A leisurely beginning to our departure day. Had breakfast, packed up the bags, loaded the car and took off around 10:30. Looking at the map, we had thought we would come home via familiar US 40 and I-70. Ms. WAZE routed us through Wyoming instead. We soon saw why. Easy driving with only about 5000 trucks, both coming and going, with which to share the road. Stopped at “Little America” just to view what all the hoopla was about. Got spooked by the 100 plus trucks parked there with others arriving (about 10 in the time it took us to turn around), and took off for Rock Springs.
One of the nicest things about driving in Wyoming, is the speed limit – 80 miles/hr – thank heaven- because the scenery isn’t much to write home about – that is, unless you like desolate areas where nothing seems to grow except sage brush. It felt like we were traversing through a moonscape. All that is to say you can make goooooood time!!!
Our adventure in Rock Springs began with our hunting, as usual, for a local cafe in which to have lunch. So, we went into “historic Rock Springs” and ran into a delightful “happening” – “a halloween stroll”. Moms and Dads with all their kid, all dressed up, “strolling” – more like running, crying, yelling, etc. into all the establishments along Main Street. We ended our search by going out again to the freeway and found an excellent Mexican restaurant.
A short stop for gas in Laramie, Wy, where we remonised about our visits there many years (about 50) ago to visit our friends, the Henleys, while David chaired the department of Journalism at the University. Laramie has certainly changed.
Another short stop as we approached Denver for a few groceries and then home. This has been another wonderful trip (we’ve driven 6719 miles in 54 days), and we are delighted to be back home.
The centerpiece of today was driving 30 miles southeast to the small town of Midway to play the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course. It was a challenging and very scenic course in the beautiful Heber Valley at the foot of the Wasatch mountain range. We found it to be not as difficult as it had been described, but perhaps that’s because we are back onto our golf game now. Too bad that the many aspens had all lost their leaves, but it was still quite pretty and very up and down. Enjoyed the several flocks of wild turkeys running around.
After playing, we went back to the Blue Boar Inn to take photos, which we had not had a chance to do when dining there Wed. with Phyllis and Bill. Such a lovely place. We also enjoyed driving around Midway, which seems to be a small and attractive resort area. We are still wondering what it is mid-way between.
We’ve greatly enjoyed our stay in Park City in our most spacious and attractive condominium, the Raintree Miner’s Club. It has been very restful and recuperative after a great but very busy trip. The several accompanying photos have no relationship to the day, but we just wanted to toss them in to further illustrate both the scenic and funky aspects of Park City.
On Thursday we drove 30 min. into Salt Lake City where we spent all of our time exploring the Temple Square complex, which is the center of SLC, both architecturally and spiritually. Scores of serious looking men in black suits, white shirts and somber ties were walking to and fro, usually in what appeared to be serious conversations with their companions. In whatever building we entered, an elder would greet us and usually tell us more than we wanted to know. We first went to the SL Temple, a huge edifice crowned by the statue of Angel Moroni on the highest spire. It took 40 years to build, from 1853 to 1893. Only members of the Church of LDS can enter, and then only on special occasions such as marriages, one of which we observed celebrating on the steps. Most of the young men had shed their coats and were in their dress shirts and suspenders. Suspenders??? Numerous Mormon women, usually young “sisters” from all over the world, were ready and waiting to give us pertinent information. We were curious about what the Temple looked like on the inside to match the imposing and ornate outside. We then walked back to the SL Tabernacle, a domed structure that apparently is used currently for concerts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Visitors can go in. Looks like a huge church. Next to it was an attractive, again ornate church, which we were told was completed before The Temple and was the first Temple Square LDS place of worship. Again, it’s doors were locked. Brigham Young was observing us from many statues and busts in various sites. We visited his house, the Beehive House and the adjacent office building, which were a part of Temple Square. We were escorted in a tour by Sister Bentham, a strikingly beautiful young woman from New Zealand and Sister Treatle, a nice and plain young woman from Oklahama. Informative tour. We then had lunch in the Lion House (another old but still used LDS Church office building) Cafeteria, which had been recommended by another nice young woman who was a gardener in The Square. Very wholesome food. I had a hugh dish of delicious beef/chili stew and Lois had a bowl of excellent chicken and artichoke soup. We felt sated by our immersion into the center of the intense and fundamentalist LDS culture.
On our way back to our condo, Lois had a phoned interview with a reporter from the Wall St. Journal about the older population’s attitude and participation in investment entities currently available to the individual investors. She enjoys such interviews – this was either her 4th or 5th. A nice end to an interesting day.
Tuesday was rainy and quite cool, so we decided to stay put, do laundry, catch up on emails, financial stuff and the blog and just read and relax- so indeed, that’s what we did.
Wednesday broke bright sunshine and cool. We played 9 holes of golf at the Park City course again, came back for a light lunch and read for a while. We were picked up by our friend, Phyllis Barber, famous authoress of memoirs, for a wonderfully delightful evening with her lovely husband, Bill Traeger -driven first to their home where we were treated to yummy hors d’oeuvres and a “tour” of Bill’s collections of some absolutely outstanding antiquities such as a Han Dynasty horse and a Samurai general’s armor and many Inuit sculpture pieces.
We then proceeded to a delicious dinner at a terrific restaurant called the Blue Boar Inn, In Midway. It is a small, 12 room Swiss style inn, with a 5 star restaurant. I had the best clam chowder that I’ve ever tasted in my life, the others had a very fresh garden salad with the chef’s special dressing, 3 of us enjoyed the grilled salmon & asparagus while Bill claimed to have “won” with his chicken dish, all accompanied by an excellent merlot from the 4 Hands Vineyard in Oregon. All was topped off by wonderful chocolate cake and delicious cheese cake. Just a delightful evening!
A rather leisurely morning, then, off to the Park City Golf Course. It was a very pretty day and cool. The course has many trees and all were in their fall colors. The fairways were quite long and wide. An easy, rather bland course with only an occasional water and/or bunker hazard. We were pleased with our 18 hole performance. A quick trip to the local shopping plaza and then home for dinner.
We had a lazy day today. We reflect that, like our Leaf Odyssey Eastern Trip last fall, these road trips are busy times. On one night stays, we are up and packing to drive on in the morning. On longer stays, we are still active and busy, going around to see the local sights or visiting with friends or family. The exceptions are these times at time share trade condos, where we are here for a week. We slept in this morning, caught up some on this blog and emails. We then rode around our immediate area, which is in The Canyons resort. The other nearby ski areas are Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort (owned by Vail), which is accessed from a lift which takes off from downtown Park City. Other areas are down toward Salt Lake City and up Cottonwood Canyon: Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude. Canyons is relatively new, with multiple condo and high end hotel buildings and many in the process of being built. We are across the street from a Waldorf Astoria! The area seems to be well planned and attractively groomed. A cabriolet takes off from the main parking lot and accesses a gondola and several lifts, a la Winter Park. Skimeisters is planning a trip here in Jan., 2015. Should be fun.
In the afternoon we went in town and walked Main St. Like Aspen, Park City was originally a 19th century mining town. But unlike most CO ski areas, it has not been extensively modernized. Comparing it to Colorado mountain towns, it reminded us most of Idaho Springs. It still looks old and funky, with lots of bars, restaurants and low end shops. Nothing chi-chi. We went to a recommended sports bar, Collies, to watch the Broncos-49’ers game. A very basic, friendly place with the nice feel of an old bar. Good pork sandwiches and Fat Tire beer and a crowd of folks cheering the Broncos. Fun game, and exciting to see Peyton break the passing TD’s record. One of the minor deprivations of the trip is missing seeing most of the Broncos games!
After another wonderful breakfast, we say good-bye to Zion Canyon and drove out of the park onto I-15 up to the northwest section of Zion called Kolob Canyon. The KC Road was a 5 mile breath taking drive which overlooks the north and middle fork of the park. It was one of the most beautiful vista drives of Zion’s canyons. We loved it. It went back and forth from public to private property. The aspens were turning reminded us of Colorado. Some horses in a pasture fell in love with me and ran over for a visit.
I-15 north to Park City was a terrific driving road, in that the speed limit was 80 miles per hour. We made very good time. We stopped for lunch at Nephi, at JC Mckinnon’s, a mom & pop restaurant which primarily featured an elaborate electric train which ran all around the resturant.
Arriving at our destination – the Miners’ Club (a Raintree timeshare in Park City), we were delighted with our accommodations in a large, spacious, well equipped two bedroom condominium. We’ll be here a week, and weather permitting, we’ll play a lot of golf.
Speaking of weather, since we’ve been in Utah, it’s been bright and clear, with the day temperatures in the high 60s, and that’s predicted to mostly continue this week.
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