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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 3:58 PM
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A Texan's Trip To Salt Lake City

A Trip To Salt Lake City by LoneStarMike

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Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
I had a Southwest Airlines award ticket expiring March 27, 2008, so I decided to take a trip to Salt Lake City - a place I've been many times - to visit friends. I left Austin March 12, 2008, stopped in El Paso, and again in Albuquerque, where I had a scheduled two and a half hour layover. That seemed like plenty of time to exit security for a smoke break, but apparently you can't even smoke outside any more. (Note red sign) Aaagh!



The security guard lady was almost apologetic about it, but she did tell me I could get a halfway decent shot of the Albuquerque skyline from the parking garage, so as long as I was there...



Went back into the terminal and did some shopping, then went back through security to catch my 4:00 pm departure to Salt Lake City. I was excited because the flight was due to arrive SLC at 5:35 pm, and I knew to sit on the right hand side of the plane for a view of downtown. With the late afternoon sun to my left and downtown to my right, I was hoping to get some good shots. But when I got to the gate - I see this:



The nice folks at Southwest said there was a "mechanical issue" with the SLC flight - coming from Houston. I heard later that Southwest took 40-some-odd planes out of service that day for 90-minute inspections for fuselage cracks, which caused some cancellations and delays, so that's probably what happened. Just my luck.

So after more shopping, I got something to eat and hung out at the Observation Deck until departure time.



The flight finally departed around 7:00 pm, and by the time we reached Salt Lake City, it was dark, so no aerial skyline photos. Welcome to Salt Lake City - three hours late.



Thank God Salt Lake City International has smoking lounges in the concourses. I stopped at one on the way to baggage claim, then collected my luggage and proceeded outside where one of my friends - and host for the week - picked me up.

The next day (Thursday March 13, 2008) we went to SouthTowne Mall and on the way, we passed what my friend said was a soccer stadium under construction. Of course, I made my friend make a detour so I could get a couple of shots.





BTW, at SouthTowne Mall, there's a kiosk on the first floor near Macy's that sells 400-thread count sheet sets for $20.00! Luxurious, yet cheap. I got one.

That night, we ate at the Rio Grande Cafe - a Mexican food place next to the old Rio Grande Station. It was dreary and overcast, but I took a couple of photos.





The next day (Friday March 14, 2008) my other friend joined us, and after a stop at the Tanger Center Outlet Mall, we headed to Park City.









The weather was crazy that day. One minute it would be cold, but sunny, then it would get partly cloudy, then overcast and start snowing (heavily) all in the space of about 15 minutes. Then it would start clearing up and getting sunny again. Lather Rinse & Repeat.

We ducked into a shop for some coffee so we could relax and warm up.



From there, we went back to the car and drove to This is the Place Park.



This development was near there.



From there, we took a scenic drive in the mountains.



Then we headed back downtown...






Our next stop downtown was the main branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library. Opened to the public on February 8, 2003, it just turned five years old last month. Architecturally, I think it's kick-ass and puts the Austin Public Library to shame. Here is the plaza:



And the atrium:





There's a rooftop terrace on the 5th floor that I wanted to check out, but by the time we got there, it was 5:45 pm and they had just closed it as the library closed at 6:00 pm. So we left and went past the City/County Building -



We then drove through downtown -



and up State Street



then made our way to a scenic overlook. On the way to the overlook, I hung out the car window and captured a couple of shots of the skyline





I'd been to the overlook about 8 years ago, but it was even more breathtaking this time around







From the overlook, we made our way back to the State Capitol -



and this was one of the views near there.



Saturday March 15, 2008 - Yikes! I somehow caught a stomach virus, so I was pretty much out of commission.

Sunday March 16, 2008 - I was still feeling queasy and dehydrated, but managed to make it to the birthday party for one of my friends' sons.

Monday March 16, 2008 - After lots of Pepto Bismol and Gatorade, I was determined to make the most of my last full day in Salt Lake City.

First stop was back at the Public Library downtown. I finally made it up to the rooftop terrace, where I took these photos:











Next, I drug my friend to the LDS Church Office Building...



...because I wanted to check out the observation deck on the 26th floor. Singles and small groups are accompanied by a tour guide - and they're very friendly and point out different buildings and answer questions. And yes, the views are spectacular.













After we finished up there, we drove over to the LDS Conference Center. They have a rooftop terrace, also, but you have to take the tour to get up there, so we did.



Our tour guide told us that when they were constructing the Conference Center, they dug down so deep they struck a well. It's now a fountain in the lobby and provides some of the water used by the center. Now that's what I call an environmentally friendly building.



We finally made it up to the rooftop terrace, where I took these photos:



















After the tour, we decided to drive over to the State Capitol. Last time I was in Salt Lake City, it was undergoing extensive renovations inside and out and was pretty much surrounded by scaffolding. The renovations have been completed since then and my friend and I wanted to check out the interior.



We took the 2:00 pm tour (with a group of about 20 noisy high-schoolers)

Governor's Office:



Capitol Rotunda - Our tour guide mentioned that the painting of the man in front of the covered wagon was Joseph Smith, and that obviously, after traveling 1300 miles, he was not wearing a clean shirt and tie. In fact, he was so sick he couldn't even get out of the wagon, so they turned it sideways, he looked out and said "this is the place." The painting was a "cleaned up" depiction of the event.



Another interior view of the Capitol. The tour guide said this area is now sometimes rented out for high school dances, weddings, and brides have their portraits taken on the staircase.



These two views were from the Capitol steps:





My friend was pretty worn out by this time, so we went to Port of Call - for some margaritas - and then we headed back through downtown on the way home for a power nap.









My other friend got off work and came and picked us up and we went back downtown for the last time to The Gateway - a mixed-use complex - to have a bite to eat. I can't remember the name of the place we ate, but it was on the street level and was an upscale Fish & Seafood restaurant.



After dinner, we strolled around and I took more photos:

















The old Union Station is part of The Gateway



View from Union Station



Next, we drove back up to the State Capitol, where I took this picture:



And one of downtown:



We stopped back at the LDS Conference Center on the way to I-15, and I took the last 5 pictures of the the night.









Tuesday March 18, 2006 - At the ungodly hour of 5:30 am, I say goodbye to my new "girlfriend"



...and then head to the airport. It's time to say goodbye to Salt Lake City.



As always, I was impressed with Salt Lake City and enjoyed my visit. Getting to see snow was a treat for a Texan like me (glad I don't have to shovel it, though.) Most everyone I met was hospitable, friendly, proud of (and knowledgeable about) their city and offered plenty of suggestions of places to go. I've been visiting Salt Lake City off and on since 1990 - ever since my friends moved there. When you only visit every couple of years or so, you really notice the changes since your last visit, and I have seen plenty over the past 18 years. I can't wait to return (hopefully in the spring or summer next time, when all the flowers are in bloom) and see the progress that has been made.

Last edited by delts145; Mar 21, 2008 at 1:40 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 6:08 PM
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Great pix, I'd love to see those same shots in spring/summer. SLC is a nice town. The conference center is pretty awesome, did you get inside? Doesnt it seat 20,000+, I think I heard its the largest indoor venue in the US that is non sports related.
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 6:41 PM
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Great SLC thread. Thanks.
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 6:57 PM
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Thanks for the great pics of Salt Lake City Mike. I'm anxious to see your shots of the area in the Spring. Salt Lake's urban canyons are 'drop dead beautiful' in the Spring through Fall. Have your friends take you up American Fork Canyon to Silver Lake Flats, if you get a chance.

American Fork Canyon

Eric Godfrey
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 7:47 PM
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Yum i wanna move to SLC
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed them and I was glad to share.

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Originally Posted by SLO View Post
The conference center is pretty awesome, did you get inside? Doesnt it seat 20,000+
Yes, we went inside both on the main level and the balcony. Our tour guide said it seats 21,000 people. Even then she said if all 13 million members of the Church tried to attend a conference at the same time, there would be 620 people in every seat. I thought that was some interesting trivia.

I had wanted to tour the Conference Center and rooftop terrace when I was there in August of 2006, but when we got up to the door where the tours started everyone else was dressed in their Sunday best, while my friend and I were in ratty old cut-offs and tank tops. We decided to do that tour another time when we were were a little better dressed. I'm glad to have finally gotten to see it this trip.

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Originally Posted by delts145 View Post
Have your friends take you up American Fork Canyon to Silver Lake Flats, if you get a chance.
I'll have to visit there next time. The one nice thing about my SLC friends is that they take me pretty much where ever I tell them to. Over the past 18 years I have been to the Great Salt Lake, Mount Timpanogos, Liberty Park, Pioneer Park, ridden the Heber Creeper, visited Bridal Veil Falls before the avalanche wiped it out, camped in Little Cottonwood Canyon, etc.

Salt Lake City is one of the few places I don't mind visiting over and over again because I always get to see something new.
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2008, 11:48 PM
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Great pics, Mike. I'd love to visit Salt Lake City too. I have family near there. The Capitol is quite beautiful. The main hall there sort of reminds me of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 2:16 AM
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i was just there for the Novell conference and i'll agree the library was very impressive. the rest of the city's modern architecture is pretty ho-hum, IMO.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 3:20 AM
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Nice job!
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 4:03 AM
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Great tour! Thanks!
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 4:36 AM
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Excellent tour! I've also enjoyed my visits to SLC over the years. Like you said, everyone has been very friendly and helpful with questions about the history, various buildings, etc. And, of course, the natural beauty of the surroundings is breathtaking.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 6:09 AM
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Definitely looks nice, especially with the snow covered mountains in the background of many of the shots.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 6:47 AM
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Stunning setting! The city is growing nicely too.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 7:19 AM
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Salt Lake is a place I need to check out one day. Beautiful place!
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 2:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropdeaded209 View Post
i was just there for the Novell conference and i'll agree the library was very impressive. the rest of the city's modern architecture is pretty ho-hum, IMO.
True dropdeaded209, While Downtown Salt Lake has more than it's fair share of historical jewels. The newer buildings, while clean and handsome are not particularly innovative. However, The Salt Palace, Delta Center and LDS Conference Centers are quite impressive compared to many comtemporary counterparts. As downtown continues it's boom, I think many new and exciting projects will emerge. There are quite a few condo projects under construction downtown now, which are quite forward, such as the Metro.

Last edited by delts145; Jun 29, 2016 at 12:11 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 3:10 PM
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Wonderful tour and great photos!
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 3:24 PM
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Fabulous work! Very impressive city!
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2008, 5:03 PM
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Yes thank you for the photo tour Mike, it is my hometown but I am currently away at graduate school and while I was there is December it's nice to see even more recent pictures.

Thank you everyone else that has made such nice remarks about Salt Lake City. I am running for Mayor in 2019 and you are all invited to my swearing in ceremony.
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2008, 2:03 AM
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Wow, great photo tour.

Thats one of the most extensive I've seen of SLC on this forum.
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Thanks LoneStarMike for sending the extra pics of the Capitol interior. They made for a great update on the new renovation, over on the Compilations Thread. Man, I can't wait for you to return again and take some more photos in the Spring!
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