As we started to climb into the mountain ranges of Utah, we could see evidence of the seasons changing before our eyes. The trees were golden, autumnal colours and there were patches of snow on the mountain peaks surrounding Salt Lake City.
We were surprised by Salt Lake City. We saw places of immense wealth and prosperity (such as a new $4billion shopping mall) but we saw also saw poverty and homelessness. Our time in the US really opened our eyes to these world financial problems affecting everyday people. Salt Lake City is a very religious city, being home to the Church of Latter-day Saints, and the Temple seems to be the center of city life.
When we made our way out of Salt Lake, we drove higher into the mountains to walk the Brighton Lakes Trail. Armed with waterbottles and muesli bars, we hiked through ice and mud to see a few of the high mountain lakes. We continued to Park City, a quaint and colourful town nestled in the mountains that holds many of the Sundance Film Festival’s events in January. There were loads of cafes, restaurants and quirky stores and it would become a very picturesque wonderland in the wintertime.
The next destination was Aspen, the incredibly beautiful ski resort of the rich and famous. Even though the Ski season wasn’t due to begin until November, there was lots and lots of snow. The US government shutdown was still in place so we were not technically able to enter the National parks, but everyone we spoke to encouraged us to hike to the Maroon Bells Lake. We hiked in the snow, kitted out with beanies, thick jackets and thermal gear. Thank goodness Jez and I bought hiking boots back in Springdale! It was so beautiful walking amongst the rocks, birch trees and pine trees covered in snow, it was magical.
None of us thought that we’d be spending time in Apsen during our roadtrip, but we were certainly glad that we were able to visit! We had to make our way through the mountains, across Colorado to the city of Denver and we all agreed that it was an incredible drive. Leaving the mountains, the road was covered in fresh powdered snow, as were the trees and the rocks. There were so many beautiful photo opportunities that it was hard to not stop the car every few minutes!