Idaho Day Four: Idaho Falls To Salt Lake City, On The Road Again
After experiencing the total solar eclipse on Monday , I slept well in my budget hotel in Idaho Falls, falling asleep thinking of plans to view the next total eclipse which will be closer to my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2024.
I awoke early , packed, but before heading to Salt Lake City, I decided to drive to downtown Idaho Falls to take a closer look at the famous falls.
I parked at the local library and walked to the river walk along the Snake River.
The sun had not yet risen and it was chilly, in the low 50’s considering it was close to 90 degrees the afternoon the day before. The falls were visible from the start of the river walk.
Even though it was early, around 7 a.m the river walk’s paths were busy with walkers, bikers and runners enjoying the beautiful view and unique grass sculptures. There were a number of hotels in the area and I hope to return to this city someday and stay at one of them, within sight and sound of the falls.
The sun rose as I was walking across the Snake river from the LDS Mormon Temple.
Again I wish I had more time to explore and enjoy the city but I had to move on, it was a 3 1/2 hour ride to Salt Lake City and I hoped to visit some sights along the way. So I returned to my hotel, checked out and was on the road again. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. Morning walk photographs.
I was soon heading south on Interstate 15 and found little traffic on the highway. I enjoyed the passing scenery, many buttes, hills and ridges of the high desert.
I wanted to get to Salt Lake City early so I would have time to explore the city but I soon made my first detour. I came upon the Shoshone Bannock Casino and saw a sign for a museum. I love museums and I am especially interested in all Native American history and culture.
Unfortunately, Google maps misdirected me and I drove a few miles out of my way but enjoyed a nice conversation with a member of the local tribe and got to see some of the old building associated with the old fort that was located here.
I eventually found the museum and spent about a half hour learning about these two Native American tribes and their peaceful co-existence and love of the land they lived on.
And also about the sad history of how they were mistreated by the new “immigrants” and how many of the treaties made with them were broken. And, as I have said so many times I wish I had more time to spend in this museum. Here is a link to some more photographs from my visit to the museum. Shoshone-Bannock Museum Photographs
I was back on the highway and made good time until I got into Utah. Road construction slowed me down to almost a dead stop and it took me almost an hour to travel 15 miles.
But this is what travel is about, unexpected delays, sights and situations. Once I was out of the construction I again made good time but was I late in arriving at my next planned stop, Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake.
I had wanted to visit this famous lake since I first saw a photograph of people floating in it’s salty waters in elementary school. I had come close twice before, once on a cross country trip I took after I graduated from law school. I tried to make it to California but I ran out of money in Jackson Hole Wyoming and had to head home.
I also was planning to visit the lake on another trip across country, in 2011, but torrential rains caused me to change my plans. So I was very excited to finally see this beautiful lake surrounded by mountains .
I would have loved to have had the time to take a swim in the lake , but, wanting to get to Salt lake City, I decided to visit the famous Garr Ranch and the bison that roam this section of the island.
The scenery on the island was spectacular. I would love to return and hike some of the many trails that crisscross the island. Here is a link to some more photographs on Antelope Island. Antelope Island Photographs
I spent about an hour on the island when I realized my gas tank was almost empty. I mean empty. There are no gas stations on the island. I just made it to the first gas station after I left the island before I ran out of gas . I was on the road , finding heavy traffic again, and watched some rain clouds move in from the south as I neared Salt Lake City. Here is a link to some more photographs from my drive to Salt Lake City. Drive from Idaho Falls photographs
It was now late afternoon, later then I wanted to arrive, and I decided to first check into my hotel near the airport. I was debating with myself whether I wanted to drive into the downtown traffic to do some sightseeing or just call it a day since I had a very early flight the next morning. While checking in, the girl at the front desk informed me there was a train from the airport to the downtown. After getting settled in my room I drove to the airport, returned my car, and was soon on the green line train to downtown Salt lake City.
It was now raining outside, as our train made the 15 minute ride to Temple Square, making about five stops along the way.
Fortunately, the rain had stopped as I departed the train and I soon found my way to the famous LDS Mormon Temple.
And the even more famous Tabernacle Building.
I have enjoyed so much wonderful music performed by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and it was truly a joy to sit in this building.
I walked around the beautiful grounds of Temple Square and was impressed by the many beautiful displays of flowers which were planted everywhere.
The grounds were crowded with visiting Mormons, tourists and even local folks, like this couple who found the lake and surrounding gardens as a good place for wedding photographs.
It was getting late, and starting to rain again and I decided to eat in one of the few restaurants on the Temple Square grounds and was pleased to have chosen the Roof Restaurant and it’s spectacular views of the Temple.
And the food, served buffet style was very good too. I ate way too much, and I think I am still walking off the many delicious desserts I sampled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my dinner at the Roof Restaurant. Roof Restaurant photographs.
After dinner, I made my way back to the train stop in a light rain, and after a short ride to the airport, I was picked up and returned to my hotel. I finished packing and was soon asleep since I had an early flight.
I was up early the next morning, at the airport and soon, heading home. I hope to see, at least one more during ,my lifetime , one of the most amazing natural phenomena that occurs on our planet, a total eclipse of the sun. It is amazing. Here is a link to some more photographs from my brief visit to downtown Salt lake City. Temple Square photographs.
“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.”
― Amit Ray,