The weather really turned as we continued on and into a big set of storm cells bringing cold, rain, snow, and wind taking us from spring to real winter weather! As we came through a mountain pass in some sleet en route to Zion National Park, we passed several snow ploughs headed the other way – obviously anticipating a heavy dump of snow.
As we entered the park we had some glimpses of the landscape in fine weather….
but when we woke the following morning it was another story…….
Snow on the peaks and mist and rain – really dreich weather as a Scots lady once said to me – meant the plan for the day had to be amended…..
Drove out of town along the swollen Virgin River (which runs through the Zion Canyon) and along to the trading post and mock up village (shades of the old Ettamogah Pub), someone played Davy Crockett (no sound or sight of Fess Parker anywhere!) and then back into town for lunch – resisted the ad to eat Elk even if it has 0 carbs!
The afternoon looked brighter so we walked to the visitors’ centre and caught the shuttle bus along the Canyon – just as it started raining again. However we did get some views of the famous red cliffs, waterfalls and hanging gardens. I took photos from the bus but they really didn’t do it any justice. Two of us got off the bus hoping to do a short walk along the river but we weren’t equipped for the weather had to head back when the rain got heavier. Took a couple of photos, here’s one….
The next day was no better weatherwise as we drove to Salt Lake City through fog, rain and sleet – a really tough day’s driving. The day after we arived in Salt Lake City wasn’t much better either but we did get in some walking….
There weren’t many other hardy souls out but we walked downtown to Temple Square – a 10 acre complex owned by the Latter Day Saints Church. Non-members can’t enter the famous Temple (above left and below) but we did go to the visitors’ centre and to the Tabernacle (below lower right) where we were privileged to hear an organ recital. Before the recital the organist tore some paper and dropped pins to demonstrate the wonderful accoustics. The recital was wonderful.
The gardens in the Square complex were quite stunning and there was a team of gardeners mopping up after the fierce weather the day before. It seemed a very peaceful place – like some other cathedral precincts elsewhere in the world.
As it was still raining we thought we’d take a look inside the Family History Library which is just outside the Square. We were slightly reticent to go any further than the display area, but were made to feel really welcome by the volunteer helpers who are LDS people there on missions. In the end we spent several hours there – all joined the Familysearch web site aided by our our individual helpers, some of us found they had famous ancestors or relatives….. quite a fascinating experience! It is a huge facility with records or access to them from all over the world. If you visit Salt Lake City and are interested in family history have this on your destination list.
Outside Temple Square and the other LDS facilities, the downtown seemed much like any other city, including having an obvious homeless problem (interesting sign above regarding panhandling (begging)). For those who were wondering about alcohol in Salt Lake City we had two evening meals in the city, one in a pub (Irish!!) that served alcohol and one in an alcohol free diner style restaurant…we had an excellent meal in the latter and not so good food in the former…but don’t know if there’s a generalisation to be made from this one example!
Next post will be back to the National Parks – Grand Tetons and Yellowstone…here’s hoping the weather lifts a bit!