We did more in the City than just go to one baseball game. Actually, we made several trips in and around Salt Lake City. We had visited the area once around 20 years ago on a ski vacation and already had seen several of the sites, but we took most of them in again. The most known natural landmark is Great Salt Lake. It was more than a little disappointing. The level of the lake is so low that it is more than a quarter mile walk out from the historic shoreline to the current one. The lake level is so low for a couple reasons. One is that in the 90s it had been rising and rising and was a threat to flood the City so they started pumping water out of the lake and recovering salt from it. And second, with the growth of the City, there is more irrigation going on and therefore less water entering the lake. But it is not all that useful of a lake anyway as its salinity is several times greater than even the oceans. So why do we have a picture of a bride and groom walking toward the lake? Did we renew our vows? Nope. For whatever reason this couple was having their picture taken on the old lake bed and out at the shore.
And the most famous man-made landmark must be Temple Square. SLC is the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more often referred to as the Mormons. The Salt Lake Mormon Temple was built in the late 1800s and is shown below left. The granite blocks were cut by hand in a canyon out in the mountains and were hauled at first by mule cart into the City. A rail line was later built to transport the stones. The other picture below is from inside the Tabernacle where the famous choir performs.
Salt Lake City is also the Capitol of Utah and home of State Government. SLC hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. We drove out one day through one of the canyons to a couple of the ski areas. And we passed through a high-end shopping center in the downtown area and enjoyed some tasty eating establishments.
Utah has some interesting laws about alcohol. Any beverage with alcohol greater than 4% must be purchased in a state-run store and there aren’t that many of them. Restaurants and bars can only serve draft beer that is 4% alcohol or less. Stronger beers can beer served from bottles but only if you are eating food. But in spite of the many restrictions, there are a number of small breweries in the area some of which are putting out some creative brews within the 4% limit. We ran across the brew in the picture at one brewpub. Apparently the locals can have a bit self depreciating humor about some of their history.