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An American Odyssey (Part 11)

Gilor-Dov

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We left Reno, Nevada, early Sunday morning and decided to take the scenic route to Salt Lake City, rather than travel by super highway, but Route 50 turned out to be not very scenic as we crossed Nevada and Utah. We stopped at a roadside table at noon, where the men heated and ate LaBriute meals while the women enjoyed their cottage cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and vegetables. We have followed this pattern of meals ever since the women decided not to eat the packaged meals.

Three times during our return trip (eastward to Florida), we lost an hour when we entered a new time zone, as we did when we entered Utah. We had planned to spend two days traveling to Salt Lake, but, with little to see on the way, we drove straight there in one day. On the way, we stopped in Utah at another Maverik service station and enjoyed the delicious kosher frozen yogurt in the food shop. My brother, Avi, used his Internet access to order us two rooms at a Quality Inn motel. We arrived late and were happy to find very comfortable accommodations.

We spent the next morning at the Mormon Family History Library. We were very careful to give them as little family information as possible because the Mormons are rumored to use their list of Jews to baptize them after death. We were hesitant to use their facilities but they are very up-to-date technologically and have all of the latest software. It was an interesting experience and the workers there were courteous and helpful. We were careful to wear yarmulkes rather than caps so that there would be no question as to who we were.

We toured the Utah State Capitol building and then drove to the Salt Lake and Island. We drove to the Olympic Park built for the 2002 winter Olympic Games. I “flew” down on the extreme zipline and all four of us took the tour of the park. It was a very interesting visit.

Dov on the extreme zipline in Salt Lake City.

Our next stop was Rawlings, Wyoming, where we found reasonable accommodations for the evening. The very high price of fuel has severely impacted the tourism industry and we found that we had little trouble finding accommodations without advance booking. We left Rawlings the next morning and drove to Laramie where we toured the former state prison. We joined a guided tour and learned the interesting history of the prison and its outlaws. Butch Cassidy and other outlaws were housed in tiny cells and most probably worked making brooms, the main industry at the prison. We also visited the museum in Cheyenne and several other tourist sites.

That afternoon we crossed into our 13th state, Colorado, on our way to Denver. After checking into our Denver motel we drove to the East Side Kosher Deli and enjoyed a delicious meal. I loved the spare ribs and the prices were reasonable. We loaded up our cooler with packaged meats and cold cuts for the coming days. That evening we experienced our first rain (a thunder storm) of the trip. We have been very fortunate with pleasant weather for the past few weeks while we visited 13 States and drove more than 7,000 miles.

We started our next morning at the Mizel Museum of Jewish Art. It is a lovely museum and we especially enjoyed the “4,000 Years of Journey” exhibition. I hope to dedicate a separate article to the colorful exhibits of this beautiful museum and to its dedicated staff. My wife, Barbara, wrote in her diary, “What a great museum!” We were a bit surprised by the very few visitors that we encountered in the museum while we were there.

Next State: Nebraska

Comments may be sent to dov@gilor.com.

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