Horseback riding in Bryce Canyon National Park
Saturday was our last day in Bryce Canyon and Miles, Owen and I went on a horseback trail ride from the top of the canyon (which, you might remember is not a true canyon since is was not carved from a river) down about 1,000 feet into the valley. After recovering from the scare of our horses walking at the edge of the dizzying drop-offs and steep switch-backs, we settled into soaking up the beauty of area – the colors of the rocks, the hoodoos, the trees twisted by lightning, and the long-lived bristlecone pines. While we were on the horseback ride, Rob was also enjoying himself hiking on the Queen’s Garden trail. He hiked in solitude among the unique rock spires that rose up to 100ft high and loved every minute of it.
Provo/Salt Lake City
After Bryce Canyon, we headed to Provo where we had a couple of days to do some schoolwork, run errands, get our tax returns in, and even see a movie (couldn’t beat the $1 tickets!). After having just left an area with newly budding trees, it was nice to see some green grass and trees that already had the beautiful bright green leaves of spring. But, that was short lived as a huge windstorm came through town bringing dust and cold air and SNOW.
The snow held us up a bit from our trip into Salt Lake City but once we got there, we made our way to the Family Search Center. We were able to start setting up our family trees online (with some info gathered from our parents) and the volunteers from the Mormon Church were very willing to help us out in the process. Both the Search Center and the Family History Library, which we visited the next day, are hooked up to many genealogy databases and it was fun to see the census data and other such documents that held the history of our grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives.
The Leonardo in SLC
This museum of creativity is said to be based on Leonardo da Vinci’s love of both art and science. We spent a few hours there moving from one creative station to another. We painted, made stop motion movies, played loud music, tried science experiments, learned about water issues, and just generally got a creative groove on. The museum
also houses a space for outstanding and inspiring pieces of creative work from the local youth community (ES, MS, HS). Visual art, short films, dance pieces (videoed), and written work were all on display in the museum – what a great idea for sparking creativity!
Temple Square is the area that surrounds the Mormon Temple and other church buildings. There were spring flowers everywhere and, on Thursday, we made our way to the nearby Tabernacle building where we were able to listen to an amazing organ recital in the afternoon (this organ has 11,623 pipes!). Later in the evening, there was an open rehearsal of the orchestra and Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Hearing the two together in this building with its amazing acoustics, made you feel that the music was washing over and surrounding you with its beautiful sounds. What a lovely way to end our time in Utah.
Today, we are making our way to Idaho (where we will be lucky enough to meet up with friends again) and then on towards Yellowstone NP.