The week before RootsTech was a series of unplanned disasters. But then again, who plans a disaster.
The good news is that I got through them. I now have a new car, because the old one decided to go belly up at the most inopportune time. My laptop decided to boot after all and the rest of the issues got taken care of too.
I didn’t have the full-fledged meltdown, but I was close.
A last minute presentation combined with last minutes changes and of course, a winter storm.
Hey, it’s Michigan – of COURSE we had a storm.
Now that’s all just a memory to smile about. All I can say is thank goodness for my husband who does in fact know how to do laundry as well as work on computers!
For all the years I didn’t go to RootsTech, I always looked at the venue, Salt Lake City, and wondered why anyone in their right mind would go there in February – unless you were a ski buff.
The answer is three-fold:
- You’re going to be inside most of the time, so who cares what’s going on outside. (Assuming you can actually get to SLC.)
- The Family History Library (FHL) which is open until 11 PM the Monday and Tuesday before RootsTech. If I come next year (do not laugh at me), I’m coming a week early to research. Right now, the library is packed and I’m a bit overwhelmed. However, I’ve never been in a friendlier, more helpful library anyplace!
- The energy. I can’t even begin to explain this – but it’s a real phenomenon. Meeting people you know online and distantly. Things like discovering a new cousin sitting across the table from you at lunch. Excitement’s in the air and it’s palpable!
Everyone here treats you like family. You’re included at tables and in conversations. Yesterday, someone noticed me sitting at a table in the FHL library and asked me if I’d like to join the blogger group for Mondays With Mert. Needless to say, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow!
I’ll share those photos tomorrow!
The Heartland from the Air
You’re coming along with me this week, so let’s start with the flight.
Well, actually, the gift shop before the flight. Here’s to chocolate carrots! I knew someday, someone would convince me to like carrots!
Seeing America from the air is amazing. This time, there were varying amounts of snow cover, which I found both interesting and beautiful. These photos are east to west, Detroit to Salt Lake.
We had light snow cover in Michigan. Some places had less, and some more. This was right after takeoff.
The clouds look like puffs of cotton. Most of the Midwest seemed to have about the same amount of snow cover. I wonder what river I’m looking at. It’s not small, that’s for sure. Could be the Mississippi.
These irrigation circles remind me of mud pies. Hmmm, can I work these into my presentation “Beyond Pie Charts?”
By now, we’re certainly west of the Mississippi. The snow highlights the terrain features when you can see some earth beneath.
The beginning of the mountainous area and lots more snow.
You can see the tectonic plate uplift here. Flat on one side, then the mountains raise up majestically.
Lots of snow in the mountains. I wonder how much snow is actually on the ground here. Of course, I don’t know where “here” actually is.
The tiny dots are houses and that river has many twists and turns.
Not far from Salt Lake City now. Beautiful lake reflecting the blue sky.
Just popped out beneath the clouds, beginning landing approach.
Wow, approaching Utah and Salt Lake City was just stunning!
The salt flats are under about an inch and a half of water right now, which made for an incredible view.
I had a terrible time selecting photos for this article. So much beauty. You can see the salt flats better in this and the next photo.
There’s the city.
At the airport, obviously.
In Salt Lake City, there are mountains everyplace you look. That’s Salt Lake City in the distance on the left. You can see it if you squint. The size of those buildings contrasted to the mountains reminds us of the insignificance of humans.
After I checked into my hotel, I decided to take a walk. It’s chilly, but not cold by Michigan standards.
RootsTech will be at the Salt Palace Convention Center in just another day. The locals call this structure “the salt shaker.” Seems appropriate. I doubt the designers had that in mind.
Downtown is deserted right now, but it will be bustling soon.
On Monday, I walked to the Family History Library. I’m not Mormon, but I find the beauty of churches inspiring. Temple Square is behind the walls. The Mormon Office building (with a nice cafeteria) is the white tall structure in the distance.
Another beautiful view of the Temple. Can you spot the gold Angel Moroni statue?
The entrance to Temple Square across from the Family History Library. Free tours are offered.
I flew from Michigan to Utah in three and a half hours. Even with the time getting to and from the airports, the trip was still less than a day. This same journey took our ancestors months traveling in covered wagons and they had to build housing once they arrived. This small, typical log cabin is preserved outside the Family History Library to remind everyone of their ancestor’s humble beginnings.
As luck would have it, a man arrived to open the building just as I was taking photos outside. I stood just inside the door with enough space to turn around to take these pictures.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who loves quilts.
Every inch of space was utilized. Just think of the parents and all the children living in this very small one room cabin. You can see half of the dresser between the two beds – so the entire cabin is the width of those two beds and the dresser. The length of the cabin is about 2 beds, roughly,
Spinning was an important part of making clothes. Of course, those pioneers had to make everything from scratch.
Later cabins had stoves for warmth and cooking. Earlier ones had simple fireplaces.
Somehow my ghostly appearance is fitting, peering into the lives of our ancestors from another time and place, so far away.
I’m going to go inside the Family History Library now and search for those ancestors, so join me in a day or so for the next step in our Journey to RootsTech 2019.