Driving further North to Yellowstone is becoming a necessity – the park closes on 1st of October. But for some reason I needed to stop in Salt Lake City. It was like a calling. I thought it would be so amazing and really worth spending a whole day there. And after so much luck with the car, I thought it’s about time to fix that leaking gas tank. So the plan was to drive till the tank is close to empty and then pull over to seal that tank with a bit of silicone. Who knew there is no gas station in the next 150miles!? The car claimed to have enough gas to reach a small village we saw on the GPS, but the more we drove, the car’s estimated distance would shorten even more, leaving us with the clear option of pulling over in the first safe place. We end up in a rest area with 5 miles estimated distance till empty, and 24miles away from the nearest gas pump. I couldn’t patch the tank, but while I was working under the car, this man comes to ask if we need any help. I explain the situation, and thank him for asking. We already decided to spend the night there and look for gas the next morning (and Lucy was already cooking).

A second guy who overheard the conversation, came over to offer us a ride to the next city for gas, but at that late time I figured it would be hard to find a ride back. Thanked him as well, and went on with our dinner – didn’t want to trouble anyone for that day, we were safe. We later pulled over to the distant and quiet end of the rest area to watch a movie and spend the night. Half way through the movie, this car pulls over close to us and a man approaches – the man who offered us the ride returned with a new 5gal canister full of gas, and left as soon as he dropped it off by our car. I rushed out (half-naked), thanking him, and offering to pay, but he just waved at us and drove away. At this point we’re both stunned and can’t think of much other than a million thanks to that person we don’t even know his name. His did was really appreciated and Lucy couldn’t help shedding a few tears (of joy I presume). We were both deeply touched and thought of the reasons we were so lucky – maybe because we tried to help some others in a similar situation few hours ago, and a day before… who knows, but it was a good moment to reflect on the kindness in the world.

We did a little research on Salt Lake City before going there (thanks to McDonalds for the free wifi), and even though there was not much to see, the city had potential. We arrived there late on Saturday, and since we couldn’t find a host, we parked in the nearest Walmart. Next day we spent trying to discover the hidden treasures of the city: we read it has almost 150 parks in its administration.

We started with the Temple Square. Woa! Wait! Temples? It is a whole block, maybe even two, of buildings dedicated to the Mormon (religion?!). And since it’s Sunday, the whole place is crawling with nicely dressed people, welcoming us with warm greetings like “hello sister” / “hello brother” and trying to find out everything about us. We’re definitely not blending in, regardless of the numerous hosts, each having a badge with the flag of their country next to their name. Walking around is easy, but watching real-sized scenes from the bible next to some interactive screens with short biblical stories explaining verses, and trying to hold the laughter inside – quite a challenge. I am not religious, as you already know, and I am surprised they didn’t kick me out with sticks or burn me with some “divine” light. And it’s not all temples and praying rooms – they also have a huge office building, like any respectful religious cult, and a few conference buildings. We refrain from jumping to conclusions or judging their religion, as everyone can believe in whatever they want (like a bowl of spaghetti and a couple of meatballs), but I can see most people here are looking far from poor, which sort of contrasts with their goal of giving all the money to the poor, helping people without jobs and donating food every month from their fasting rituals.

The capitol building and a walk along the city creek were a good breath of fresh air. We allowed all that religious cover-smell to sip out through our pores while climbing the capitol hill. A nice walk, but still a city. So let’s head over to the lake – so salty and yet invisible from the flat side of the city. We tried to find our way using the GPS, but we ended up on some farms, probably close to the lake, with no way through. Ok, I get it, no scenic road, but… where do you claim to have those paid beaches?! We gave up and continued to Idaho.

Good bye unwelcoming city of mormons! Potato land, here we come!

journey map