Deer Valley, Utah

27 02 2023

I skied a couple of days in February at Deer Valley, UT. It’s in Park City, about an hour away from Salt Lake City. My buddy Ed lives steps from the base at Park City Mountain Resort. This year, the region has had one of its coldest and snowiest seasons in 10 years. Residents are constantly digging out!

The walk to my car from Ed’s house. Lots of snow!

One of the convenient aspects of the town is its free bus service. The nearest stop was a 5-minute walk from Ed’s house. And within 15 minutes, I was at the Deer Valley base lodge.

I skied one day by myself. I found lots of powder and some tree runs. One steeper run was in the middle of a pine forest, where I encountered 4 kids, one of which was stuck in a tree well! I helped them out. Later, I ran a super easy peasy stand of aspen trees. The snow was so gentle and soft!

Deer Valley prides itself on grooming, and it’s true they do a good job. I’ve been there a few times, and I kind of had moved it down my list because I like fresh, ungroomed snow. But I learned this time that the trail crew leaves quite a few areas untouched for skiers like me. And, my friend Ed showed me some places at Deer Valley away from where the crowds are. I left with a renewed rating for Deer Valley!

The 2nd day it was fully sunny. No new snow, but plenty of fun and it’s always welcome when there is a sunny day with no wind!

Another thing worth mentioning! There was a World Cup Tour freestyle competition going on. Dual moguls and inverted aerials. I mentioned online that on my 1st day I accidentally blundered into the setup for the moguls run, and ran it. And Hannah Kearney, the Olympic gold medal moguls champion, saw my post and “liked” it! That was super fun!

Skis du Jour were my Line Sakanas. I LOVE these skis! They are great in powder but carve trenches, too! I think they are the most fun skis I have ever owned. If you ever get a chance to try a pair, DO IT!

Million-Year-Old Buddha Image found in Utah Canyon

11 05 2012

Morning broke bright and clear in our canyon. Some of the deepest blue skies I’ve ever glimpsed. At one end the canyon is watched over by the Gooney Bird rock. However this morning we see a column strikingly resembling a sitting Buddha at the head of the canyon! Could it be that this is a sign?

Buddha image from my collection.

I gazed upon it with awe.


Hmmm. We also had other ideas. Perhaps it was a gigantic monument to the morning constitutional?

I could not help but think how it could have been that Mother Nature could sculpt such a figure. It sat facing southeast. In the sun most of the day.

It is another crystal clear morning to wake up to. I fixed the coffee and then we got the breakfast going.

In contrast to the canyon where we spent last night, there wasn’t any trouble finding a camping spot.

And here the canyon walls crept way skyward. So beautiful, all the different bands of colored rocks.



Even here there are a number of arches in the canyon’s rocks. It looks like there is something about this region that favors forming these arches.

This might be a box canyon. The end looks as if there might not be a way out. We walk up there.

Today, there are only two other cars camping in the canyon.

It’s desert. The sun quickly becomes warm and as we’re storing things for our trip back to Park City I can already see my skin turning red!

But we must get moving. It’s another bumpy ride back out over the rutted dirt/rock road back to the highway.

We’ve got a deadline back in town! Ed’s a goalie on one of the local amateur hockey teams and it’s playoff time!

The game takes place at the Park City Hockey arena.

This was actually a nail biter.

It went into double OT.

Then there was a shootout to decide.

It didn’t turn our way. But the players were still stoked as it was such a great game!

Our last day, Friday, Alex and I skied at Park City Resort, which is walking distance from Ed’s house. This was a real spring skiing day. Upper slopes OK, lower slopes too slushy – snow grabbing at your skis sometimes. But SO MUCH FUN!



Arches National Park Utah

6 05 2012

I wake up incredibly refreshed and stoked to visit Arches National Park! The downstairs of the van is super comfy and the desert air dry! I’m the first to awake. I step outside and fix myself a nice hot cup of coffee. Sipping the nectar, I witness the cascade of sunrise light gradually bathing the banded redrock walls of the canyon.

Ed and Alex begin to stir. I take a stroll along the canyon creek wending its way around our site. It’s interesting checking out the details of the canyon, the rocks, the cactus, and smelling the clear air.

Today’s breakfast is eggs, bacon, onion, peppers, with cheese mixed up. A good hearty breakfast! We make toast by sauteing bread on a pan.

As the sun’s warmth makes us comfortable, it becomes hard to want to pack up and get moving. But we’ve got big plans – to visit Arches National Park. I have been to Utah at least ten times, but incredibly I have never been to the canyon country! I’m very excited to be here! We are also meeting two women Ed knows from Park City. Rhoda and Susan.

Driving back down the dirt road we took to our campsite, we re-criss-cross the creek many times. I’m still amazed how the road clings to the rocks with the river just beside. There’s no room for a car coming the other way!

View to the mountains in the distance…

After an hour we reach the park. There are sandstone formations everywhere, and we personify each! Some look like furniture, others like a person sitting. Then there are the arches themselves. They’re everywhere!

We are here about lunch. So we avail ourselves of the camper’s kitchen! And, since we’re in the parking lot, we’re obvious to those who know us – Susan and Rhoda! They show up and join us. Perfect timing!

Okay. All fueled up, we head out on the trail.

Like elsewhere, it’s high season down in canyon country! Spring is the time to visit here. It is anything but a secluded experience. It’s spring break plus vacation time for those escaping winter’s grip.

Ed emerges from the kitchen!

Here, it’s going to reach 80 degrees fahrenheit.  There are single arches, double and triple arches, collapsed arches, and towers sometimes impossibly balanced in the air.

Rhoda and Susan check out the valleys beyond…

Some have incredible views of the valleys beyond.

We hike through arches and climb around.

Then, we head to another area where there is a super long arch that looks like it’s not going to last a whole lot longer.

It’s called Landscape Arch, and it’s the longest natural arch in the world.

Landscape Arch

Once we had our fill of all those arches, we engaged in another search-for-a-campsite adventure – Ed knew of a special spot, off the tourist track, called Gooney Bird.

To get there, we had to head off the highway and then 800 feet up this dirt road clinging to a cliffside! The van held on, though, and we made it.

See the trail? 800 ft below that cliff is the hwy!

This road descends and then comes through a little valley, which is totally empty. Inside, there are side canyons with camping!

Ed’s target is a canyon where the entrance is marked by a tower named Gooney Bird. It really does look like a Gooney Bird!

We quickly settle in to a new spot. Well, we’ll see about tomorrow!

Park City Utah and Moab Utah

18 04 2012

Alex, Rod and Ed at Deer Valley

I took a week to visit Utah in the spring! Alex and I packed up the car and headed out.

I took a week at the end of March to ski the Wasatch Mountains and ski in Park City Utah and also camp in the Moab, Utah region! My friend Ed lives right at the base of Park City Ski Area so I simply had to go out for a visit. I brought Alex along – Alex and I have been ski buddies all this season. Time to ski a real ski resort…and enjoy some desert sun too!

The weather leading up to our visit was all over the place! It was 45 degrees in Portland, and 65-70 degrees in Idaho and Utah, yet it snowed two feet in Utah seven days before we got there. It is a 13-hour drive from Portland to Park City. We planned to ski and also visit Arches National Park and the Moab region all in one week!

It would be winter on the mountain and summer in the canyons! Ed’s got a camper van so this was to be a certain boys week! Alex and I headed out on a Sunday starting at 6:00 a.m. Sure enough in Idaho and then in Park City it was over 65 degrees. We got to Ed’s house and unpacked.

Then, we walked around the Old Town part of Park City and had some pizza and beers. Park City is very much a “liberal” enclave in otherwise conservative Utah. But after the 13-hour drive and meal we had to call it quits – tomorrow is a ski day!

The forecast called for up to five inches of snow on Monday. We didn’t believe it. Although it had snowed up to two feet earlier in the week, the slopes looked pretty pathetic when we arrived. So with the warm temps we kind of thought it was impossible to snow that much Monday. But this is the Wasatch.

Monday it did snow. We awoke to a big snowstorm! I couldn’t believe it. And, we had free passes to Deer Valley Ski Resort. What more could  you ask for!? The forecast said it would be windy so we did not hurry up. That was a good move! Once we got there, lifts that had been closed were opened! The wind had totally calmed down.

Nothing like FREE skiing in Utah! We took Alex all over Deer Valley, exploring this mega resort. It may not offer the world class big mountain terrain of Snowbird or Alta, but for today, it’s all we can handle anyway. Just perfect, and minutes away from Ed’s house.

I got a video of Ed and Alex skiing through the trees. Fun!

We were planning to pack up Ed’s camper van and head to the canyon lands Tuesday and Alex had ideas about packing Monday night. I told him, he’d be barely able to walk after the Utah skiing and he sure was wobbly legged after the afternoon! We tried to ski as much of the lift system as possible. We were totally fortunate…

We even had some tree skiing! Just to think it was 65 yesterday!

Tomorrow we switch seasons – we are off to Arches National Park, and Moab Utah!