Thursday, October 3, 2013

Salt Lake City - Utah 2013

10-1-13
This was a driving day. I left Dinosaur National Monument at 7:15 AM and arrived at the Fairgrounds in Duchesne, Utah, at 9:00 AM. Margaret greeted me. She had come here yesterday and had talked to the manager in charge of the fairgrounds. She showed me where I could park my motorhome. During the rest of the day the members of the group trickled in. This is a stop on our way to Salt Lake City.
At 10:00 AM I went to the library which is located just around the corner. Duchesne is a small town. At 11:30 AM I went to the Senior Center and had lunch. A group of old timers sat on a big round table and they invited me to sit with them. They could not wait to tell me their old jokes and stories. It was very funny. Kurt came also and one of the ladies on the table gave him her seat. She went to the kitchen.
After lunch I went to “Running with Scissors”. I think it is a place where ladies get their hair done. A young woman is the owner of the one chair shop. It was a first for me, to get a haircut from a professional woman, and cut only with scissors. 
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we had cake and ice cream to celebrate Karen’s birthday. We have a wonderful meeting place. There is a gazebo in the small park next to the fairgrounds.


Mark cut the cake while Karen is waiting to hand out the plates with cake and ice cream. 


10-2-13
Today we did a long 140 mile trip. We explored the Nine Mile Canyon. The canyon is actually longer than nine miles. We had four vehicles.


The canyon is wide at some places and at other spots very narrow.


Nine Mile Canyon is well known for its rock art. There are many petroglyphs on the canyon walls. 


The aspen trees are in their full fall splendor.


We ate our lunch in the picnic area. 


After lunch we went to the Great Hunt Panel, which displays a hunting scene. 


We played around and pointed at the panel. 


The Great Buffalo is another well known petroglyph.


A person scratched his own name in 1867 on this petroglyph. It looks not bad compared to what people have done to Indian Rock Art.


On the canyon walls are also swallow nests.


On this panel seems to be a couple dancing. 


All over the western states I noticed this yellow bush. It seems to be rabbit bush. 


On the way into the canyon we traveled on a gravel and dirt road. On the way out we went through Argyle Canyon, on another dirt road. The scenery was beautiful, but I am glad I did not drive today. My poor Saturn would not have liked it. 


10-3-13
Yesterday we wore shorts and T shirts; today we walked around in hooded winter jackets and long pants. A winter storm is coming through the area. It is cold and very windy.
At 10:00 AM I went to the library. Some of the other WINs were there too. Most of us went to the Senior Center for lunch. They announced that they had traveling seniors as guests, and made us welcome. Some of the WINs stayed at the Senior Center after lunch and played cards. It certainly was a warm place. I ran the catalytic heater most of the day to keep warm.


10-4-13
In the morning it was 39 degrees F. in the motorhome. I got up, turned on the heater, and went back to bed. People who were brave enough to come to Hugs and Mugs had to wear their winter clothing or freeze.


At 10:00 AM I went to the library and at 12:00 Noon we all were at the Senior Center for a spaghetti dinner. We all sat at different tables and the locals loved to talk to us and ask questions about our lifestyle. We found out what is going on in town. After lunch it was Bingo time. Most of our group stayed. I went back to the library. In the afternoon the sun had come out and it warmed up a bit. 

10-5-13
Last night it was really cold. It was 34 degrees F in the motorhome when I got up. This is the last cold night for a while. Warmer air is on the way. Three women left us today. They are heading for warmer weather.
Some of the group headed today for Wolf Creek Pass. They enjoyed the scenery but not the cold temperatures. I joined the lazy, warm seeking group. We spent several hours in the library.
In the afternoon I walked along the Duchesne River. It flows by the fairgrounds and our parking area. 


In the evening we went dancing. Some people had gone last night to a bar for karaoke. They arranged it that we could use the room tonight for dancing. Chuck brought his boom box and CDs. We had one more man than women. That does not happen very often.

  
10-6-13
Last night it was one degree colder than the night before. There was no cloud cover. Today we had blue skies and cool weather. In the morning I did laundry. The local Laundromat was closed. I should have known. Duchesne is a Mormon community. I decided to take a drive to Roosevelt. On the way was a large gasoline station with an RV Park. I stopped and asked where the nearest Laundromat is. The lady told me that they have one behind the building. In a new separate building was a brand new laundry facility. I was lucky; I did not have to drive all the way to Roosevelt.
A man who works in the oilfields near Duchesne did his laundry too. I ask him questions about the big tanker trucks with large trailers, which one sees on the highway all day long. They carry crude oil from the pumps and storage tanks to the refinery in Salt Lake City.
One driver parks his truck and trailer near us during the night. He comes in the morning and leaves his pick- up truck here during the day.


A few people went late afternoon to the movies in Roosevelt. I put on my shorts and enjoyed the sun while I was washing the Saturn and washing the motorhome as high as I could reach. This is our last day in Duchesne. It is a friendly little town. People I met at the Senior Center and in the library wave when they see me.  

10-7-13
This was a travel day. We started late though.
At 10:00 AM we went to the Pope House, which is a museum.
Fred Hope was a judge, and a rancher in Duchesne County. Later in life he took up a hobby of creating miniatures. Fred made everything except the horses and people. All the horse livery, wagons (including moving wheels), clothes, tools, and all other pieces were made to SCALE and actually work, like wheels and brakes on wagons. The leather harness for the horses must have taken a lot of time to make.


After the Pope House visit most of the group left town. I went to the library for a short time and then to the Senior Center for lunch. At 12:15 PM I was ready to hit the road. I arrived at Heber City at 2:15 PM. After setting up the motorhome I went to Walmart and Smith’s Market to buy groceries.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting were only seven people, plus Karen and Dan, who came to visit. Most of the group headed south towards warmer weather. Four of us took the 7:00 PM Monday Night Train ride on the Heber Valley Railroad. It was supposed to be a singing and dancing train ride. Something got lost in translation. I was surprised how many small children were on this train, at this time. There were young couples with five children. This is Mormon Country.

 

A young lady played the violin for a while.


10-8-13
This was a gorgeous day. We drove up the Wasatch Mountains to see the fall colors.


I was really impressed with Cascade Springs. The water comes down the mountain over steps. The water and the color of the trees and oak shrubs was a beautiful sight. We walked the three loops.


Fires benefits the forest and grasslands. Here the dead trees are still standing among the new growth. 


We drove the Alpine Loop and the leaves on the Aspen trees were the color of gold. It was a spectacular view. 


At the Sundance Ski Resort we ate our lunch. 


Inside the lodge is a picture of Robert Redford and his daughter on horseback. 


On the way back we stopped at the Bridal Veil Waterfalls. 


Today we drove a 80 mile loop. When we came back Margaret surprised as with a cake she had baked. She brought it to the 5:00 PM circle meeting. She had stayed home. I think she did not like to leave Parker, her dog, all day alone in the motorhome. Since we were going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, she cut the cake and we took a slice back to our home on wheels, for dessert. We walked to the restaurant. It is only a block away from the fairgrounds.

   
10-9-13
Today we did local sightseeing. We went to the town of Midway, which is Wasatch County’s own Little Switzerland. Mormons from Switzerland settled here. Some of the buildings have a Swiss influence. We did not stop in town. Our objective was to go to Wasatch County Memorial Hill. On top of the hill is a memorial for all the fallen soldiers in the wars. From here one has a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.


Our next stop was Wasatch Mountain State Park. After spending some time in the Visitor Center we went on a hike. Margaret and I walked the one mile trail to Huber Grove. The rest of the group went on the three mile loop trail. Johann Gruber, a Swiss emigrant homesteaded 160 acres here.



He and his wife raised ten children.


Johann Gruber translated the Book of Mormons from English to German. He was an influential person in the community. 


We went to the orchard and picked up some apples from the ground. Some of the apple trees are over 100 years old. While being in the orchard I scared about a dozen wild turkeys. 


When we came back to the Visitor Center we had lunch next to the duck pond.


After lunch we drove to the Homestead Crater. The crater has a 400 foot diameter travertine dome. A tunnel was cut through the side of the dome and now people can swim in the 90 degree F. water or scuba dive.



Outside steps lead to the top of the dome. From here one can see the hotels and the mountains.


Memorial Hill is also visible in the distance. 


Kissing a frog does not change the frog into a prince.


The weather was fine in the morning. In the afternoon a cold wind came up for a while. Since our next stop was supposed to be Great Basin National Park in Nevada, we do not know yet what we will be doing since the National Parks are closed because of the partial government shut down. We will be heading south for sure.

10-10-13
This was a rainy day in Salt Lake City, but nothing can stop us hardy WINs. Our first stop was the Utah State Capitol Building. We came for the 10:00 AM tour and were told that all the tour guides are in a meeting. We talked it over and decided to come back for the 12:00 noon tour. An elderly gentlemen came and told us he would give us the tour. He hated meetings.


The marble for the inside of the building came from Georgia and it was cut so figures appear twice in two slabs. Two heads appear in this picture.


Visitors from Africa where given a private tour while we were at the Capitol. 


We learned about the history of the Capitol building and were shown all the chambers.
The chamber for the representatives is very modern and has all the latest technical gadgets.


The senate chamber is a little smaller. 


We also were able to see the Supreme Court chamber. 


Brigham Young’s statue of course is in the building.


There was a light rain all day and it was difficult to get good outside pictures. 


We drove over to the Temple Square and attended part of the organ concert in the tabernacle. The acoustics in this building is amazing. 

 
There are statues on the temple square grounds depicting happenings in the life of the pioneers who came across the country to Utah. 


At the Visitor Center is a cut out of the Temple. Since non Mormons cannot enter the Temple this is a good way to see what it looks like.


In the garden was a tree with little lights, they appeared to be cherries. 


The Conference Center seats 21,000 people. It is a giant, beautiful building. 


The fountain with crystals is very special.


On the wall are very large pictures with scenes of the life of Jesus. 


A large 11 foot marble statue of Jesus is at the North Visitor Center. 


Even with the bad weather we had a good time in Salt Lake City. We had lunch in the food court of a large shopping mall near the Temple Square.
Nancy, the host of this outing, used to live in the Salt Lake City area and it made it easy for us to get around. She was an excellent tour guide the last three days.

10-11-13
On our way to Park City we took the road through the mountains. This time some of the aspen trees were bare of leaves. When we came by here on Tuesday it was different. The rain and wind knocked off the leaves.


Park City was a mining town and now is a tourist and skiing place. It is a clean town and has many shops and restaurants.


In one shop a cat was the greeter and posed for pictures. Paintings of the cat are hanging on the wall and are for sale.

We drove out of town to the Utah Olympic Park where during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games the park hosted Nordic Ski Jumping, Bobsled, Skeleton and Luge events.
We could see the ski jumps from a distance.

Since the 1:00 PM tour was sold out we did our own tour of the facility. From top of the aerials pool one can see for miles. From the ramp skiers jump 60 feet into the air and land in the aerials pool. In the pool are pipes which create an air cushion to soften the landing.

There are several small ski jumps.

The bobsled track is used also in the summer. The sled has wheels for this purpose. We tried it out inside the building.

The aerials pool is 12 foot deep.

I walked down to the bottom of the big ski jumps. I don’t know why anybody wants to jump from such a height with skies.


We had good weather. It was cool but did not rain.  

10-12-13
This is our last day in Heber City and everybody in the group did his own thing.
This morning, when I went out of the motorhome, four hot air balloons drifted over our motorhomes.


Everyday I passed this statue. It is located on the corner of Main Street and the street which goes to the Fairgrounds. 


At 11:00 AM I drove to the Town of Midway. The other day we went through the town, but did not stop. I wanted to see what Utah’s Little Switzerland has to offer. I stopped at the Town Hall and when I was reading a plaque on the outside of the building, Swiss yodel music came over a loudspeaker. I asked a young lady whether I triggered something to make it play. She told me the music starts by the full hour. The Klockenspiel comes on at 2:00 and 4:00 PM. 


The building is a Utah Historic Site. 


At the front side of the Town Hall are what could be coat of arms from Switzerland.


Trubschachen in Switzerland is Midway’s Sister City. 


Some houses in Midway look a little bit like Swiss houses, but the window boxes with the colorful flowers are missing.


The Post Office has a Swiss motif too.

 At The Villages of Zermatt, a Resort, were many beautiful houses. 


The bigger buildings had clever sayings on the front wall. 


This beautiful home is for sale. 


Most homes have a view of the mountains. 


Gaestehaus Stern, which seems to be a Bed and Breakfast, is also a beautiful building.    

 

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