Thursday, August 12, 2010

8-10-10 Tuesday, Salt Lake City

A perfect day in Salt Lake City. Randy looked in the phone book and found a used bookstore. Oddly, it was located in a trendy mall. We each found some good books (Utah dinosaurs for Bret! Sci fi for Randy and Reed! Novel for Bryn – Badlands – my friend Faith was a consultant for that). Then to Temple Square downtown, the heart of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). A very nice complex including the 19th century assembly hall and Temple plus modern visitor centers. Photo: Bryn, Reed and Bret by one of the Temple Sq fountains. We toured one of the visitor centers, and attended an organ recital at the Tabernacle. These half hour shows are free and are offered daily at noon. Randy is an affecionado of organ music, but all of us enjoyed this treat. What a huge and fantastic instrument that is. Photo: organ on a blue background; Bret liked watching the colors change with the different songs.

Lunch at Gandolfo's NY Deli, near the University of Utah campus, where we went next to visit the Utah Museum of Natural History. Fabulous paleontological and mineralogical specimens. Unanimously, the boys picked the Eryops skeleton as the best thing there. Randy had a natural history book when he was a boy, and that was his favorite entry. When Reed and Bret were small, we read a page a day to them. Randy's enthusiasm about this early reptile from the Mesozoic era was contagious. Bryn had a hard time containing herself in the Anthropology Gallery. An excellent new installation about the indigenous people of Utah (with lots of baskets), plus a thorough, older section featuring archaeological materials with many Fremont culture baskets. And rock art too – a huge wall mural from Barrier Canyon that was painted as a WPA project. What's not to like? Photo: boys with Erypos.

Although that seemed like a full day, everything was close-by, traffic was light, and we were able to find easy parking everywhere – not always possible with that big van. It was early enough for us to set out for Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake. It was a bit of a drive as the bridge is at the north end of the island. We saw thousands of birds and billions of brine flies, and a few bison in the distance. Photo: Reed and Bret on Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake in the background.

Back to shore, and on to Nickel Mania! Reed says this is like a Chuck E. Cheese but way better – there are lots of classic arcade games, and they're all 5 cents, and the pizza is better too. Reed liked Tetris the best.

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