The wind has calmed down for the moment, but we’re staying indoors. A dark cloud seems to be circling the campground, although there’s been very little rain.
The day started out sunny and hot. We got up early and caught the shuttle bus to the performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. What a performance! The magnificently perfect blend of voices and orchestra caused the hairs to stand up on our arms. When we left the huge auditorium, which seats 2100 people (there were about 5000 there today), we found a guide to give us the tour of the building. It was all very interesting and we now have more insight into the Mormon faith. The tour guides are all volunteers. The shuttle buses are provided free-of-charge by the Church. By the time we’d left there we’d just missed one shuttle bus back to the camp, so we found a restaurant for some lunch while we waited for the next one.
Back at the campground, Jim checked the directions to a store similar to Canadian Tire that he wanted to visit, and then we got on the bike and went in search of it. It looked simple to find, but somehow we took a wrong turn and were heading for the airport. The wind was beginning to rise; the sky was getting black. As we found our way out of the airport compound the rain began to pelt us. It wasn’t a lot of rain; we didn’t get wet. But the wind made it feel like hundreds of needles pounding our skin, and Jim could barely hold the bike up as it drifted across the lanes! Thank goodness we soon rode out of it as we headed back into the city. We decided that it was better to get back to the RV. The cloud was heading our way. We weren’t back long before the high winds and rain reached us in the park. While we sat at the window taking pictures of the trees swaying and blowing outside our window, a warning came on the TV telling us of extremely high winds in the area and expected to hit the city. It recommended that everyone get themselves into a solid building, away from windows. Although the initial wind seemed to have passed, we heeded the warning and walked to the KOA office/store. Along the way we saw many tree branches on the ground. Fortunately they’d fallen into empty sites. We waited in the store, chatting with a fellow camper, until the staff informed us that the warning had been lifted. The winds continue to come and go.
Friday was, figuratively, another day that the sun didn’t shine, or at least not quite as brightly. Jim spent the whole day repairing the bicycle tire and the motorcycle. Those processes included several trips on the one functioning bicycle to a local Firestone and an Auto Supply Store. While he worked on those, I caught up on laundry, and computer work. By supper time Jim figured the only remaining item that he needed to get the bike going was a new battery. So after a homemade pasta dinner, we rode together back to the Auto Supply Store. When we got back it was still very hot and humid. A dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub, under the stars, was a nice way to end the day.
Saturday we had the motorcycle back on the road. We went back to Temple Square, which is a two block area of the downtown that houses the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the many other beautiful buildings associated with it. We saw a sign for the Family Search Centre and went inside hoping to do a bit of our own family research. When a volunteer told us we’d come in one of the back doors, and she led us to the front lobby, once again our breath was taken away! She told us that this magnificent place had once been a grand hotel, but was about to be torn down when the Church bought it and restored it to house some of their services. Our jaws dropped. The lobby is larger than our whole house. It has green and tan coloured marble columns that are three stories high. The floors and stairs are marble; the wood work is intricately carved around the balconies that overlook the lobby from all three floors. There are a few chapels in the building. It’s a popular place for weddings. We saw three being photographed in various areas of the building and the gardens. We did get to the Family Research Centre to do a little research, with the help of several missionaries who offered their help as well as tidbits about the religious beliefs that have led them to compile these records. We politely declined the offer of help with our spiritual guidance.
There is so much interesting history and information at Temple Square that one would have to stay another week to take it all in, but we decided we’d had enough for one day. We walked down to the Gateway Mall. The entrance to it is through the now unused but maintained historical Union Station, which brought memories back to Jim since he’d been through it many years ago when he worked for CPR at Union Station in Toronto. Outside we watched some pogo stick stunts and children of all ages splashing through the dancing water fountains that sprung up from the sidewalk. We had lunch/dinner at the Sky Box Sports Bar & Grill before heading back to the bike and “home”. Once again we ended the night at the pool and hot tub. We could get used to that! I think we’ll skip it tonight though. As I publish this, the storm seems to have passed and the air is much cooler. Might be a good movie night.
Tomorrow we’ll leave for Nevada.