What the hell is ‘deseret’ anyway?

I barely survived Salt Lake City.  Too many long days and too much travel does that to a person.  I worked most of the day before flying out there, then worked long hours to get as much work done as possible, then flew out after another long day at work.  Sleeping in a strange place never helps you get rest, so that certainly didn't help the situation.  But, I got quite a bit accomplished out there, so I'm happy about that.  Naturally I came back to more emergencies at work and more last minute explosions, but that's become the normal routine for folks in my line of business.  At least there's something to be said for consistency.

Salt Lake City was not as impressive as I had hoped, but it wasn't horrible.  The "downtown" area is spread out, so it made for a new experience when compared to Dallas (which has a very clear centralized downtown area).  In fact, as we were flying in, I was wondering where the city was since there was no single conglomeration of tall buildings.  Compared to the buildings in downtown Dallas, Salt Lake City has no high-rise buildings.  There are some that are 20 stories or so, but, in the scheme of things, they're not impressive.

I did like the lack of a true rush hour.  In the DFW area, 6:00 AM through 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM through 7:00 PM are quite possibly the most infuriating and tiresome times to drive.  There are simply too many people on the road, too much construction that slows down traffic, and the insufferable menace of the stupid Texas drivers.  In Salt Lake City, though, rush hour was not bad at all and was quite comfortable to drive in.  I wish it could be that way here.

The idée fixe with Mormonism is overwhelming throughout the city, however.  Everything is centered around the Mormon church regardless of how hard they try to deny it.  Temple Street is far more significant a road than Main or State, and everything has the undeniable aftertaste of church.

In fact, there's a business with the word deseret in its name on almost every street.  One of the folks who went out there with me constantly joked with me about what that word really meant.  Once we got back to Dallas and looked it up, it became abundantly clear that the Mormon church was large and in charge in Utah and equally so in Salt Lake City.

It's a pity, really, that there has to be an uncomfortably overwhelming religious overtone to everything they do.  The city would be a welcoming place if not for that little issue.

Overall the trip was a success, although I hate to travel on business and planned the trip for maximum work time and minimum rest time.  From now on, I think I'll be a little more generous to myself when I travel so I don't end up as completely fatigued as I was this time.

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