At the end of Day 6 of the AP Chemistry Reading, a bunch of us boarded the Hop-On Hop-Off bus for a special after-hours tour of Salt Lake City. Usually the bus tours end around 3:00 p.m., but the company put together a special bus for us. We got to see many of the sites around the city and up into the hills that are not readily accessible for those of us who are on foot.
We started off at the Salt Palace, which also houses the SLC Visitors Center. It was an open-air, double-decker bus and, of course, we all rode up top. We saw the characteristic Salt Palace Towers, the urban art piece, “Point of View” and then went around the corner to the Mormon Temple with its tall spires and gold statue at the top. We proceeded around the local area for awhile looking at the interesting architecture and slowing down a little to see various churches, the capital building, and a couple of interesting houses. I must admit that I was not planning on remembering any of the names, so I just enjoyed the ride and the interesting sights.
We did drive way up into the hills above the city where the University of Utah is located. We passed the football stadium, the basketball stadium where Magic Johnson played Larry Bird (boy, was that along time ago). My favorite part was getting up to about an elevation of 5230 feet above sea level where we could see the Great Salt Lake off in the distance as a tiny horizontal streak of white. Apparently, the whole valley before us used to be covered in water, the Bonneville Lake. All of the trees in the Salt Lake Valley had to be brought in… all that was growing natively was sage brush and grasses. Our bus driver came up on top a few times to tell us about everything. He is a native of the area for several generations and is familiar with the area. Very interesting.
Some of my favorite sights were the deer family and tiny Pony Express station where a rider would switch horses and continue on his way through Utah. Above one of the streets in town is an eagle standing on a beehive. Utah is the “beehive state” because bees are so industrious. The manhole covers are also decorated with beehives. All in all, it was a fun tour.