Monday, June 14, 2010

Salt Lake City

Mormon dug out
After all those National Parks I was really looking forward to some city experience again - and SLC did not dissappoint me. It had been a good idea to cycle on Hwy 89, the Mormon Pioneer Highway. First of all it was pretty flat and second there were a lot of nice little museums and historical markers on the way.
I was deliberating whether to cycle into SLC or take public transport from Provo, but after a horrifying road experience (due to construction work the road had been narrowed down to just 2 small lanes with no shoulder but lots of truck traffic) short of Provo I decided to take a bus.
Good decision! The bus driver turned out to be a cyclist as well (he had 4 bicycles) and talked to me the whole way (one hour). I learnt everything about healthy nutrition (the guy seemed to live on amaranth and cous-cous only) and open cell foam (new light weight fabric). I still wonder how he would survive on a 5 months long hike without eating any sugar (bad for you) and only amaranth or other grains, but he was a very dedicated health nut. On top of all that a passenger took pity on me and give me a free can opener! (My little pocket knife does not have one and due to weight reasons I had left my big army knife at home). Seems that I always make friends on American public transportation.
My bike survived the transport on the front bike rack of the bus although I could hardly watch it swaying back and forth there. The bus driver assured me that no bike has ever fallen off though!

Mormon church
I finally made it into SLC to meet my first warmshowers hosts! Unfortunately, they lived 3 miles uphill. Fortunately, they lived only 1 km away from REI and this is were I spent my first day in SLC, replacing all the old hiking stuff ripped and torn on the AZT. Well, and I made a long stop at a book store to look at travel guides and make plans for the next months. I stayed with them for 2 nights and thoroughly enjoyed it. They were cyclists as well and one of their sons was even a bike mechanic (but luckily I did not have to resort to his help....)
But I still had not seen anything of downtown SLC! But then I moved to a couchsufing host and started my Mormon experience!

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