Our next stop was the KOA in Salt Lake City, Utah for four nights. We have reached the half way point of our trip in terms of the calendar but not stops. As planned, there are thirty seven stops and four and a half months on the GOAT (Greatest Of All trips) Tour. Since we were here in late August, we are rounding the turn to head Southwest and no farther North. The KOA, was pretty much what we have come to expect, large, crowded sites, pool, laundry, etc. Our ratings: Kathryn 5, Paul 5, out of 10.
My mother taught me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That would end this post about Salt Lake City if I ever listened to my mother! When Salt Lake was founded, Brigham Young and his followers set up a design that “would become one of the most logical and easy to navigate city street plans in the nation.” It is based on the basic understanding of the grid system and a rudimentary appreciation of direction. The epicenter of all street coordinates is Temple Square, from which numeric addresses emanate east, west, north and south. A typical address is 1527 S 1500 E 800 E. Apparently Brigham Young never visited New York City. 59th Street comes after 58th which comes after 57th, all heading East to West. 8th Avenue comes after 7th which comes after 6th, all heading North to South. I guess I have not masted the basics of the grid system because we were always lost.
Driving in Salt Lake is a nightmare. There are buses pulling in and out and a light rail system down the middle of the street, with the crossing gates coming down to block your progress. At any moment the street you are trying to drive on is closed for construction and there are no instructions of what to do once you are faced with a detour. Add to that, if you do get directions you will probably be directed onto the Interstates, I-80, I-15, and I-215. Some are five and six lanes wide and all merge together like someone threw a handful of spaghetti on a plate. It must be a law to drive at least 85 miles per hour at all times, even while trying to get to the exit and entrance ramps that go off and come on from both the left and the right. It was just crazy! Thankfully I was just driving the car!!
Salt Lake prides itself on the diversity of neighborhoods. We didn’t find that. We were convinced there has never been any zoning in Salt Lake. A typical block would be a convenience store, next to a power plant, next to brand new apartment building, next to a closed gas station, next to the fair grounds, next to another brand new apartment building, next to rows and rows of closed businesses, next to a park, and taco joints on every other corner. Other than the new construction, the city is in need renovation and repairs. And the homeless are everywhere.
The only nicer places we found were up on the hill, The State Capitol Building area, and of course Temple Square. I’ve posted many pictures of both on the Post Cards 2021 page. The Capitol Building is both impressive and imposing, sitting on the hill over looking the city and the valley floor. Temple Square is the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Mormons. It is currently in the middle of a multi year renovation. At least the Temple was still open, the hall where the Tabernacle Choir practices and performs. While we were there, an Organ Recital was being performed open to the public.
On the positive side, we discovered two quirky new sites. The Gigal Sculpture Garden, a collection of twelve original sculptural arrangements and over seventy stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and philosophical texts. Each represents an idea that rang of truth to founder Thomas Child and his lifelong spiritual quest. The other discovery was the Snelgrav Ice Cream Cone. It is all that remains of the once famous Snelgrav Ice Cream Factory and Ice Cream Parlor.
And oh yes, a new entry pinto the Best Burger On The Trip Contest, from Crown Burgers a local chain. The photos and ratings are also on the Post Cards Page.
The best thing we liked about Salt Lake was leaving it. We would not recommend this as a place to stop to anyone. On to Richfeld, Utah.