On the Road, part 3: Utah

Us at the Utah sign

More photoshop magic…and Lina’s double makes another appearance!

I very much enjoyed our time in Utah; there’s a lot of beautiful scenery that feels distinctly Utah-an. Plus, Salt Lake was an intriguing city. I hope to make a return visit, perhaps when the city is covered in their winter coat of snow.

Utah Landscape

The drier Utah Landscape

We made the long-ish drive from Denver to Salt Lake on Thursday (9/6). For the most part we were driving through beautiful country that felt very different from Colorado, but that didn’t stop it from getting monotonous around hour 5. (Spoiler Alert: Little did we know what I-80 through Nevada held for us). Upon arrival in Salt Lake, we pretty much just checked into the hotel and called it a night, minus a quick gym visit for me, some next-day itinerary planning for Eric, and a little DNC in the background.

Friday morning we had a quick breakfast at The Park Cafe, a pretty standard breakfast purveyor. It did, however, have a great view of the mountains lining the horizon and the sprawling Liberty Park. We took a nice post-breakfast walk through the park, enjoying the crisp air and Lina’s amusing attempts to become one with the lawn (via rolling around like a dog possessed). After stopping to get some lunch and snacks for the rest of the day, we headed out to Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.

Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

The entire experience was eerily beautiful. A dreamy haze was suspended over most of the island, which is picturesque in its barren landscape and seemingly untouched. We started off hiking one of their back country trails, where we immediately encountered a nice herd of bison. Amusingly, we walked up on one of the (massive) bison as he was rolling around in the dirt on his back, in a manner strangely similar to Lina.

Buffalo

Lonesome Buffalo as we approached

Eric and the Buffaloes

The buffaloes and Eric, for scale

After walking for a really long time without encountering anyone or anything except the sun, we decided to turn back and try another area of the island (Lina was getting pretty hot). We ended up climbing to the top of Buffalo Point, which had a great panoramic view of the lake and mountains and was a little more appropriate for Lina the (little) adventurer.

View from Buffalo Point

View from Buffalo Point

We finished off our visit by driving around the rather large island to explore some of the different areas. It basically felt like we had stepped into the song ‘America the Beautiful’…there were purple majestic mountains, amber waves of grain, and a huge spacious sky.

Amber Waves of Grain

Majestic mountains and waves of grain

As we left the island, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a massive herd of bison crossing the road, making their evening trek inland from the lake. Whereas our first bison encounter was on the trail, completely vulnerable and perhaps a little too close for comfort, this time we had the relative protection of a car and thoroughly enjoyed watching them cross the road.

Bison Crossing

Bison Crossing

Bison

Bison in Profile

The rest of our stay in Salt Lake was fairly relaxing, if uneventful. We had pizza from Stoneground (pesto sauce with multiple cheeses and mushrooms, yum!) and visited Temple Square, the home of the LDS temple.

LDS Temple

LDS Temple

It’s a really beautiful area; the air somehow feels quieter as soon as you enter the gate. We didn’t stay too long since we had Lina with us (if we make the comparison that this is their Vatican, I would be horrified at the idea of a dog in or around St. Peter’s, but the Mormons are just so darn polite, no one even gave us a funny look) but I’m glad we were able to squeeze in a vist.

Saturday morning found us back on the road, ready for a long drive through Nevada and our arrival into our new home state!