Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Frontier Pies, Utah

Frontier Pies- Utah

July 24, 2002

Yesterday I had a full day. I went into town fairly early. The area around Temple Square and Main Street actually looked like a 'downtown.' I went to the Family History Library first and did about 3 hours of research. About 12 o'clock I went and spent 2 hours in a fantastic bookstore. I bought some hardcovers to be shipped home. Most expenses here are reasonable. They had an incredible amount of books!

Afterwards I went to this divey Irish pub for lunch. The waitress gave me a gigantic Guinness for 3.50, but I had to be 'sponsored' by a local because I'm not a 'member.' I guess even in restaurants you have to be a registered 'member' to consume alcohol. Weird place.

Today is 'Pioneer Day,' so it's a good thing I checked the internet regarding library hours. I couldn't have spent the whole day in the library today. I guess thousands of people come to watch this parade in SLC. It commemorates the first white settlers to Utah. One feature of the parade is a giant float of a chuckwagon with oxen.

I researched last night until about 8:30. It was still light outside-- I got a ride back to the motel, then once again found myself dining at Frontier Pies. I don't know how much more I can take of blaring, 'lost love' country western songs, empty dining rooms with a few elderly tourists, and perky waitresses that check on me every 5 minutes: "How's your pie and soup?" Anyway, I think they were thrilled with my 2 dollars tips!

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Off to SLC

In 2002 I went to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit the Family History Library. The Mormons undoubtedly have the greatest collection of genealogy records in the country. Despite my fear of being found out, hog-tied, and possibly converted, I spent 3 days in SLC researching my family history. I was meeting a friend later then going on to Wyoming.

Well here I am in Salt Lake City, Utah-- for my first night. I was diverted this morning, and instead of going to Chicago I went through Denver. It was quicker. I got here sooner so I did get to do a fair bit of research at the FHL (FamilyHistory Library). What is SLC like? Well, it has little character to speak of. The part I'm in now is downright ugly. The motel I'm staying in is good for the expense, but it's on an ugly stretch of highway with concrete constructions and fast food joints. Everything herelooks like it was built yesterday, with few exceptions. The people-- the people are friendly and helpful. Even though some areas of the city look dangerous, with weird creepy men walking around, nobody bothers you. As far as unusual sightings go, I've had my first glimpse of Navajo people, and cowboys! Real cowboys! I guess there's a rodeo nearby this weekend.

The Mormons in the library are older, white, pleasant looking people. No one has attempted recruit me yet.

I would not hesitate to hightail it out of SLC tomorrow if it were not for the library. It seems there are some fantastic canyons to see around here. The mountains surrounding the city--well, they're unusual looking to me. They are stripped bare with little vegetation and sandy on the top. Still, it is refreshingly different from New England and great to see. This is the first time I really feel like I'm in "the West." I saw the Rockies today when flying from Denver to SLC. Spectacular. The Salt Lake is a strange sight! It looks outer-worldly and somewhat toxic. It is not blue, but brown in places. I'm only 300 miles or so from the Grand Canyon!