The heart of Mormon country

IMG_0516

On Thursday we drove into Salt Lake City, Utah. It was one of the most impressive entries into a town thus far. On both sides of the interstate were rolling, unending mountains. They were carpeted with a green velvety looking vegetation. It was exceptionally beautiful.

Where the Scottsdale mountains looked like piles of rocks with little vegetation, and at the Hoover Dam, just before Las Vegas, the mountains were brown, rolling, and marshmallow-y, Salt Lake City had the green stuff.

We stayed overnight and set out on Friday to see the Mormon Temple in the heart of the city, plus the Great Salt Lake.IMG_0512

The temple and surrounding campus was fascinating. I’m sure at one time it was more prominent, but due to the growth of the city the church campus was hovered over by the much taller buildings. It was also cramped into a tight square with no elbow room, so to speak.

We were not allowed into the temple. I was told that I was not worthy and that I did not have a “recommend”. We did walk around it though, and on three of the sides were wedding parties. A lady told me they have up to 70 weddings a day on the weekends.

There are several chapels where they get hitched, and then they take the pics on the steps of the temple.

IMG_0519The Mormon people were super-nice to us, and they all were pretty, as in clean-cut, smiley, and welcoming. I realize they were on their best behavior to us pagans, but it was noticeable how nice they were. (Honestly, they were more welcoming than many churches we attend. Sigh.)

I did not feel weird or icky or oppressed by being there, but I did feel sad for them, Probably about as sad as they felt for me. What can you do?

A religious impasse.

We went; we stopped; we saw; we talked; we left. That was that.

No desire to ever return.

The Great Salt Lake

Then we went to the Great Salt Lake. It’s 35 miles wide and 75 miles long. It can be IMG_0525between 15 and 40 feet deep, depending on the rains and what comes down from the mountains.

With no outlet, it is a basin lake that is the largest on this side of the Mississippi. It’s also the 2nd most salty body of water on earth, just behind the Dead Sea. It can get up to 25% salt content, where the oceans are about 3.5%. The Dead Sea is about 35%.

The kids walked way out into it and floated around a bit. They loved that, and it was most definitely a bucket-list item due to the nearly uniqueness of the place.

You could see for miles across the lake, though you could not see the other side. There were several islands in it.

It was a cool place to visit and a hot place to hang. There were not a lot of people at the park. Not sure why. There were hardly any sailboaters or boaters of any kind on the lake. It was beautiful, but not populated with tourists or locals.

We left SLC and made the long drive to Bozeman. We arrived around 9PM Friday night. It was still daylight, as the sun does not go down until after 10PM.

And it was drop-dead gorgeous.

IMG_0523

Advertisements