Gilgal Gardens – Salt Lake City, UT
The Sphinx catches your eye first. It’s the familiar shape with a less familiar face–Joseph Smith’s. This is Mormon country, and the creator, Thomas Child, was indeed a member of the LDS church. He was also a great devotee of literature, and a man who loved rocks. His sculpture garden was his backyard, not far from downtown Salt Lake City, and it’s full of massive boulders he trucked in to help him make his mark in stone. You can’t help notice the grace and beauty with which which many of the pieces were built. They’re sturdy constructions, made to last. And the gardens are growing nicely too, splashing the stones with bursts of color, thanks to a local group of master gardeners that’s adopted the place.
Gilgal is a Biblical reference, with the main mention of Gilgal as when the Book of Joshua states that the Israelites first encamped there after having crossed the Jordan River. In the narrative, after setting up camp, Joshua orders the Israelites to take twelve stones from the river, one for each tribe, and place them there in memory. Some modern scholars have argued that this is an aetiological myth created by the author of Joshua to explain away what is in reality a neolithic stone circle. (Wikipedia)
World’s Largest Baked Potato – Blackfoot, ID
This converted train station museum has displays that explain why taters grow here, and how they’re harvested, along with stuff that’s just plain fun. Like a potato sack tux, and the World’s Largest Potato Chip, plus a personally signed note from Dan Quayle (who had a small spelling issue with the word itself.) As for the gift shop – no doubt about it, Grade A!