adventure

Top 10

I decided to write with more pictures and less words to showcase my top ten pictures from traveling to snowy Park City, Utah. Hoping you will enjoy the refreshing photos of the outdoors and their quick captions.  These photos are in no particular order.

This is a view I enjoyed from the eyes of one of my snowboarders. I didn’t take the lift to the top of the mountain thus I enjoyed this simple yet beautiful view. I smiled big knowing my people were enjoying their time on the mountain living the snowboarder life.

The best decorated and tasty sugar cookie with fabulous hot cocoa from the chocolate shop in town. A quaint little stop to snack, get warm and socialize after a day outside. This captures the sweetness of my trip.

The path through the trees when I was snow shoeing or snow walking as one of my teen travelers called it. These trees were amazing and the picture doesn’t even capture their beauty. The Aspens are the state tree and a fun fact is they have a dusty coating on them that is like a powder which can be used as a natural sunscreen. Just a fun fact I learned.

The path to nowhere as it looks. The simplicity of this photo is what I like about it. The grey skies before a snow fall.

The sunrise over the white barn. A barn we passed each day where you can see cross country skiers in the pasture at all hours during the day. A fun spot to remember.

A night picture from my balcony on a snowy weekday. The ice dagger hanging from above. The light shining on pathway illuminating the fresh powdered covered walkway. I hear the wind howling through the photo like it was today. A snowy memory.

Haynes Ranch. Founded in 1932. Pure bliss via a snowmobile. This photo shows the blue skies and the gateway to 40,000 acres of land and wildlife. Yes we saw moose.

This view was so amazing in person. A view from the ranch we snowmobiled. The blue skies were so welcoming after days of grey skies. 

Fresh powder. Bright sun. Beautiful trees. That is all. Simply amazing and breathtaking.

The snow tracks. The blue skies. The sun shine. It was only 1 degree in this photo. Frigid cold yet I was still enjoying the outdoors.

It’s hard to pic just 10 photos but it’s great to have a picture post to look back on.

adventure

Fat Tires

A new adventure was on my list for today. It involves big fat tires. A little snow. Some stamina. A positive attitude. A fabulous guide and the perfect terrain to conquer. Today’s adventure is snow biking. 

I had zero expectations. I knew it would be hard work but other than that I just wanted to give it a try. The scenery was amazing. The downward trek through the switchbacks was my favorite part of the ride. I loved the wind in my face and the feeling of freeness from the climb. The thrill of the whole adventure or what’s next was what I liked. The unknown.

The initial leg was the hardest. Getting used to the terrain. Learning the bike gears and really just how to pedal in snow and breathe. It’s really important to balance both. Too much too quick will gas you out. Too little will make fall over. It’s a process you have to figure out. It’s also a process to adjust to the harshness of the seat itself.

Once we had the hang of things we shifted from the wide trail to the narrow trail to climb the mountain. The trail isn’t straight up which is good news, but it means you have to zig zag your way up. That equates to lots of sharp turns, inclines, more work and so much more. As you get higher and higher the trail becomes less traveled. This makes it harder to follow the trail and not veer off course. With less tracks to follow the path gets narrower. The line you must adhere is extremely thin and not forgiving.

The porcUclimb trail was the hardest for me. It was the height of the climb. I was hot. Yes, hot in 20 degree weather. The air was taxing me as I huffed and puffed my way through the switchbacks and tree limbs. This is where I wiped out not once but twice. The word wipeout makes it sound awesome but it was really more of an I lost my track and tipped over. Nonetheless I ended up in the snow and had to brush off and move on. Much like life.

Soon enough I was at the top. A little water break. A little time to catch my breath. A few photos and time to reapply the heavier layers for the descent. This was the Downward Dog trail. My favorite and most thrilling ride. No spill on the decent. One close call but no wipeouts. I definitely rode down much faster than I went up. All and all the trek was close to three hours of awesomeness and hard work. I was so proud of myself for conquering a new form of fitness and embracing the experience itself including the cold. There were no complaints about the beautiful views in every direction.

Some fun sights along the way were the trail signs. Getting a little history on the area. The people watching. Seeing young families to older folks to young couples moving along via bike or cross country skis. I also saw so many different dogs with their humans. They all seemed to love running in the snow. They had a freeness to explore yet they stuck with their humans. From German Shepards to little mini doodles. I saw a good variety of dogs. This of course meant plenty of yellow snow, which I avoided.

I don’t know that I will ever be in another cold place to adventure out on a fat tire bike up a mountain but I can say I enjoyed my adventure today. I didn’t get to see any moose or deer but I did see their droppings and tracks so I guess it wasn’t my lucky day to see any wildlife.

If you at ever in Park City, Utah in the winter give snow biking a try. It’s a great option to try something new.

adventure

First Timer

I’m a first timer. A virgin of sorts. New skill. New form of fitness. New level of cold. New land to explore. New. New. New.

I guess I should let you in on the secret. I’m wearing an apparatus that I thought was going to resemble a tennis racquet on my feet as I trek through snow. To my surprise I had something more modern and practical. They call this snowshoeing and I’m paying for this form of torture just to say I did it! I must be a little nuts but I love completing unique excursions whenever possible.

I obviously love to share my stories in case one may want to try said activities. I also like to catalog my crazy adventures for the years ahead when I am not physically or mentally able to complete such crazy things. So here goes. Snow is on the forecast for today 1-3 inches. Cold temps and strong winds. That is just the start.

I’m layered up and ready to tackle the unknown. The initial climb is a few switch backs that get the heart rate going while you get used to your new footwear. I loved the bottom of mine. The claw-like bottom gives you so much traction in the snow. It was definitely an experience.

Hiking through the trees was my favorite part. Every corner was a little different. We traveled around a mine site and learned a little about the area history. We hiked near cliff hanger house that was being built with million dollar views. We got pretty close to an avalanche area and saw how the path changed.

I didn’t use poles for my hike but my pal did. I’m sure I could have benefited from them but I felt the traction from my snow shoes gave me the stability I wanted. I guess I opted for less baggage on my trek. A little more vigorous than hiking is what I would explain. If I lived somewhere cold I think I would definitely have a pair of these to kick around town in.

This view was amazing although the picture doesn’t do it justice. The skies were grey today due to the stormy weather but the climb yielded some amazing views of the city and the ski trails. If you are ever in this area, you should give snow shoes a try. Just because.

adventure

Main Street

A day of leisure.

A day to explore.

Main Street called my name.

I walked the streets and enjoyed the mountain air while stopping in all the shops on Main Street. My first pit stop was for rocket fuel, also known as coffee. One in my party opted for two shots of espresso, another tried the red velvet hot cocoa with whipped cream and I tried a brown sugar cinnamon latte. All kept us warm as we strolled and sipped on this cold morning.

Many cute shops to visit. From T-shirts to ski shops to fancy art displays. There was something for everyone. I enjoyed looking at all the stickers and magnets unique to the area. It was also a treat to see the snow globes decorated for the holiday and set to music and you cruised Main Street. Just another specialty for this holiday season in Park City. I didn’t really have a favorite snow globe but I did enjoy checking them all out. 

Another fun feature was heated benches or heated stones. A great place to take a break while enjoying a toasty seat warmer. Something I didn’t expect but very much enjoyed. There were also historical facts posted around the buildings as well. A little history lesson was available to those who had an interest. I found some alleys decorated in scenic art along with some neat doors to-capture the ski town vibe. All in all Main Street was a fun place to stroll and browse.

I will probably visit Main Street again to try out a restaurant or visit the shops again. I may need to buy another snow globe since I broke the one I bought on my first trip down Main Street.

After an adventure on Main Street we opted to explore the Olympic Training Center. Pretty cool to see the facilities, snap a few photos and just experience the few offerings that were available. I did enjoy the virtual ski jump simulator. I wasn’t very good at it and probably why I’m not an Olympian, but nonetheless I enjoyed the opportunity. I also enjoyed bobsled and parachute skiing simulations. Very different experiences but since I probably will Never do any of these activities in real life, the simulation experience was perfect for me.

Another great day of amazing views and new experiences. I’m sure you will read more about my travels in upcoming posts.

adventure, nature, travel

Haynes Ranch

I’ve been snowmobiling before in Colorado a few years ago. Now it’s time to compare my experience to snowmobiling in Utah. Same time of year but obviously different states and different terrain. I couldn’t be more excited for this chilly adventure, but I am also excited to share my recap with my readers.

Vroom. Vroom. The anticipation builds. Fresh snow the ground. Grey skies from snow that fell the night before as we head to Haynes Ranch in Coalsville, Utah. The roads had fresh snow and so did the ranch. The scenery was amazing and the skies ended up blue today. The brightest of blues after a snowy 24 hours prior. The first time I saw blue skies in days. It was still a chilling 1 degree at 10am when we hit the snowmobiles. Thank goodness they had hand and feet warmers on them.

After a little trek over a stream and short climb we hit the gateway to the 40,000 acre ranch. I felt like the land I was on was one of the most beautiful places I have been to. We saw wildlife (moose) in their environment along with trails of other animals that I didn’t ever catch a glimpse of. Little and big prints in the fresh snow made me wonder as I rode along. Who was in the area for animals?

We followed a thin track of the machine in front of us. Such a fabulous view for as far as your eyes could see ahead. From mountains to rock formations, it was all spectacular. The way the sun glistened on the snow and the bright blue sky. Peaceful is the one word that comes to mind. Words can barely scratch the surface on how memorable this journey through the ranch was. Fresh snow added to the ride value.

We made a few planned stops for photos and to watch the wildlife. We had the chance to hit a large pasture with just the right amount of fresh snow to get our machine up and moving. We could go fast or round the hillside in our own style. We each made our own footprint in the snow. So much fun to free ride in the snow and make your own tracks.

As we traveled to a mountain top we had to lean in to go up the hillside to the most spectacular view. As we climbed one of the double riders in our group veered off track and sunk into the 8-9 feet of snow. This was a separate adventure in itself. The machine had to be dug out and then we had to ride down the mountain cautiously not to bury any other machines. I somehow ended up transporting an extra passenger down the mountain which was a little nerve racking.

Despite the unplanned we spent additional time at the top of this precious area. The view in the distance seemed to go on forever. This was one of my favorite spots yet the camera photos don’t seem to capture the beauty I experienced in person. The sky showed its color variations and the snow was just untouched in the distance. The tree lines were awesome.

All in all this day trip was wonderful. I would say this ranch made the snowmobile adventure that much more special and the fresh snowfall added to the ambiance. At the end of the trip, my thumb seemed frozen from using it on the throttle without a break and my quads seemed to have felt the brunt of the wind on the ride. It took some time to defrost my body.

Should I venture out again I would add another layer of clothing for the cold temps. I would also invite others to enjoy the special occasion. It’s almost impossible to reimagine the beauty I saw today. If you ever have the chance to explore Utah, check out Back Country Snowmobiles. It’s is a rare find.

As I close out this post I will be cherishing this experience memory for some time to come.