Utah

31st Oct 2016 I entered Utah, coming from Page and the Glen Canyon Dam. I passed through the outskirts of the KANAB National Park and I was sorry, that I did not have time to visit the NP. Though I decided to visit this Park as well as the Zion and Bryce Park next time I will be in the area. The pictures I have seen of the three parks are amazing!

It was not easy to take photographs of all the beautiful scenery I was coming through, because the best views were often in curves, but I have got one of Mt Carmel.

Utah

Mt Carmel

This day I ate at McDonald’s again, recognising that the States are more expensive than Canada. In the late afternoon I reached Glendale. I was looking for a hostel for a while, but in this part of Utah, I did not find any, therefore I was happy, when I found the Bauer RV-Park with tent sites just before it was getting dark. So German the name is, it was the grand-grandfather, who immigrated from Switzerland and the generation I met, did not speak German anymore – even they were in their sixties. I prepared for a cold night and I can tell you, it still felt very chilly.

1st Nov 2016 I was happy when the sun rose. When I was ready for going further – without breakfast because the cold – I just went into the office to pay my 18 USD (and tax) for the stay at the tent site. I was asked if it has not been very cold and I replied “it was a little chilly” and got a smile for it. Surprisingly I only had to pay 16,82 USD (tax incl.). The owner did give me a discount, because it was only me (1 person) using the site. That had not happened to me before! It was a nice ending of my camping adventures.

At Tod’s Junction (Long Valley Junction) I bought a coffee and a package of two white sno balls and a 10-pack of handkerchiefs. The cakes were too sweet for me, but now I know how they taste. See a picture at: http://www.hostesscakes.com/products – scroll to sno balls. Sorry if I mention – perhaps again – that it is very hard in North America to buy handkerchiefs, but tissues. The 10-packs are sold one and one or max as 6-packs and you cannot find them in supermarkets. If you find them, you will do it in pharmacies – not every pharmacy sell them. Tissues are sold 80 to 100 at a time, too big to put them in a pocket.

I filled fuel in Marysvale and continued North. In the middle of the day I saw a sign for Cove Fort History Site, which made me interested in the place, though I stopped there soon afterwards. The guidance was for free and the guides took one visitor resp. a couple at a time. I first thought they did it, because of so few visitors at this time of the year, but I found out, that it was for the reason of personal contact, because the guides are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), usually called “Mormons”. The Cove Fort was built in 1867 and a safe stop for coaches. You can read more about it here. I have been told that the name of the man, who built the fort, was Ira Hinckley and he was, at this place, serving people, who traveled through Utah Territory with protection and a possibility to rest and meals. In addition to that all was woven with the faith of these people. The guidance did take between one and two hours and I was really hungry, when I was leaving. Though I ate a baguette at a Subway, close to the Fort. I actually do not like the “Subway” restaurants, but this time it did not matter for me what they offered.

I drove back to the hwy I-15, passed Fillmore, Holden and other places and arrived in Salt Lake City around 5pm. It was dark already, of course, but I found the way to the city and a car park, where I could stay for 8 hours for 6 USD. I was walking from the car park to find a hostel that my GPS had told me was very close. I was walking around for a while, finally asking a security guide, where the hostel was. He told me the direction as well as he told me, that the area I was in, was not good for me and advised me to walk straight back where I came from without any stops. I did so, but at traffic lights and there was none trying to bother me. I had to ask one more time for the hostel and did this in a bar, that was just opening for the evening. Nobody did know, but one of the waiters did search it on Google for me. Then I went back to the car park, took my car and was going to the hostel. Unfortunately the owner of the hostel had sat up a sign, that no walk in was possible. I tried to call, but there was only an answering machine. Even a female person arrived at the same time as me, she did not answer me. After this unpleasant experience I asked my GPS for another hostel, but it came only up with a hospital and a home for elderly and disabled people, what I could not find out before I arrived there. I gave up and drove further, looking for a cheap hotel or motel close to the city. When I had left the city I saw an advertising for the “Sleep Inn”, for me it sounded like a hostel, but when I well was there, it was a hotel, but fortunately not the most expensive one. I was now in Ogden, 38 mi (55 km) from downtown Salt Lake City.

Ogden, Utah

Slepp Inn, Ogden

The night receptionist was very unfriendly. He did not use the word “please” at anytime and was reminding me of the military. Anyway I needed a bed, though I booked a room for one night. The price was 69 USD plus taxes – breakfast included. I was happy they offered wi-fi for free. I surfed the internet for a hostel in Salt Lake City and finally found one. It seemed to be the only one in Salt Lake City, but the one, which did not let me in. I paid 25USD / night for the hostel, even here the breakfast included. I also wrote the review for my former helpx-host in Yakima, sent a message to my friend Louise in Calgary about my second visit and read an email of my former host Daren in Provost, Alberta, who told me, that I had got a letter. Finally I sorted my latest photographs in albums on Google Photos. I had a good sleep that night, even I felt more lonely as usual.

I awoke 2nd Nov around 7am, I thought, with breakfast at 8am and was surprised and unhappy when the staff did take away the breakfast dishes half an hour later, but breakfast was to 10am and the cleaner was knocking at my door at 9:20 am, but check out was as usual at 11am. Fortunately I checked out at 10am, because I had not observed that Ogden was in the Mountain Time Zone, which is applied to the area of the Rocky Mountains in North America. I was driving back to Salt Lake City and the “Avenues hostel”, where I booked a bed the night before. I arrived already at 11am and could not check in before 2pm. I was waiting in my car and checked photographs on another SD-card until 1pm (I thought), but did not yet realise at that time, that it already was 2pm. I was happy to get to know about the different time zone soon after I checked in. By the way were elder photographs on that 2GB card (my gran children and the cats of two of my kids as well as Christmas lights on Malta and in Helsingborg, Sweden). I also updated my file about my expenses.

After checking in and leaving my backpack in the assigned room I ate my last crisp bread with cheese and asked a woman for the buses to Temple Square. She told me, that she usually is walking downtown, even it is a little far. Though I started walking and reached the square after a while. It was not really so far as it sounded by the woman. It was a comfortable distance instead. I was looking for the Tabernacle, because I have been told of my host in Comox on Vancouver Island, that I have to see it. The Tabernacle is one of the buildings at the Temple Square, surrounding the temple.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Tabernacle

I was looking for the “Holy of the Holies” and expecting, that it was difficult to get admission, but this Tabernacle is not like the one in the Bible – Old Testament. It was not holy at all, it was just a beautiful congress hall, even not very big. By that reason, there is another congress hall, which was built later. On the top floor of the newer one they have a statue, presenting Jesus Christ. The ceiling above the statue is coloured like the sky at night. It gave me a feeling like coming into heaven. That is really good done! Read more about the Temple Square on the official website. I spent the whole afternoon and early evening there, even watching three movies in the cinema. For my feeling, they were worse than all the publications of the Pentecostal Church and that is already an extreme one. Before leaving the area I was listening to the Bell Concert. Actually it was not a really concert yet, they were instead practicing for the concert. Even I like music very much and I am open for very different expressions, the Bell Concert was nothing I could enjoy. I had a meal in one of the restaurants of the Mormons and was then walking back to the hostel, even this time without any problems although it was uphill.

Back at the hostel I realized, that I had got a cold by my last camping night. I was asking for the wi-fi code and used the Internet, while sitting in a nice couch in the lounge on the second floor.

I slept well that night, but had still the cold when I awoke 3rd Nov. The hostel offered free breakfast and that one was different to all I have seen before, but it was not the selection, which was so different. We were allowed to take of all things on the shelf. There were cereals, bread, cakes and more. A chef was frying sausages, potatoes and eggs and he told me, that it has not been such a generous breakfast before with the words: “Jim added the cereals and I the sausage…”. They do not pay for it, but it was their wishes, they told the owner of the hostel and he agreed. I also got a chat at the breakfast table with two guys from the States, in the age around 40. One of them told me, that he has had a pretty house before. He did not tell me, how he lost his house, but whatever it was it is sorrowful that people need to live at a hostel all the time, even they are not travelling. The other one was a biker, that means: He was travelling by bike. He told me, that he has a blog, telling people how generous and trustworthy people are. He is hoping for peace everywhere. He is using the website “Warm showers” to find hosts, but sometimes he has to use hostels.

I was done 9:15am and prepared for walking downtown again, but checked my HSBC-account, which I have since I worked on Malta (look for Europe/Malta on this blog), before I left. I was announced a tax refund and the money had come. It was only 200 EUR, but I was happy about them anyway, especially for the night at the hotel. I then walked to the Utah State Capitol, the house of government for the U.S. state of Utah.

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

It reminded me of the White House in Washington, DC. I have never seen the White House in real, but from all the pictures and movies I have a picture of it in my mind. However I visited the Tourist Information, on the other side of the street, before I crossed the street continuing to that beautiful building. At the Tourist Information I asked, what there is in Salt Lake City I can enjoy for free and the assistant was eager to explain, how much I could do for free and close to the city center. That was the first time I have got such a nice and friendly information about this topic. Usually the assistants try to sell tours and other expensive stuff and are disappointed and unfriendly by my question.

I was in a good mood when I was looking for the entrance to the Capitol. Actually there are more than one, but the main entrance was closed, though I had to use the East side entrance and I was thinking, that it might be the main entrance, because of the statue in front of this entrance, the Indian Chief Massasoit.

Chief Massasoit

Chief Massasoit

As I expected, the Capitol was filled with art and the building was art as well. Even the restrooms were dressed in marble. While waiting for a free tour I had a chat with another woman and asked her about the Salt Flats, when she told me, that she is from New York and has been here more than once. She told me, that the flats are situated more to the West.

Utah State Capitol

Inside Utah State Capitol

I went downtown for lunch and decided to try the restaurant at the Lion House, even it is also a part of the complex on Temple Square. My next stop was the City Creek Shopping Centre, where I was looking for a pharmacy, but the one I found was more selling fashion than drugs. The centre was really nice, with the City Creek running through. However I looked up the closest pharmacy with the help of the Internet and found one as well as a supermarket close to the hostel. It was quite a long bit to go from the city center and the streets were quite steep, but I made it, even I felt tired. With something to eat and new eye drops I was back at the hostel soon afterwards. Before I fell asleep I searched information about the Salt Flats by Google. I was surprised, that they are not always so dry, that one can walk or drive a car on them. It is depending on the weather.

The upcoming day, 4th Nov I left the hostel already at 9am, but after having a breakfast with a cup of coffee, my own yogurt, cereals and a big blueberry muffin, which was for free. Even this morning I shared a table with longtime guests of the hostel. My first stop was in Delle, where I filled my car. I continued to the Bonneville Salt Flats. They were actually further away than expected, but I reached the related car park suddenly. I thought, I had to go further, but I anyway stopped there, because the beautiful scenery. Well on the car park I could read, that I was already at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats

Unfortunately it was water on the salt and therefore neither allowed nor possible to walk or drive on the lake, because there is mud under the salt and one would sink. I tried to come closer to the salt flats – even I was already very close – and drove further, turning into the road for the races, but that one took an end directly in front of the lake without a possibility to come really close.

I continued on hwy 80 / old hwy 93 and passed small places with funny names like “Jackpot” in Nevada before I entered Idaho. Please continue reading by clicking the link for Idaho.