End of Summer Sloping

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend which serves as the unofficial end of summer. Ann and I had planned for most of the summer to get away and do something fun that weekend since it was a weekend free from our children. They were all at their other parent’s house.

Our plan came together about two weeks ago when we decided to do a staycation of sorts. We used my travel points to stay at a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. That would serve as our base of operations for the weekend.

Over the weekend, we did 3 major activities: visited the Spiral Jetty, enjoyed a bit of Oktoberfest at Snowbird ski resort, and visited the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

The ski jump slopes at Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

All 3 major activities exceed our expectations. I will write a bit about both of the ski resorts in this post as I have already written a separate post about the Spiral Jetty.

Part 1 – Snowbird

We visited Snowbird first and were pleasantly surprised to find out that Oktoberfest was taking place. There were a lot of cars parked on the road when we got there in the morning (as shown in the photo taken from the chairlift). When we left in late afternoon, there were twice the amount of cars and the lined the highway for about a mile away from the resort. The places was packed!

The view of the resort and highway from the chairlift. Lots of cars!

The first thing we did was check out the Oktoberfest music tent and other booths. I happen to LOVE polka music and there was a nice band called the Polka Tones playing when we arrived. They sounded great. They made me miss the greatest band of all time – Brave Combo. A small taste of their music is in the video.

After walking around a bit and checking out the booths, the food and the attractions, we decided to take the tram to the top of the mountain. I didn’t realize how big the tram was. It was able to hold a lot of people. It provided for great views while going up the mountain. The video below was shot on the ride up.

The tram ride takes about 5 minutes to get to the top of the mountain and has great views

When you get off the tram at the top, you notice several things. First, you see the sign that denotes that you are at 11,000 feet. Next you notice the incredible 360 degree views of the entire mountain range. Then you notice the myriad of trails that would be great for hiking and biking.

You see this sign as soon as you get off the tram

While at the summit we took lots of beautiful scenery pix as well as a few fun shots. A sample is shown below.

I love the color in the meadow
This view is looking west toward Salt Lake City
The southern view
She looks great!
I barely made it up the mountain. I had to claw my way to finish.

When we decided to start hiking down to the chairlift (about 20 minutes hike), we were over taken with all of the beautiful wildflowers that were still present at the end of summer. It was like eye candy for us. We spend about a half hour taking pix. Maybe more. Lots of photos below.

The side of the mountain
Just gorgeous

There were other activities at the resort. We did not do any of them but are planning a trip next summer with the family.

The video below shows highlights from our visit to snowbird. It shows the mountain views and some flowers.

part ii
Utah olympic park(park city)

The next day we drove into Park City, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. When we were driving into town, we saw the ski jumps (see 1st photo in post) from a distance and immediately decided to go there for a closer look. I have seen old run down small jumps before, but I have never seen an Olympic sized jump in person.

As we drove toward the jumps, we quickly realized there was more than just the jumps at this location. We discovered that this was the Utah Olympic Park. It has training areas, a bobsled run, ziplines, activity parks and a freestyle ski jump pool. The pool was huge.

The videos below show some of the practice runs of the jumpers landing in the water. It was fun to watch, and as with most activities, I wanted to give it a try. Turns out that they have lessons and I am going to check out the details (and cost) of the lessons.

The next series of photos are from the ski jumpers into the pool (the first one below) and then the rest are from another slope where the jumpers landed on a big bouncy house like air bag.

I love this shot. It’s almost like an upside down jet pack

The sequence below is from one jumper who made several runs. This sequence is from one jump and of all the jumpers I saw, he did a terrific job.

The Olympic Park was fantastic. Both ski areas had so much more to do than we could manage in one day. We will definitely come back this fall and next summer. Who knows, maybe we may even come in between when there is that yucky white stuff everywhere.


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