We’re still in Salt Lake City, through the weekend now. We just kept finding things that were interesting, and since we have no schedule, we extended our stay here. Tuesday we spent a few hours in the Mormon church’s Family History Library. I never expect to find much there, seeing as my ancestors all seemed to be the kind of people who, when the census takers showed up, said, “It’s getting to crowded here.” And they’d pick up and move a little farther west. For some reason which I do not at all remember, the only hard bit of data I had prior to my grandparents was about my mother’s father’s grandfather, John H Stephens, who died at Front Royal, VA on Sept 28, 1861. So I asked the docent if there was any chance to find out at least what his unit was. She wasn’t very confident, seeing that there were a lot of John H Stephens from North Carolina but she had access to a site where the pay records had been compiled for the Confederate soldiers, and as she was saying how remote the chance was to find out anything about him, there he popped up. There was all sorts of information about him, poor man, mostly because he was killed so early in the war so there was a lot of correspondence about his estate of $69 due him when he died. I now have copies of all that information, and we plan another trip to the Library to see what other nuggets might come to light.
The goal yesterday was to see if we could find the road up to a radar site on a mountain top to the east of us.
The Mission for today was to visit the new Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah, my old alma mater. We drove around the campus a little. I recognized almost nothing. The new museum is up in the hills where we used to go rock hunting. They have done a spectacular job of putting the museum together. It covers geology, paleontology, biology and ethnology in a pleasant, orderly and very approachable fashion. There were hands-on areas for kids in every section. I’m sorry we didn’t go there last year when we were here. Indy and MIcah, you would love it! Here are some photos from the museum.
Here’s one of the medium dinosaurs on display. There was a whole section on an area in Southern Utah where they have found thousands of very complete dinosaurs. Their staging of the dinos was quite striking. Check out that little predator trying to take a chunk out of the monster big guy whose head is up at the very top right corner of the photo.
Here are the Wasatch Mountains that I used to see from my window when I was a student here, about the same time as the dinosaurs, it seems.