Sunday, June 24: Salt Lake City
This morning, we carried our checked bags out and took them on a taxi back to the airport. We had reserved a mid-sized SUV, and we wanted to check that they would all fit. It looks like they would (although we had to estimate the space needed for the carry-on bags).
Then we split up. Amy wanted to spend the day wandering around temple square (about a mile away from the hotel). Mike wanted to visit the Snowbird ski area. So I took Mike in the SUV up into the mountains.
We got the daily pass for “everything”, then had a slice of pizza each for lunch (it was now almost noon). We then took the tram to the top. Strangely enough the tram didn’t bother me at all. OTOH, there isn’t much at the top. At 11,000 feet, going up was definitely harder than going down.
Mike felt like doing some hiking, so we started hiking down. It was about 20 min to the top of Peruvian Gulf. It was about 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours more to the bottom. So we decided (against my better judgment) to take the Peruvian Gulf chair lift down. As expected, I was *not* a happy camper. The chair was high, and several sections were very steep. I had my right arm draped over the back of the chair, and my left hand holding my backpack (on the seat next to me). I was holding so hard and so constantly, when I got to the bottom, I felt like I had strained my right shoulder.
We hiked up (which was a pain even though it was only 8,000 feet) and road the alpine slide down. On the next run we rode a small chair lift to the top, because it was lower and less steep. I was still not a happy camper.
To do some calmer things, we took a turn each on the mechanical bull, then did some bungy trampolining (which was more tiring than I expected).
Michael had taken by this time several rides on this “Mountain Flyer” next to the alpine slide. One sat in a two person seat (strapped in), and then you pulled backwards up this cable at a reasonable speed. When you got to the top, the motor disengaged and you came back down the cable by gravity.
At the end of the day, I decided to face my fears and ride it with Mike (as he wanted me to). There was a hand grip on the outside of the seat, but when I got onto the seat I found that there was nothing for my left hand to hold on to. I gave up and bailed, so Michael road again alone.
Overall, it was a day of complete stress for me. I was hoping that my fear of heights had mellowed over the years, but apparently not. If anything, it had gotten worse.
The weather up in the mountains wasn’t bad. It was probably high 80’s to low 90’s, cooler at the summit. I sometimes wore a long-sleeved shirt, but mostly my tee shirt.
We drove back to SLC around 4:30 to 5. The temperature steadily climbed as we descended, and in the city itself it was 101 to 102.
We met up with Amy at Temple Square, walked around a bit, then drove to an Olive Garden for dinner. We were all pretty dehydrated, Amy more than Mike and I. I had been trying to stay hydrated all day long.
Unfortunately, it is only the first day and already my fingers are starting to crack painfully due to dryness. This doesn’t bode well for a month or two in the dessert.
Tomorrow we plan to pack up, buy supplies, and head off to the Great Basin. I think we are planning to tent there. That should be interesting...