Saturday, 24 September 2011

Salty Wonders

It was a blissful night of sleep other than Jonah waking up twice! He thankfully went back to sleep almost straight away and everyone stayed asleep until 8am. It was time to go downstairs for our free hot breakfast. Before I knew it, each of the children had already gotten themselves cereals which were full of sugar. Before I knew it, my plate was full of good old breakfast fare which always seem to taste better when it is part of a hotel buffet breakfast! I love that you can get flavoured cream cheese. Strawberry cream cheese with bagels...yum! It was with interest that we noted one of the headlines on the paper "Lack of rain blamed for string of fatal bear attacks in the West".

We had the rest of the morning to explore Salt Lake City. The mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 and started to establish a city where they could practise their religion freely. The temple inside Temple Square is the icon of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were very fortunate to get a parking spot right outside the south gate. Unfortunately, we had to move on and we had much ground to cover for the rest of the day.

The Temple in the heart of Salt Lake City

Jonah was more interested in "the awesome swimming pool". No, it wasn't a pool but a water fountain.

We headed north along the I-15 and detoured to Antelope Island for a view of the Great Salt Lake, the Lake that lent its name to the city. As we were driving along the man made causeway, we discovered that our car had a DVD player! Malcolm later bought a DVD on the Great Salt Lake which was a very good surrogate tour guide. We saw birds, deer and bison on the island as well as pretty sunflowers. As the lake has no outflow, the natural way for water to escape is evaporation. The resulting high salinity means that the only marine animal in the lake is shrimp which accounts for the abundant birdlife. We saw many photographers with awesome zoom lenses along the way!

The Great Salt Lake as seen from Antelope Island

The children loved the FREE binoculars and spent a while trying to spot wildlife

Bison roaming free amongst the sunflower fields

One of my father's fast food chains. Had to stop there for lunch

After a brief pit stop for lunch at Arby's, we continued on our way to Jackson. This is where I need to praise the Lord for children who travel well. Despite having had a long day of travel from Australia the day before, they endured a marathon 5.5 hour drive with no whining. We drove continuously straight through Idaho, across the Teton range and into Jackson, Wyoming.

That's a small soft drink cup!

Crossing the border and taking a photo through the still clean windscreen

Unexpected roadworks. Only one lane was open. We loved the pilot car that we had to follow!

Crossing into Wyoming.

Boy were we glad to see this sign!

The scenery along the way was so pretty and unlike the parts of Australia that I've been too. Everything that I associated with "the West" I saw! Stone lined streams snaking along, pine covered mountains, quaint country towns with log buildings. The other thing that amused me were the gigantic campers that were towed by the many cars. We even saw a few winnebagos towing cars. I was glad though to finally reach Jackson and check into the very cute Best Western Lodge. It was 6:30pm by the time we arrived and everyone was starving. We walked across the road and went into Ignight, the first restaurant we saw. It turned out to include a very swanky wine bar, and thus the lighting was very dim which made for very poor photos! The menu was rather unusual in that there were a lot of Japanese influences. Malcolm had grilled mahi-mahi with wasabi mash, the children had eel and mango sushi rolls as well as teriyaki chicken. We enjoyed our non-greasy dinner and settled into our suite to rest for our first National Park tomorrow. Oh and for those who are interested, Wyoming tap water tastes better than Utah tap water.

Our free lodging for the night thanks to fellow DISboarder

Jonah did not like ANY of the bears that were scattered throughout the  establishment. Lara has counted 41 so far.

Just for bonecarpenter

Our dinner venue

A very poor attempt to take photos of the food. It was SO dark inside

The flavour of the west continued into the room 

1 comment:

  1. Strange that you mention the big cars. It seems so normal for us to see huge caravans (trailers) pulled by utes (trucks).

    We've also found a sushi finding its way into the menus of the strangest places. Burgers, fries, ribs… and sushi.