Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter in Salt Lake City soaking, climbing, enjoying

Katie climbing the small mountain south of Lava Hot Springs 
Kicking back in the Lava Hot Springs

Another late post.
Spent Easter in Salt Lake City via the Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.
We were visiting Katie's son, Chip in Salt Lake City.
I hadn't been there in about 20 years, and my, how surprised I was with the changes.
The city has transformed itself in that time from a sleepy western trade center into a powerful, diverse and interesting metropolis.
It was spring break for us, a full week to play, and we did!
We soaked at the Lava Hot Springs and stayed at the historic Riverside Inn.  While there, we climbed up a small mountain south of town, Lava Peak and enjoyed beautiful views of snow-capped peaks.
In Salt Lake we stayed at the University of Utah's Guest House Hotel and saw all the marvelous growth on that beautiful campus, while taking the opportunity to climb a high ridgeline behind the school to a small peak in the Wasatch Front.
We also toured downtown with a stop at the Mormon Temple grounds where we found brides-aplenty, with 95 marriages being sealed that Easter Saturday in the temple.  We were treated to a playing of the pipe organ, the second largest in the world, in the concert hall where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs. The size of this massive wooden antiquity is mind-blowing, not to mention its high-quality sound.
We treated ourselves to a performance of the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, a modern dance troupe, which did a centenary retrospective on the choreographer Alwin Nikolais.  The best way I can describe the performance is colorful lights, percussive beats and something like the Michael Smuin Company from San Francisco that has visited Great Falls twice.
We hit the Salt Lake Tulip Festival, and did brunch in a southern suburb.
The highlight of my trip was the Madeleine Cathedral, the Catholic Cathedral downtown, for Easter Mass, sung in Latin and English by a "boy's" choir that really consisted of boys and girls. The music was a throw-back to my youth of the Latin mass.  The Cathedral is limestone Romanesque on the outside and Gothic on the inside with some of the most incredible murals and stained glass I've ever seen. While not as large as the Mormon pipe organ, the Madeleine pipe organ is sizable and rich in sound.
On the way home we got off the interstate in Dillon and drove backroads to Helena through Whitehall and Boulder.
Great spring trip!

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