Salt Lake City (a.m.) / Dillon, Mt (p.m.), USA
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
19/11/2001 Guesthouse 575 KM 228817 KM

We spent the night in Dillon, with a population of 4000 and the only KFC with a casino we've ever seen!

Boarding the school bus on State Street

Utah school groups come to visit centers of Mormon heritage in Salt Lake.

The Lion House served as an extension of Brigham Young’s living quarters, which housed his 20 wives and many children.

One of the many Mormon groups that use the Temple for special ceremonies

Salt Lake Temple

With Christmas approaching, workers fasten glistening lights onto the many trees and bushes inside Temple Square.

Left-over granite from the Temple was used to construct the Assembly Hall, in Gothic Revival-style. The spires were originally chimneys. The Seagull Monument memorializes the birds that arrived miraculously to feed on the crickets, which were devouring the Mormon’s crops. Today, the sea gull is the Utah state bird.

An organ dominates the interior of the Mormon Tabernacle. In fact, an organ performance was pending when we visited.

The Mormon Tabernacle, where visitors are allowed entry

A statue of John the Baptist baptizing Joseph Smith (left) and Oliver Cowdery (right) in 1829 commemorates the Mormon belief that this act reintroduced the rite of baptism, which they believe had been absent from Christianity for centuries.

The granite Salt Lake Temple is the most important structure of the Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The walls are nine feet thick at the ground level and six feet at the top; ox-pulled wagons carried the granite from 23 miles away.

Salt Lake Temple is only open to Mormons.

Brigham Young led the Mormons to Salt Lake after they were persecuted east of the Mississippi. Once the community became established here, the Mormons, in 1853, began the construction of Salt Lake Temple, which was completed 40 years later.

Now known as the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, this Second Renaissance Revival-style structure began as the Utah Hotel. In 1987, the Latter-Day Saints Church closed the hotel, refurbished the building and made it offices and meeting spaces for the Church.

About 160,000 people live in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, which will host the winter Olympics in February 2002. In the background is the State Capitol, completed in 1915.

19 November 2001 – We've just stopped at Willard Bay on the Salt Lake, where I dipped the fingers of my right hand in the famed salty water. Mother says I stood ankle deep in the lake during a visit with them many years ago, but I don't remember at all. Honestly, from what I've experienced, taking children to places when they are small is more for the parents than the child. Perhaps that visit to the Great Salt Lake – and the vacation also included the Grand Canyon and New Mexico – shaped me in some unknown way, but I honestly don't remember any part of it. I want to remember, since the stories from my parents are laced with love, humor and silliness. For instance, I wanted only battered fish to eat at every meal: My Grandfather traveled with us, and he cooked the most delicious fish, when I stayed with him and my Grandmother at their simple, wooden beach house in North Carolina. I can only assume this was the catalyst for my fish fascination while on that vacation.

Several folks have e-mailed: How is life now that you are back in the US? Life back in the US doesn't feel one way or another – yet. I've been impressed by the efficiency and good service we've experienced thus far, but, honestly, after being away for almost three years, I can't possibly draw any kind of parallels until I spend more time here.

Salt Lake
  Temple Square (Paige)