Zion National Park is a jewel, but this virus nonsense is making even visiting national parks problematic. Visitor controls meant that shuttle buses requiring advance reservations were almost empty, so we didn’t get to the hiking trails we would have liked to hike again. But we found a great mountain biking trail along the Virgin River, where My Lovely Bride is pictured here… it’s over a 100 foot drop to the rocks below, and Suzanne was making me a bit nervous riding close to the edge… “Hey, I am not 22 any more!”
A drive through the park did allow us to refresh ourselves with the spectacular scenery Zion offers…
Zion is such a humbling place for mere mortals such as myself….
Next, on to Salt Lake City, where we met new friends Wally and Colette Lloyd; we met for a great Mexican dinner at the Red Iguana, and went hiking up above the Alta ski resort, around 9,500 feet; the air is a bit thin that high, but we had a ball. It was 68 degrees up high, and in the 90s down in the city.
The meadows were covered in beautiful wildflowers – lupine, blue bells, Indian paintbrush, and more…
Another hike found Wally and me at Big Cottonwood Canyon for a triple (3 short hikes totalling 5 miles). The first was to Donut Falls, the second to Silver Lake, and the third up a steep trail to Twin Lakes. Having grown up in Salt Lake, Wally has done all of these trails multiple times, and was a totally knowledgeable guide.
Suzanne and I have fallen in love with the Wasatch Mountains – all of these hikes are within one hour’s drive of SLC. I could live here!
We did have one misadventure while kayaking on the Great Salt Lake. As we drove into the state park of the same name, we noticed that there were no other boats on the lake… how cool, we’ll have it all to ourselves! We launched our kayaks, noticing a lot of fly-like insects near the shore. “No sweat, Suzanne, once we get out in the lake, they should disappear…” WRONG!!!! Here is MLB paddling hard, with Antelope Island in the background, trying to outrun swarms of what we later found were billions of “brine flies”. You can actually see them on the surface of the water; thankfully, they did not bite, but they were totally GROSS!
Near the shore of the Great Salt Lake as you are headed west from SLC, you will see an enormous stack – the smelter stack for Kennecott Copper, a facility that produces about 25% of all the copper used in the USA. The open pit Bingham Copper Mine in the Oquirrh Mountains is the largest man-made excavation in the world, and the deepest open-pit mine in the world.
While in SLC, we also had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant with Irene Bozich and Mike Muir, spiritual leader of the SLC Unity Church. Irene graciously provided her home and good Internet signal for two of Suzanne’s online events.
Contrary to the photos above, we were not always hiking, kayaking and eating out in SLC… for example, two of our neighbors at the KOA campground had a pool party… in the bed of their pickup truck! (For a moment I thought that we might have been transported back to my home state of Louisiana…). I was about to accept their invitation when MLB said, “That young blonde isn’t wearing many clothes..” (I was about to respond, “What’s your point?” when the Husband’s Survival Instinct set in). Sigh…
We also got out on several bike rides on the Jordan River Trail, a 40 mile bike and walking trail that passed right behind our campground. Here is MLB perusing the selections at a private mini-library behind a riverside home (perhaps created by a generous English teacher???).
Our time in Utah at an end, we reluctantly struck camp and headed north to Idaho… please join us next week for more Summer Tour adventures!