Two weeks ago, I took advantage of the triathlon off-season, headed to Utah, and spent some quality time exploring outdoors.
Mormon mobile license plate!
One of my best friends was invited to a (Mormon) wedding, and when he asked if I wanted to go, I immediately said yes. Since it was the off-season, I wouldn’t have to worry about logging workouts (a.k.a. trying to find a pool and going days without biking), and to be honest, Utah would not be a place I’d seek out on my own. Colorado, absolutely. Wyoming, sure. But Utah? Without a legitimate reason to go, I don’t know if I would have ended up there—but I’m really glad I did.
I made an effort to unplug during those three days, so there was not a lot of ‘Gramming, but here are a few highlights:
Enjoying plate after plate of delicious food
You read my blog. You know I’m going to mention food. At first glance, Salt Lake City doesn’t appear to be a foodie paradise, but thanks to some recommendations, my friend and I had some seriously tasty meals. We went to Ogie’s Café and Penny Ann’s Café for breakfast and ate some pre-flight $3 tacos at Taqueria El Rey De Oros. The best meal, though, was lunch at Blue Poblano.
Located in downtown Salt Lake, this Mexican restaurant specializes in farm-to-table fare and sources only local ingredients. (Unfortunately, they had no liquor license.) We enjoyed pre-wedding nachos and portbello mushroom vegetarian tacos. This was definitely the best Mexican I’ve had in a while—and I eat it about once a week in NYC.
Wandering around the area
Salt Lake City is known as an LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) hotbed to say the least, and two Mormon-centric sites we visited included the Gilgal Garden and Salt Lake City Temple.
Containing 12 sculptures and more than 70 engraved stones, the garden was conceptualized by Thomas Child. He hoped it would inspire visitors to ponder “the unsolved mysteries of life.”
Before our return flight, we spent some time walking around the Salt Lake City Temple Square.
The atmosphere felt like a well-manicured college campus.
I also felt somewhat out of place without a small child.
Exploring Utah Olympic Park
Hitting up the Olympic Park was non-negotiable, and we spent three hours exploring the museum, taking goofy pictures, and getting a tour.
We really shouldn’t be left to our own devices.
Even though the Summer Games are my jam, it was still neat to see the facilities and learn more about the 2002 Winter Games.
Our tour guide said Salt Lake plans to throw its name into the hat to host the Winter Olympics again, but since it costs $10 million (!!) to be considered, they are focusing on updating the park for the next year or so.
Not real life
Hiking at Zion National Park
The highpoint of the trip was hiking at Zion National Park, specifically taking on the 5.4-mile “strenuous” Angel’s Landing loop.
The park guide said this hike would take 4-5 hours, but even though we did it in three, we did not have enough time to do The Narrows. (We originally planned to do both.) Next time!
This photo basically sums up the day at Zion: I’d walk a little bit and then stop for a few minutes to take in my surroundings.
All in all, Utah ended up being a fun trip and a great “hoo-rah” because we’ll be firing on all cylinders at work with the New York City Marathon approaching.
Have you been to Utah? Has a trip or vacation surprised you?