Wednesday July 26th 2017
The day began with an early morning thunderstorm. About 4:30 a heavy thunderstorm hit the area. It lasted around two hours and dropped over an inch of rain. The noise on the roof of the RV woke me up for a few minutes, but I got back to sleep until seven thirty or so. The day was mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80s. This evening another round of thunderstorms is passing through the area.
My touring focus for the day was the core of Salt Lake City. I visited Temple Square and the surrounding area. It has changed a lot since the turn of the century when I was last in the area. Most of the changes date back to the improvements put in place for the winter Olympics in 2002. I drove the two and half miles from my campground to the Temple Square area. I had scoped out the location of a parking area on Google Maps before I left. The only problem was the road for the parking facility was closed for construction. Thus, the search for a place to park began. The signage for parking is not very good. I found several parking lots after I had passed by the entrances and one big lot that was full. After I circled the block and headed back toward the square, I found an entrance to an underground lot. It turned out to be the parking for the City Creek Center shopping mall. I got lucky. The lot was in a good location at a good price.
The City Creek Center shopping mall is an upscale indoor outdoor mall. It has the curious feature of a retractable roof. While I was there the glass roof moved back over the tops of the stores to open the walkways to the outside. It is located across the street from the west side of Temple Square. So it was a very good base for touring the square.
The Temple Square holds the Mormon Temple at the center. It is surrounded by other buildings, gardens, fountains and statues. The other buildings include visitor centers, the Tabernacle, and some historical buildings. Throughout the grounds are many people willing to answer any questions you might have along with an enthusiastic explanation of the religion.
I toured the entire grounds looking at the buildings, statues and gardens. Overall, it’s a very nice area with lots of green space and good splashes of color from the flower gardens. The brass statues represent the history of the religion and serve to break up the gardens and water features. The flower beds contain a mixture of different plants form petunias to hydrangeas with many colors represented. There are not large groupings of any single variety or color of plant. This seems to allow the flower beds to blend in with the surroundings rather be the focal point.
The only building I went into was the Tabernacle. Someone was playing the organ and it filled the hall with music. I found it too loud to remain inside long, but it demonstrated the good acoustics of the hall.
I was back at my RV by mid afternoon. This gave me time to get a few chores like laundry completed. Tomorrow I may travel north of Salt Lake City to the museum at Hill Air Force Base.