Meet Me at 900 and 900…
Everything begins in center city at Temple Square. On the north side of the square is North Temple; on the south side is South Temple; on the west side is West Temple; and on the east side is, wait for it, Main Street! Apparently even the natives cried, “enough!”
Trying to explain the street system in Salt Lake City is like listening to the old Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” routine.
One place we were able to find while in Salt Lake City was Ruth's Diner. It wasn't at the corner of 900 & 900, but rather it was way out on the edge of the city on a road named Emigration Canyon Drive.
It is an SLC tradition and the second oldest restaurant in Utah. Ruth died at the age of 94 in 1989, but the food goes on. So does the tradition. The original trolley car Ruth started with in the city is still part of the restaurant.
While it is far from downtown, it is near the University of Utah campus and a business park or two. But it really doesn't need to be close to anything or anyplace because apparently everyone goes to Ruth's.
Look at the cars lined up along the road across from the full parking lot in the photo. There is no other reason for them to be there but lunch at the diner. But who can blame them? This is comfort food at its best. Here are the plates Linda and I had for our "light" lunch.
A Bit of Whimsy
There are no more sugar beet factories in Utah, but there is at least one sugar beet sculpture. By the way, in 2002 the sugar beet competed mightily with the Spanish sweet onion to be named the state vegetable. A compromise was reached, and the beet was granted the title of historic state vegetable.
Further along we ran into a giant ice cream cone standing straight up in the sky. I was sure it was for an ice cream stand, and a cone would have hit the spot because it was a warm day. But when I looked around there was no ice cream stand to be found which meant no ice cream for me.
It seems the giant cone is a remnant of a local creamery called Snelgrove's. Now it is in front of the Dreyer's warehouse.
Here's an odd combination - religious goods and coffee grotto. If you need a bit of caffeine with your spiritual reflection, Magdalene's is the perfect place for you. Oh, you can also get your computer fixed at Magdalene's according to a sign on the door. Does it get much better than this?
I am sure there are lots more things I could have found, but these are what crossed our path during our time in the city.
The Golden Spike
To my mind, the final connection of rail from the Atlantic to the Pacific is one of the most important events in our country's history. Travel from one side of the country to the other suddenly went from months by wagon to days by rail coach. As a country, we suddenly became a single entity. I don't think any moon walk accomplished that.
Promontory Summit is not exactly on the beaten path. Truth be told, you really have to want to visit the site (Golden Spike National Park) as you just are not going to accidentally run across it. But it was well worth the effort with the beautiful trains and local history buffs playing the various original participants.
What fascinated Linda and me is that there was a telegraph operator at the actual event who sent the news of the event as it happened - in 1869! When the final spike was placed, the letters D O N E were telegraphed directly to the White House.
Along with the ever-popular free-ranging bison, there were purported to be bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and chukar, a game bird originally from Pakistan. Of course, the bison were everywhere, but the promised sheep, pronghorn and chukar were nowhere to be seen, even though I was assured they were plentiful. I began thinking I was back in Yellowstone and the Tetons.
Here a few photos of other things on the island.
Finally a Pronghorn!
Now the pronghorn is fast - the fastest mammal in The Americas and second only to the cheetah in the world. So you know I had to use my stealth to get close. Only I didn't have to. The pronghorn could not have cared less about me. I was careful; I would move a little, take some snaps, move a little more. Finally I was close enough for some great photos without totally invading his space. He still just totally ignored me. I probably could have walked up and petted him.