When you are in the temple complex of the Latter Day Saints, it is easy to envision what drew Brigham Young to settle in this area of Salt Lake City. Within the city limits there is a small canyon and a creek that runs through it, City Creek and Canyon. To my utter fascination, it runs right through the modern shopping mall – beautifully designed. This historic park is a lovely way to demonstrate how hard it was for the early settlers to tame this harsh environment. This is a lovely little oasis in the center of the city although the Salt Lake City is generally serene with a beautiful backdrop of mountains.
My cousin told me a wonderful tale which I thought might be apocryphal until I researched it – The Miracle of the Gulls. In 1848, when the first Mormon pioneers were struggling to grow crops, they were almost devastated by an invasion of what is known as ‘Mormon crickets’. They are really members of the Katydid family – shudder… When all seemed lost in came a migration of gulls that regularly ate at the Salt Lake. This time they gorged on the Mormon Crickets, so much so that they regurgitated the first buffet and then started again thus saving the crops. Isn’t nature amazing? If I was a pioneer, I would have been convinced that it was a miracle instead of something naturally occurring. Maybe it was a miracle?
When you look at the landscape you have to admire the tenaciousness of the Mormon Pioneers. They had almost nowhere else to go, having been persecuted for their beliefs in other states, and yet managed to conquer this inhospitable place. It is as hot as hell in the summer and incredibly cold with major snowfalls in the winter. A wonderful environment now that we have tourism and modern facilities, especially air conditioning. It is a rich state and their hard work has made it so.