Now why would you build a home so close to a tour guide and gift shop?

Spud was sitting at home one afternoon leafing through some of the many travel brochures that he gets each month from places all over the globe. Various convention bureaus, chambers of commerce and Government agencies are always trying to entice the well travelled potato to journey to see their areas. With so many options, the tater often found it difficult to decide on where to go next. When the tato came across a leaflet for Utah however, the decision became a very easy one.

Inside the leaflet, the tuber found a Calendar of Events for the state. A quick glimpse through the various offerings and Spud began to salivate with anticipation...

There were events and happenings in practically every town from the North to the South. Wasting no time, the tater loaded up his car and headed north.

First stop on his tour was the infamous 'Hole N the Rock. Located in the Southeast corner of the state, a garganutan sandstone boulder stands unassuming next to the highway. Try as it might to keep a low profile, Spud found it hard to miss its subtle sign

Spud would find that this is no ordinary rock however. This one had people living in it. Well at least there was at one time.

The Bingham Canyon Mine - one of many 'holy' places in Utah

Apparently obsessed that his home might burn down in the 1940s, Albert Christensen sought out a fireproof abode as his choice of living quarters. He ventured to this corner of the state and discovered this mammoth rock, whose 15 foot high letters painted on the side of it, silently beckoned him. Over the next 12-year period, Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone from the giant boulder, in an effort to carve out a home for himself and his wife Gladys. In the end he had hewn a 5000 square foot hideaway, which if not for the constant onslaught of people trapsing through the rooms on guided tours, would have been quite cosy.

The Utahns obsession with holes doesn't end with the Hole N' the Rock. No, in fact that hole pales in comparison to the Open pit mine of Bingham Canyon - the largest man made excavation on earth.

Originally rumoured to have been started by an obsessive compulsive that lost a contact lens, the pit (measuring over 0.75 miles deep, 2.5 miles wide, and covering 1,900 acres) was begun in 1906 in search of copper. Today it is one of the largest producers of copper in the United States, accounting for more than 10% of the total supply.

Spud learned that the mob had considered using the mine as a 'dumping ground' a few years back, but since the pit has over 1400 workers extracting over 450000 tons a day, they felt that the area just wasn't 'quiet enough'

Next stop on the tour was the tiny hamlet of Green River.

The tater had timed his trip perfectly to coincide with the town's annual watermelon festival. No, he had no interest in seeing who would be crowned the Watermelon Queen, instead he wanted to see the real star of the event: the 25 foot long motorized watermelon on wheels

Motorzed Watermelons - its no wonder the Germans are light years ahead in automotive technology

It was everything the tater had dreamed about and more. The sleek lines, saucy styling and a 'peel' like you wouldn't believe. The tater had hoped to climb aboard and cruise down Main Street in it, but unfortunately some seeds got lodged in the engine and seized it.

Although saddened, Spud had other places to get to.

The tato pulled into the town of Orem, the home of Donny, Marie and the rest of the Osmond clan. Thousands of others had congregated on the area as well to witness a long-standing ritual: The annual sandblasting of the Osmond's teeth

There was nary a seat to be had as the town teemed with onlookers.

In true Osmond fashion, the event had turned into a major spectacle, complete with corporate sponsorship from Caterpillar Machinery (which supplied the industrial sandblasting equipment) and Home Depot (suppliers of the high gloss enamel paint from Behr).

The show was well worth it however, and when the final 837th Osmond's canines were sparkling, the crowd finally began to pile back into their cars to make the long journey back home. Spud was not quite ready to return home though, as he had one more stop to make: Salt Lake City

Named for its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere, Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah. Spud had no interest in visiting the lake after his encounter with his last salt lake near Jordan, but Salt Lake City had much to offer

The tato had learned that there was an open audition happening at Temple Square in the centre of town. It just so happened that the tater had brought along his guitar so he could practice his chops, so he figured he'd head on over and see if he could land a gig.

Spud prepares for his big audition at the Mormon Tabernacle

When Spud arrived at the square, he found himself amongst hundreds of people, all dressed in their Sunday best. Sporting his plaid camping shirt, the side dish stood out like a sore thumb. He also noticed that he was the only one carrying an instrument. A bit surprised, but undaunted, the potato followed the crowd as they filed into the enormous St. Lake temple at the foot of the Square

The tater wondered at the architecture and craftsmanship of the building which was begun in 1853 and is the centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The procession filed through the Temple and into the Mormon Tabernacle, where everyone was asked to take a seat.

Spud had no fear of performing, having appeared on Canadian Idol a number of years before, yet his fellow hopefuls stared uncomfortably at the side dish and his six-string Stratocaster.

Having drawn a low number, Spud was one of the first called to audition. The panel was comprised of impeccably coiffured, button down elders who were as stiff as Montomery Ward mannequins. The potato knew that these guys needed to be jolted out of their mundane existence, so he plugged his guitar into his amplifier and turned the volume up a few notches.

The tater then launched into a blistering version of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'. The panel's eyes widened in horror and gasps of exasperation and shock echoed throughout the hall. Suddenly the power for the amplifier went dead and a deathly silence gripped the room.

One of the panel members signalled to the far corner of the room and before he knew it, Spud found himself outside of the walls of the Temple Square with the gate being locked behind him. Apparently they didn't like his key selection...

Feeling a bit thirsty from belting out his searing vocals, the tater returned to his car, popeed the trunk and pulled out a Coke from his cooler. No sooner did he pop the top, a group of Mormon elders surrounded him. "There will be no drinking of that in our State" bellowed one of the men, as he put on a surgical glove and grabbed the can out of the tuber's hand.

Next thing he knew he was being ushered out of the State...


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