Which Promised Land Is It Today?

Trip Start Jun 06, 2011
Trip End May 22, 2012

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Where I stayed
Low end budget motel
What I did

Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, July 1, 2011

Wednesday 29 June

KK: An alarming start to the day when a large republican woman approached us with her Schnauzer in the motel car park. She was out parading it in a patriotic costume, it jumped up at LK and she had to go back in the motel to wash her hands. Large lady said, "George W Bush kept this country safe." And asked if we were at The Wedding. Yes, yes we were. Everybody in England was at the wedding – we didn't say.

LK: She also believed that Obama was making the country socialist. We should have just stopped at she had dressed up her dog, you get the idea that they were both barking.

KK:  She said she took time out from figure skating to watch the 2008 primaries. The woman was 25 stone if she was an ounce. Anyway on to Salt Lake City, which was considerably smaller than we expected. We worked out which block the Visitor Centre was on from the numbered streets and it wasn’t there.

LK:  Quaintly, a lot of store fronts included the word “bountiful”, maybe they are just being thankful for the riches bestowed on them by God. Oh, there’s a town just outside Salt Lake City called Bountiful? So you can include beehives on your road signs but not the name of the actual place? Ten miles later we came across the actual size Salt Lake City. A thunderstorm immediately broke out, perhaps we are not full enough of Mormony goodness to stay here.

KK:  The whole beehives on road signs thing  that they do in Utah is freaky enough – you feel that if you are not fully attentive you will find yourself working as a drone in some sugar sweet community of obedience for the rest of your life. Apparently only 40% of people in Salt Lake City are Mormons but that is a lot of people. How much you know or want to know about Mormons is up to you but it seems like a massive communal delusion into make-it-up-as- you-go-along crackpottery.

LK: Add your own Newcastle United supporting simile here. We stayed in what the manageress freely claimed to be “a low end budget motel” but how could we go wrong with our room’s disco party carpet? Never mind the room smelt faintly of gas escaping from the cooker, we’ve got a riot going on under our feet.

Thursday 30 June

KK:  Went to Temple Square, where all the road numbers begin at, they have got statues of John the Baptist and various saints blessing the Mormon forefathers. It is big and impressive and clean but a girl smiled at me and I thought “get away from me you loony!”

LK:  I stopped smiling at Kriss ages ago because of that very reaction. So, no chance of us spending the day here then, looking through the largest archive of family records in the world. Instead, let’s be amazed that there are old guys here really dressed in yellow T-shirts and dungarees. And then head South.

KK:  Drove to Moab via Green River, spectacular scenery and long straight roads. Moab is essentially in a narrow valley but once you are here it feels as though you are surrounded on all sides by high red sandstone mountains. LK directed us straight to a campsite but it looked like a gravel covered playground so I drove away from it. Half an hour later we drove back and paid for two nights. It is so dry here that wherever we pitched the tent it was going to be on hard ground. So hard that we could only get two and a half tent pegs into the ground. No mattress and no mallet – we never said we were proper campers.

LK: To stop KK moaning, we found a bar (Rio’s) which served big frosty pints of Miller, had sanity restoring air conditioning, and excellent music. We moved on to Woody’s Tavern, where a pint of Guinness and a game of bar football (which I let him win) seemed to make Kriss forget all his camping woes. This little bar hop was something of an achievement, given Utah’s tortuous licensing laws. And we did get a decent night’s sleep, with only one interruption to gawp at the night sky and lots of constellations which I didn’t recognise.

KK: One interruption? There were people driving giant-wheeled 4 x 4s virtually over the top of our tent all night long. I barely got a wink.
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