Waking up in a tent brings back good memories and smelling like smoked meat even more! The campfire gave food and the smoke purified us from other not so pleasant smells. After a quick breakfast, we sit a moment in the shadow for our writing and photo updating, email check and “like it” Facebook clicking. KOA’s campgrounds have Wi-Fi so this is our moment…where we transform 5 minutes into 3 hours of working. So after all, we start the journey at midday, our long way till the capital of Utah and its 180.000habitants. Snuggled up against the soaring peaks of the Wasatch Mountains, Salt Lake City is a small town with just enough edge to satisfy city slickers. It is also the Mormon equivalent of Vatican City, luckily a redeveloped downtown and local food scene balance out the city charming anachronisms. Temple square is like “Piazza San Pietro” a 10-acre square filled with LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) buildings, flower gardens and fountains.
Disarmingly nice LDS members “sister” and “brother” volunteers answer any question but Giorgia, wisely did not allowed me to sit down and have a nice chat with them…she is always sooo wright! Lording over the square, the 210ft-tall Salt Lake Temple is at its most ethereal whet lit up at night!
On the top of the tallest tower/spire stands a statue of the angel Moroni, who appeared to first LDS prophet, Joseph Smith, and let him the Book of Mormon. Mormons…just for the name itself…who needs to know more…Wikipedia can help a bit!
Later on the evening we walk through City Creek, a 20-acre pedestrian LDS-funded in different leaves divided plaza with nice shops, fountains and of course a food court. Where again sushi was the most cheap and healthy choice.(although the American way of sushi is…you guessed wright: fried rolls!!!)
We loved KOA’s kamping grounds and find one in this city to, a nice oasis of green just outside the city guaranties our night rest.
Driving from the capital, direction the south border of Utah was definitely interesting, and not only because we broke our record and drove an 8 strokes highway (just in one direction) but more because with every mile driven to the different Canyon National Parks, the temperature raised a degree. Hot and dry endless highways seem to be our destination. We stop to get some ice for our cool box and find ourselves in the most amazing/disturbing place ever… a gasoline station with a small zoo as attraction in the middle of this steaming heat!!! This is just too crazy!
So while dad fills up the car and mum stuffs herself with some ‘blueberry filled, chocolate topped doughnut’, the kids can happily watch a zebra, scary an emoe and look how an African buffalo shares his way to small habit with two donkeys. They can even pet some underfeed young goats searching the moving shade of the enormous American flag. When is humanity going to realize that some things are just not wright?!?
Later on the day we arrive at Panguitch , our basecamp to visit Bryce Canyon. We put our tent down, make a fire for some food and fall asleep under a star filled sky.