Salt Lake City Notes – A Solo Travel Report

© 2012; 2004 Connecting: Solo Travel Network & Diane Redfern. Information
Note: This article is reproduced here for inspirational value alone and will not normally be updated.
Therefore, all facts, figures, and author's opinions are subject to change as time goes on.

By Diane Redfern

Salt Lake City rises at the edge of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. Just beyond city limits, the vast, dry, Great Basin wilderness spreads far westward to the Sierra Nevada ranges. The "City of Saints" grew from the toil and resolve of a hardy band of Mormon pioneers who had fled religious persecution previously suffered in eastern settlements.Salt Lake City

Within days of the settlers' arrival, plans were drawn with a grand temple marking the heart and soul of a city they could only envision. Work began on the Temple in 1853 and was finally completed in 1892. Today, it sits at the center of a 35-acre complex of 15 buildings dedicated to the past, present, and future of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members and non-members alike flock to the site from around the world. The only building off-limits to non-members is the Temple itself.

If nothing else, it's a serene place for wandering the pathways and gardens by day, or by night when the floodlit Temple glows ethereally. Numerous fresh-faced, smiling young women are ready to welcome and guide, and proselytize too if given the chance. Visitors, if curious to know, can learn how the Church sprang from revelations given to a New York farm boy named Joseph Smith, how differences with traditional Christianity led to persecutions that sent devotees fleeing west and west again.

My curiosity included wondering about the Mormon's infamous exercise of polygamy, and it came as news to me that the practice had been officially abolished way back in 1896. I heard that early church leaders had adopted the policy after receiving revelations that this was the way to care for an excess of husbandless female converts during the first years.

Clean, Safe, Civilized

This is a genuinely hospitable city in every way. Civilized is the first word that comes to mind. It's spacious, attractively laid out, and remarkably green considering its desert location. I never had a twinge of fear walking the streets alone at night. I found public transit to be efficient and handy. Drivers and passengers alike were keen to help a tourist get to know their city. Amusingly, one bus driver even left me in charge while she made a quick pit stop, saying "I know I can trust you." How nice, although I have no idea what I would have done if some problem had occurred.

Within walking distance of Temple Square, tourists have enough variety and entertainment to fill a two week holiday, beginning with a 2 to 4-hour walk-around.

Further Afield

Mountains and Canyons

>> DR

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