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2002 Winter Olympic city Jun 13

Salt Lake City got the nod for these games. At the time, it was the largest (most people) area ever to host a Winter Olympics. The whole region is well furnished with resorts and venues for winter sports activities, including eating (oops—dining) in fancy restaurants and driving on well-paved roads among spectacular scenery. Both quite good summer and winter, by the way. And it includes the decidedly un-mountainous Bonneville Salt Flats, and the Salt Lake itself.

Perhaps the most remarkable event in this Olympics was Steven Bradbury’s win in the men’s short track ice skating—because everyone ahead of him tripped over each other. Twice.

SLC is home of the Mormon Tabernacle, and the traditional center of Mormonism, which they call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS for short. They are hospitable and friendly folks, if somewhat conservative in their tastes and lifestyle. They are very hospitable and always willing to talk about their beliefs, without being pushy. Perhaps they are most famous for a certain doctrine of polygamy, which is exaggerated in non-Mormon folklore. In my personal experience, every Mormon married man I know is quite happy to limit the number of wives to one.

Back to SLC as a vacation spot. The city is nestled in a mountain valley, and taking the mountain pass road into town is quite an adventure. The history of the Mormons makes for good story-telling, and their temple, part of which is open to the public, is an excellent place to include on your tour of the region.

I end with a Mormon joke. Only it’s true. A Baptist happened to visit the temple, and struck up a conversation with a young Mormon. They spent some time mutually enjoying a conversation about their respective faiths. As they parted, I happened to overhear a colleague of the Mormon ask about the conversation.  He replied, “Didn’t make a convert, but I gave him something to think about.” Later I asked my Baptist friend what he thought of the conversation. He replied (I kid you not), “Didn’t make a convert, but I gave him something to think about.”

Here’s a shot of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

On that (ahem) note, I’ll duck out. Have you ever been there? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Category: General
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