Saturday, May 7, 2011
THE GRAND LIFE OF ST. GEORGE
St. George, Utah, was founded by Brigham Young and has a population of around 73,000. It is 113 miles northeast of Las Vegas, 303 miles south of Salt Lake City and borders Arizona. Zion National Park can be seen to the east. The average high from June through August is above 100 degrees F, and the average low in December and January is below freezing, but snow is rare. This is a retirement destination, with the city population increasing by a factor of ten since 1970. The population is 92% white, 0.2% black, and 0.6% asian. Two notable residents are Julius Erving (NBA star) and Asia Carrera (adult film star).
In 1953, Dirty Harry, an Atomic Bomb, was detonated at the Nevada Test Site, and unfortunately, winds carried the fallout to St. George. There actually was a series of fallouts over time, and the local population had a marked increase in various types of cancer from the 50's through the 80's. My Huffington Post article of a month ago reported on the current status of Atomic Bomb cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Apparently, these fallouts, although they featured Uranium-235 and Plutonium-239 particles, with half-lives up to 7 million years, have not affected living conditions in all three cities.
The Iron Man Triathlon here occurs today. There will be nearly 2,000 participants, a definite challenge, as they need to swim 2.4 miles in freshwater, and, at elevations between 2,000-3,000 feet, bike 112 miles and run the standard 26.2 mile marathon. The best go to Kona for the world Iron Man Championship on October 8.
The Iron Man Triathlon was "invented" by Judy and John Collins and their Navy Seal friends in 1978. I tried to talk them out of it, for I said this could be a terminal experience. It turns out 25 have died in competition, 20 during the swim, but a million or so have competed, thus the numbers are certainly tolerable. By 1981 it got too big for Honolulu, so it was moved to Kona. The first winner made it in just under 12 hours, while the local record is now down to just over 8 hours. There are now 23 official Iron Man competitions worldwide to qualify for Kona.
Well, the grand life of St. George featured our decision to watch the Lakers-Mavericks NBA playoff game at M.J.s Sports Bar. We sat down and found out that alcohol is not served here. Can you imagine? A bar with no beer?
The evening ended with our decision to drop by K-Mart to buy some sun block and stuff. We showed up at 9:05PM and it was closed:
So much for the nightlife of St. George.