Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Take a ride back in time.....

Today most people get around by planes, trains and automobiles - as well as bicycles, skates, skateboards, scooters and other wheeled accessories. For hundreds of years, horses were the fastest mode of local travel. It's rare that people get to ride horses anymore, with the exception of those who have horse properties and their own animals.
Today, if one wants to ride - one often has to rent them. And then, one's choices are sway-backed, non-spirited horses that follow one another nose-to-tail on a trail that they've been on dozens of times.
That's not the case on Antelope Island, where horseback riders have a completely different experience. At R&G, the outfitter will ask you where you want to go - and you take-off in search of mountain sheep, the herd of giant undisturbed mule deer, pronghorn and the ever-present bison - which you can get as close as a hundred yards. All of this without trails, riding side by side with your riding companions. In most cases, the group is exclusively yours. You're not teamed up with people that you don't know. It's a great way to get out and experience a different place and time.

If you look closely, you'll notice that all of the development (camping areas, marina, Visitors Center, Island Buffalo Grill, Buffalo Point overlook, swimming beach with fresh water showers, ranger's home and the bison pens) are on the northern end of the island. With the exception of the road to Fielding Garr Ranch that goes down 2/3rds of the eastern side - the rest of the island is just as nature made it. And all that is by design. As a state park, the goal was to keep it as "primitive" as possible, to allow the "user" to experience the beauty, solitude and menagerie of animals - as it might have looked for thousands, and even millions of years. In fact, at the Visitors Center, you'll learn that the island has exposed rocks that are some of the oldest on earth.
R&G Horse and Wagon is the outfitter at the Ranch. (By the way, the ranch is the oldest Anglo structure on its orginal foundation in the state). Costs to ride are $50 per hour, or $75 for 1.5 hours, and $100 for two hours (etc). Children as young as 6 years old may ride their own horse. All of the horses are docile, well-trained and many are movie stars. When Hollywood makes a western, often the producers will call R&G to provide the horses - so ask to see which movies your horse has been in!
If you'd like more information, or to make a reservation please call the DACVB at 801-774-8200

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Forest and Trees

So, what's there to do in Davis County? I got a call from a well-meaning person today who thinks that our website ought to include a list of "The Top 100 things to do in the county".
Being a wise guy (not the Chicago mobster kind), I replied "Should we stop at 100?". Undeterred, she made an appointment to come in and tell me about 75 of them. I have to find the other 25 or more.
After the call, I did some research on the internet. There are a number of communities that do offer lists of things to do, places to eat and merchants to patronize. In each case, I thought they came up short, risked excluding one business while promoting another, or generally put some pretty lame stuff on their lists.. (like "make a paper airplane and throw it off Suchandsucha Bridge")
Depending on the season, there are dozens of things to do in Davis County. In fact, it's a little overwheming to even begin to list them.
Okay, here's one.... While on utah.com today, I came across a blog that dealt with kayaking on the Great Salt Lake. It's a great article about the lake, kayaking, birding, and it helped me to appreciate what's in my own backyard.
Sometimes the little things that we take for granted every day, are fascinating and exciting to others who may not be that familiar with them. Or for that matter, just because I'm not interested in pre-Cambrian fossils, doesn't mean that I shouldn't point them out to others.
Sufficiently chastened, there are a lot of trees to cover, describe and point out. Don't get overwhelmed in our Davis County forest of things to do!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The February BET

The Davis Area CVB was delighted to host a fun group of people, representing ski clubs from California to Great Britain on our annual Buyer Education Trip held February 25 - 27. The powder was falling fast on Thursday at Powder Mountain. Their mountain hosts took the group all over the mountain, and our own Brandon led them down into Powder Country. They all raved about the size of the mountain, and the experience.

On Friday, the sun came out for our trip to Snowbasin - where Brandon again led some of the group through the slightly tracked out powder - and others skiied on the packed runs. This being the week of the Olympics in Vancouver - we finished the day by taking "the can"to the top of Mt. Allen for a look down the first face of the men's downhill. The views from up there are incredible.

Carolyn at Powder Mountain, and Steve at Snowbasin were wonderful hosts - providing the group with lunch on each day, and amazing experiences and memories.

Likewise, our hospitality partners in town were a hit: the food served at Roosters, Holy Smoke, and MacCools and Boston's Pizza was outstanding, the only complaint from the guests was that they ate too much. The newly remodeled Comfort Inn - Layton provided wonderful guest rooms and a great breakfast every morning.

We heard very positive comments from our guests, and look forward to the groups and clubs that come for a visit in the future. We're confident that skiing will be as good when they come next time, as it was on their BET visit. Because that's the way it is here: we do have the Greatest Snow on Earth, the best resorts in our backyard, and amazingly cooperative hospitality partners.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hidden Danger

Currently, if you looked at my face you'd think I am a leper. It's the result of years of UV radiation (skiing, boating, hiking, being outside) - and the vanity that comes with a good tan. As if I had placed it in a microwave - what is it that heats up that food anyway? Just cuz we can't see it... doesn't mean the rays aren't cooking. Who knew that the damage would be cumulative?
I met a girl in the gym on Saturday. She said "Aw, precancerous cells, huh?". As she showed me a wide scar that ran the length of the back of her arm, she asked, "Do you know what this is?". "A zipper for your humerus?", I guessed. Not so humorous. "Skin cancer. Years of boating on Flaming Gorge and water-skiing on Lake Powell as a kid. " She's a fair-skinned beautiful young woman - only in her late 20s. "I had a mole there all my life, but it started to change". She went to the dematologist, and sure enough the biopsy was cancerous. They took out lymph nodes in her armpit to see if it spread - it hadn't. She reports that another 20-something in our neighborhood recently had the same experience, same mole, same spot. Only HER lymph nodes showed cancerous cells - therefore, she's on chemo. Bummer.
I have to put a cream called 'Aldara' on my face, twice a week for 8 weeks. It apparently makes the precancerous cells scab up. It didn't look that bad before, no serious wrinkles - it's not like I looked like a 90 yr old smoker - no obvious signs to me. But my doctor could tell. I used to go in once a year for the dermatologist to freeze precancerous cells. Occasionally he'd cut something out. This time he said he couldn't freeze anymore. "Use this cream. 1/4 teaspoon per $20 dose". It works. It's crazy how it works. I'll trade my vanity for years of solar abuse, if it means I don't have to bear a 12" zipper-scar across the forehead - or a patch of skin from my rear on my face - which I've also seen on others.
Be careful out there in the Utah wilds and on its slopes and waters. See a doctor regularly. Lather up with the SPF. No one wants to be a butt-face.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Utah Ski Trips in Davis County

Davis County Utah is prime real estate for a ski vacation headquarters! We have the closest urban hotel lodging (defined as having dozens of restaurants to choose from, day spas facilities for apres ski, movie theatres, shopping) to Snowbasin (site of the 2002 downhill & Super G) and our lodging is less than 30 mins to Powder Mountain. We're within 60 minutes of eight other world class resorts, including those in SLC and Park City. We're only 15 minutes to 30 minutes away from the SL International airport, with its hundreds of daily flights.

For years Ski Utah has been trying to convince winter guests that it makes so much more sense to spend time in Utah rather than the expensive, and rather remote Colorado resorts. You can spend most of your time driving from DIA to the resort, or spend it on the slopes in Utah. And Davis County is an undiscovered gem! (We're the county that's just NORTH of SLC, where Park City is in the county EAST of SLC).

Our NSL hotels are midway between the SL/PC resorts and Snowbasin/Powder Mountain. Mid and north county hotels are even closer to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Both resorts have been named by Ski Magazine in the top 10 of many categories. (See our webpage for links to the resorts, comments from other visitors, and some crazy YouTube videos of the resorts!)

Kind of makes you want to go there doesn't it?

Powder Mountain:
  • ranked #5 Overall and in Family Resorts of all Utah Ski resorts by onthesnow.com
  • pretty good reviews of their own at onthesnow.com and here too
For more info, if you go to http://www.skinet.com/skiing/resorts/2009/11/2010-resort-awards and click on the various categories under "Readers Choice", you'll find that each click will load the top 10 North American resorts in each category, as voted by Skiing Magazine Readers for 2010. Then click on the resort for more info:
  • Powder Mountain: Rated #9 in Best Back Country Access
  • Snowbasin: Rated #7 in Best Snow
  • Powder Mountain: Rated #9 in Best Snow
Area Davis County hotels offer spectacular ski packages, which include lodging, lift passes (including Salt Lake's Super Pass), and generally a hot breakfast. Our hotels are modern, attractive, convenient, affordable, and close to the big city amenities. Generally, weekend rates are actually better than weekday rates.

And for dinner, if you don't get a room with a suite - you'll have to decide between dozens of excellent restaurants with budgets for every wallet, and tastes for every palate.

Come see why it just makes sense to spend a ski/board vacation in Davis County! Or call us and we'll tell you more about it!

Inner Tubing at Snowbasin

Snowbasin isn't only about world-calibre skiing and boarding. You can also take the family up to go innertubing.

Call first to see if there's enough snow on the tubing hill, but if you like the idea of getting pulled up the hill instead of walking up it - Check out Snowbasin. You still get the thrill and rush of gliding down the snow - but you don't have to hassle the tubes, inflate them, transport them, etc. And, you just might be a hero to your kids. Better yet, get your friends and neighbors to join you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Biking on the Island

Antelope Island is a great place for both mountain biking and road bicycling - very little traffic. Spring and fall, or early summer mornings are wonderful - you can't beat the views! And the Great Salt Lake is fun for kayaking as well.