Trip Log – Utah (ugh salty!!)

SL Morman Temple When we stopped last night at the Nevada/Utah border it turns out that the west part of town was in Nevada and the east part in Utah. Of course, as you can imagine the western part had about 8 large casinos while the eastern half was small motels and food places.  We landed there somewhat late and tried to eat at one of the buffets at a casino but found out that it closed in fifteen minutes.  It was only 8:45PM.  So I guess although the casinos were big they must cater to the Utahians ( or whatever they are called) and they must go to bed early during the week 🙂 . So Las Vegas it wasn’t. To answer a logical question about today, no we have not seen a single casino in Utah. Good for them!

Anyway, getting on to today. We left the hotel room and soon were at the western side of the Great Salt Desert. This was an area about 50 miles wide where nothing was growing!  The road was perfectly, and I mean perfectly, straight the whole distance.  After that we got to the Great Salt Lake ( picture above). There is about 1/4 mile of salt beach before the lake. We hiked it and then of course had to taste the water and it is SALTY!

After the lake we headed into Salt Lake City for our usual visit to the State Capital building. It is a very big complex. I would guess about 3 times the size of the Indianapolis facilities.  Utah has about 1/3 of the population of Indiana so I guess just about everyone must work for the State here.  After the capital building visit we headed down to the Temple Square which is greatly expanded since the last time I was here (about 30 years ago) and all of the expansion is almost totally owned by the Mormons.   They are probably second only to the Catholic church in the wealth they have accumulated.

I got a little different story about how Joseph Smith received the Book of Mormon than what I had previously remembered. They claim that the Apostles John, Matthew and Paul (I think) appeared to Joseph Smith to personally give him the original texts of the Bible. So therefore they claim that the Book of Mormon is the most accurate translation of the Bible since it was given directly to Joseph Smith instead of being based on copies of copies as most of the other Christian Bibles are. (The original texts were lost before the modern day versions were written.)  I haven’t studied a direct refuting of this by any Christian theologians so that will be an interesting study when we return from vacation.

Anyway, here I am sitting on our second floor walkway waiting for the sun to go down over the southern Utah mountains . Yvonne insists on seeing it.  After that we will head to Mom’s Cafe  in town for dinner.  We are told mom stays open until 10PM so we should have plenty of time. I hope she has plenty of food left when we get there as I am pretty hungry.  Tomorrow will be mainly a driving day toward Durango Colorado. Again we will be getting off the Interstates to take some State roads there.

PS…. Well we are back from dinner and it seems that Mom’s Cafe is world famous. It was written up in National Geographic some years ago.  I don’t know about then but the food tonight was very good.

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