National Parks Tour: Jackson, Wyoming to Salt Lake City

Saturday, September 11, 2021

We had our bags out at 7:00 and went to eat breakfast at the Hotel restaurant. It was extremely busy with one other Globus group there also. At least the kitchen was being able to keep up with the demand and did not run out of food. There were plenty of seats to be found also.

The Rustic Inn is by far the nicest hotel we have stayed thus far on the trip. It was spacious. It had luxury toiletries and bathrobes. The cups were actual glass. The large shower had a regular showerhead and a rain fall showerhead. The bed was very comfortable with an assortment of pillows to choose. Rooms ran from $350 – $550 a night from the literature that I saw.

Today, being the 20th anniversary of 9/11, once we settled into the bus, we all had a moment of silence to honor all who perished and the ones who continue to serve and protect our freedom and safety.

First thing we saw when we drove out of town were two bald eagles. Wish I could have gotten a photo but they were too fast for me. Also, there is a lot of road construction and the roads right now are very rough and bumpy.

At 10:00, we took a quick photo stop in Afton, Wyoming of the World’s Largest Elk Horn Arch.

We also saw another Sinclair gas station. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a Sinclair but I have seen several on this trip. I truly thought they had gone out of business or had been bought by another company.

At 10:30, we crossed into Idaho. We traveled through Montpelier where Al told us that in 1896 two men, Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabaugh, robbed a bank in Montpelier. They stole cash, gold, and silver which in today’s standard would be worth about $500,000. He said Robert and Harry also loved to rob trains and did many times. He said there was even a movie about them – Butch Cassidy (Robert) and the Sundance Kid (Harry).

Our bus didn’t get robbed thank goodness but we were slowed down to a crawl because of a so many cyclists on the road. I think it must have been some sort of race/marathon.

We stopped in the town of Paris, Idaho for a photo opportunity of a Mormon Tabernacle and to say that we had officially been to Idaho. I guess if I never get to Paris, France, I can always say I’ve been to Paris, Idaho.

We followed the coast of Bear Lake into Utah. We stopped so we could get some photos of this Lake. It had the most beautiful Caribbean blue that I have ever seen for a lake.

We were now in Logan Canyon following the Logan River. We are seeing more and more Fall colors in the foliage. We stopped in Logan for lunch at 12:45.

This stop had to be the oddest stop for lunch so far. Al said we would be parking between two grocery stores and each had a deli where we could choose lunch items. He said he especially recommended the sushi. When we got there, one of the grocery stores had closed down. We all piled into the one grocery store. The deli did have some hot items – chicken tenders, etc. but there were only a few cold sandwiches, etc. I just bought a bag of small chocolate chip cookies from the bakery. Chuck bought some of the chicken tenders and a small container of green beans. We had our bottles of water and shared the food.

Logan seemed like a good size town. I think Al could have found a stop with restaurants or fast food places near. Either there are few places that could handle a bus or because Al really likes the sushi at this grocery store.

At 3:30 we arrived at Salt Lake City and stopped to view the State Capitol. We parked near the Mormon Battalion Monument. According to the signage, the monument commemorates the sacrifices made by 500 Mormon pioneer volunteers who joined the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War. The 100-foot rose pink granite and bronze monument was sculpted by Gilbert Riswold and dedicated in 1927. Figures appear on all sides of the monument, chronicling different periods of the Battalion’s history: the Enlistment, the March, the Discovery of Gold in California, and the Arrival of the Pueblo Detachment at the Capitol.

As I was walking around the monument, I was startled to see a lone person holding a U.S. Flag. He stared straight ahead and never said a word. I assume he was paying tribute to 9/11.

At 4:30, we arrived at the Radisson downtown. There was a lot of construction going on all around the hotel especially at Temple Square.

Four of us decided to walk to the Red Rock Brewing Company for dinner. Two different phones with two different directions. We decided to follow one of the phones. We should have followed the other. We walked about 5 long blocks out of our way.

We did get there and able to be seated outside. We were lucky because 10 minutes later a very big crowd showed up so our wait would have been much longer. Chuck had the halibut and I had the shrimp salad. After our meal, the walk back to the hotel was much quicker since we were going the correct way.

Some people were disappointed we were not going to see the Great Salt Lake. Al said it was not really worth seeing and it smelled. That is not how I remembered it from 1972 as I wrote –

Tuesday, August 1, 1972 – It was dark when we got up and I only stayed awake long enough to see the Great Salt Lake. I woke up again to see Mom catch the sun rise over the Great Salt Desert. We all hope it comes out on the film. Driving on the Great Salt Desert the sand reaches out for miles and seems to go to the edge of the mountains.”

Next Up – Bryce Canyon National Park

Travel Trivia

Salt Lake City, Utah

Due to its short distance to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named “Great Salt Lake City.” The word “great” was dropped from the official name in 1868.

Salt Lake City is home to the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. Harland “Colonel” Sanders’ original restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, was called Sanders Court and Café. In 1952, Sanders franchised his chicken recipe to his Utah-based friend Pete Harman. Harman changed his own restaurant’s name from Harman Café to Kentucky Fried Chicken after people lined up down the street to order his new Southern-fried menu item. The original KFC still stands at the corner of 3900 South and State Street—about 1500 miles away from Kentucky. 

Located just west of Temple Square, the Family History Library is the largest genealogical library in the world. It is run by the Mormon Church and is free of charge and open to the public. 

United States Postal Service Remote Encoding Facility, where mail bearing unreadable addresses is sent to be deciphered, is located in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is home to Loftus Novelty, the United States’ leading manufacturer of rubber chickens.

Salt Lake City is the only U.S. capital with three words in its name.

According to Kraft Foods, Salt Lake City is responsible for the world’s highest JELL-O consumption per capita.

Utah – The Beehive State

In the beginning, Utah was inhabited by the ancient Puebloans, Navajo and Ute. Another group of Native Americans, the Navajo, settled in the region around the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztecan tribes, including the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute people, also settled in the region.

The Spanish were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century. European trappers and fur traders from Canada and the U.S. explored some areas of Utah in the early 19th century.

In late 1824, Jim Bridger became the first known English-speaking person to sight the Great Salt Lake. Due to the high salinity of its waters, he thought he had found the Pacific Ocean; but then learned it was a giant salt lake.

Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Over the next 22 years, more than 70,000 pioneers crossed the plains and settled in Utah.

In 1848, the Mormon settlers’ crops were saved from a swarm of crickets by several flocks of native seagulls, who devoured the crickets over a two-week period. This event was regarded as a miracle by the Mormons, and the California seagull was subsequently named the state bird of Utah.

Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.

Utah features three distinct land forms – including the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Ridge Region.

The largest raptor to be unearthed in the world was in Utah. The 23-foot-long predatory dinosaur was named Utahraptor. It had curved claws that were about 9 inches long, and a preserved claw that was recovered had a length of 8 inches.

Utah is home to the largest independent film festival in the country, the Sundance Film Festival.

The nation’s first transcontinental railroad was completed in Utah. The Golden Spike National Memorial Site at Promontory commemorates the event.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia, State of Utah Literature, and Globus

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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