But first, WAIT! (Yeah, I'm gonna procrastinate a little longer.) I just wanted to let you know that from February 28 until March 6, the e-version of my book Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade will be available on Amazon for the paltry sum of ninety-nine cents. Heck, you can't even buy a cup of coffee for that! Also, the e-book is FREE... with the purchase of a paperback version. Cool, huh? So if you haven't already gotten your paws on a copy, here's your chance to get it on the cheap. If ya would, would you please help me spread the word? Thanks. I do appreciate it.
Ready? Let's see, where was I...? Ah, yes. The last post was about Texas, so that brings us to the fine state of Utah, AKA the Beehive State. (I understand that's in reference to the worthy attributes of thrift and industry, not as a salute to the worthless hairdo of teasing and lacquer.)
|Heritage Park: This is the place.|
|Pioneer Day Reenactment|
In commemoration of the arrival of those early pioneers, the state of Utah officially celebrates Pioneer Day every July 24, and many modern-day Mormons all over the world participate in annual reenactments of the original wagon train trek on that date. In 1847, the territory belonged to Mexico, which may be part of the reason it held so much appeal to Young. Utah promised them a new start, and a welcome refuge from the religious persecution they'd been suffering in some of the states. In Utah, Mormons truly found... and are still finding... their place.
The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City is one of the most recognizable structures in the state. It sits in the center of the 10-acre Temple Square, and took forty long years to build.
Before we go on to some of the beautiful sights in the state, how about listening to some beautiful sounds? Even those who know little about the Mormon church are familiar with the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Talk about uplifting music.
Here's a silly little tidbit. There's a city in the center of Utah called Levan. Know where the name comes from? It's navel spelled backwards. Cute, huh? (And it sure beats living in a place called Nottub Ylleb.)
Utah boasts many beautiful natural stone structures. Check out this one. At 278 feet wide and 309 feet high, Rainbow Bridge is the world's largest natural-rock span.
This photo, also taken at Arches National Park, shows some petroglyphs, or centuries-old Ute Indian rock art.
Other notable museums include the Alf Engen Ski Museum; the International Model Car Museum; the Browning Firearms Museum; the World of Puppetry Museum; and the Firefighters Museum. There are also numerous museums dedicated to natural history, fine arts, aviation, railroading, mining, and the American West and pioneer history.
This desolate looking place commemorates a sad chapter in American history: Topaz was a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII. (If you're curious about those camps, you can find a couple posts about them by clicking on the tag Gaman over there in my blog's sidebar.)
Zion National Park. Gorgeous, isn't it? [Credit: Doug Dolde]
At Timpanogos Cave National Park, you'll find three tourable caves, which are joined by man-made tunnels that were blasted back in the 1930s. And it doesn't just look cool. It is cool. The average temperature is 46 degrees F. (If you're looking for cold, head for the mountains. In the mountains near Salt Lake City, an average of 500 (that's five HUNDRED) inches of snow falls every year.
Here's the remains of a Hovenweep House, found at the Hovenweep National Monument. There, artifacts remain from Paleo-Indians from as early as 8000 B.C. These remains, however, are likely to be from the Pueblo Indians, circa 1150- 1350 A.D.
Ever hear of the Sundance Film Festival? Me, too, but I didn't realize it was held in Utah. Yep, and it's one of the largest independent film festivals in the U.S.
Like the Great Salt Lake, this densely packed salt pan is a remnant of the Pleistocene Lake Bonneville. The lake covers 2100 square miles, and has an average depth of thirteen feet, and a deepest point stretching down to thirty-four. There's no water left at the flats, but there is bottomless excitement.
Care to get a taste of what it might be like to set a speed record on the salt flats? Fasten your seat belts...
Whew! Quite a ride, huh? Okay, time to settle down, and take a look at some of those bizarre laws. Remember, all states have 'em, and even though they're on the books doesn't mean they're enforced. (Thank goodness!) So what laws are still languishing on the books in the fine state of Utah? Let's see...
- No one may have sex in the back of an ambulance if it's responding to an emergency call. (Better tell 'em to pull over.)
- It's against the law to fish from horseback. (Wouldn't you think horses and fly-fishing would be a natural go-together?)
- It's illegal not to drink milk. (I reckon that's one way to keep those gassy lactose-intolerant people away.)
- It's against the law to detonate any nuclear weapon. (You can have one, maybe for show? Ya just can't blow it up. Sounds reasonable...)
- Birds have the right of way on all highways. (MEEP! MEEP! Especially road runners.)
- A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence. (So she does the crime, and he does the crime? How terribly chivalrous.)
- It's a felony to persistently tread on the cracks between paving stones on the sidewalk of a state highway. (I guess they take that old step on a crack, break your mother's back stuff seriously.)
- It's against the law to hunt whales.
- It's a no-no to allow biting in a boxing match. (Mike Tyson better stay away, especially if he's lactose intolerant.)
- Alcohol may not be sold during an emergency. (I know some people who consider it an emergency if they run out of booze.)
- It's illegal to cause a catastrophe. (So ya better not drop the last bottle of beer.)
- In Kaysville, you must have an I.D. to enter a convenience store after dark. (Well, that isn't very convenient, is it?)
- In Logan, ladies are expected to act like ladies. It's against the law there for women to swear. (Not even to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?)
- In Monroe, daylight must be visible between partners on a dance floor. (Sounds like the rule at the ol' '50s and '60s teen centers...)
- It doesn't matter how perfect that snow is; in Provo, there's a whopping fifty-buck fine for throwing snowballs.
- According to laws in Salt Lake City, it's illegal to walk down the street carrying a violin in a paper bag, and auctions may not advertise by hiring trombone players to play on the street. (No problem. Use a plastic bag, and give a tuba player the gig.)
- In Tremonton, it's illegal to have sex in a moving ambulance, but if ya do, and get caught... the man is released. The woman, however, is punished, and her name appears in the newspaper. (So much for that aforementioned chivalry.)
- In Trout Creek, pharmacists may not sell gunpowder to cure headaches. (If somebody eats gunpowder, do ya think his hair will grow out in bangs?)
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
[The image of the nifty now clock is courtesy of the fine folks at perfectlytimedpictures, and the rest of the pictures came from good ol' Wikipedia.]