SLC Day 1- Homestead Crater & Midway Memorial Hill
By Rachel Richards
I fall more in love with the Salt Lake City area with every visit. What other city is 20 minutes away from the mountains but has all the amenities of a city? It’s amazing!
My little brother Ben and I headed down to SLC for a long Easter weekend. I was relaxing after a busy semester and Ben needed a break after a grueling wrestling season.
Ryan was supposed to come to but had a tooth infection go berserk on the day we were supposed to leave! He had to stay behind to go to the hospital for a couple of IV antibiotic applications. So I said “feel better” and took off south. I’m such a compassionate wife, always putting my spouse first. Ha!
We drove through the night Thursday night to have more time and I slept the whole way down while Ben drove through snowy mountain passes and rainy weather. We arrived at 4:30 am and slept for a couple hours.
I woke up right at 7 am when I heard my 10 month old nephew Liam talking away to himself in his room. My family calls him the Little Prince and we pretty much worship this amazing little guy. I didn’t want to be apart from him during this whole trip if I could help it!
We had a leisurely morning that consisted of a big breakfast and playing with Liam. After his nap, he went to his other auntie’s house so that the four of us could head to Midway to swim in Homestead Crater.
I went here during one of my New Year’s visits. Homestead Crater is this incredible hot spring in a crater with a large hole at the top to provide natural lighting. The water is the perfect lukewarm temperature- not too hot and not too cold.
On Fridays/Weekends it costs $16 for a 45 minute swim session. It was better this time than last because there was no fog from the mix of cold weather and hot water, so we could see the entire crater.
We really enjoyed our time swimming around and chatting. The crater juts back below the water line so we were having fun sticking our legs to the edge and seeing how far in we could go.
This water doesn’t have that sulphuric smell that most hot springs do and the water is very clean so I had no problems getting my hair wet and splashing around like a little kid.
The 45 minutes were up way too soon and it was time to go. This is the part that sucks. They don’t have a lot of lockers or shelves and it’s a very narrow hallway. People were grabbing their belongings but no one could pass them and folks started to get cold and grumpy. I suggest you have a towel out and place it on the shelf closest to the water like I did. That way so you can grab it right after and wait to get through comfortably.
After we dried off and changed, we went up to the top of the crater to see if we could look in through the crater.
There are a lot of steps to the top and the view from there is amazing!
We couldn’t see down into the crater because of the mesh protector but we did notice just a little ways away another large hill jutting out of the relatively flat landscape. This one also had a flag flying on the top and we decided to go check it out and see if it was another hot spring in a crater.
When we pulled in, we found a gate to “Memorial Hill.” A pathway encircled the hill as it went up so we walked on up looking to see what this hill was about.
The view was incredible!
When we finally got to the top we saw a very large monument, it was a war memorial to the people from Wasatch County. There were plaques listing every person who enlisted in local, national, and international wars and a list of those who died in action. They included things like the Mexican American War, the Civil War, WWI & WWII, Korea, Afghanistan it was a very extensive list. What amazed me most though was the low number of casualties for the large numbers or troops who fought.
My brothers are huge history buffs and we spent a long time going around and reading about each war and the names of the people who fought.
At the corner of the memorial is the Final Salute- a sculpture overlooking that gorgeous view.
It was such an interesting walk and we were all glad we let our curiosity lead us there.
The sun was setting on the way down and I felt so happy and at peace to be outside, in the mountains, and not stressing about lesson plans.
For dinner, we went to Bruce & Lauren’s favourite sushi place, the Red Mermaid. This place is incredible because their sushi is 50% off all the time! I kid you not. I ordered two rolls and only paid $10. And the sushi was really good. Bruce said it’s a hot spot with all the university kids because it’s good and so affordable.
That night, Lauren & I went to bed early and the boys stayed up to watch Drunk History. I swear, History was the theme of our weekend with those boys- it’s all they talked about. Ben is a history major after all.