Each day of a road trip has its own character, and today’s was a bit of a split personality!
Day 8: Salt Lake City, Utah, to Dillon, Montana
Salt Lake City, founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, a Mormon, has a personality unique across the U.S. Brigham Young even called it a “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.”
For us, though, it was a little too warm for heaven, even in the end of September!
The first thing on our itinerary for the day wasn’t even really in Salt Lake City, but in Ogden, on the Hill Airforce Base. And, since our GPS seemed to think there was a road from today’s airforce base to the museum we planned to visit, we actually even ended up on the military base. So, a guard had to take David’s passport while another guard walked us around the entry gate, so we could leave!
Another exit later we were at the actual Hill Aerospace Museum, one of the best we’ve ever seen!
The museum is large, with its collection displayed both inside two hangars (don’t miss the second one!) and outside. In the photo above, you can see David under the nose of the C-124 Globe Master 2 that served from 1950 to 1974. It was enormous!
It took us a full 2.5 hours to go through the collection. Our favorite parts? All of the WWII airplanes and bombs. We saw so many artifacts that were new to us, from bombs to stealth devices to individual stories of Utah veterans.
And, the museum is free, although we certainly left a donation. For more information on visiting, click here.
From Hill Aerospace, we headed north on Interstate 15, with our next stop in Idaho. Checking the Atlas Obscura, we’d discovered that the first nuclear reactor in the world had been developed in Idaho — and had been made into a museum at Atomic City. Wow! We were pumped.
According to Google, the museum was open until 5 p.m. Sadly, Google was mistaken, and the museum wasn’t even open. Rather, it’s open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
However, we still weren’t upset that we’d made a 50 mile detour to visit, as the reactors are in a fenced compound that you can still see–along with an information area. We will be back next spring, though, so we can get inside the museum and do the real tour! (Check it out on YouTube)
So, it was back to the highway for us, and on into Montana, which is more or less our own backyard, despite the enormous size of the state.
And, there we were, back in cattle country. There’s a lot of miles in this area between stops, so we ended up at Dillon for the night and the 4B’s Restaurant for dinner, where we had, of course, a steak!