Park City, UT, August 2010

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Main Street in Park City

Our daughter Angela (Moment to some) has lived in Park City, UT for a few years now.  Sue and Michelle have been out there a couple of times but I haven't.  Angela was determined we were coming so she bought us airline tickets and made a major contribution to the place we stayed.  With a deal like that, why would we resist?

Sue did a little homework looking for things to do.  We knew we wanted to look around downtown Park City.  There was a train ride in Heber, UT that looked interesting.  We also wanted to check out the summer activities at the Park City Mountain Resort.

Nordic ski jump from our roomWhen we arrived at our lodging at the Newpark Resort, we checked out the view from the second floor and there were two ski jumps.  They were the big jumps from the 2002 Olympics.  That added an activity to the trip.  Not ski jumping but touring the facility.  For what its worth the place we stayed was a townhouse and was very nice.  The included hot tub wasn't bad either.

Saturday morning, we drove into town to the Park City Mountain Resort.  The resort part looked nice and is at the bottom of the mountain.  To me, the place looked huge.  Spread over a few mountains.  The GiantThe Alpine Coaster Slalom and Super G were held here in 2002.  They had something I'd never seen before.  It was an Alpine Coaster.  Basically a roller coaster that scoots back down the mountain.  It can't jump the track so nothing too much to worry about.  Your car goes to the top on a peaceful journey.  When you get there, you push both handles foreward as far as you can reach.  It pretty much flies back down the mountain through some sharp turns.  Brynn rode it with Michelle and looked a little numb.  She did ride it again, though. 

Alpine SlideWe also rode the Alpine Slide.  Its basically a concrete slide that you ride a sled down.  Its probably the only summer activity that you could get hurt on.  Its possible to get dumped if you aren't a little careful.  I've still got a scar on my knee from one in New Hampshire many years ago.
Looking up Park City Main Street
We decided it was time to grab lunch.  The sushi place we wanted to try was closed so we had subs and moved on.  We drove to the top of the hill where Main Street is and parked in a free parking garage.  We walked over to Main St. and wandered down the hill.  Many restaurants and an interesting assortment of shops.  We kept walking and found Main St to be very pretty.  The shops are painted a variety of colors and create an interesting look.

We rode the trolley back to the top and picked up the car.  We could have walked (maybe) but remember that I said it was down hill coming from the top.  Not sure we'd have made it.

That was pretty much the end of Saturday.  We spent the rest of the afternoon discussing where to get dinner.  It seemed our variety of tastes caused many conflicts.  It all worked out but not cheaply.

Heber Valley Railroad trainSunday was reserved for the train ride.  We decided to check out the Provo Canyon Limited Train Ride.  We started in Heber, UT and headed south following the river.  WeDeer Creek Reservoir also went alongside the Deer Creek Reservoir.  Its a large body of water that provides water for Salt Lake City and I assume some of the surrounding area.  Not many boats on the reservoir but there were some kite surfers.  After the reservoir, we followed the Provo River for a ways to the turn around point.  The locomotive unhooked from the front and moved to the back.  It pulled us back to Heber from the other end of the train.  The scenery was interesting but we didn't see any wildlife. 

Jordanelle WetlandsWe ate lunch and decided to go for a short hike.  We stopped at the Jordanelle Wetlands on the middle Provo River.  Interesting trail through the marshy area and cattails.  The Provo River was moving pretty fast in this stretch.  Brynn was with us and seemed to enjoy the hike and the cattails.  The photo album shows this better than I can explain it.

We closed out the day by making a trip to the Utah Olympic Park.  We wanted to see what was there and what the tour cost.  It looked really good so we made plans for the next day and headed home.

Monday was our last day in Park City.  To keep Angela happy, we slept in for a whileTraining in Freestyle Skiing and had breakfast.  Then it was off to the Utah Olympic Park.  While waiting for our tour, we watched the Freestyle Skiing Training Area.  There was one American there training.  Very impressive to watch him in the air.  The Austrailians were there too but not training at that time.

Nordic Ski jump from the bottomOur first stop was at the bottom of the Nordic Ski Jump.  It was interesting from that close.  It follows the lay of the land and at no point has the jumper real far above the ground.  There were two there used in the Olympics.  The K90 and K120.  Not sure of the difference unless its the meters from the top to the jump.
Down goes the bobsled.  Click for larger image.
From here it was off to the Bobsled and Luge tracks.  They have separate starting areas but come together further down the mountain.  Obviously, they don't race at the same time.  There didn't seem to be a lot of excitement for riding the wheeled bobsled down the track.  Our guide talked about when they had astronauts there visiting.  The near 70 MPH and 4 G's was interesting to them.  Michelle heard all this and decided she needed to go.  Angela and Johnny joined her.  They added a driver and off they went.  The Olympic Gold Times were 44 - 45 seconds.  Their time was 63 seconds.  That isn't bad considering they didn't get much of a push and were on wheels instead of runners on ice.  The photo album gives a decent look at this.

View from the top of the K120 jump.From there, we went to the top of the Nordic Ski Jumps.  Let me assure they look a lot different from the top.  I didn't even like standing there looking down the K120.  You can see how much lower the K90 is than the K120.  We didn't get to look down it but I imagine it looked intense too.

From here, we headed back.  Angela invited friends for dinner and they had to get started.  All in all, I enjoyed the Olympic Park.  It was interesting to see the entire set  up.

The trip home was uneventful.  We flew into Pittsburgh for the first time.  We're used to Dulles after living in the DC area for several years.  Dulles gave us a 10 minute drive home.  Flying back to Pittsburgh gives us a 2 hours trip home.