Brigham Young and his band of Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley in late July of 1847 looking for the place where they could “make the desert blossom like a rose.” According to the usual telling, Young, sick with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rode in the back of a wagon. As they entered the Valley through Emigration Canyon, he asked to look out. Propped up, the canvas of the wagon opened, Young proclaimed, “This is the place.”
170 years later and 120 miles west, I’m sitting in the Taco Time in Wendover, fifty feet from the Nevada line, trying, in vain, to finish a Big Juan burrito doused in hot sauce.
You can’t help but feel sad for Wendover. Once a railroad town, the site where the first transcontinental telephone was completed in 1914, then a training field for bomber pilots during…
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