Tour of Utah: Mountains

Utah has a very diverse climate -all dry, mind you, but very diverse. One thing that runs throughout the entire state besides the interstate, however, are MOUNTAINS.

© Chel Owens

The Rocky Mountains are Utah’s main range, but we also have the Oquirrh, Uinta, La Sal, Wah Wah…. Apparently, there’s a list. I live here, and I didn’t know there were that many ranges.

The Rockies are my favorite. Nearly all of my life, I’ve been able to open my door and see them. We call the part along the edge of the Salt Lake Valley the Wasatch Mountains; they are home to the most popular ski resorts Utah is famous for (Alta, Brighton, Solitude). I know it’s no Switzerland, but the powder’s not half bad. I’ve skied Alta and Brighton and hiked a lot of the other resorts during the summer. (Skiing them is much faster than hiking.)

Image by msrisamarie from Pixabay

Utah’s mountains are iconic. They’re beautiful. They’re a natural compass when I’m lost. In point of fact, I find traveling across America’s midsection to be a disconcerting experience. How do you ever know where you are? How do you know if you’ll ever get out of Oklahoma?

Utah’s mountains are diverse like the climate. On a recent family trip to St. George, we hiked around a (hopefully) extinct volcano. Last summer, we camped amidst forested foothills at an elevation of 5,417 feet. The campground I stayed at as a youth rests near 8,800 feet.

© Chel Owens

If there’s one thing I can never be mad at dry, desert Utah for, it’s its mountains. If you want to visit them, pick a direction. Pick a trail. Pick a chairlift if it’s winter. You won’t be disappointed.

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Here’s what I wrote over the last week:

Thursday, April 15: Wrote “Secret Snitch Will Scratch That Itch!” as an example for the poetry contest.

Friday, April 16: Announced the winners of the A Mused Poetry Contest. Congrats to Bruce and Doug!

Monday, April 19: Shared a quote by Robert Schuller.

Tuesday, April 20: Belatedly announced the next A Mused Poetry Contest. Get your campaigns ready!

©2021 Chel Owens

Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life. If you don’t know where Utah is: just go West of that big, open, flat area in the middle of The United States of America to the Rocky Mountains; but stop before you can gamble or make it to the beach.

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Given my druthers, I think I’d prefer somewhere like Boston in the fall. With dogs. And no dishes or laundry. Ever. Those who know me might wonder why I’m living in The West with 4.5 children and housework ’round the clock, but we’re not going to climb aboard that psychologist’s couch right now.

I bring up my location and innermost desires because I often wonder why people come to my little speck of the world. Why do they stay? What do we have to offer here?

For me, the attractions include:

    1. The Mormons. Okay; okay: the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      When I traveled with our music group in high school, other kids we met in the hotels would always ask two questions: Where are you from? immediately followed by Are you a Mormon?
      We may have stood out for lack of cussing and cut-off jeans, but mostly Utah is just known for its Mormons. I’m not bothered; there are a lot of us here. Mostly I get bothered by those who are bothered by that fact. I mean, it’s a little obvious that LDS people might live in Utah. They kind-of settled it.
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      Anywho: being mostly LDS myself and not minding the culture surrounding it, I find the placement comforting more than not.
    2. The people.
      Personally, I feel this ties into Reason #1, but I knew many people would go digging for ‘Mormons’ once I mentioned ‘Utah.’ Whether it’s because of the huge number of LDS and families or not (trust me, it is), the people here are generally friendly and kind.
      I remember watching the American Idol episode they filmed here in 2009. Contestant after contestant on the show responded to the judges’ negative assessment with a smile and a, “Thank you.” The judges were weirded out by the positivity (watch at about 15:37).

  1. The Scenery
    Since I live in the Salt Lake area, I can always see mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. They’re beautiful, and I totally take them for granted. It’s not till I’m lost in Oklahoma that I realize how wonderful those natural compasses and rocky beauties are.
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  2. Destinations
    Utah is also home to plenty of hiking/biking/camping/ATVing areas. There are even a few spots with swimmable water. I’m too lazy to look up what percentage of the state is Federal or State land, but it’s sizable. Utah’s home to Zion’s, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley….
    I am also not very grateful for how close and easy these destinations are, or the millions of unnamed camping and hiking areas. If we want to go on a quick hike, there are several within half an hour’s drive. There are even nice areas to walk around within walking distance of our house.
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    Utah is also known for its skiing. I haven’t had time or money for the sport since high school, but publicists are not lying when they say it’s The Greatest Snow on Earth -though I’d amend that it might be the greatest this side of the globe. I’d love to try the Alps.
  3. My family nearby
    You all aren’t going to enjoy the benefit of this; but having grandparents, siblings, cousins (lots and lots of cousins!) close enough to visit is very nice. Home is where the heart is and all that.

I was born with an odd curiosity for where other people call Home. Specifically, I often want to experience their day-to-day lives. So: what do you like about where you live? What do you see? Visit? Eat?

If you’ve lived several places, what have been your favorite aspects of some of them?

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While you consider and respond, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 4: Discussed a bit about the fun and games of selling dice.

Thursday, September 5: “A Thoughtful Poem.”

Friday, September 6: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, September 7: Announced the 42nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Do you know where your towel is? PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down” over at The Bipolar Longname Blog.

Sunday, September 8: “True Grit?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 9: An inspirational quote by Paulo Coelho.

Tuesday, September 10: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three.” Sorry, Wil.

Wednesday, September 11: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “‘Work at Home,’ They Said,” “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” and “The Boy Mom Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
John-Mark Smith
Michael Hart
Justin Luebke
Mitch Nielsen

©2019 Chelsea Owens