After a reasonable, if smoky breakfast in Nevada, we briefly crossed back into Arizona. It was quite an impressive little road cut right through the mountains.
We entered Utah quite soon after that:
We changed time zones again; we went back to mountain time. We were either tired enough or used to it enough that we didn’t notice immediately.
Here’s the video:
Our first day in Utah was mainly a driving day because we had to go so far. The distances out here are immense. The next several cities we want to hit are often between 300-500 miles apart. Things started to get cooler and, less expectedly, yellower:
We stopped to sleep in a town called Nephi, and that is not /nɛfiː/ (neh-fee), but rather /niːfaɪ/ (nee-fy), which caused us some problems with the navigation. Nephi is named after someone from the Book of Mormon apparently.
After an okay-ish night in Nephi (poor sleep, but a really excellent Chinese takeaway), we drove up to Provo. On the way there, we got distracted by a large building the distance:
It wasn’t huge, but it was by far the biggest building in Payson, Utah. We spoke to a couple there who told us it was a brand new Mormon temple. They told us a little bit about their religion (as we had asked) and gave us a good recommendation of where to eat in town. We learned that Mormon couples consider themselves eternally married. I wasn’t sure how that worked given these two had both remarried after their spouses died. They had been fourth grade sweethearts who found each other later in life though, which was very sweet. We also learned that we didn’t have to worry about what to wear into a Mormon Temple as we would not be allowed as non-Mormons.
We went on to Provo, which turned out to be the home of a tech company called Novell that Chris was familiar with. We had a chat with a few employees, who said they had both worked there for nearly 2 decades and longevity was common among employees. They also said though the company has been bought out several times, it is still going strong:
Next we went to Provo’s biggest and certainly Utah’s best known university, Brigham Young University. Everyone we met there was extremely friendly and we decided to take the full campus tour from a golf cart. It is a private Mormon university whose strongest areas are its business school and its IT department according to two students we met. We learned that most students there are Mormon, though you don’t have to be. The main Mormon related requirement is the 14 credits of religion classes that are required to graduate.
We learned that due to the students being more trusty worthy than most, the testing system involved a single building in which you could take your test within a period of about a week. They just trusted students not tell other students who hadn’t taken it yet about the nature of the test. He also said, as Mormons, there was very little issue with excessive drinking or drinking period. There was also virtually no smoking on campus, as Mormons are not meant to smoke anything or drink alcohol or caffeine. For the record, you can buy all of these in Utah, but I am under the impression most beer available will be under 3.2%, and therefore, that cider will be quite a lot harder to find here as Americans tend to categorize it as a beer even though it’s much more similar to wine.
Our tour guide also said that most people on campus were bilingual due to having done their period of mission work abroad. Spanish was the most common second language, but he said he had spent time in Eastern Russia and spoke Russian.
Another plus for Provo is that it is one of the few cities in the world to be fully equipped with Google Fiber, which basically translates to very fast internet. We asked a student how fast it was and he said fast enough that speed was no longer a concern.