Star Mountain

My travels and other interests

Southwest- Cities and Roads (2017)

Cities and roads provide access to National Parks. Some cities are historically famous; some are built for fun. Some roads are interesting for their history and some are for their scenery. Two such cities and two such roads are given special mention in this album.

Salt Lake city was a night halt when we were going from Grand Teton, Wyoming to Bryce Canyon, Utah. We left Jackson, WY in the morning and reached Salt Lake City at 3 PM. Traveled 280 miles. We stopped briefly at the Utah Capitol Building and drove through downtown to our hotel. Then we had a nice tour of Temple Square by two sister missionaries. We got to know the history of Mormons, their migration to Salt Lake City and their survival. The temple square was beautiful. The tabernacle with giant organ is very impressive. We saw the Temple from outside only because admission was restricted. However there was a model of the temple displayed at the visitor center. The temple square has many sculptures. I particularly liked the Handcart Monument and Mother and Children. Flower gardens are maintained very well.

Nevada was our final city in the tour. We drove all day from Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas, Nevada. We checked into our hotel, Harrah’s in the evening. Pal Sundaram and I walked around the casinos avenue. This is my first visit to the colorful city and so everything was new and interesting. We visited Bellagio resort. It had beautiful conservatory with Japanese exhibits decorated with thousands of flowers. Then we watched the dancing fountain in front of the resort. Next morning we left the city.

US Route 66 was established in 1926. It connected Chicago, Illinois with Santa Monica, California. It ran through eight states including Arizona. The length was roughly 2500 miles. Seligman, a small town in Arizona was benefited economically for fifty years because of the number of cars going thru the town. However in 1978, Interstate 40 was constructed and the cars, all of a sudden bypassed US 66 . Economy of Seligman was devastated. In 1987, a local barber and a business man, Angel Delgadillo started an association to make US 66 a historic high way. The association converted the road in Seligman into memorabilia by retaining its old looks. Angel’s gift shop sold Route 66 memorabilia. As a result, US 66 became “Mother Road” in Seligman and in other places. People started driving 66 again out of nostalgia. The small unique towns along Route 66 have new life and a piece of American history has been saved.

There are beautiful National parks everywhere in USA. But few are places where the access roads are as interesting as the parks. Route 14 between Bighorn and Cody provides a scenic drive thru mountains. Route 20 between Cody and Yellowstone is another route called by Franklin D Roosevelt in 1940’s as “the most beautiful drive on earth”. Few pictures and two videos (Route 14/I90 -Big horn mountains road and a scenic route 14/20 becoming a loop road inside Yellowstone) are in this album.

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