As the real estate market quietened down for Christmas, we decided to take advantage and planned an impromptu trrip to the US. “Planned” may be too strong a word. We only had a day to pack, figure out the route and book accommodations before departing on our nearly 5,000 mile round trip!
Our plan was to try and get ahead of the weather, but it unfortunatley stuck with us for most of the journey south!
Our first day (17th December) took us across the border and down to Helena, Montana, which took us about 7 hours. We stayed there overnight, before continuing down to Salt Lake City the next day (18th December), which took about another 7 hours.
It was quite snowy for both journeys, but surprisingly, we made pretty good progress. In good weather, we thought it might be quite a scenic drive, but we didn’t manage to see much through the blowing snow!
To have a bit of a break from driving, we decided to spend the next day (19th December) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As it was still very cold and snowy here, we had to find some indoor activities. What better way to start than with some shopping, and with those American prices, we were like kids in a candy store!
In the afternoon, we thought we would keep warm in the State Capitol Building. The building was apparently used in the film Legally Blonde 2!
If you follow our blog, you know we like to visit State Capitols (and Canadian Provincial equivalents). They are usually pretty grand buildings to walk around, and this one did not disappoint.
These four statues represent: Arts & Education
Immigration & Settlement
Land & Community
Science & Technology
We also learned a little about Brigham Young, a major character in Utah’s history.
The finger on the statues hand is shiny where it has been touched by so many.
Utah is the “Beehive State” and there are beehives on everything! On the coats of arms, on the flag, even on the police cars!
This case was packed full of “beehive” memorabilia.
Even the doors had beehives on them! The beehive theme relates to the early Utah pioneers who had little to work with and had to use great industry to produce their own supplies.
This was a view out of the window, which we are sure, on a clear day, would look stunning.
We took a brief stroll outside. Unfortunately, because of the weather, we didn’t brave the grounds, but they appear to be very beautiful, well kept and tranquil – perhaps next time!
As we were leaving and the light was dimming, the building was looking lovely, all lit up. It wasn’t quite dark enough for full impact, but it looked quite nice all the same.
As we were driving through the City back to our hotel, we saw some more lovely buildings and decided it would be a very nice city to come back to and take a stroll around, in much better weather!
We also got a glimpse Eagle Gate. Eagle Gate was built in 1859 as the entrance to Brigham Young’s farm. Originally 22ft/6.70m wide, it was several times enlarged to allow for increasing traffic and is now 75ft/23m wide. The gate is crowned by a massive eagle with a wing-span of over 20ft/6m.
On 20th December, we continued our journey south. Next stop, St George, Utah. This was a considerably shorter journey, at just 5 hours, although we still had snow, sleet and rain to contend with! We were hoping to see the sun in St George but instead got incessant, heavy rain, (almost unheard of there, apparently). Throughout our journey to date, we had got caught up in the massive winter storm which caused a state of emergency in California, with us feeling its effects as it made its way inland and across our route!