slants inward, while tumbling down another side of the disk that slants outward.
|Here are two sculptures representing the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics: downhill skiing and figure skating.
|One sidewalk leading to the convention center had beehives imprinted on the concrete. The beehive symbolizes industry, which is the state motto.
|Here is the Salt Palace, a convention center.
|It featured a cool 2016 art installation in front titled, "Point of View," as part of "The Blocks," a public art and mural trail.
|Tom spotted "Fall or Fly" tucked in the back of the signs, which reminded us of our favorite Edie Carey song.
|Here are two more little art pieces, ...
|... and another.
|The Maurice Abravanel Hall is an imposing, modern structure, ...
|... with a Chihuly glass art installation inside.
|Just down the street, this building featured little musical note sculptures, ...
|... bike racks, perhaps, or just decorations?
|Here's another nod to the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics - this one discussed the Olympics Arts Festival that was put on during that time for visitors.
|This 2006 functional artwork is called the Kimono Gates, and stands across the street from the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple and near the Japanese Church of Christ.
|It is right next to this tiny Japanese garden.
|A couple of leaf prints were pressed into some squares of new concrete nearby.
|We passed Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz. There's a smaller entrance off to the right titled the Nu Skin Theatre. Yeah, Nu Skin, the amazing product that covers wounds like skin, but makes you sob in pain as you do it.
|We got back to our rental car and started to drive out of town. This odd little sculpture is apparently an Olympic flame torch, labeled Salt Lake 2002 Olympics. No idea what the random number 3 on it means.
|Behind it is the beautiful Union Pacific Depot.
|We passed the Clark Planetarium and Northrop Grumman IMAX Theatre, then realized that we hadn't taken a picture of a building we had admired earlier, ...
|... so we backtracked to photograph it.
|It's the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints' Office Building, ...
|... and we loved the huge globe depictions on either side of the entrance.
|At 2:00, we left downtown ...
|... and stopped at Sapp Brothers for gas.
|The women's bathroom featured private self-contained stalls with floor-to-ceiling locked doors, sinks, and beautiful Japanese-style bidet toilets. Sure, the instructions on the wall did not match the currently installed model, but it was still an amazing experience and rates a rarely-seen 10 points on the Bundlings Restroom Scale.
|We drove to Off Highway Van and waited in their parking lot for The Ocho to be done with his upgrades.
|There he is! He received a 3" lift, four new all-terrain tires, and Sumo springs for a better drive.
|We waited in the OHV lobby for it to be pulled around front, then we made our final payment
|Yeah, baby, The Ocho looks good.
|We headed to the airport to drop off our rental car and were back on the road in minutes, enjoying The Ocho's great new ride.
|We passed some interesting billboards on the drive south. Here's one ...
|... and another ...
|... and here's our favorite. We'd be going to Capitol Reef two days later.
|Utah's impressive mountain ranges continue south to Provo, ...
|... where we saw the mothership for our friends and family who believe that essential oils can cure you of things that modern medicine cannot. Multi-level marketing profits can pay for very large, impressive buildings.
|We were nearing Provo with its beautiful mountains on one side, ...
|... and Utah Lake on the other.
|We went to L&L Hawaiian Barbecue for the first time. There are locations all over the west but none in Indianapolis as of this writing.
|Debbie ordered the teriyaki chicken plate lunch for herself and Tom ordered only one spam musubi for himself, eaten before it could be photographed. We won't be making this horrific ordering error again.
|South of Provo, we headed into the mountains via U.S. Route 6.
|The scenery was gorgeous, ...
|... and the climbs and descents were brutal.
|But wow, that scenery!
|But whoa, those descents!
|More scenery ...
|... and sunset skies.
|In the distance, we could see clouds gathering on the tops of the mountain range to our west, but they couldn't reach us.
|We had a few more very steep descents, including this particularly terrifying one.
|It was after 7:30 PM when we rolled into Green River, Utah, ...
|... and arrived at the Green River KOA Journey, where our reservation was waiting for us.
|We were one of just four people in the entire camp.
|The sky was dark but the moon was getting larger and lit our walk to the bathrooms very nicely.
|Since we were headed to Goblin Valley State Park the next day, we watched "Galaxy Quest," which was partially filmed there. More on that tomorrow.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy