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Motor Coach Tour 2011
Sunday, May 29th

Salt Lake City, Utah

Today is the last cross country journey of the tour for me. We started at Jackson in the morning and arrived at Salt Lake City about 4:30 in the afternoon. The trip took Highway 89 most of the way with just the last hour or so on Interstates 15 and 84 into Salt Lake. Here is the tour map for the last time.

Tour Map

The route on this map looks rather straight. It is far from it. If you take a look at Google Maps and find Jackson, Wyoming then follow Highway 89 you will see how indirect it is. You will also see that it goes through several mountain passes along the way. These are the places where you will see a bit more snow. Here is the first group of images that take us from Jackson to Afton, Wyoming which happens to be just north of Smoot.

Road Sign 1 River Junction 1
The road we were traveling on had been closed for several days due to a landslide. It had just opened that morning.
It was 24 kilometres away.
Two normally quiet rivers merging together. The big one in the foreground is the Snake River (yesterdays float trip river) and the other one I do not remember the name.
Landslide 1 Landslide 2
Where the landslide had been. Where it came down the mountain in this slightly out of focus image.
Scenery 1 Flooded Fields 1
It is, or had been, raining. Flooded fields from all the snow and rain.

Our first quickie stop for today was in Afton, Wyoming. Here are some pictures to show why we stopped in Afton. No captions needed.

Arch 2 Arch 1
Arch 3 Arch 4

Arch 5

The reference to Smoot, Wyoming above is not a frivolous one. It does exist and is just south of Afton. I think it was just outside of Smoot were we stopped for our morning break. This modern "General Store" like place we stopped at had a very large hamburg that if you could eat the whole thing you got it for free or something to this effect. I do not exactly remember the twist but it was something like that.

Our next stop was in Montpelier, Idaho. We had to negotiate some mountain passes and interesting weather (not anything we had not seen before though). Here are some pictures of this portion of today's journey.

Scenery 2 Scenery 3
More interesting weather approaching (actually we are approaching it to be more accurate.) Another wintery scene.
Scenery 4 Scenery 5
More winter. The dark band across the top of some of these pictures is a tinted section at the top of the front windshield of the coach. I tried to remember to leave it out but sometimes forgot.
Scenery 6 Scenery 7
The winter weather did not last too long. The wintery weather was not far away though.

The stop in Montpelier, Idaho was more just to say we stopped in Idaho. The visitors centre there was only partially open because it was the Sunday of the US Memorial Day Weekend. There was a local quilt exhibition going on but not too much else to see.

Idaho 1

The place where we stopped.
The woman has her hood up because it was raining, if I remember correctly.

Idaho Quilt 1 Idaho Quilt 2
Quilt 1 Quilt 2
Idaho Quilt 3 Idaho Quilt 4
Quilt 3 Quilt 4
All these quilts were for sale.

The other thing that Idaho is known for is potatoes and Tour Director Jack gave us a postcard telling us about "the great Idaho Joe Potato Farmer". For copy write reasons I cannot reproduce the card here but it was cute.

Our next stop was for lunch, which I believe was in Logan, Utah. There are no pictures from Logan, (there are but they were not good enough to use here) so the next group of pictures takes us all the rest of the way to Salt Lake City. There is at least one more mountain pass along the way. Here are the pictures.....

Scenery 8 Scenery 9
This looks like a lighthouse. I do not think it ever was though. I believe this is Bear Lake
Scenery 10 Scenery 11
Bear Lake in the distance.
We are in the area of the border between Idaho and Utah.
Interesting picture over Bear Lake.
Scenery 12 Scenery 13
For this last time on this trip, driving through snow. Coming out of the pass where the snow was.
Scenery 14 Scenery 15 Great Salt Lake
The clouds are close to the ground here. The north end of the Great Salt Lake as we approach the junction of Highways 89 and 15.

Scenery 16

An aerospace museum at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah.

With our arrival in Salt Lake City I complete the cross country part of my trip. Most of the rest of the group (minus four others) were continuing on for another four days ending in Las Vegas. The first place we stopped in Salt Lake was the Utah State Capitol Building. It sits on one of the highest places in the city for reasons that are too complicated to describe here. Here is a group of pictures taken in and around the capitol building.

Capitol 1 Capitol 3
One end of the building. It is an impressive place.
Capitol 2 Capitol 4
One end has the House of Representatives and the governors`s office. The other end has the Supreme Court.
The sign says this but it may be somewhere else now.
Capitol 5 Capitol 6
The official reception room. The other end of the reception room.
Capitol 7 Capitol 8
A bit more from directly under the dome. Outside the centre entrance.
Capitol 9 Capitol 10
The view from the centre entrance View to the right of the previous picture.
Capitol 11 Capitol 12
Further right. LDS Temple between the two tall buildings.

Capitol 12

The Capitol Building from the road.

The next stop is Salt Lake's best known place, Temple Square, the home of the Mormons or the LDS Church as they are now officially called. This visit is the only time that the people continuing on with the tour will get to see this. I get to spend several more days in Salt Lake and get to do a much more complete job over the next two days as you will see. Here are a group of pictures showing it as if I were continuing on the tour.

Temple Square 1 Temple Square 2
Entrance plaque. The Temple. Only church members are allowed in.
Temple Square 3 Tabernacle 1
Closer view. It is mainly used for sacred ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms etc. The Mormon Tabernacle. Home of the choir by the same name.
Tabernacle 2 Tabernacle 3
The Tabernacle and the Temple. Same from the other side.
Tabernacle Inside 1 Tabernacle Inside 2
The inside of the Tabernacle. A view down the centre aisle. You can see the 360 seats for the choir below the organ pipes.
Tabernacle Inside 3 Conference Centre 1
An artsy view from under the balcony. The LDS conference centre. This place is big.
See tomorrows page for some inside photos.
Conference Centre2 Coach at temple Square
The facade of the conference centre. Our coach waiting to pick us up and take us the two large blocks to our hotel.

Five people left the tour in Salt Lake. These people only took the tour either from Denver or Rapid City to Salt Lake. The remaining seventeen continued on to Las Vegas. With some people leaving, the tour company puts on a dinner that everyone attends but is mainly to say goodbye to those leaving. The dinner was held at a restaurant they had never used before. So things were a bit confused. Adding to the confusion was that it was the Memorial Day weekend and this restaurant was one of the few that were open which made them busier than they expected to be. It took a bit of time but things got sorted out and the dinner turned out well.

As were leaving the restaurant and getting back on the coach to go back to the hotel we encountered this on the coach.....


Elvis is on the coach!!!!!

Ok, so you want an explanation. Well here it is! It turns out that coach driver Lee lives in Salt Lake. His wife came to dinner with us. She works for the same company, that is based in Salt Lake, that Lee works for who supply the coaches for these Globus tours. Apparently she acts as a tour escort on weekend trips to Las Vegas from Salt Lake. As part of the trip she dons this costume and sings the better known Elvis hits as part of the entertainment on these trips. I am no Elvis expert but I thought that she did quite a good job. It was certainly a surprise to all of us. Unfortunately the trip back to the hotel was not very long so we only got a brief sampling of her/his repertoire.

Once back at the hotel those leaving the group as of tonight said their goodbyes to everyone. Most of the others were leaving for the airport before the coach left tomorrow morning. I was the only one staying in Salt Lake for any length of time. I would see them off tomorrow morning. We did not get back to the hotel until around 9:30 so there was little time to do much else.

On to May 30th......

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Created: August 18th, 19th and 20th, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1:21 PM