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Posts tagged "utah"

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital of the State of Utah, and best known for being home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters, a.k.a. mormons. The city center hosts many Church buildings, and it is not strange to see several dozens of weddings on a given Saturday morning in their Main Church alone.

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One of the main characteristics of the mormon families is their size. It is common to see families with more than six kids, and that is also seen in the kind of huge cars you see. Also, seeing older brothers and sisters taking care of the younger ones become mandatory in these cases, as they were doing during the weddings times.

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As many other American cities, Salt Lake City does not have an ancient history. The mormons were looking for a distant and isolated area where to settle in order to develop their community, and when their leader Brigham Young saw the valley, he said: “This is the place”, and you can imagine the rest of the story…

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The main sights in the city are the Church facilities, including the Tabernacle with its huge organ, their Conference Center, their HQ building, being one of the tallest buildings in the city. Also, the Utah Capitol is impressive, as it is located on a hill, where its huge size makes it visible from a far distance.

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This building makes it clear that civil and clerical powers in Utah have historically been really close to each other. The Mormons were the first settlers, founded cities, and asked to join the Union. This request was initially rejected due to polygamy being part of their accepted practices. The Church leaders accepted removing that from their principles, after a “God call” to follow the Constitution principles. In fact, from that moment and still today, the the Church principles are bound expressly the Constitution ones.

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It has proven to be a correct strategy, if we look at numbers: more than 12 million Mormons worldwide, and a major company holding directly belonging to the Church, including their own bank.

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Apart from the city, we visited the nearby Antelope Island, which is a natural park surrounded by the Salt Lake. It has a desertic look, and it provides some spots with good views over the lake. The main interest here is spotting antelopes (we managed to do it twice), or bisons, which were artificially brought here in the 19th century and they are now around 200.

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Less than 24 hours to see Salt Lake City and surroundings is enough, and just because we were flying in and out from there. Otherwise, you can skip it without regretting.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton & Salt Lake City

  • 16/Mar/2019 at 15:57

Yellowstone is a familiar name for anyone my age in Spain, as we had those famous cartoons of Yoggi Bear and his friend Bubu, who lived there, making the life impossible to the many campers, visitors and forest guards,… and that was one of the closest National Parks near Chicago, where I had to travel for other reasons. Moreover, reading this is a volcanic area, and having missed a trip to Iceland in the past, this was tailor-made opportunity to get to see some the particular landscapes and spots of such area. Decision was quite easy to made.


Trip organization came a bit too late, and that entailed some logistics issues when visiting a (very) popular destination in high season (August): there was no affordable accommodation in the park, and we could only find reasonable prices at 2-hour drive locations. This ended up being a bit tiring, but driving in these wide areas in the US is also a very enjoyable activity, as the landscapes in the huge valleys make it worth it.

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We drove through 3 of the 7 states with the highest rate cattle/person: Montana (#3), Wyoming (#5) and Idaho (#7). Driving forth and back, we saw many latifundia devoted to agriculture or ranching, and countless cows. We were in the West, where many of the movies were based, although instead of riding a horse, were driving a large Nissan through the endless straight roads, with only some scattered and isolated houses at the hills’ slopes. These places looked quite scary to live in (too many terror movies, maybe?), but even worse when we saw some active fires. We could count at least four different ones, so big that its smoke reached many hundreds of miles apart, ruining some views (and many pictures) in the park.

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One of the many cool things about these roadtrips is spotting different state license plates in the cars. For those who may not know it, each state has a different design, which is also part of their own branding, with slogans like “Scenic Idaho”, “Life Elevated” (Utah), or “Treasure State” (Montana).

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We visited two National Parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone), two National Forests (Shoshone and Targhee), four states (Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana), and many many kilometres… but it was really interesting. (more posts coming…)

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