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Salina Utah and Salt Lake City

Passing through Utah gave us the excuse to stop and visit with Jim’s parents Pat and Jerry at their home in Eagle Mountain southwest of Salt Lake City. The community is situated a few miles outside of town (it used to be a dozen or so miles but the town is creeping towards them). Winter was giving the area its last hurrah on the day of our visit making for a spectacular drive from our home port down in Salina UT up to their home.

Leaving around noon we took some back roads to pass through the original Mormon settlements in the state. At the town of Manti there is a large temple built by early Mormons and the place, in a word is, spectacular. It is situated on a hill overlooking the valley making it visible for miles and miles in all directions.

This area of Utah has a unique history of hardship in development due to timing and location. The early settlers arrived before any sort of military presence and hence found themselves at the mercy of native peoples. Eventually this isolation resulted in the Blackhawk wars when a military presence followed the settlers into the region. The town we stayed at, Salina UT, was evacuated during the wars as the settlers congregated in Manti for a solid defense.

Not known as touristy destination the towns are isolated along the mountains and primarily survive via farming revenue and supporting outdoor adventurers heading into the mountains during summer months. During our drives in the area we spotted many an old log home that looked perfectly habitable and the town centers were utilitarian in design and composure of businesses. The secondary industry supporting the area is work at the local power plants producing power for Southern California.

After about 80 miles of back road driving we etched our way out of the mountains and back into civilization at the southern tip of the greater Salt Lake City area. Since our last visit to this area 1.5 years ago it is obvious that this is one of the few boom areas in our current economy. Communities are stretching further and businesses seemed to be busy. The constant road work that has plagued the areas freeways seems to finally be marking some progress and looked to be close to completion. The resulting highways will be a nice alternative to the current bottlenecks and bumps around the construction sites.

Arriving at Pat and Jerry’s home in Eagle Mountain around 3pm we enjoyed playing catch up and discussing life. The two of them moved to the area to be closer to their grand-children and as it turned out timed their home sale in California and purchase in Utah just right. They seem to be very happy living together and enjoying time with their grand-kids. They do miss their son Jim and talked glowingly about their planned trip back to California in a few months.

After a wonderful dinner of chicken, rice, and ice cream we were back off on the road heading home. Unfortunately the winter storm had picked up strength with heavy rain showers during our drive (no snow though).

The remainder of our stay in Salina was spent indoors as the weather did not let up. On Friday morning we packed up and rolled on towards Colorado.

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