Joanie gave us a ride to the airport early Saturday and dropped us off at the East Terminal, for our Southwest Airlines flight. It has been a long time since I last flew Southwest. Southwest has an unusual open seating policy that favors people who check in early. The first ones to check in are the first ones that are allowed to board. Needless to say Anne and I were two of the last three people that boarded the aircraft. Now I remember why I haven’t flown Southwest for a while. When I booked the flights, the plan was to bring our camping equipment with us. On Southwest checked bags still fly for free, but since we went ahead and booked cabins for the week, we didn’t bother to bring any camping equipment.
We connected through Phoenix. When we were getting off the first airplane, all the passengers were asked to close their window shades and open up their overhead air vents, to keep the aircraft cooler. The expected high was 109 ° F. I wonder if that qualified as a 3% Hot Day. That’s a day that is hotter than 97% of all the days at all the airports in the world. That is a question that will have to wait until my return to work to answer. We had a three hour layover that stretched into four, but at least the airport had free wifi, which is a rarity among our nation’s airports.
When we landed in Salt Lake City it was in the high nineties, but it was a dry heat, at least that’s what we kept telling ourselves. I talked Anne into letting me rent an SUV. I figure with its higher center of gravity, it would make it a little easier for the buffalo to tip over the vehicle. We quickly drove from the airport to downtown Salt Lake City, but once we arrived downtown we couldn’t find the hotel. We ended up circling around the downtown, occasionally attracting the attention of the Salt Lake City PD, but they eventually got too dizzy or bored and turned away. We finally found the hotel, but at least by driving around town we got the lay of the land.
After checking-in and crashing for a bit we headed out on foot for the Salt Lake City Temple of the Latter Day Saints. It was still hot, but it was a dry heat remember. In truth we would have never ventured out in temperatures like this in Saint Louis. On the way to temple we stopped off at the Beehive Pub for a snack and a beer. We sat at the bar which had a unique feature, a strip of block ice inlaid into the bar. You just set your glass on it to keep your beer cold.
We walked through the temple’s grounds, taking pictures and eventually we were approached by two nice young women with nametags on. One of them was from the Ukraine, the other from Japan, they were both missionaries. We made small-talk and then when they hit us we their pitch we neatly sidestepped it and then beat feet off the temple’s grounds. On the way out of there we bumped into a family, mom, dad and a daughter. The daughter was wearing a Michigan State t-shirt. Anne mentioned that she had gone to MSU. The Dad said that he was the Dean of Computer Science at MSU. I told him I had graduated in Computer Science in 1977. He mentioned two professors, Forsyth and Jain that I remembered and who were still teaching there. It is a small world. We ended up at Squatter’s Pub Brewery for dinner and then back to the hotel for the night.
Salt Lake City = Beer Joints.
Interesting choice to get the true flavor of a place.
And I started a packing list. Anything special we should think about bringing?
[Not camping gear.]
Jay, We bought peanut butter, jam, bread, salami, grapes, apples and carrots yesterday. Some of it should survive. Since you are not going through security, please bring a picnic knife. Sunscreen, hat, insect repellent are already on your list I’m sure. Regarding groceries, I’ll get back to you Wednesday evening, when we’ve seen what West Yellowstone has to offer. My guess is that it would be cheaper for you to buy it in Seattle or Boise than in W. Y. and we could pay you out half.