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The theme for week 40 of 52 was “Round” and it sure had my mind spinning thinking about what I could shoot, fortunately as has happened so many times this year during this challenge life itself provided the means and ways to getting my shot. This time it was in the form of a field trip with my daughters school class to Salt Lake City’s This is the Place Heritage Park a place that has significant cultural and historical meaning to our city, state, and religion, as this is the place (see what I did there?!) where according to legend Brigham Young the then leader of the Mormon church entered the Salt Lake Valley for the first time, and after gazing upon the scene sprawled out before him from this elevated vantage at the mouth of Emigration Canyon a few miles east of the Great Salt Lake proclaimed it as being the place that they had traveled all those many arduous miles to reach in order to live in a land free of opposition, and persecution, to believe, and worship as they wanted.

3 shot HDR handheld of a row of replica handcarts that many Mormon Pioneers used to cross the great American plains on foot carrying all they possessed in the world stacked onto these small carts. You can read more about them here.

Now I would love to tell you all about each of these images but I have too many to share and I don’t want to bore you all to death so I’ll just show the shots and I might throw in a link here and there but you can learn more by visiting that virtual tour link.

The Park Entrance – 3 shot HDR Handheld

This is the Place monument erected in 1947 the Centennial of the arrival of the Pioneers into the valley. This is the view as you enter the park. – 3 shot HDR Handheld.

You can read some interesting accounts of what the first pioneers encountered as they entered the valley, the vegetation you see above is very similar to what they encountered. An interesting side note is that my great-great-great-great-grandfather was in the advance scout party under the direction of Orson Pratt.

Statue of Joseph Smith (r) showing Brigham Young (l) the Great Salt Lake Valley. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Our tour was a living tour which meant people dressed in period style clothes would teach us about life in pioneer times as we visited various homes, cabins and areas throughout the park. Our first stop was the Manti Fort Gristmill.

The Manti Fort Gristmill built in 1854 (this replica was built in 1997) – 3 shot HDR handheld

The Manti Fort Gristmill – 3 shot HDR Handheld

The view out the east window of the Mill – 3 shot HDR Handheld

We call these Box Elder bugs, can’t get much more authentic than bugs walking on the windowsill. (not HDR!)

The Manti Fort Gristmill – 3 shot HDR Handheld

And finally the Manti Fort Gristmill – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Next up was a visit to the Native American exhibit showcasing the five tribes that inhabited the area in 1847 when the Pioneers arrived.

A collection of different Native American huts and homes that we were able to explore. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

This Paiute home is located very close to the actual location that Brigham Young made his famous declaration and gives a good idea of what he might have seen (minus the buildings and wildfire haze) as he gazed out across the valley (this is looking south west) – 3 shot HDR Handheld

We went inside this large mud and log home to learn how to make corn meal by hand (the class did a great job filling two large sandwich bags in 15 minutes)

3 shot HDR Handheld

Have I mentioned how much I love the 10-20mm? – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Mary Fielding Smiths home and statue. Mary was the widow of Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smiths brother who was martyred with Joseph at Carthage Jail years before.

John Gardiner Home (1864) – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Our next stop was the Cedar City Tithing Office where we learned all about tanning leather and preparing hides for clothing.

This is the upper loft of the Cedar City Tithing Office. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Memorials to the many pioneers and their families that had to separate when a call (actually a federal order came to collect men for a battalion to march to fight in the Mexico War, they never had to fight, but instead blazed a trail south across the plains, New Mexico and Arizona to California which eventually led to the Gold Rush in 1849) – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Close up of part of the “Duty Calls” memorial I wanted to really dramatize this image and the emotion it evokes with a pretty heavy monochromatic conversion. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

The memorial to the Pony Express trail that followed closely the Mormon Pioneer trail. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

Orson Pratt Observatory originally built on Temple Square in 1869 and used to observe and determine the Longitudinal Meridian of the city. This is the original building. – 3 shot HDR Handheld.

3 shot HDR Handheld

3 shot HDR Handheld (The observatory is off to the right)

My second choice for the theme shot, I loved the texture of these barrels. – 3 shot HDR Handheld.

A close up of the “This is the Place Monument” showing the mountains of Emigration Canyon behind it. – 3 shot HDR Handheld

And finally a wider view of the Monument itself, showing off just how big it really is (notice the man in the red shirt to the left for scale.)

The This is the Place Monument at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, Utah 3 shot HDR handheld

Sorry that it was so long, but I had a great time on the field trip, shepherding a bunch of rowdy school kids, and finding these great subjects to shoot.

Happy Shooting!