The next morning, we toured the monstrous temple in the center of SLC. Marko asked serious questions of our cute Finnish tour guide about the religion to which she had committed her life. I wondered why all the guides were young and female, and all the “living prophets” were old and white. The guide tried very hard to demonstrate that they weren’t a cult, and that they take the word of Jesus seriously, but the words rang hollow when compared to the preposterousness of their claims. Perhaps all organized religion seems as odd to the naive observer, but the Mormonism really seems to be a fabrication by Joseph Smith. He must have been quite a smooth talker to get so many to follow him to the desert shores of a salty lake, and settle there to recreate the Garden of Eden. At least there’s decent skiing nearby.


Creepy Mormons

Had lunch at a vegetarian restaurant, which appeared to be the coolest place in town judging by its clientele. Had a wonderful pesto pasta, which stopped my hunger but didn’t make me feel as if I was full. We stopped at KFC for seconds on the other side of the Nevada wasteland. Made it across that entire state, surrounded by biker gangs and truckers, all enjoying the scenery once we got off past the Bonneville salt flats. There was little sign of civilization until California, and we were careful to watch the gas gauge.

Stopped for dinner in Truckee, where we ate at an upscale yuppie bar, with a nearly twenty page wine selection. Luckily they also had a wide array of taps, and we toasted to the end of our journey together. Spent the night at Donner Lake State Park, the site of the infamous early pioneer camp. We didn’t resort to cannibalism, although we had discussed our feelings about it, and decided it was perfectly acceptable under the circumstances. One should be able to sign away one’s right not to be eaten, if one so wishes. What sort of country is it where you can’t decide that you want to make someone a tasty meal as your last wish?