Category Archives: Utah

With a population of approximately 2.9 million inhabitants, Utah is the 10th least populated state in the United States. It was America’s 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. It is the U.S. 13th largest land-mass state and the 10th least densely populated area in the country. Most of the state is uninhabited with 80% of the inhabitants living along the Wasatch Front centering around its capital of Salt Lake City and the geographic feature of the Great Salt Lakes. Utah is bordered to the east by Colorado, to the northeast by Wyoming, to the north by Idaho, to the south by Arizona, to the west by Nevada, and It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast. [wikipedia]

Super 8

Super 8 Motels
~ Worldwide ~

I’ve spent many nights at the Super 8 – some locations are amazing, others can be seedy. It depends on the city and the manager, neighborhood, and environment. They are one of the world’s largest budget hotel chains – with motels throughout the United States, Canada, and China. They are part of the Wyndham Worldwide chain. The chain was started by Dennis Brown in 1972 alongside his partner Ron Rivett in 1973. They started renting rooms for $8.88/night which gave name to “Super 8”. The first motel was in Aberdeen South Dakota, hosting 60 rooms in 1974. It had a stucco exterior with an English Tudor style inspired by Rivett’s father-in-law who did stucco construction for a living, the remaining architecture was created by Rivett. Through the years they kept the English Tudor style as well as locating themselves near Holiday Inn’s as a marketing strategy. The first franchise was sold in 1976 in Gillette, Wyoming. They broke out of the Midwest in 1978 opening up in New York and Washington State. In 1976 they created a VIP club program which was later purchased by Hospitality Franchise Systems, then Cendant in 1993. This was dissolved in 2003 and replaced by TripRewards converting to Wyndham Rewards in 2008. By 2014 they had over 2,390 hotels. They opened their first hotel in China during 2004 in Beijing. They offer their guests standard amenities including free WiFi, a continental breakfast, hair dryers, coffee makers, laundry, and a lobby. Some locations have pools and meeting rooms, while some of the larger Super 8’s have restaurants.

Locations I’ve visited:

  • Lincoln City, Oregon: 3517 N, US-101, Lincoln City, OR 97367; (541) 996-9900. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. This location has a fabulous tourism placement across from a public beach. Its a rather small building and hotel with few rooms. Its less than a mile from the Chinook Winds casino. They have mini-fridges and microwaves in the room, coin laundry, free coffee, truck parking, and a small conference room. Its located along Highway 101.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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In-N-Out Burgers


In-N-Out Burgers

I was first introduced to In-and-Out when I was living in Los Angeles as a paid audience member and extra for Hollywood, needing fast food, “in” and “out”. I was introduced to their un-advertised attraction, the leaf wraps. Those were back in the days when I had no problems with fast food or the health consequences of having that kind of diet. I have since made motions to thin out (and someday totally eliminate) fast food from my diet. Me and my wife are on the gluten-free path, so the idea of a leaf wrap sandwich when there was no other open food options sounded perhaps ‘healthier’ than some of the alternatives. While ditching the gluten by skipping the bun, it still was a mild option to the the extremes that is fast food. Traveling through the American Southwest we were curious to give it a gander. Personally in terms of fast food, its not much different than the others, though the quality outside of the lettuce was good tasting but same as most fast food. We were surprised they didn’t advertise the lettuce wrap option on their menu and that its more a “word-of-mouth” item, especially since its an element that makes them stick out from the others. The In-N-Out Burger chain is regional, with locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. It was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. Their grandchild Lynsi Torres currently runs the operation. It is not franchised nor public, and has distribution centers in California; Phoenix, Arizona; Draper, Utah; and Dallas, Texas. They have not changed this practice in order to maintain quality and customer consistency. They are one of the few fast food chains in the U.S. to pay their employees higher than the state and federal mandated minimum wage guidelines. They offer three burger varieties – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and the “Double-Double” (their trademarked double meat, double cheese). They also sell french fries, milkshakes (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and typical fountain drinks. Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, optional onions, and their special sauce (like McDonald’s, a variant of thousand islands dressing). They do however have a secret menu available at most In-N-Outs. These can be found on their web site. These include a 3×3 (three patties, three slices of cheese), a 4×4 (four patties and four slices of cheese), 20×20, Neapolitan shakes, grilled cheese sandwich (no meat, two slices of melted cheese), Protein style (wrapped in lettuce – all ingredients of a burger just no buns), and Animal style (animal style: burger cooked in thin layer of mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread – hot peppers option. Animal fries come with two slices of melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions on top). Their decor is red, white, and yellow branding – white building exterior and uniforms, red for the roof and aprons/hats, yellow for the roof’s decorative band and iconic zig-zag in the logo. They also plant palm trees often to form an “X” in front of the restaurants. One problem with In-N-Out is its secret proselytizing of Christianity. They print discreet references to Bible verses on their paper containers such as the Double-Double burger wrapper and the drink cup. These consist of the book, chapter, and number of the verse not the actual text of the passage. This came into play during the 1980’s when Rich Snyder was president, as a reflection of the Christian beliefs he held. Because of their fundamentalist Christian practices and the fact that the food is not healthy (not company specific – fast food overall), I will no longer frequent this company. For those of you desiring junk food and not minding the Christian fundamentalism, enjoy your GMO beef. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.


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Great Salt Lake Desert

Great Salt Lake Desert: Utah

Parallel to the Great Salt Lake of Salt Lake Ciy fame is the Great Salt Lake Desert. This is a large dry lake in Northern Utah that lies between the Great Salt Lake and the Nevada border. It is infamous for its white sand salt deposits from the evaporating Lake Bonneville. It is also the panoramic home to some small mountain ranges such as the Cedar Mountains, Silver Island Mountains, Hogup Mountains, and Lakeside Mountains. The desert holds various plant species adaptable to the terrain that have unique and unusual characteristics. The desert is very cool during the winter and very hot during the summer with less than 8 inches of annual precipitation. The northern edge of the desert is used as a Test and Training Range for the U.S. military, and the lowest part of Juab County is the Dugway Proving Grounds. In 1826, when Jedebiah Smith conducted his expedition through this desert, he lost a team member here named Robert Evans. In the 1840’s when westward emigrants came through this desert with the establishment of the infamous Hastings Cutoff that helped reduce distance to California. In 1846 the infamous Donner Party found difficulty coming through this area which contributed to them becoming snowbound and trapped in the Sierra Nevada that led them to cannibalism. After completion of a railway cutting through this desert with the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1910, the flats were then in 1914 used as a speedway. By 1956 the Wendover Cut-off was replaced by Interstate 80.

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State of Utah, USA

Utah, United States of America
* *

Utah is known as the “Beehive State” as well as the “Mormon State”. The name “Utah” comes from the name of the Ute Tribe meaning “People of the Mountains”. Its largest city is “Salt Lake City”. The State is ranked the 13th largest in the state. Wyoming has a population of roughly 2,763, 885 (2010 Census). Its highest point is “Kings Peak” at 13,528 feet above sea level. Its lowest point is “Beaver Dam Wash” at 2,000 feet above sea level. It was admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896 as the 45th State. Belonging to the Western United States, its populations are primarily around Salt Lake City with much of the rest of the state as uninhabited. Its population is the sixth most urbanized in the United States as well as one of the fastest growing populations. Utah is notorious for its information technology, research, governmental services, transportation, tourism, and mining. Utah is bordered by Wyoming on the Northeast, Colorado on the East, Arizona to the South, Idaho on the North, and Nevada on the West, with a small corner next to New Mexico. Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the Union with over 60% of its population as Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or the LDS Mormon Church).

Utah was originally populated by the Fremont and Anasazi Native American tribes for thousands of years prior to European contact. Ute-Aztecs, Anasazi, and Fremont tribes disappeared from the region around the 15th century. The Navajo, the Goshute, the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Ute settled the region by the 18th century and were the ones present by the time Europeans came to the region. By 1540, the Spanish explored the region beginning with expeditions by Francisco V’squez de Coronado during his search for the legendary C’bola. The Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of several Catholic Priests left Santa Fe in 1776 hoping to find a way to California through Utah. By 1821 Mexico achieved its independence from Spain and took over the region as part of Alta California. By the 19th century the area was explored by hunters, trappers, and fur traders. The first white person to come to the region and see the Great Salt Lake was Jim Bridger in 1824 who had believed he had reached the Pacific Ocean. After this, hundreds of hunters, traders, and trappers established trading posts in the region to service thousands of settlers who stopped at the Lakes enroute west to California. In 1844, Joseph Smith of the Mormons passed away in Carthage Illinois, triggering an enormous migration of Mormon pioneers out west following Brigham Young, the then president of the Church of Latter Day Saints. For the next 22 years, over 70,000 pioneers came to Utah. Utah became the center for Mormon activity in the West which included Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico. Utah belonged to Mexico when the first settlers came through in 1847. During the Mexican-American War the U.S. captured the whole Southwest taking over the territory in 1848. Utah was given with the Compromise of 1850 with Fillmore as the capital. It was at this time that the region was named “Utah” after the Utes. Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as Capital in 1856. After all this, numerous disputes between the U.S. Government and the Mormons over polygamy while the Mormons were pushing the establishment of the State of Deseret which would not be accepted due to practice of plural marriage. This eventually led to the infamous Utah War as well as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The First Transcontinental Telegraph was completed in 1861 and was finalized in Salt Lake City with Brigham Young becoming the first to send a message on it along with Abraham Lincoln. In 1861 Federal troops left Utah to focus on the American Civil War and left in the hands of the LDS until Patrick Connor arrived with a regiment of volunteers from California in 1862 bringing more non-Mormons to the area and developing the mining industry. 1865 saw the Black Hawk War which was responded to by the infamous Ghost Dance of 1872. This was a three-way conflict between the Timpanogos Utes, the Federal Government of the United States, and the LDS Authorities. By 1869 the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed and brought more into the area. From the 1870-1880’s the U.S. established laws to punish practitioners of polygamy which in result was banned by the LDS Church. This allowed Utah to be accepted into statehood on January 4, 1896. Tourism based on outdoor recreation became very popular in the region with the development of Utah’s National Parks such as Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands in the 1900’s. By 1939 Skiing became very popular with its start in the Alta Ski Resort. Utah economy relies on mining, oil shale, oil, and natural gas-drilling, ranching, and recreation. Utah is one of the 15 states that have not ratified the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment. Uah is one of the two states to outlaw all forms of Gambling and strongly controls its alcoholic beverages.

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This page is in progress and updates will be frequent in the near future, please come back soon for more content and photos If you are a business or attraction that has been reviewed here and would like to add details, a re-review, or to request an update please email Technogypsie @ gmail . com (remove spaces)
This page was last updated on 8/16/2015

  • Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website referenced 8/16/15.

Photos of Utah:


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Balancing Rock, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock * Arches National Park * Moab, Utah

“The forces of erosion are sculpting more than just arches. Balanced Rock clearly shows the various layers responsible for this amazing defiance of gravity. The caprock of the hard slick rock Member of the entrada sandstone is perched upon a pedastal of mudstone. This softer Dewey Bridge member of the Carmel formation weathers more quickly than the resistant hard rock above. Eventually the faster eroding Dewey Bridge will cause the collapse of Balanced Rock. ” NPS Marker.

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Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)

Arches National Park

Arches National Park * * PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532 * (435) 719-2299

A panoramic array of mesas, arches, canyons, and buttes naturally occuring near Moab, Utah known as Arches National Park. The National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. The park is a diverse window into the past geologically and archaeologically with spectacular photo opportunities of vivid arrays of landscapes with contrasting colors, landforms, and textures unlike anywhere else in the world. The arches are truly a gateway to another world. Rating : 5 stars out of 5.

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Canyonlands National Park (Moab, Utah)

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park * * Canyonlands National Park * 2282 SW Resource Blvd. * Moab, Utah 84532 * (435) 719-2313
In the heart of Utah near the resort town o Moab lies one of North America’s most scenic desert canyon playgrounds known as “Canyonlands”. A pristine national park that presents a panorama of colorful landscapes and canyons, mesas, and buttes that have been carved out of the earth by the Colorado River and its tributaries. These rivers have created four districts – the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves – and this is what has become preserved as “Canyonlands”. Primarily desert terrain, a multitude of micro-environments exist within the diverse terrain in the park awaiting exploration. The canyons and rivers have been explored for the last 10,000 years by a multitude of peoples – from prehistoric occupation and artwork to Euro-American settlers and homesteaders to modern day rock climbers. The Green River, the Colorado River, neighboring Horseshoe Canyon preserve and change these districts. No roads directly link each of the districts even though they appear close on the map so it makes the park requiring many days to get a full glimpse of all the districts contained within. The top sites in the park are: 1. Island in the Sky; 2. White Rim Road; 3. Needles; 4. Maze; 5. Orange Cliffs Unit (Glen Canyon NRA); 6. Horseshoe Canyon; 7. Green River; 8. Colorado River; and 9. Cataract Canyon. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. visited 8/24/08.

Mesa Arch

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