This was my ‘journal’ page in the sketchbook where I wrote a bit about the trip. I always mean to do things like that in my sketchbooks as I go along when I travel but sometimes forget, or I draw it with stupid cartoony Petes doing stuff badly, but I liked the tone of this in pencil, and it kept with the pencil and paint theme of my sketching in the parks. I always worry that the pencil will smudge as I used my book (one of the reasons I don’t draw much in pencil, though when covered in watercolour it doesn’t seem to happen as much). On the last day in Moab I went for a walkabout; Moab reminded me a lot of Radiator Springs, the town from the movie Cars (which we watched about 7000 times when my son was younger); the backdrop mostly, but some of the shops too. So it was quite funny to see one of the auto repair shops had converted a truck into Lightning McQueen’s buddy Mater (full name “Tow Mater”). I had to draw him! There were a lot of vehicles in Moab I could have drawn, and by that I mean (1) Jeeps and (2) ATVs. So many ATVs. ATVs are all-terrain vehicles are those funny looking buggy things, and they look like they are only driven by people who would not like them being called “funny looking buggy things”. But my descriptive skills are tired from all the hiking. You see? That sentence doesn’t even make sense. Well dad-gum, as Mater would say.
We left Moab for the long drive back to California, which would take two days, across mountains and deserts, through snowstorms and sunshine, but boy were there snowstorms across the Great Salt Lake Desert. We stopped off in Salt Lake City once again, so we could get some more delicious waffles and frites from the little Belgian place we discovered, Bruges Bistro. This place was amazing, and I had a nice chat with the Flemish guy who ran the place. I had once more a huge waffle covered in s’mores (a nice mix of the Belgian and American), with sauce andalouse to go with my frites. This is the place below (I drew that after I got home).
After lunch we headed off to Temple Square to see the Tabernacle and the historic Salt Lake Temple. You can’t go inside the buildings (and the Temple is undergoing a major renovation, it looked like the foundations of the church itself were being completely updated) (that’s not a metaphor by the way, I mean the building itself). You’ll know of course that Salt Lake City is the epicentre of the Mormon church (real name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) (which is a long official name; I like long official names, like “Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club”, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles” (the real name for L.A. though not really the official name) and of course “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (still correct at the the time of writing but check back again soon)). They usually go by “LDS” but are mostly known as Mormons. It was interesting to learn that the streets in Salt Lake City all emanate out from Temple Square. I did a very quick sketch of the Temple while we explored the square, which is permanently walled off but still open to visitors. there were many friendly guides about to give information, but we didn’t stay long. It was interesting. Surrounding the square were a great number of large and very corporate buildings for all of the church’s global administration. The city itself was surround an most sides by mountains capped with snow; I forgot that would be the case, but they did have the Winter Olympics here many years ago. The Great Salt Lake is just to the north, and we drove past that on the way back towards Nevada.
I didn’t draw on the rest of the journey; we listened to podcasts, and an audio book (Neil Gaiman’s “An Ocean At the End of the Lane”; appropriate as there was a Great Salt Lake at the end of the road), stopped in Elko again and eventually made it home. A long road trip. Next time we go we will fly, but it was fun to see a bit more of America.