Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Across the U.S.: Day 5

by Kathy 16. June 2009 06:39

<< Day 4: Great Basin National Park to Salt Lake City | Day 6: Salt Lake City >>


Salt Lake City


The birds were happily chirping this morning—and there was no rain drumming along to the melody! Hurrah—the sun was shining!

We took advantage of the free shuttle from the campground to Temple Square. We were planning on just wandering around and looking at the Temple and other buildings that had been built by the Mormons. However, as soon as we got out of the shuttle van, a nice elderly man convinced us that if we took a free ½-hour tour conducted by two Mormon guides, we would get to view some buildings that we wouldn’t otherwise see. (This did not prove to be true, but that was okay.) Ben and I initially were hesitant, as we did not want to listen to proselytizing; however, we thought it might be interesting to learn more about the Mormon church and history.

While we were waiting for the tour to begin, we admired the Nauvoo bell, which had been brought from the town of Nauvoo, Illinois in the 1840's when the Mormons had been expelled.

Sebastian pointing at the bell:

One of the side panels on the bell memorial:

Our tour guides were Sister Fan (from Tiawan and California) and Sister Pomeroy (from Oregon). They began the tour by taking us to the Assembly Hall, which had been constructed in 1882.

Genevieve outside of the Assembly Hall:

Inside the Assembly Hall--Sister Pomeroy is on the right, and Sister Fan is on the left:

The pillars and the pews in the Assembly Hall had all been constructed of pine, but they were painted to resemble other materials. The pillars were painted to look like marble (a beautiful and realistic result), and the pews were painted to look like stained oak.

While in the Assembly Hall, the two guides provided a brief explanation about basic Christian beliefs.

I spied a beautiful spiral staircase above us on the second floor:

We then walked to the exterior of the Temple. We could see the Temple towers above the trees:

Here are Sisters Fan and Pomeroy explaining the history of the Temple:

The Temple had been built over a forty year period, 1853 to 1893. Each of the massive blocks weighed 5600 pounds and had been transported via wagons and oxen from 20 miles away.

We were not allowed into the Temple, as you cannot enter if you are not a member of the Mormon church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

We then were taken to the North Visitor’s Center, where we saw the 11-foot marble statue of Jesus Christ.

The two Sisters then talked about how important Jesus was in their lives, and we listened to a recording of a man acting as Jesus and talking about how powerful he was and his connection to the universe.

There was one other building in the tour, but almost half an hour had already passed, and the tour wasn’t exactly what we had anticipated. So we thanked the Sisters and headed off on our own.

We had lunch at the Nauvoo Café in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The café was excellent, with fresh and delicious food, friendly and efficient staff, and very reasonable prices.

A woman on our shuttle this morning had said that we “had to see” the views from the observation deck on the 26th floor of the Church Office Building. The children were excited about going up so high, so located the building on our map and set across the square.

This sculpture was near the fountain out front:

Genevieve wanted her picture taken by the fountain.

We didn’t realize until we were inside the building that the fountain shoots a pattern of water in the air every so often. 

The Office Building:

Visitors are not allowed on the observation deck without an escort. We went to the information booth where we found a lovely older woman, who volunteers her services here two days a week. First, she took us to the lobby to view the huge mural entitled “Go Ye Therefore, and Teach All Nations . . .”

Ben and I (both painters) admired the colors used to paint the skin tones of Jesus and the apostles.

The volunteer escort then got a key to access the elevator and took us to the 26th floor. The views were expansive.

The capital building:

The Temple and new construction:

The conference center, with its extensive rooftop gardens:

In the distance, we could see the Great Salt Lake, beyond the airport:

We had a great perspective of the Temple, where we could see many brides in their white dresses on the surrounding grounds. There are two brides in this picture:

We met Elizabeth, a volunteer guide:

Elizabeth was originally from San Luis Obispo, California, but she has lived part-time in Salt Lake City since her husband’s death. She was very helpful in pointing out some places of interest, including the capital building. She explained that there is a faultline that runs through the mountain on which the capital building sits, and that the building recently had undergone extensive seismic improvements so that it could tilt from side to side in the event of a large earthquake.

She also showed us the valley through which Brigham Young and his followers first arrived, and the hill that he looked upon before announcing, “This is the right place.”

I had always thought it was unusual to have founded a city by a large salt water lake, so I inquired about the source of fresh water. Elizabeth explained that the city gets a lot of fresh water from the melting snow in the nearby high mountains, and she showed me the valley through which a river runs into the downtown area. She also pointed out some irrigation canals that were used by the pioneers.

Outside of the Office Building, another bride and groom were walking by—the bride was wearing bright pink high heels and was having a difficult time walking in them:

After watching his bride struggle along, the groom finally scooped her up and carried her piggy-back:

We passed another bride and groom getting their wedding photos taken—and you can see an additional bride and groom in the far background:

There was an afternoon organ recital in the Tabernacle, which I wanted to attend. The Tabernacle is oval with a curved roof, and it houses a huge organ with 11,623 pipes.

Genevieve and Sebastian outside of the Tabernacle:

Another view of the exterior:

Our family in front of the organ:

Before he began playing, the organist Clay Christiansen provided a demonstration on the wonderful acoustics in the Tabernacle. First, he ripped a piece of paper, then he dropped some pins and a nail; he also turned 360 degrees around while talking without a microphone, and the sound of his voice did not diminish even when he was facing away from us. We listened to the first song, which was beautifully performed. Then Mr. Christiansen began describing the rest of the songs he would play, and he gave the audience an opportunity to leave the auditorium if desired. While we had really enjoyed the first song, Sebastian was already getting a bit restless, so we decided it would be best if we left.

The final building we visited was the Museum of Church History and Art.

Outside of the Museum was a small wooden cabin that was an original, not a replica:

Downstairs in the museum was an extensive exhibit about the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upstairs was an interesting exhibit about the building of the Tabernacle’s curved roof. Each of us found something to interest us in the museum.

Genevieve loved this small church and figures, made in Peru:

Sebastian liked the large ship model in the downstairs exhibit:

Both children liked the recreation of actual size sleeping berths that people could climb into and experience.

I enjoyed some of the wonderful contemporary art exhibited in the Museum:

We took the free shuttle back to our campground. While we waited, the children played on the grass.

Back at the RV, Ben took Genevieve and Sebastian to the pool while I did some laundry—I actually enjoy the solitude of doing laundry, finding a bit of space to read or write while surrounded by the soothing hum of washers and dryers.

Genevieve joined me in the laundry room after the pool:

Genevieve and Sebastian also made some friends with three children who were camping nearby.  They all played together for a couple of hours—riding bikes and scooters, doing magic tricks, and playing “school.”

Here are the kids riding scooters and bikes:


<< Day 4: Great Basin National Park to Salt Lake City | Day 6: Salt Lake City >>

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Comments (2) -

6/19/2009 6:41:49 AM #

Lisa @ smacksy

This is all so fascinating - and your recall for the details of your days is amazing!

Lisa @ smacksy United States | Reply

6/19/2009 11:42:41 PM #


Thank you, Lisa!  There are many more details that I could add about each day . . . there just isn't enough time.  I am glad that you are enjoying the stories and traveling with us!

Kathy United States | Reply

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Map of Our Journeys

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Our travel map

Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
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   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
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   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
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   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
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   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
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   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
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   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
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   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin