This has been our sixth week in Utah. Our latest thinking is that after we finish SLC, we drive back to south end of the state and spend some time at Cap Reef. Perhaps the last week of June we will get to Great Basin NP and after that head west on US50.
Sunday, May 6 - Time to move on although we will miss looking at Split Rock Mountain. We’ve really enjoyed our stay at Dinosaur. We moved east to Strawberry Reservoir which is very nice. You can get long term camping spaces there. Also there is a marina. There are a lot of large homes built on the hills overlooking the water. They are nice, but there are not any trees at all, so the houses looked naked. Ed & Carol are here and we chatted with them for a while. Who knows where we will see our next LD people.
Monday – May 7 – The low last night was 27. I think that is the lowest we have experienced for the trip. We are at 7,500 feet and there is still snow above 10,000 on the north faces.
We hoped to paddle the yaks today. The wind was calm until 9 and then it started blowing. And so it goes.
Looks like we will just be lazy today and figure out where our next hop will take us.
Two things about Utah streets. 1) Downtown, they are wide enough to make a U-turn in a four-horse drawn wagon. Brigham Young declared this requirement. 2) The addresses are logical, but maddening. 1847 East 5010 South.
Tuesday, May 8 - Our goal was to get to Payson, UT. We entered the basin at Provo. It is the home of Brigham Young University. The part that we saw indicates that it is a lovely campus. The off-campus housing seems to be exceptional. The town is clean and upscale. Our goal here was to visit Utah Trikes. It is a good size store selling only recumbent trikes. I test drove two and had a great time. Wish I could have brought one on the spot, but we don’t have room for it. I selected a Catrike Villager. We will have it shipped home.
We landed at the Payson Wal*Mart for the night. There are some fine FS CG’s in the nearby canyon, but there is no cell or TV coverage there and tonight is Dorothy’s TV night.
The CBS station started pixilating during the 5:30 news. When we cut it on at 7 for NCIS, it was not watchable. It was perfect again at 8. And so it goes.
Wednesday – May 9 – We moved north 15 miles to a state park on Utah Lake to make spaghetti sauce. It takes five hours to cook and that is a little longer than we care to run the genset. It spoiled our record of being off-the-grid for 49 consecutive days.
We are in the Lakeshore Campground, but none of the camp sites have a view of the very large lake. There is a marina and quite a few sailboats.
We have not been near a Costco since El Paso and that was mid-March. So we made a run this morning. We had a good time and bought things I did not plan to buy, of course. But, we did not get the haddock and salmon fish that we wanted. They did not have either one, but the fish they did have were extremely expensive.
Thursday – May 10 – We drove two hours north on I15 to Ogden. Lots of traffic due to road construction and lots of grit in the air due to windy cold front moving in. After we cleared the road construction, the traffic cleared out. My first view of Salt Lake City is nothing like I remember it from 1965 - imagine that.
We are in a really nice FS CG called Anderson Cove on Pineview Reservoir. We have green grass, trees and a lake - what more could you ask for? We excellent cell and TV signals. Ogden, 15 minutes down the hill, is rather upscale. We plan to do a lot in SLC, which is an hour away.
Having not been here before, I only had a fair idea of the terrain. The glacier sculpted Wasatch Mountains bound the basin on the east. Homes are built on the lower slopes, just like in LA. Everything is located between the mountains and the desert to the west. This is prime ski country.
We have seen several new 10,000 square foot homes and very few for sale signs. Unemployment is 5% in Utah. Every town, large or small has nice parks. The infrastructure, physical and social, seems sound here. Plus, all over Utah, are cute blond 5 yo girls.
Friday, May 11 - This morning we went to Salt Lake’s Hogel Zoo. It’s not as big at the San Diego or St. Louis Zoo, but still nice and we saw some interesting animals.
We walked around for two hours so then we need to find lunch. We were looking for a Middle Eastern grocery store and what better way to do that than go to a Middle Eastern restaurant and inquire. We went to Mazza’s. We had potatoes harra for appetizer and I tell you I had the best baked eggplant over rice ever! I will try to copy that recipe. Don’s dish was good, but nothing like mine. I am going to Google Potatoes Harra now.
Saturday, May 12 - Our goal today was to get me a pair of comfortable shoes to wear while we are walking on trails. We went to New Balance shoe and found a pair. After walking for a while, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been aware of my feet. It has been years since that has happened.
After our shopping excursion, it was lunch time so we went to the Red Iguana, a highly recommended Mexican restaurant. Their specialty is moles. They have seven of them, they gave us a sample of each and they are very good!
Next we went to Temple Square. While at the Visitors Center we were lucky enough to chat with two LDS members who were also touring. They gave us a lot of information about the Temple which non-LDS members cannot enter. I think the most important information was the basis of their religion. They feel that they are Christians and the basis of their religion is Jesus Christ. No, they did not proselytize. Hopefully, Mitt Romney will be our next president and I think that it is interesting to know about his religion. We then toured the Tabernacle where they have their annual Christmas music that many of us have seen on TV. The organ is huge - the largest of any I have ever seen. There was a gentlemen playing the organ. Next we went to the Assembly Hall. This is a very old building and it also has a very large organ. The last place we went was the museum which detailed the Mormon’s travels from when they were run out of Illinois until they arrived in Salt Lake City.
Assembly Hall and it’s organ
The Organ in the Tabernacle
Today, we are going to take it easy. We have a lot of places to visit next week.