Monday, October 30th – Friday, November 4th
Dinosaurs! Mormon inspired sculpture parks! Hikes in canyons and up summits! Clippy the Bartender! My second week in Salt Lake City was filled with a more low key, but still random assortment of activities.
“I’m going to go visit some Mormon inspired sculpture garden. Gilgal?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
(conversation between my host and I)
Right. The Gilgal Sculpture Garden.
The sculpture garden was mostly empty of visitors, save a teenage couple in full gothy Halloween costumes. I had no costume, despite it being Halloween, but later that evening continued my tour of cocktail bars at Bar X. It was fun, the bartender was dressed as Clippy, the old MS Office 95 “helpful” paperclip. You could totally tell the age of the clientele by who figured it out and who had no idea what we were talking about. It was a fun evening seeing the costumes and as the night wore on it became clear there was a costume pub-crawl going on. I wandered back home before too late, walking up wide, empty streets and by moonlight churches.
The obvious follow up to this, of course, was the Natural History Museum.
The museum is pretty cool; it’s built around a tall, several story open space with the museum wrapped around it. The top talks about weather and atmosphere, going down through various exhibits on genetics, geology and lots of dinosaur skeletons.
The next day it was time to climb Ensign Peak!
Ensign Point Park is one of a pair (at least) of parks north of the city. This one is a short, steep hike to a neat view and it appears to link to other trails. The next day I walked the canyon north through Memorial Park.
So the next afternoon it was time to explore the park and a small part of the long canyon trail. I walked through Memorial Park, a combination of dog park and memorial for dead soldiers. The Mormons are a surprisingly militant bunch, although as someone who grew up being taught that Christianity is akin to seeking peace I’m always startled at the overlap of Christian sects and the military.
It was a beautiful walk, although I didn’t get many photos. I had a great stay in Salt Lake City; it definitely felt like there was a huge amount of hiking and nature to explore in the surrounding area. The city has definitely gone its own way, something I approve of even if it makes me unsure if I’d want to live there. The love of industry, the swarms of homeless people, people talking about how they look forward to winter because skiing is so close, the crazy wide streets, bartenders behind sheets even when it’s not Halloween, and all the 4% beer you could ever want; Salt Lake City is definitely worth checking out.