Various places in northern Utah

My original plan once I got to Orem was to go further north, past Salt Lake City, and make a scenic loop around Bear Lake.  That loop would have taken me from northeast Utah, through a small portion of western Wyoming, the southeast corner of Idaho, and back to Utah.

This morning I drove north (in rush hour traffic due to a late start on my part (late to bed, late to rise…) until I reached Brigham City.  After exiting the dreaded interstate I entered the closest town on the southwest side of Bear Lake into my GPS unit.  When I discovered I wouldn’t get there until after 11am local time I did some quick calculating and decided to abandon the loop idea because I’d end up back in SLC just in time for evening rush hour (plus the visibility was so poor, due largely to wildfire smoke, that I wouldn’t have seen much anyway).

I headed back south, went around SLC to the east on I-84 and I-80, giving the city a wide berth, and did a small scenic drive near Park City, ultimately taking me to Heber City.  There I had my car serviced (oil & filter, tire rotation), had lunch, and stopped at the library to use their computer to book another Airbnb for tonight (I’m writing tonight’s posts from Eagle Mountain, UT, northwest of Provo).

Here are some of the things I saw throughout the day.

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There are more mountains out there, you just can’t see them due to the smoke.  This is Deer Creek Reservoir, southwest of Heber City.

Next I traveled further south to Provo and stopped at the LDS Temple there.

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I went inside and found two gentlemen, dressed in white from head to toe, who greeted me soon after I entered the building.  I asked if I was allowed inside the Temple and they politely informed me this was a far as I would get.  They said I could go downstairs to a small reception area but that no photos were allowed anywhere inside the building.  One of the gentlemen followed me downstairs to be sure I complied with their rules (I actually think he was tempted to ask me if he could try on my Safety Sam vest once he got away from the other guy but low and behold, here were two more gentlemen dressed all in white downstairs, so he never got the chance).  I don’t think I would have made out any better if I were dressed all in white as they were scanning ID’s of some folks who were then allowed inside the Temple.  I doubt if they had flashed their AAA cards….

I’m posting another photo of the Temple to show some of the gorgeous flower beds and landscaping they had all around the property.  I had been to the Temple up in Salt Lake City years ago when visiting my youngest brother and his wife, who lived up there for many years.  On one visit I went and heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform there.  It was quite impressive.

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Further down the road I found Utah’s version of Bridal Veil Falls.

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I then went further south and did a scenic loop near where the Tank Hollow fire was still burning (it increased from 5,097 acres to 7,696 acres overnight and is still only 44% contained.  As I got back to Route 6 I saw this shrine on the hillside across the road at the T-intersection where I was to turn left.  Someone had painted lots of rocks various colors and placed them in this pattern.  There were 3 wooden crosses at the top with names of various people.

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Tomorrow morning I hop on the dreaded interstate and go all the way south, almost as far as Las Vegas.  Before crossing the state line, however, I’ll exit the highway and go through Zion National Park.  I’ll be staying in the little town of Kanab, just east of the Park for the next 4 nights.