Archive for Utah

25 Nov 2008

Vernal/Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur National Park – Utah

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Flaming Gorge at sunrise

Green River, Dinosaur National Park

Aspen near Flaming Gorge National Park

Steinaker Lake, Vernal

19 Nov 2008

Bryce Canyon, Utah

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We are in God’s own country, southern Utah, the Mormon heartland and Al is beside himself. All the mountains, canyons, chimneys, amphitheatres, natural bridges and windows were just too much for him. He was in Alpaca ecstasy. So much so he has temporarily handed over the blog to me – P.

It is difficult to describe Bryce canyon without running out of superlatives. We spent two days taking in Bryce’s many lookouts and went on a couple of long hikes down through the canyon, walking down through the “hoodoos” (rocky spires), down steep switchbacks , under rocky ledges and alongside dry river beds. A spattering of snow graces some of the spires, and fir and pine trees take tenuous hold on the crumbling rock faces. Bryce is a photographer’s playground – I have spent the days snapping away.

We are staying in a small log cabin in Tropic, so named because of its “temperate” climate; and as we sat on a log bench, on the edge of the canyon rim with Kerrie and Will, shivering, wine in hand watching the sunset over the canyon, and later in our log cabins while the temperature outside dropped to minus 6 degrees Celsius, we realised the joke was on us.

19 Nov 2008

Salt Lake City, Utah

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First stop Salt Lake City – Chateau Kerrie and Will, and oasis of alcohol, in an otherwise soda-pop desert. Salt Lake’s 60% Mormon population, sees to it that good coffee shops are hard to find, getting a drink in a bar involves becoming a paid up member; and all the liquor stores are state-owned and only vend mid-strength brews.

Still, that means 40% of the population is non-Mormon and they have a good sense of humour. Check out this brew.

On the plus side, SLC is a very nice place to be, surrounded by majestic mountains that rise rapidly from nowhere and are capped with early snow. Downtown is clean and pretty and easy to get around, with the Mormon temple and tabernacle being the focal point.

And the Mormons are friendly – too friendly perhaps. We have already been stopped in the park by a bunch of Mormon teenagers (the boys dressed in suits???). When they found out we were Australian, which is apparently very cool, out came the video camera and we were documented saying our names and where we were from (Jonathan – I have given them your address – P). Watch for us on YouTube sometime soon!

As Aussies everyone is curious about us, and amused by our accents – Peter’s daughter, Alyssa introduced us to her friends. “These are the Australians. Watch how they speak.”