18 August 2015 Utah Salt Lake City - The Great Salt Lake - Park City - Sundance

Utah's State Capitol
      Loved Yellowstone and the Tetons but time to move on to Salt Lake City that we used as our base to enjoy not only that city but also a side trip to Park City and Sundance.  Park City began as a raucous, rough and tumble silver-mining boom town but nearly faded into history as a ghost town.  Later it re-invented itself as a ski town that has grown into a "destination".  I fell in love with this quaint little town.  It's a funky, quirky, artsy place and a haven for just about any athletic endeavor you could think of---except swimming.  Didn't see a drop of water except for the stream that ran beside one of the restaurants.  A couple about our age who are full-timers there, approached us--(we must've had the look of what-should-we-do-first?) and provided us with so much info of places to go and do and see that we wouldn't have gleaned from any of the tourist brochures.  It's a precious, darling, historic little town.  Look forward to returning but not in the winter--think temp's dips below our 65 degree comfort zone.  Robert Redford's Sundance was an exciting trip.  I looked and looked but never saw him.  Maybe we should've called in advance.  :-)


     We enjoyed a day on Antelope Island State Park, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.  There are free-roaming herds of bison, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope.  A 7 mile causeway across the lake joins the island to the mainland.  From that vantage point, the views are stunning of the Wasatch Mountain Range and the Salt Lake City skyline.  This is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River and a remnant of pre-historic Lake Bonneville which covered more than 20,000 square miles during the Ice Age.  Water flows into the lake from four river drainages but there is no outlet so whatever goes into the lake, stays there.  Water leaves the lake only through evaporation, consequently leaving behind high levels of minerals.  It is America's Dead Sea. 

      Bill, a non-floater, demonstrates the high salinity of the Great Salt Lake
 Bill floats like a  rock but look at my very buoyant hubby.  In the summer when the lake is down, the salinity is about 27%--obviously much more dense than is the ocean. The trek from the parking lot to the lake's edge is about a half mile of wading through very soft ankle-deep sand and rocks.  Certainly not a time to leave your water bottle behind.  Bill sorta rinsed his shorts and the next morning they had dried and they stood all alone and by themselves in the corner!  

     Knowing that Thursday night is the rehearsal time for the Mormon  Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra, we made it a point to be there for that.

     WOW!! We sat in on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra rehearsal on Thursday night. What a long dreamed-of treat. We were in the Conference Center Auditorium which occupies 10 acres. It is ENORMOUS, seating 21,000 people!! The sounds made me tingle down to my toes.  🎶

A fountain atop the 10 acre Conference Center

Conference Center Bell Tower.  

Notice the waterfall

Angel Moroni atop a spire

The visitors' center has many "life-like" photos

7,667 pipes for the 5 rank organ
     The rehearsal just wasn't enough so we returned on Sunday morning for their service and to see and hear the live performance of Music and the Spoken Word.  This has aired every Sunday morning for 80 years.  I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting beside us.  She had worked at Temple Square for many years and was a wealth of information.  She retired and moved to SC, the state from which we retired.

     After the service, we toured several of the buildings which are outstanding structures.  No short cuts were taken with the construction nor furnishings.  They thought of absolutely everything. The sanctuary in the Conference Center is being re-carpeted with 7 ½ acres of carpet!  One of the tours was of the roof and the guide said that the plantings there and on the ground level around the building are to camouflage it's tremendous 10 acres.  This is truly a feat of engineering.  There are no visible support beams.  Besides the previously mentioned 21,000 seats, there's a 900 seat proscenium-style theatre and 1300 parking spaces below the building on FOUR levels.  On the roof are 4 landscaped acres with trees, an alpine meadow of grasses and wildflowers, fountains, and a waterfall.  The main support beam weighs 621 tons.  The structure exceeds building code requirements to withstand seismic forces in the event of an earthquake.  

Strolling the city's streets, I just found the 2 types of architecture--the old brick and the new glass buildings--an interesting contrast

     Salt Lake City has an Apple Store, REI, Blick Art Supply, an independent mechanic who put on new brake pads and other "mendables" that he found on our Toad/Towed plus all the other stores you'd expect in a big city.

A view from Antelope Island of the Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake

 Time to pull up the tent stakes and begin moving east.

Bill and Laura Bender
18 August 2015


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