Snow was forecast in Jackson in few days which we took that as a sign from God that we needed to get South to Utah. The drive out of Grande Teton area to the south is amazing. You follow a winding river down to Bear Lake near the corner where Wyoming, Idaho and Utah meet. It’s beautiful, and will get it’s own trip some year.
Our first stop was a Harvest Host South of the Greater Salt Lake City area. We were sitting in the trailer parked for a night at the Rowley’s Farms Big Red Barn (See, HH is not just wineries) and we got to talking about how stunning it was up around Sundance, Heber City and such.
We decided to backtrack up to Deer Creek State Park, which is just at the top of the Provo Canyon on Deer Creek Reservoir.
We got two nights in their dry campground and another four nights in their full hookup campground just up the hill. Both were wonderful places to just park for most of a week and venture out to explore. The facilities were good and the view of Mt Timpanogos and the red foliage and the lake from inside the trailer was great.
One day we bicycled in Provo Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls, the next we drove up to Sundance Resort for a Fall Festival under the tents at the base of the ski lifts. This time of year those are mountain bike lifts. They also take people up to Ziplines up in the mountains. We may have to come back to try those. The Fall Festival was fine, but it’s clear that the clientele is of a different order than your normal town Saturday market. Everything was handmade and kind of pricy. But the women were lithe and sun kissed, the men were ruddy, handsome, and about to get on an important call, and the children were all wearing Hanna Anderson and amazingly clean for toddlers. Au Pairs are wonderful things.
I did find one thing I had to have. A natural amplifier for my cell phone. So, a retired gentleman who has taken up making no power amps for cell phone out of old radios, old telephones, old anything…or even just a cow horn. He builds a landing spot for your cellphone out of copper tubing slit open and lined with leather to prevent scratches. Another copper tube is soldered into this base right about where your speaker is on the bottom of your phone. This tube leads to some larger horn…made of horn, a funnel, or sometimes an old gramophone. The music makes it’s way down from your phone, through this gizmo, and comes out louder and usually brighter. Every one of them has a different sound since they are all different. Prices start at $20 for my cow horn version but run up to near a thousand dollars for some of the more intricate units. Sweet.
Another day we explored Park City, Heber City and Midway City, the towns up on the backside of the Wasatch. Park City is a resort, we where there for Wasatch Brewing Company pub. It was ok. Liquor laws in Utah still force them to sell 4% beers in groceries and pubs. (Going to 5% in November). This limits the range of intensity they can get in the beers. They were Meh. Go to state liquor stores not the grocery stores. They can sell you real beers (even the real beers of Utah breweries), along with wine and liquor.
We also took one day to take the narrow winding road up over the Wasatch Front and down into Salt Lake City to visit the Church History Museum which is right across the street from the big LDS Temple. We’re not supposed to call it Mormon anymore…they are doing a branding change. The drive was glorious in its red and orange maples and stands of birch trees some of them turning yellow. I’m sure there were aspens as well.
We wanted to stop into the museum as it’s one where our son Christian’s company, Pacific Studio, did all the displays a few years ago. We wanted to see his handy work.
The museum was interesting. It has a few actual historic artifacts but they are not the focus. They were there to give an opportunity for the Church to tell its origin story, in its own words.
The displays are designed as a timeline from Joseph Smith’s religious upbringing, awakening and forming of what became the LDS church, and through the early spread of the religion. It outlines conflicts with non LDS neighbors and how the church was persecuted in New York, Missouri and Illinois. The story then covers the murders of Joseph Smith and his brother in Illinois and then ends with the main church migration to Utah. Smith’s visitation by angels, gift of golden plates translated by Smith into the Book of Mormon, baptism into priestly authority by characters from the Christian Bible are treated as fact. The museum doesn’t go into great depth about what led to conflicts with Christian and secular neighbors as the church was spreading and why some disagree with certain parts of LDS teachings, even from within the church. But again, this is the LDS church telling it’s version of it’s origin. It does that.