SLC: a beautiful, but mostly closed city because of Covid and ongoing renovations
These travels occurred in late September/early October 2021. The posts are gathered under the ‘Travel’ category (top right of page) and numbered to indicate the order in which they should be read.
Sunday is another travel day as we meander south on I 20 leaving Montana, passing through Idaho and back into Utah to Salt Lake City to catch a train to the San Francisco area. Off to the east we could see the Grand Tetons through a bit of smoke from the wildfires. In the distance east of I 20 we could see Yellowstone and the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It is a beautiful sight, and the trip is very similar to the trip from SLC to Yellowstone. I wonder if the national parks are a major part of the reason for the local economies (in addition to agriculture) or an interference to what would have been the local economies. I appreciate the forethought of those who set aside these magnificent locations for us. Speaking of agriculture, it is difficult to tell what had been grown in the vast fields visible from the highway, but I am amazed at the size of the fields and the number of watering pivot machines in use throughout the trip. I have attached a picture. If you have the capability, select the picture and enlarge it or zoom in to be able to see the watering pivot clearly.
We are the only 2 passengers in a short bus from Salt Lake City Express again and our driver is semi-retired and personable. This trip seems a bit strange, partly due to restrictions on commercial drivers. These drivers, like truck drivers are limited by federal regulation as to how many hours they can drive before an 8 or 10 hour break. Because of the vast distances in this part of the country a driver cannot drive from SLC to Yellowstone and back again (about 650 miles round trip) in one shift. So one driver leaves Yellowstone heading south while another leaves SLC heading north.
They are supposed to meet in the parking lot of a non-descript hotel and transfer passengers. It is not uncommon to be dropped off before your next bus arrives. As our driver returns to his starting point and we wait in the parking lot, I am wondering if we’ve been punked, Idaho style. Inside the hotel lobby I find exit signs near the floor. I have never seen that before and wonder if this area has some really short people. Then my brain kicks in and I remember my time in a volunteer fire department. They set the exit signs both high for regular evacuation and very low in case someone has to crawl out due to heavy smoke conditions. Huh, whoda thunk?
As the pickup bus exceeds 20 minutes late we call the dispatcher. Yep, flat tire, but he’ll be along “presently”. A full size motor coach shows up and the driver looks a bit perturbed, as if this was a day off but he was pressed into service without notice.
We get to Salt Lake City without incident and have about 5 hours before our train to Emeryville (as near to San Francisco as Amtrak gets). 5 hours to spend in a beautiful city? Score! Except it is a Saturday; they roll up the sidewalks early and the primary tourist attraction is the home base of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Most of the LDS facilities are closed for major renovations and Covid has impacted the rest. So we found a bite to eat and found a movie to watch. ‘Cry Macho’ is a pretty good feel good movie. If you search on line The Google shows you a picture of Clint Eastwood from the early 1960’s in his ‘Rawhide’ days. He’s umm, changed a bit since then…