About the Author
As far as cities large enough to have a professional sports team go, Salt Lake City seems like one of the least interesting. (Originally, I wrote this sentence as the definitive “least,” but then I remembered both Green Bay and Oklahoma City. While I’m sure they are both fine places to visit, with them as possibilities, as much as I’d like to write a definitive sentence, I can’t positively rank Salt Lake City at the bottom.) With the state laws regarding beer on tap and articles on the honor code of BYU, it seems like a rather strict and humorless city. I’m not saying that I need pre-marital sex and alcohol to have fun, but I really, really like both of those things.
Now, I’ve passed through Salt Lake City a few times, on the way to Moab or returning from Portland, but I have never really explored the place. Maybe it’s because of what I have heard about the puritanical lifestyle. But, just like with Miami, sometimes the city itself will help you to decide what you should explore. So, here are the five things that I’ll do when I next return to Salt Lake City, and not just pass through it.
Check out a race at the Bonneville Salt Flats
They hold races in the summer and fall at the Bonneville Speedway right in the middle of the Bonneville Salt Flats. In 1970, a car drove 622 mph over a mile here. So, pull up a chair and watch speeds like you’d only seen in the sky.
Tour the Golden Spike National Historic Site
I’m a big fan of trains (and I didn’t even like Thomas the Tank Engine as a kid, but I loved “Silver Streak” and love public transportation) and so the HYPERLINK “http://www.nps.gov/gosp/index.htm” Golden Spike National Historic Site seems like a no-brainer. Touring the Visitor Center to see locomotives, walking on the Big Fill Loop Trail and taking an auto tour would give me a peek at the importance of trains in the late 1800s.
Ski or hike at Alta
In the winter I’ve heard some of the best powder possible can be found at Alta. That’s awesome. Having lived in a ski town, I know that the summers are just as great for hiking around on the mountain.
Research at the Family History Library
I may be alone here, but I have enjoyed a few libraries on vacations. When I visited Cooperstown to see the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I spent one day in the library there, researching a couple of my favorite players and paging through all of the collected articles that the museum had. The Family History Library sounds like another place where I could lose myself for a while in a pile of research to see if I had any presidents or pirates in my past.
Visit the grave of Lilly E. Gray
Why the grave of Lilly E. Gray? As the link says, it’s all about the lone inscription outside of her name and relevant dates on the tombstone that reads, “Victim of the Beast 666.” The Salt Lake Cemetery closes at dusk, so if you time it right, as the sun dips toward the horizon and the light diffuses into pinks, purples and reds, you’ll read that inscription with your best girl by your side. Then grasping her hand tight, you’ll walk hurriedly to your car before darkness overtakes you. For the next couple of hours, the hair on your arms will rise at every little noise you hear or every movement you see out of the corner of your eye because you’ve disturbed the slumber of the beast 666. Now, doesn’t that sound like fun?
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.