Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Toyota Land Cruiser Museum

In an industrial area of Salt Lake City is an old warehouse stuffed full of Toyota Land Cruisers from over the years.

The original ones were based on a Willy’s Jeep, and by 1942 were in production. By the 1950s this vehicle had become known as the Land Cruiser.

The Land Cruiser is popular throughout the world, but has especially strong sales in Australia.

The Land Cruiser has been used for special purposes and expeditions throughout it’s history.

While the museum has a large collection, from a photography perspective it is difficult as they are all jammed in together, with barriers preventing from going between them for closer looks.

This, coupled with a fairly high entrance fee, made this a less than desirable stop for me.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – A Library Architectural Gem

The current Salt Lake City Main Library was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and was completed in 2003.

The numerous curves are striking from the exterior.

The building is even more impressive on the inside, with the 4 story atrium intended to invoke the classic arcades of the past (such as the Cleveland Arcade)

The dramatic stairway takes patrons between the levels.

The building was designed to provide as much natural light as possible, along with quieter spaces on the upper levels.

The massive hanging sculpture is entitled ‘Pysche’. It consists of 1500 small sculptures of books and butterflies that form a large human head. Some of the butterfly wings will flutter.

A model of the building is proudly displayed on the main level. When in Salt Lake City a visit to the library is well worth the time.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Random Views

Some random views of an evening in downtown Salt Lake City.

Trolley Square was once a trolley barn for the original streetcars of the city. For 50 years it has been a trendy shopping district (and somewhere with a patio restaurant open for lunch!). The water tower is a highlight of the skyline.

Another in a long line of stupid arena names in the pursuit of a few more dollars – the Vivint Arena. The streetcars however, are a great (re)addition to the city.

While we are going on strange names – the Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in New Orleans in 1974, playing just 5 seasons there before relocating to Salt Lake City, but keeping the Jazz name, apparently because they switched cities so close to the start of the season they never had time to get new uniforms and advertising completed.

A few murals…

Our hotel for the night had a nice view of downtown for both sunset…

And sunrise….

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Utah State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol sits on the aptly named Capitol Hill above downtown Salt Lake City. Completed in 1916 it’s style is similar to most of the state capitol buildings in the U.S.

As always this posting is not meant to document all the features of the building, rather to reflect on some of the more photogenic views.

The lions guarding the side of the building were originally made out of concrete, but were replaced during a 4 year overall capitol restoration project ending in 2008. They are now made out of Italian marble, and were completed by Nick Fairplay.

This glass window features the ubiquitous Utah beehive. The beehive symbolizes the belief that the community works together as a whole to improve life for all.

One of the two grand marble staircases. Each staircase has a massive mural depicting the mormon settlement of Utah.

The rotunda ceiling. When the building was first completed the rotunda remained unfinished for 20 years until the cyclorama was completed in 1934.

The artwork around the rotunda was completed at the same time.

This bust is of the native Ute hunter and fur trader Unca Sam.

Nearby is a bust of Ute leader John Duncan.

Noted Utah inventor Philo T Farnsworth is also featured on the 4th floor gallery. Among his many discoveries Farnsworth is credited with inventing the first complete television.

Also from the 4th floor many of the details visible.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Tracy Aviary Part 2

The visit to Tracy Aviary continues….

Another view of an Avocet

Revisiting the Chilean Flamingos for a closer look.

Red Legged Sereima, which I failed to get the red legs in the shot. But it has a great profile.

Guira Cuckoo, who was very loud.

Oriental Magpie Robin

Chico Chachalaca

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Vulture

Kea

Our final friend is an American White Pelican.

Salt Lake City – September 2022 – Tracy Aviary Part 1

Normally I am not a fan of zoos or other places where animals are held outside their native territories, and the Tracy Aviary was a similar feeling. Setting those emotions aside we ended up spending a couple of hours touring their facility.

Giving myself a challenge I used a 400mm Canon lens and a single point focus to get through the cages/netting to get the camera to focus on the subjects, with some color correction to minimize the grid patterns that were remaining.

I am happy enough with the results there are enough good shots for 2 postings.

I am not a birding person, therefore other than the very basics (ducks, pigeons and seagulls!) I have difficulty identifying the specific breed, so all identifications were done using Google Images – feel free to send corrections.

We start with a Trumpeter Swan

Long Billed Curlew

Avocet

Great Horned Owl – Despite the slight grid from the cage this is one of my favorite photos I have taken in a long time.

Long-Eared Owl keeping an eye on me.

Red Tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Barn Owl

King Vulture

White Faced Whistling Duck

Chilean Flamingos

Virtual Travel – Utah

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Welcome to Utah – the land of immense beauty and strange liquor laws.

We spent a week touring the National Parks in 2015 – they are all amazing, as well as the other scenery in the state.

 

History

1945     2002     2013

 

 

Salt Lake City – The capital and largest city in Utah, Salt Lake City is the center of the commercial aspect of the state.

The State Capitol is your typical building. It was completed in 1916, 20 years after Utah became a state. (photos from Wikupedia)

Utah State Capitol

 

State Symbols

The State Bird is a California Gull! They are credited with saving the crops in 1848 by eating the crickets that were eating the crops. (photos from statesymbols.org)

 

State Cooking Pot – Dutch Oven

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Spike – The point where the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869.

 

 

Hovenweep – A well maintained early Puebloan village in far southeastern Utah.

 

 

National Parks

1953 – Arches     1958 – Bryce     1963 Zion – Virgin River     1967 – Canyonlands – Angel Arch     1972 – Zion     1974 – Canyonlands Angel Arch     1979 – Bryce – Aqua Canyon     1995 – Bryce     2011 – Canyonlands

 

 

Zion National Park

 

 

Bryce National Park

 

 

Capital Reef National Park

 

 

Arches National Park

 

 

Canyonlands National Park

 

 

Natural Bridges National Monument (one step down from a National Park)

 

 

 

More Outdoors

1964 – Big Cottonwood Canyon     1965 – Lake Powell Rainbow Bridge     1970 Calf Creek Lower Falls     1971 – Monument Valley     1977 Manti-La Sal Forest     1986 – Eagle Canyon     2000 – Unidentified     2007 – Dirt Devil River Slot Canyon

 

Southwest Utah

 

 

Escalante & Devil’s Garden

 

Eastern Utah

 

 

Mexican Hat in Far Southeastern Utah. The great dirt road is Moki Dugway, dropping 1100′ in 3 miles of a dirt road. It was fantastic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Utah – National Parks Road Trip – Day 11 – Golden Spike National Historic Site & Salt Lake City

Monday morning had us going south from Jackson Hole, Wyoming before heading off to the west on a small state highway reaching a town called Freedom on the Wyoming/Idaho border. If ever there was a town that looked like a stereotypical redneck Idaho/Wyoming town it was Freedom. You had the feeling everyone was carrying a gun for ‘Freedom’.

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But we proceeded through without incident and made our way into the mountains past Tincup Mountain. As we were sailing down the canyon next to a creek we came around the corner to find a herd of sheep on the road, and some dogs attempting to control them onto the hillside, which eventually they did. Little did we know this was a precursor of things to come.

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A few miles further and we could see in the near distance a herd of cattle being driven down the road, lead by the farmer in his pickup truck. We had nowhere to go and asked a rancher what to do. He answered just drive slowly and the cows will go around us. The ranchers were on ATVs, in trucks, and on horseback moving a large herd.

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We inched forward and the cows worked their way around us but one brown cow stood stubbornly in our path and would not move. The stubborn animal stared at us only a few inches from the hood of our car. Then unexpectedly the stubborn cow started licking the front of the car. She seemed to enjoy licking the car swiping her tongue back and forth across the front of the car while the rest of the herd moved along the side of the car surrounding us from all sides.

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The cow licked the car hood and front grille working her tongue to eat the bugs stuck to the car while we laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes. When she had enough bugs we inched ahead still laughing at the odd incident. The ladies at the end of the herd pulled up and asked if we were ok. Still laughing, we replied we were, just not something that happens to you in Ohio, or most anywhere else I have ever been. Later I had the opportunity to stop and inspect the car afterwards to find cow slime over the hood, taking a photo as evidence.

By mid morning we arrived in the small resort town of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho for a rest stop. Two buses of Korean tourists were finishing their baths in hot spring water pools which they believe to be therapeutic. The staff informed us they get many bus tours coming up from Los Angeles to Yellowstone from the Asian community and they all make a stop for a soak. It was a nice facility and the hot spring pools did not smell like rotten eggs like Thermopolis, however since we experienced hot springs before we moved on to Interstate 15 towards Utah.

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We took a detour from our itinerary to see the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah. The spike represents the last spike to complete the first transcontinental railroad joining the Central Pacific Railroad from Omaha, Nebraska and the Union Pacific Railroad from Sacramento, California on May 10, 1869.

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Pressure from Congress forced the two companies to reach an agreement on a meeting place. After negotiations they finally decided to meet at the midway point at the end of track for each railroad company, which was at Promontory Summit.

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Promontory means the high point projecting into a body of water. Leland Stanford tapped four ceremonial spikes commemorating the event where the two railroads met. The actual golden spike is at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The Golden Spike site is part of the National Parks system displaying two working replicas of the train engines with tenders for the ceremony. The replicas #119 and Jupiter are nearly exact to the originals in style. The replicas are ornately painted and have brass bells and fixtures. The original locomotives were outmoded and sold for scrap long ago.

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We drove the auto tour that allowed us to trace the railroad noting important points of interest along the way at Promontory. Noted points such as the last climb, the parallel grading, cuts, and areas blasted to make this remarkable engineering project were marked on the trail.

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A memorial stood at one of the interest points honoring the Irish and Chinese laborers who worked on the rails. We drove the entire west and east stretch of rail line and saw a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake in the distance from the rail bed high point.

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We got into Salt lake City about 3 pm to check into our hotel room at The Little American. The room had an excellent rating on Trip Adviser but when we entered the room it seemed as if we time warped to the 1950’s. The bath had very old fixtures and pink ceramic tile everywhere. The bed had a fluffy pink country flair to it and a very stained pink carpet. We left the hotel to explore the city wondering if we could get a beer in a city populated with Mormons who vow against alcohol. We found the Beerhive Pub and stopped for a beer, which we found amazing that a pub was about a block from Mormon Central. I had a Red Rock Honey wheat that was very good. Then we went to a Scottish store called The Edinburgh Castle looking for a mug for Beth. The store did not have a mug but did sell, tams, hats, kilts and other Scottish items.

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At the one end of downtown we came upon Temple Square, the location of the Mormon Tabernacle Church (temple as it is called here) which is only opened to Mormons.  A visitor center displaying a model of the temple showed the multiple levels of the temple that seemed to set a hierarchy for seating. Mormon women at the temple dressed in western 19th century clothing of bonnets and long skirted gowns assisted tourists and people who have made a pilgrimage to the temple.

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The display model also had cows at the lowest level in the temple facing outward in a circle. We learned that the twelve cows represent the twelve tribes of Israel. As we walked away from the temple, we noticed that many buildings were associated with the Mormon church and saw its influence throughout the city. Overall it was a surreal experience, sort of like a bad movie where everything looked like paradise before they took you hostage and brainwashed you – but perhaps I just watch too many movies, but best experiencing none the less after a stop at the Beerhive Pub.

We walked toward the Capitol building but it started to rain so we ran into an H& M store and shopped until it stopped. We found good traditional Utah fare for dinner, well perhaps not, but it was an excellent Italian restaurant, Michelangelo’s. The fettuccini dinner  and spicy pasta were excellent. As we ate, a movie was being made across the street. Actors were dressed in winter apparel and cotton batting lined the sidewalk as snow while Santa acted in the Hallmark movie.

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