Saturday, September 15, 2012

Backtime Walkabout: Salt Lake City

Two things about Salt Lake City strike you immediately. First, it's the cleanest big city you'll ever visit. Second, breathe the air. If you're from say-- Savannah, Georgia -- the high altitude and lack of humidity is something that is a definite shock to the system. Keep lots of water handy!

I used to cover NBA quite a bit, and I remember the Jazz teams of the late 90s very well. In fact as these posts deconstruct my life on the road, I pinpointed my last trip to SLC as April 26, 2003:

Utah 107, Sacramento 104. Game 3 of the Western Conference 1st Round. The last playoff win for Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Having a 10:15 ET start time on Saturday, one of the last games of the college football weekend, means there is some extra down time to actually soak in some of the local flavor.

Had a splendid lunch at Hires Big H, a classic drive-in burger, onion rings, root beer float type of joint. You would almost call it retro, except in many ways time has stood still here.

Dinner was solid too at Red Rock Brewery. But let me quickly drop some 411 on the 801; Beer from a tap in Utah is capped at 3.2%. So if you want full effect on one of the many craft beers, you need to order it by the bottle. And if you're looking for the Polygamy Porter, that's a different brew pub.

The Saturday morning walk was a gorgeous 64 degrees. I saw sunrise over the Wasatch Mountains. And our fashionable downtown hotel was in short walking distance of a couple of historic sites.

The State Capitol is just a half-mile from The Temple. If you have to ask, "Which temple?" then you've never been to Salt Lake City.

The people are courteous and the service is great. But sometime tonight a couple hours before kickoff, whatever potion Dr. Jekyll took - these folks will have a double. Utah and BYU will put aside their civilities and become Mr. Hyde for one Saturday night. Then they'll likely be back in church on Sunday.

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