Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Top of the World

Have you ever been on top of the world? I’m not sure where the top of the world is, but Friend Husband and I have found a spot that must be close.

We had heard of a spot in the Oquirrh Mountains with a spectacular view; a spot where you could see four temples at one time. No one told us how to get there, so we just started looking. By googling Oquirrh Mountains, Friend Husband found a spot that sounded interesting, and we were off.

An hour from our home we found the most glorious view that you can imagine. At an elevation of 9,200 feet we had a sense that we could touch the clouds. At our feet was the Bingham Copper Mine. It was a giant crater, bigger than I had imagined. We were so high, and the crater was so deep that it seemed we were looking into a dollhouse version of a working mine. Miniature trucks moved slowly along toy roads. Tiny buildings were scattered on the rim.

The Salt Lake Valley spread before us in a huge panorama, bordered by mountains on every side. The view was dazzling and gave us a sense of our own nothingness by comparison. We could see the edge of Utah Lake and a Y painted mountain on the South. To the far north we saw a group of lights which we imagined might be Lagoon. Behind us lay Toole and Grantsville, another amazing view. With binoculars we could see the capitol building and a group of tall buildings at the heart of Salt Lake City. We could never have guessed that Salt Lake City would look so small in the middle of this sea of civilization.

Could we really see four temples we wondered. The Jordan River Temple was easy to spot. The Oquirrh Hills was more difficult because it was smaller and darker in color. With binoculars we were able to locate the Draper Temple nestled in the hills across the valley. Was the fourth temple the Timpanogas or the Salt Lake? We could certainly pinpoint the location of the Salt Lake Temple, but could we see it? With binoculars we could see what we thought was the East spire peeking out between buildings. Next we located what we thought was the Timpanogas Temple. That made five temples. We were elated.

I was puzzled by the shape of the Timpanogas Temple, because it looked more like the Provo Temple. Could it be? It was near Utah Lake and close to that Y on the mountain. Yes! It was the Provo Temple. Soon we had located the Timpanogas Temple midway between Draper and Provo. Six Temples. We had found not four temples, but six temples. Unbelievable.

We liked this place so much that we returned three days later at dusk so that we could see the valley at night. Spectacular. Dazzling. Breathtaking. A sea of lights lay before us. We now saw the same six temples glistening in the night, standing out against a background of many tiny lights. To our great surprise, at night we were able to locate a seventh temple. Quite by accident we found the Bountiful Temple shining through the darkness at the north end of the valley. Seven temples. Amazing.

We wanted to share this experience with friends and last evening we took two other couples up the mountain. They were excited. We told them about the spectacular view, but didn’t mention much about the steep, narrow, winding mountain road. Friend Husband is an awesome driver, but that didn’t keep the other ladies from closing their eyes and hanging on for dear life. The men acted brave, but who knows what was going on inside their heads. Maybe their hearts were racing, too.

We made it up the mountain safely, but once there, getting down was the biggest thing on some folks’ minds. We had planned to sit and visit, share a story or two, and even sing some songs. We had camp chairs, and one friend brought a guitar. Doesn’t that sound fun? To sit on top of the world and sing and chat, bathed in moonlight, against a backdrop of twinkling city lights.

Alas, I’ll have to save that dream for another day, with braver companions. We enjoyed the view for a short time and retreated to the safety of city streets and city drivers; a different kind of adventure. I must be braver than I thought.

Our transmission was acting funny on this trip, so it may be a while before I return to the top of the world. Oh how I’d love to watch the sunrise from there. It’s hard to imagine anything more glorious. Would you care to come along with us to the top of the world? Do your dare?

Linda Garner

The top of the world is in Butterfield Canyon and you can find directions on the internet. Maybe I’ll see you there.


L.T. Elliot said...

Well written and beautiful imagery. It does sound like a beautiful spot to see the world. Perhaps we can make a trip of it some time.

Carolyn V. said...

Whoop. I'll bring the chocolate!

Anonymous said...

I've been there! Fantabulous, isn't it?

Terresa said...

Sounds like a lovely place, but I'm guessing there aren't many road signs for it? ;) We'll be visiting Provo next week. I'd love to check it out!