Monday, January 28, 2008

Utah - Reasons you haven't vacationed there and reasons you should.

Reasons why you haven't vacationed in Utah:

#1. They only sell 3.2% alcohol beer. This is true, if you only shop at Jackson's convenience store chain. You can buy stronger (read: normal) beer at Liquor Stores and bars and restaurant that choose to serve it. A little planning ahead will lead to lots of heavy drinking, have no fear. [note: Meeps points out there can be an upside to 3.2%. During college on a trip to Zion, he drank a full case of 3.2% Coors Light and felt like a million bucks the next day.]

#2. It's full of Mormons. OK, this one is actually true. According to an LDS report in 2004, the state of Utah is about 62% Mormon. But, upon further reflection, you realized that as a progressive, free thinking American, you embrace and respect the freedom of religion. Oh, that and Grand county, home of Arches National Park, is only "44.9% or fewer" Mormon, also according to the LDS.

#3. It's not Mexico. I know that PV is really fun. I know that the compulsion to go somewhere you MUST TAKE A SHOT every time a guy with tequila holsters blows his whistle is strong. But, there is more out there. Be brave!

Reasons you should vacation in Utah:
#1. Where else can you go and see a billboard on the side of the highway that says "Bridal Show This Weekend at Provo High School" (that is 100% true)

#2. The Wasatch mountains are one of the premier ski destinations in the US. Amazingly dry, light powder, a wide array of resorts with incredible terrain, all easily accessed from major cities and airports. Oh, and don't worry, as mentioned, with a little planning, you can make sure your apres goes well and you have a nice pounding hangover/elevation headache in the morning.

#3. Here's the big one: the national parks, outdoor spaces and natural beauty are virtually unrivaled by anything else we have ever seen. The Zion Virgin River hike, Canyonlands, Thor's Hammer at Bryce

The many Arches hikes, including the Delicate Arch
and a personal favorite, the Fiery Furnace.

In 2003 we did a road trip through the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Of course we included Arches National Park in our trip. Among others, the Delicate Arch and the Fiery Furnace were stunning almost beyond belief. It's hot during the day and cold at night, but always dry, and generally the camping is easy and plentiful. We found a small, very secluded site in the bend of a river and camped for $4 a day with no reservations about 15 minutes from the park. We spent a few solid days hiking, taking pictures, getting lost [almost scary lost - B Money] and generally marveling at the stunning, otherworldly scenes, immense vistas and feeling small next to the strange and beautiful formations shooting straight out of the red earth.

Do yourself a favor. Do some research, pack up the car, head to Moab and make this happen for yourself. The Delicate Arch is called that for a reason - it literally won't be there forever. Acid rain, human impact and the nature of the Earth is changing this place every day.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

spring break my sophomore year i went on an OMSI backpacking trip in utah: backpacking down coyote gulch canyon and hiking in bryce and zion national parks. it was truly one of the best weeks of my life! utah is excellent i can't wait to go back. if you ever go into zion make sure to climb angel's landing.