Road Trip Appendix: Salt Lake City

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My original plan on my long journey home, if I had the time, was to go from the Tetons down to Utah to visit some friends who just moved to Salt Lake City, then end in Colorado. I didn’t quite make it during the big trip, so I made a plan to go to Utah for a long weekend in late July instead. I spent a day with my friend exploring the city, then she, her husband and I went camping for the weekend in Zion National Park. My one day in SLC warrants its own blog post we managed to cram so much in!

Little Cottonwood CanyonFirst, we went to breakfast.

Then we took a short car ride up a mountain. Again, these mountains are so different than the others I’ve seen in my travels. This is one of the things I have been most surprised by. Just because they are high mounds of earth, doesn’t mean they’re all the same and each range has had its own character and uniqueness. The Salt Lake mountains are all granite, so they’re high-end and fancy. Just kidding, those are granite countertops, but these mountains were very pretty.

From the mountains we went to the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Basically, a mormon mason decided to carve statues in his back yard that were significant to his life and his religion. They were kind of kooky, but it was a fun stop on my SLC tour and I learned a little about mormonism from the descriptions of each statue.

Sphynx Joseph SmithPieces

The sculpture garden was small so it did not take us too long to get through it and we had plenty of daylight ahead, so we went to the botanical gardens. Surprise! It was free for the holiday I did not know existed, Pioneer Day! Lucky us. The gardens were lovely, if a little hot.

An oasis within the hot Utah desert.

An oasis within the hot Utah desert.

We refueled with beverages and pastries then headed to the Temple Square (free parking for Pioneer Day!). After all, when in Salt Lake, do as the Mormons do. I had to see the temple, plus the Tabernacle is an incredible piece of acoustic engineering. Sadly, our coffee interlude meant we missed the Tabernacle organ performance, but we did see a little demonstration by some tour guides during which they ripped a piece of paper in the front an you could hear it clearly in the back of the building without any amplification.

I found the juxtaposition between the ornate temple and the boxy office building striking.

I found the juxtaposition between the ornate temple and the boxy office building striking.

Since I was just a tourist and not on a religious pilgrimage, we did not spend too much time wandering the cement square (did I mention it was hot?). We had one more stop to make before happy hour: The Salt Lake, of course! We went to a state park with shore access and walked out to the water. It was kind of an eerie place. All that water and none drinkable. Some people were going in for a float, but we neglected to bring our swim suits, so we admired, took some pictures, then left.

Gull Over Salt

After that, we were pretty tired and ready for a cold drink at Uinta Brewery. Utah has weird alcohol laws that mean no one can have any beer on tap over 4% alcohol content, so I couldn’t get my favorite beer of theirs, but I tried all the others and they were tasty. Overall, it was one jam-packed day of Salt Lake fun!

Uinta

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