Salty Utah

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Entering Utah from the west took me through the state’s great salt plains, strangely serene and beautiful, with a touch of the Martian landscape about them to accompany the collection of J.G. Ballard short stories I was reading.

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I’ve heard Austin, Texas, called a white person’s utopia; Salt Lake City arguably takes that to the next level: everything crisp, clean and nice.

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Salt Lake Temple–atop the tallest spire stands a statue of the angel Moroni, who appeared to the first Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints prophet, Joseph Smith, and led him to the Book of Mormon.

The enticing land surrounding Salt Lake City is what drew the first Mormon pioneers to the territory, also seeking to escape religious persecution that started in the late 1840s.

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Inside the State Capitol images of the first pioneers to reach Utah cover the walls.

I couldn’t help but be impressed by the tenacity of those first pioneers, from whom sprung what would become today’s sparkling city and a whole new religion still practiced.

Much of what can be said of Salt Lake City and those behind it applies to any American city, born from the dreams of explorers, idealists, the hopeful, the persecuted, outcasts, misfits, those huddled masses who came to this New World, not that long ago.

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The view of Salt Lake City from the steps of the State Capitol.

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