Prev: Day 18: Battle Mountain to Salt Lake City
Next: Day 20: Across Wyoming and into Nebraska
10/12/2010: Day 19: More Salt Lake City then on to Wyoming
We woke slowly in the Salt Lake City HoJo Express, still tired from the previous evening's tour of Temple Square and maybe logy from the rich dinner up on the LDS Roof Garden Restaurant.
We were also grumpy for interrelated reasons. Me because the HoJoWiFi was schizo. I couldn't get online reliably. We barely were able to check email by the front desk. And Karen because she feels like a photography and blogger widow for all the time I spend on these reports. She has a point. So I am composing an essay about that to publish later. Sure, that will help.
WiFi connectivity was iffy, at best. We had to sit in the lobby to check morning email. Why do we need to check email on a trip? Good question. Next question?
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The Salt Lake City HoJo and the construction zone at its doorstep.
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We did get packed up and the car loaded not long after 9:00. So we left the car at HoJo and walked back along the West edge of Temple Square to the Salt Lake Visitor's Center. From there, we walked back to and through Temple Square to the Beehive House, where Brigham Young had set up accounting offices, and then his residence. We took a free half-hour tour of his lovely little mansion, saw his own handwriting, and admired many fancy articles of furniture. The prophet ended up with a pretty cushy life.
As we walked along West Temple in the morning light, I was fascinated by things like the electric trolleys
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Here again is a view of the model of the Temple, but this time seen through that glass wall, with the Temple reflected.
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Sculpture? Router? Covert street light?
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The second Prophet was quite a diligent accountant. In the Beehive House, one of Brigham Young's residences and offices, they proudly display his handiwork.
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Here is the signature of The Prophet in a book of accounts
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The Beehive House has beehives everywhere in the architecture. Hence the name. My newel posts at home are less impressively carved.
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Zooming in, didja see this in the previous shot? Back in Brigham Young's day, this was high tech and futuristic. Picture spaceships or computers if this had been done today.
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The furnishings in the Beehive House were also interesting. Here is the kids schoolroom
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Multilingual caution. Stairs this steep were typical of the time. Notice the rectangular block on the wall? My bet is that ti covers a hole left from removing a gas lamp.
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As we leave the Beehive House, I notice the bronze doorknob. These artisans were thorough. But one can see here that at one time the door was cut in twain, as in a Dutch Door. I guess because this building was once the bookkeeping HQ of the LDS.
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We then walked on to the Cathedral of the Madelaine, a Catholic church. It was empty and open. We could not find any of the promised Self-Guided Tour books, nor anyone to ask about them. But we wandered around and admired the gory imagery in paintings, and the glowing stained glass windows, and the ornate furniture and fixtures.
As we walk toward our next stop, I stop mid-street to snap another shot of the Capitol of Utah.
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There is something wrong with that image of a biker, but I'm not sure what.
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Cathedral of the Madelaine, a Catholic riposte to the elaborate and powerful thrust of the upstart local church
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Too many years after art school, I can no longer tell which apostle is which.
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Dan likes gargoyles, as anyone who's visited my house must know.
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The view from under the organ in the back of the cathedral
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Shiny things. Stained glass fascinates the jackdaw in me.
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One of the less gory panels. I choose to show this one because of the artist's obviously laughable understanding of muscular anatomy.
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We then followed bad advice to get to the State Capital, climbing several steep blocks up A Street to a park that was the site of a tower. The Capitol was visible just two blocks over, with an uncrossable ravine in between.
As we climb "A" Street to head toward the Capitol, I notice how the LDS building were all built down in the valley. Shouldn't impressive edifices be taking advantage of the heights, as do the castles of monarchs and cathedrals? The LDS prefer accessibility to the masses.
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There's the Capitol. Right over there. Um...
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Obviously, this was the high point in town. But now there stands a memorial to a tower. But what about the Capitol?
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"Right over there?" (Expletive) cliff and park and no way down on this side! Grumbling and walking all the way back down the long way and back along the valley floor and then up that switchback path you see there.
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Karen grumbled and fretted, but I chose to cheerfully consider it as good exercise as we walked way down the street, over, and back up the hill to finally reach another State Capitol. There were two school buses parked out front. The sounds of irrepressible youth assailed us as we opened the door. But the guides/herders go them moved off and they quieted down a bit. I liked the multi-level sky lighting, where the second floor rotunda floor has translucent panels to let light down to the first level. The wings had white glass roofs to let in much light.
School buses forewarned us about the high pitched cacophony that echoed so marvelously in the stone interior of this building
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Cast iron beehive themed ornaments on the stairwells in the State Capitol of Utah
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Approaching the rotunda, up on the second floor
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Karen stand under the center of the dome, unaware that the translucent floor is actually a glass ceiling letting light down below
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Plenty of light comes in from the glass roof. Notice the now quieter subdivided crew of younguns
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Although I did not take a picture of the Jesus statue, here is "Prophet Statesman Pioneer" Brigham Young
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Enough light comes through that rotunda floor that they only have decorative lights burning. Let's look at those bulbs...
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I wonder where they find these retro light bulbs. Or could they be vintage?
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Ever state Capitol has one of these replica Liberty Bells. In Utah, they keep it off in a corner inside
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Naturally, I had to see where the statesmen pee. I had to share this comfortable Utah marble changing table.
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For years of driving through the high deserts of Utah, I'd wondered why the state logo on highway signs was a beehive. It is an LDS allegory for the rewards of community work, and of fertility. From an interpretation of the biblical Deseret. They actually tried to establish a State of Deseret (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Deseret), but the U.S. Government never recognized it, and created Utah and Nevada. But the LDS managed to mark their central territory with their beehive logo. It is an arguably secular image, but with religious significance to the LDS.
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Here the Deseret beehive is labeled "Industry".
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Then we walked back down the hill, and I dithered about whether to go up to the observation deck on the 27th floor of the LDS Administration Building. The walk among the Victorian Mansions was nice, though. Much like my neighborhood, but ritzier.
Victorians sublimated their drives, and allowed artists (and lamp designers) to titillate. There is a nice area of mixed style Victorian architecture just north and east of Temple Square
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The beehive on top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (http://www.utah.com/mormon/joseph_smith_memorial.htm) where we had dinner the night before. It was built originally as a secular hotel and conference center for pilgrims and interfaith conferences. Now it is strictly an LDS conference and business annex.
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As we walked past this house, Karen declared that this is where she'd like to live, if we moved to Salt Lake. We later found out that it is now owned by the state and used for State dinners and functions and such.
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I finally decided to go up to the observation deck, while were in the neighborhood. As with other LDS sites in this city, it was free. But "free" means including a 20-30 minute talk on some facet of Mormonism. Ah, well. We are visiting a Holy City. We found an escort to take us through security and up the elevator, and looked down on Salt Lake City, and out to the hazy Salt Lake itself.
A view from atop the LDS Church Office Building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Office_Building), at the free overlook. Well, free with a guide and lecture on Mormon principles. Taanstafl.The new LDS conference center is in the foreground. The roof garden mimics the approach the pilgrims took into this valley.
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A view of Temple Square from the LDS Office Bldg
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Up on the 27th floor of the LDS Offices, we are about even with the capitol dome. Note all the different architectural styles in the few blocks this side of the Capitol. See the house with that lamp?
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Here's Karen's House again, if the State will sell.
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And here's those lamps, on a mansion now working as a B&B
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The observation deck is shielded from the winds, but has camera ports through the glass. A nicety that I appreciate
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By now it was after 1, and I was feeling the sunburn from hours of walking around in chill wind under the high altitude, brutally blue sky. I was also hungry. So we decided to find a place to eat, get espresso, and get online in what was reputed to be an artsy quarter called 9th and 9th (where 900 East meets 900 South). So we dined at the Coffee Garden, and shared a Quad Shot Latte, while I posted text for the day from the California Border to central Nevada.
As we walk back to our car, I snap a shot of the LDS Conference Center. People are likely peering back from the other side of the waterfall.
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Lamp posts cast in iron with the street names. Me like.
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The corner of 9th and 9th
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We headed out of town around 3:30, early rush hour. Once on I-80, we just headed East, crossing the Wyoming border. We passed through a field of wind turbines. Those monsters always impress me. The best view was as we crested one hill, and over the next hill peeked just the tips of turbine blades, like leisurely bunnies leaping across the interstate. They vanished as we went into the valley.
So we finally leave Salt Lake City and cut through the pass to the east
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It's starting to look more like Utah, to me
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We head east into Wyoming: Forever West
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I knew what these were at a distance. Can you guess? Have you seen them before?
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Yes, this is how slow-neutron nuclear waste is transported. I know how safe these containers are. It's a pity they aren't using this stuff as fuel in fast neutron reactors. No state has yet been willing to build one.
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And speaking of energy; the high plains have it.
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In case you want to see these, Wyoming I-80 mile 25
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A time lapse frame that amused me. Narrowing roads into the blades
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Glowing turbines spin against the mountains with the foreground burring past
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I think they're cool
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Snow fences
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More snow fences
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Near sunset, we stopped in Green River, WY and checked into the Oak Tree Inn behind the shiny chrome Penny's Diner. After lugging the luggage into the room, we stepped outside to watch the last of the color fade from the sky over the banded red and brown pillars and hills.
Getting late. Getting tired. Seeing our shadows race ahead, we discuss where to stop for the night
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Green River? Sounds familiar
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So we stop in Green River at a motel associated with Penny's Diner
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Self portrait in chrome
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Me and the moon
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The rosy clouds cheer us up
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We had passed through Green River in 2003, and toured the Flaming Gorge just to the south. It is well worth a visit. But we've been there, and were trying to get home on a schedule.

Progress:
Map from home to Green River, WY, our 18th overnight of the trip
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Picture Map10-12-10
Next: Day 20: Across Wyoming and into Nebraska

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