“The plainer the dress, the greater luster does beauty appear.” (Edward F. Halifax)
Ruth and I concluded a restful, four night stay in Boise, Idaho to visit our friend Tina. My main activities during this uneventful weekend would involve washing my filthy car, and continuously walking the family dog, Molly every 3-4 hours. I definitely needed less mind challenging, downtime after enduring a multitude of steep and winding roads in mountainous regions from the Seattle coast region southeastward.
Proceeding southeast on Interstate 84 in early morning , our five hour, desert valley drive would skirt the western edge of the Wasatch Mountain range and then curve into them for a gentle climb to over 6,000 feet at our next destination, Park City Utah. As a past host community for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, we expected to settle into a thriving ski town atmosphere in our three night, Air B&B stay stay there. Yet the town to us seemed relatively simple to navigate and surprisingly desolate in off season, springtime mode with the town’s renowned Olympic ski runs now largely devoid of snow.
Sticking to our budget, we had no desire to buy expensive artwork or sign up for enticing time share presentations, Thus a simple walk around Main Street downtown would suffice for us after dinner on our first evening. As most shops and art galleries were now closed, we casually admired the classy western town atmosphere of historic saloons, ornamental street sculptures, live bird talks, and eclectic window displays.
Since Ruth and and share a keen interest in observing wildlife in their natural habitats, the next afternoon we decided to take a look at Great Salt Lake via Antelope Island State Park. As we crossed the entry causeway, a pungent smell of salt permeated the air. How “cool” we imagined now to have an opportunity to spot a free-ranging bison , pronghorn antelope or migratory bird species on the island. Stopping for a picnic lunch on a remote overlook facing the eerie presence of this hyper-saline shoreline, we were attacked by hordes of brine flies that infest these salty shores. Spotting an accessible beach nearby, we moved swiftly away from these pesky insects by descending downhill through brittle rock and briny sand surface to this ever still lake. We had found an excellent spot to taste the salty waters and photograph thick concentrations of small, black feathered birds floating aimlessly on the surrounding lake. Ending our tour at the lake informative Visitor Center, we relished our decision to step out adventurously on our own in the Salt Lake environs today.
Over thirty years ago, Ruth and I dined at a small and unpretentious Mexican Cafe In Salt Lake City near the historic downtown Train Depot. Having booked inexpensive concert tickets for the evening at nearby Vivint Smart Home Arena, we would “kill time” before the performance with a nostalgic meal at this same Mexican restaurant. Enjoying “Back to back” concert sets by Hall and Oats/Train, we would end this long day in “giddy singalong” fashion.
On our third day, we embarked on an old fashioned train ride on the Deer Creek Express in nearby Heber City, which provided a relaxing end to our Utah mountain adventure. As an added attractions, a menacing group of armed bandits ran onto the train at midpoint in our journey to stage a simulated train robbery. Upon angrily finding a box with no money, they filled the air with fake gunshots and boisterously departed the train. Immediate relief from such chaos was provided as a talented guitarist strummed traditional cowboy hits for our listening pleasure for the remainder of our rail journey.