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Monday, March 14, 2011

Making our way to Utah...

On Sunday we left Vegas and headed to the Hoover Dam. It was certainly a magnificent example of engineering. It was built in 4 years, 1931-1935 and was built using huge concrete blocks as to pour that much concrete would result in problems with it curing at different rates. Sadly, I have no photos of Hoover Dam as I did a very stupid thing. I left my camera’s SD card in the hotel at Vegas and guess what? The camera doesn’t work without it. DH rang the hotel but they obviously didn’t find it as they didn’t ring back. So at the first opportunity I bought a new card and that wasn’t until Mesquite later in the day...sad I know but DH has photos but he’s not uploading photos as we go like I am. So maybe some time later I’ll show the photos I took with his swish camera.
This is the Virgin River

The road seemed to stretch into the distance and come to a dead end at the mtn range. As we got there, we found this amazing road through the took about 10 minutes to get through.
Our journey took us through beautiful country; the scenery was breathtaking! In many ways it was like the Grand Canyon. The colours were amazing, as were the landforms. Some of the land was obviously used for ranching, although we didn’t see cattle, we did see quite a few sheep. We also noticed more and more snow on the mountains as well as drifts near the road and the temperature dropped significantly  as the day moved towards nightfall.

After the Pass, we went through country with canyons like this

Snow-capped mtns on the way to Cedar City
Our overnight stop was at Cedar City; a lovely town. It was amusing to discover that upon checking in, DH had to sign an agreement that we wouldn’t smoke or bring alcohol into our rooms. ( We always ask for a non-smoking room but we've never had to 'sign the pledge' before! lol) Dinner was at Sizzler and no alcohol was served unlike the Sizzlers at home. There was snow in the garden beds near our room last night but no new snow this morning. It (the temp was supposed to drop to 29 F which is below freezing, during the night, but it didn’t)
This morning we headed off to Salt Lake City (SLC) with more and more snow on the landscape. We passed more ranches and did see lots of cattle today. We noticed a speed advisory sign of 80 miles per hour which is ca 128 kph! It was a good road but the fastest legal speed at home is 110 kph.
We lunch at Nephi in a Wendy’s restaurant. The girl serving us asked if we were Australian. She told us that her sister is moving to Oakey (in Qld) as her husband has a job there. And to digress a bit, a woman at Hoover Dam, asked us where we came from then said her son had been a Rotary Exchange student for a year in Warnambool (Victoria) and that’s my grandparents’ home town!
Back to the travelogue...we arrived in SLC mid an hour or so later and found a hotel etc after we’d stopped at the Visitor Centre. We wanted some brochures so we could work out our itinerary for tomorrow. The hotel looked ok but as DH said, it’s not as good as last night’s...we had to ring the office and complain about the loo (toilet); it wouldn’t flush. A guy came over and fiddled around with it and it worked...once. When we came back after dinner (after 9) wouldn’t work would it...we should have complained but being those ‘tough’ queenslanders that we are, we took the lid off the cistern and pulled up the wire ‘thingy’ and flushed like that. Tomorrow morning we will have a serious talk with management.
The capitol building in SLC

Arriving in SLC

Anyhow, I’ve meandered off the topic again! This afternoon we drove out 20 miles to Olympic Park where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held. It was great...the actual snowfields are still there despite it being Fall.

Just before Olympic Park on the lower level

Outside the Visitors' Centre at Parkview just below Olympic Park

Just showing how much snow is still around in the 'arena' area of Olympic park

Another view inside Olympic park
After that we came back to SLC and went straight out to dinner. I couldn’t face a Fast food place again and said dinner was ‘on me’!  I didn’t care what it cost as long as we had some healthy, well-cooked nutritious meal. We went to Cucina Toscana and the meal and service were sublime. A lovely restaurant with cloth napkins and tablecloths, free breads and olive oil, coffee, and hot chocolate. The waiters wore smart shirts and aprons just like my dad used to wear when he ran a milkbar in the 1950s! I asked our waiter John, to explain what the word ‘entree’ means on a US menu. At home it means a tiny sized first course usually after the soup. Here it apparently means, ‘main course’! There you go! Yet something else I’ve learned!


Claud said...

Maria, I think I'm enjoying your adventures as much as you are. Entrees can be pretty big in some restaurants - sometimes enough to split between two or carry leftovers. So maybe asking how big the portion is wouldn't hurt. C

Maria said...

It is great fun learning the differences between the 2 countries and especially that example of the meaning of entree. We have found some restaurants have a Seniors' menu which offers smaller portions for over 55s. But I can imagine the disapointment of someone coming from the US to Australia and ordering an entree and getting just a teeny tiny portion of food! They would think we were a bit 'stingy'(mean)!!!