Our five days in the Salt Lake City area were full of non-stop fun, such as having our car serviced, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, returning Alan’s faulty ground pad and replacing it with a Therm-A-Rest, and dealing with gnawed-through electrical wires on our car. Between all of the errands we were running now that we were in the first urban area we’d seen in quite some time, we also made time to visit Temple Square – checking out the Mormon Tabernacle, a Mormon history museum, and the outside of the Temple. The highlight was visiting the family search center to do some research on my family’s history. My father is knee-deep in researching our family’s history, but he hasn’t done that much research to date on one of my great-grandparents, who happened to be Mormon. I had a great time working with a volunteer at the center to learn more about my great-grandparents and to pull old census records. Even better, I learned that there are family search centers all over (check out familysearch.org for one near you), including one that is not all that far from my parents’ church. Hopefully this will help my dad in his quest to continue compiling our family’s history.
In addition to checking out the city and surrounding areas, we also took a trip up to Park City, watched ski jumpers train at the Olympic Park, and camped on an island in the Great Salt Lake.
Antelope Island (we did see antelope!) is a largely undeveloped state park in the middle of the salty sea of northern Utah. The sunsets were gorgeous and were reason to celebrate as it was the only time the temperature in the park was close to appealing. I’m not sure if it’s always this hot in SLC in the summer, but the temperatures were pushing 100 just about every day. Van and I did get our feet wet, but the smell and feeling of the slimey sand beneath our feet was less than attractive. As much as I was tempted to float in water five times saltier than the ocean, I took a pass. On the positive side, we only had to suffer through one night of our closest neighbors in the campground setting up an outdoor movie theater complete with spotlights for a midnight showing of a film that we thankfully couldn’t hear over the sounds of their 1970’s-era generator that had definitely seen better days, which powered the whole set-up. But it was all worth it for the absolute best sunsets of our trip thus far. Each night was a spectacle of deep oranges and reds shining across an almost perfectly still sea that appears to merge with, more than reflect, the land around it.