The Salt Lake City Adventure: In the Thick of It

“WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!?!?!?!??!”

Never in my life would I have thought I’d see a small plague roll across a beach in biblical style.

But what would one expect from a beach on the Great Salt Lake? Mormons, flies, and shrimp…oh my!

Shrimp? Yes…shrimp. That was pretty weird too.

For the short amount of time I actually spent in Salt Lake City, Utah, I feel I got a good salty taste for what to expect in this town: surrealism. Just like the front range of Colorado, SLC and its suburbs stretch out along the Wasatch Range like the long arms of Jesus. Oddly, the Mormons are no longer the majority of the populous and it actually is quite LGBT friendly. Not only is the city beautiful due to the amazing architecture that graces its streets but also the stunning geography of mountains and lake. Twin Peaks being the highest point you can see from the city at 11,330 feet above sea level and standing at about 4, 210 feet above sea level on the shore of Great Salt Lake, one can see why the Mormons made this place home. Or maybe it was the quaint smell of rotten eggs that did it…

Either way, two establishments¬†made my taste buds jump in delight. The Red Iguana at 736 West North Temple changed my mind about Mexican food. I’ve never been a big lover of it but a mole that knocks my socks off is rare to find. When I scanned the menu, it was delightful to see that the descriptions actually made the food jump out at you. Especially the Classics and Signature Mole sections of the menu. Don’t let the building fool you. Though it looks a bit dingy, the 30-40 minute wait for a table is a sign that the food is amazing. There’s no bar to sit at which means there’s no boozing while you wait. Sad panda…

Find salvation here!

Find salvation here!

Poplar Street Pub was a serendipitous¬†savior from a chain brewery. I wasn’t quite sure what I was walking into but at the time I was happy it wasn’t yuppieville like the brewery next door. My best description: a non-dive dive bar. Located at¬†242 South 200 West, it’s set back from the street a little bit. Upon walking into the door, they ask for your ID and scan it. The familiar interior darkness of a dive bar is only offset by tvs and the oddly clean look of everything. I couldn’t help but giggle internally when I saw Coors Light on tap but was promptly giddy to see a cooler full of good beer. Especially spying the brewery that I had missed going to that day: Epic Brewing Company. Upon finding the patio which is situated towards the back, my travel companion and I decide on sharing a half plate of nachos(quite large) and I settle on the Wit Beer. Maybe it was the adventure and excitement earlier in the day that made this beer so damn good but I think it’s actually just a really good wit beer. That being said, I think the nachos are the best I’ve ever had in my life. Every plate that came out on the patio smelled amazing AND looked amazing too. This is not typical bar food. This isn’t even typical restaurant food. I’d say that Poplar Street Pub is the perfect oasis for food and drinks in SLC.

And on that note, I am excited that Epic Brewing Company is coming to Denver with a tasting room at 3001 Walnut Street sometime in September. Wooo hooo!!!

A happy tummy is a Wit filled tummy.

A happy tummy is a Wit filled tummy.

I am holding something special #16 of 1,800.

I am holding something special #16 of 1,800.

I mentioned something about a plague of flies and shrimp…that’s up next. Stay tuned for our dashing heroine’s adventure to Antelope Island!

The Salt Lake City Adventure: the Preface

“Sure…I’ve never been to Salt Lake City before.”

After getting my driving license at the tender age of 16, that phrase has become my odd little precursor to any trip I take with a companion(s). Just fill in the blank:

Sure…I’ve never been to ___________ before.

Having an open mind has really sent me to places I never would have thought about going to. Heck, I would never have moved to Denver if I hadn’t said that!

Anyhoots, heading out to Salt Lake City, my cohort and I decide to do sort of a meandering trip out of Colorado by hitting Dinosaur National Monument first for a night of camping. I had been there years ago and had a ton of fun floating down the Green River in a duckie, camping at Steamboat Rock, seeing some petroglyphs, hiking to breath-takingly beautiful spots, and almost drowning in the Green. Okay, so not really, but never again will I let someone encourage me to swim across a river. Twice. I may have been born under the sign of Pisces but water and I do not have a friendly relationship.

But I digress…

There’s not alot of camping in the park and some of it requires you have a high clearance vehicle. There’s also a Utah side and a Colorado side of the park. The Colorado side is free to get in and the camping is only $8 per night. We stayed at Echo Park, slumbering next to the Green/Yampa Rivers under the shadow of Steamboat Rock. It was pretty inspiring to be there. It was also extremely fun to have a rock skipping competition(I won!).

On the last trip, Quarry Exhibit Hall(has a wall of dinosaur fossils) was closed due to reconstruction. This trip, the new facility was full steam ahead! Let me tell you, that place is freaking AWESOME! It’s not big. It’s maybe a 30 minute visit but it is so cool to see all those dinosaur fossils just there, in the rock, all exposed AND there’s a few that they let you touch. To get up there, you just have to pay $10 per car to get into the park(that’s the Utah side). Then you park your vehicle at the visitor center and hop on the shuttle which leaves every 15 minutes.

Side note: If you see a gas station, get gas. They are far and few in between out there. I can say that there are 2 gas stations in the town of Dinosaur and Vernal, UT is a decent sized little city which is also not far from the park.

Before heading to Dinosaur Nat’l Monument, definitely do your research. There’s a lot of entry points to the park, none of them connect, and they all require at least a half tank of gas to get in and out. I’m hoping my next trip here will be up to the Gates of Lodore.

Up next: Salt Lake, city and otherwise.

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