’12 Jul: Salt Lake UT to Steamboat Springs CO

Road Trippin’, and loving it.

Having left Jackson, WY…

July 12

Having left Jackson, WY we head out for our destination of the day, Salt Lake City, Utah. But to get to Utah we have to go through Idaho and since we’re going that way we figured we might as well take a little detour to go to Pocatello Idaho, location of my older sister’s elopement 50 years ago. Yes, they have just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

But to get to Pocatello we have to take a bit of a detour though more of Idaho, and wait, what’s this, after two hours of driving through potato fields we see a sign for the POTATO MUSEUM. We HAVE to go to the Potato Museum.

These folks are from…

These folks are from Israel and had to have their picture made with the hostess of the Potato Museum, the woman on the far right. There were probably thirty people in the museum during our visit and the tour buses were due to arrive soon.

In comparison, the Computer Museum in Bozeman was happy to get ten visitors a day.

…and here’s the inside…

…and here’s the inside of the church as it is today.

This was an elopement. They took the train from LA to Pocatello because you could get married in Idaho without your parents’ permission. Their only guest was the taxi driver who was waiting in the back of the church. The minister disturbed his wife and daughter playing cards in the social hall to sign as witnesses.

And they lived happily ever after.

…they moved to the…

…they moved to the new Conference Center that seats 21,000 people. Big.

The choir has 360 volunteer singers, all required to be ‘Mormons in good standing’ and there are no doubt 3,600 more lined up to take the place of anyone who reaches their retirement after 20 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first. They have recorded dozens of albums, won tons of awards, and traveled extensively.

Check out the orchestra .. check out the organ. It was splendid fun.

From the plaque of…

From the plaque of the sculpture “Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood” in Temple Square:

“On May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism. As they prayed, ‘a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light’ (Joseph Smith – History 1:68).

“The messenger was John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus Christ in the River Jordon and was now a resurrected being. He laid his hands on Joseph and on Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood. This priesthood, which had been absent from the earth for many centuries, includes the restored authority from God to baptize for the remission of sins.”

I used to think…

I used to think all the horns on the top of Mormon temples (the trumpet of the angel Moroni) pointed to Salt Lake City, but no I was wrong, as advised by one of the myriad hosts positioned every few feet in Temple Square, they all point East in anticipation of ‘the Savior’s coming from the East’. I don’t know if it’s the second coming though .. but a coming nonetheless.

We left Salt Lake…

July 14

We left Salt Lake City early so we’d have time to see the Dinosaur National Monument today and spend the night in Vernal, Utah.

On the way we wanted to enjoy a bit of Park City, home of the Sundance Film Festival and site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Coming out of Park…

Coming out of Park City we traveled through some of the most splendid landscape. It was particularly wonderful because of the variety of trees that made up the forests. I thought I could get a google-maps shot that would tell the tale but no luck – they’re all in winter.

The scenery was gorgeous even after leaving the forests.

The highlight of the…

The highlight of the park offerings is the Quarry Exhibit Hall just recently reopened after being under refurbishment for six years.

This is an enclosed space surrounding one of the many fossil sites in the area. From the park’s website: “Here, you can gaze upon the remains of numerous different species of dinosaurs including Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodicus, and Stegosaurus along with several others.

“Exhibits, including an 80-foot long mural reveal the story of these animals and many others that lived in the Morrison environment during the late Jurassic. There are even several places where you can touch real 149 million year old dinosaur fossils!”

It was time to…

It was time to eat, Sharon was driving, I was calling out the names of all the places to eat as we passed by. ‘Burger King’ ‘Taco Bell’ ‘Village Inn’.

‘Ahh, Village Inn’ Sharon noted. ‘We always ate at Village Inn when I was growing up.’ Since I had never known a Village Inn we of course had to stop here. It’s a Denny’s-Copper Penny-Norms kind of place so similar to the places where we always ate when I was growing up, and it was still fun.

Remember the tatami room…

Remember the tatami room in the Kauai house that I always so delight in turning into an office? This house has one too and omg check out this view onto the back landscaped garden, Jacuzzi pond, and Tea House.

I’ll make pictures of the Tea House tomorrow. Everyone who knows me will say ‘oh Penny, that place is so YOU’.

Sharon’s daughter and son-in-law…

Sharon’s daughter and son-in-law came in last night too and brought their .. not kidding .. seven dogs.

They are working on putting together a no-kill animal shelter in the Denver area and although the shelter isn’t ready yet they couldn’t turn away any of these special-needs dogs that came their way. But this is it, no more until their project has opened Phase One.

I spent a while trying to make portraits of them all. These Sharon considers her Grand Dogs because they have been around the longest: Roland, Bela, Paco.

Yampa River Botanic Park,…

July 17

Yampa River Botanic Park, a lovely place right in town.

From Ms Wiki: “The park is situated in a valley beside the Yampa River at an altitude of 6,800 feet, with a frost-free growing season of approximately 60 days ((the italics are mine)). Summers are dry and intensely sunny; winters are cold with heavy snow.”

…and from their brochure:…

…and from their brochure: “In fifteen years the Yampa River Botanic Park sprang from a flat horse pasture to a six acre gem of ponds, berms, and over 40 gardens. It is one of the jewels of Northwest Colorado and one of the few botanic parks in the state.”

I guess it’s one of the few botanic parks since, if Steamboat Springs is any indication, they have a growing season of sixty days.

We did a small…

July 18

We did a small waking tour of the local springs this morning. It has been Hot and we didn’t finish the whole route, but what we did manage was fun.

Note the railroad tracks because they play into the next picture.

This is the spring…

This is the spring where Steamboat Springs got its name.

In the early 1800s the spring, which was a geyser at the time, used to make a chugging sound like a steamboat and so French trappers named the area Steamboat Springs. In 1908 blasting for the railroad that runs just to the right of this photo filled in the spring and surrounding underground source such that there was no more chugging and no more geyser.

But it’s a good story and the town kept the name.

Tubing on the Yampa…

Tubing on the Yampa River is one of the main summer attractions. We didn’t do it because it was too hot and too sunny. That’s the reason we told each other anyway.

We didn’t ride up on a ski lift and bike down the mountain either.

We drove out to…

We drove out to Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs. We didn’t go in because we have quite the natural hot springs home in our own back yard, but it was fun to see.

If you come after dark, and you have to be over 18, then it’s bathing suit optional. Mighty hippy-dippy except that you have to pay and they have bouncers checking id.

Leaving the bikers at…

Leaving the bikers at a turn-off we later entered the Eisenhower Tunnel, the longest mountain tunnel in the Interstate system and also at 11,100 feet, the highest point.

They started construction of the tunnel in March 1968 and it opened in March 1973, a very big deal at the time.

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