A good state is a terrible thing to waste
I was born at LDS hospital in 1980. Nothing glamorous, I suppose, but in so many years walking around this place, there are many things I have never taken advantage of. I didn’t start skiing until I was 15 (really, if you live here and don’t have an affinity for mountain snow, I just don’t get it). I have been to the Alhambra in southern Spain, I’ve seen David Grohl and Krist Novoselic play with Paul McCartney in Seattle, and I have been to The Great Wall of China. I have seen many great and wondrous things. Yet, I have never been to Moab. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. That’s why I have made of list of things I really plan on getting done this year – some more glamorous than others.
So here I am, on this cold, gulag of a winter Utah day, plotting some adventures that must be accomplished as a citizen of Utah. Here’s what I’ve come up with…and no, getting a climbing gym membership isn’t one of them. Also, I am including a song I’d like to listen to while soaking in these different parts of Utah.
At least once a month I hear one of my friends talk about a trip to Moab coming up. I honestly haven’t looked into it that much, which is odd since I like beautiful places, hiking, wine, and the like. I have just never mustered up the will to plan it out. Not this year. This year, I’ll be the one at Sunday brunch talking about how I am getting a Subaru and dog and some of those hiking poles (really, what the hell do these really do?) and heading down for a weekend in Moab.
Song Choice: Wilco “Either Way”
2. Candy Mountain Resort
Caboose Village is one of many accommodation options in the Candy Mountain Resort area. There’s not a pool or anything. Still, this place looks great! Candy Mountain Resorts is located just outside of Marysvale, Utah (about 3 hours south of Salt Lake). Now, while a lack of a pool is a bummer, you can still find whitewater rafting, rope courses, zip lines, and ATV trails at Candy Mountain Resort. Also, some of the cabooses have flat screen TVs, so you won’t feel like a train-hopping hobo and can keep up on your binging if the outdoors isn’t your thing. No word on cellphone reception.
Song Choice: The White Stripes “Rag and Bone”
3. Heber Creeper Railroad
I’m not a big train guy. I mean, I’ve read The Old Patagonia Express, which was a great book about the author, Paul Theroux, taking nothing (mostly) but trains from Boston to well, Patagonia. Adventure and snark ensue. I liked the snark more. However, I do enjoy the idealized romance of a train ride across Eastern Europe or an express in Asia where a crime takes place and a clever detective must determine whodunnit! I did take a train from Granda, Spain to Barcelona and watched the olive trees do what they do along the Spanish landscape. Mostly, I slept, though. I may have been on one or two other trains that weren’t Trax or Frontrunner at some point, but if I was, I don’t recall. Maybe I need a ride on the Heber Creeper while listening to our resident train geek, Todd Nuke’em’s train podcast. Perhaps then, and only then, the appeal with reveal itself. Heber Creeper, I choo choo choose you!
Song Choice: The Stooges “Down on the Street”
4. Spiral Jetty
This one seems like a no-brainer! Constructed as an art installation in 1970 by Robert Smithson, this icon is around 2 hours away from downtown Salt Lake on the northern part of the Great Salt Lake. Spiral Jetty is the easiest thing to get to and yet, I haven’t made the drive out there. With such lethargy, what hope is there for me to knock out the next item on this list?
Song Choice: Phoenix “Goodbye Soleil”
5. The Narrows
Water, cliffs, adventure, walking? A Jedi craves not these things. A Jedi just wants to indulge in lightsaber practice all day. I, on the other hand, want to dig in and take the ride. I am often told The Narrows must be seen and photos do it no justice. Though dangers exist as people have drowned from quickly rising water, many more make it through, bringing home amazing stories to tell. Atlas Obscura rates it as one of the top activities to accomplish in Utah. This is my great white whale for 2018.
Song Choice: A Perfect Circle “Blue”
6. Burger Bar
After all that hiking and rafting and driving, I am going to need to eat. Now, being a downtown Salt Lake dweller, I don’t like to leave the downtown bubble unless I have to. It’s why I live downtown. It’s where are the cool stuff is. However, I have been harped on to get to Burger Bar in Roy to get a Triple Ben. When I ask how it holds up to Lucky 13 I usually get a shrug and, “well, man, there’s only one way to find out.” I guess there is. Burger Bar…see you this weekend.
Song Choice: Descendents “I Like Food”
7. High West Distillery Tour
I never really cared for whiskey until I turned 32-ish. I pretty much stuck with beer and vodka during my college years. From there you could go with gin, more beer (craft), or whiskey. It’s just how the drinkers I know age with their libation selection. Rum and fun liquors are usually reserved for vacations or theme parties. Because I like whiskey, I really think I should know more about it. That’s where Utah’s own High West Distillery comes in. I have seen this all over the West Coast and it would only seem natural I take an afternoon and enjoy a tour of what is likely our best-known distillery. Besides, it’ll give me a chance to pick up a bottle of Campfire Rye.
Song Choice: I Am Kloot “Proof”
That should do it for things to squeeze in, in 2018. I am sure I can pound out a few more and some yearly favorites like Oktoberfest at Snowbird, Red Butte Concert Series, the Twilights, and a trip to Goblin Valley. Oh, and there’s tubing the Weber and cliff jumping at Causey Reservoir. We are pretty lucky. I just need to stop wasting it.
Have any suggestions? Drop me some in the comments.
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