Westbound Day 20 – 401 miles – Montpelier to Moab

Thursday, 7 July 1994

Kieran in the back seatSouth out of Idaho and into Utah for a lunch stop at Salt Lake City, followed by a wander round the Mormon’s Temple Square and a tour led by one of the smiling ‘sisters’ who conduct the curious on regular 45 minute excursions. I must admit to having paid the Mormons and Mormonism zero interest in the past, they were lumped in there with the Jehovah Witnesses and Christian Scientists as another American Christian off-shoot. I could probably tell you more about the Hare Krishnas’ beliefs than the Mormons’.

Well the tour told me precisely nothing except that another five minutes of this saccharine sweet view of religion would make me want to throw up but I did sit down with the Book of Mormon at our motel that night (yes, in Utah you get a copy along with your bedside Bible). That only increases one’s disbelief so I’m going to have to read some more: What language were Joseph Smith’s gold plates written in? How did he translate them? Where are they now? Why hasn’t anybody studied them? Why are there no other records of these people in the Americas?

Unfortunately Salt Lake City couldn’t be our night stop, this trip is beginning to run out of time and we’ve already realised that we’re not going to get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, that’s already had to be chopped from our itinerary. So we continue south, through often stunning scenery to Moab, obviously a very fashionable and energetic centre. Mountain bike retailers and renters seem to be the only outlets that outnumber the art galleries. Wandering along Moab’s main street looking for a restaurant in the balmy evening air it’s hard to believe we were shivering in the snow yesterday morning.