Revitalize Mind, Body and Spirit at the Remède Spa at the St Regis

StRegisLobbyI have a theory as to why you feel so revitalized after a massage.  A massage can be much more than simply relaxing and having a trained massage therapist knead away the tension in your muscles.  Certainly, the body feels great after a massage but the mind and spirit can be rejuvenated, too.

My theory has to do with “what’s behind the knot”; something caused you to tense up and create a knot in the first place.  Granted, sometimes you may have tension in your lower back because of the way you sit at your desk or you may have tightness in your calves because you are a runner.  Most knots, I believe, are due to some tense event that caused you to tighten up, possibly without even realizing it.  There is a reason people call someone or something a “pain in the neck.” The problem you had may be long solved or the person long removed from your life but the knot is still there.

As your massage therapist works on the knot, you often think about that tense event.  When you let it go in your mind as you let it go in your body, the whole thing revives your spirit.  When I booked a couple’s massage for my husband Jay and me at the Remède Spa at the St. Regis, I’d forgotten all about my theory.  We’d never had side-by-side massages before and the anticipation of the experience was all I was thinking about.

RemedeCouplesSpaSuiteOnce the massage started, I remembered.  You see, I told my massage therapist, that I really didn’t have any knots in my back so she didn’t need to spend much time there.  But when she started working between my shoulder blades, she found a couple of knots hiding there.  These knots gently reminded me of some unfinished business, some residual tension that I still needed to let go.  With her help, I did.

Jay OutsideAfter the massage, Jay and I relaxed together on our serene private patio listening to the sounds of the waterfall from the massive rock sculpture in front of us. As we took in the breathtaking views of the mountains, he mentioned a few things he was thinking about during the massage.  Turns out, he’d had the same experience with some knots he didn’t even realize he had and some unfinished business he had a chance to let go of too.

I have another theory.  The reason it was so easy to let go of the tension and revitalize the mind, body and spirit was the sanctuary at the Remède Spa.  The treatment room was more like a retreat than a room so we felt peaceful.  We had our own private space to relax before the massage with a Jacuzzi tub, private shower and our own outdoor patio so we felt at home.

StRegisFireGarden_SummerThe therapists spoiled us.  We were treated to a warm oil foot massage and paraffin wax treatment for starters.  During the massage, there were no distractions by feeling too warm or too cold or the pressure being too strong or too soft. The state- of-the-art massage tables bent gently at our knees and raised our heads slightly adding to our comfort. Our needs were met before we had to ask so we were able to relax.

Since our massages were side-by-side and we happened to choose the same type, we had a shared experience like none other.  Some people might come to the Remède Spa to let their mind and body escape reality, but in our case, I think the peacefulness of the experience helped us each to let go of an old reality and embrace a new one together.

 

 

Hops on the Hill at Stein Eriksen Lodge Makes our Favorites List

Nancy with beerOne of the best-kept secrets is how wonderful Park City is in the summer.  Many locals have shared with me how they came here to ski in the winter but once they spent a summer here, they became permanent residents.   This is only my second summer living here year-round and I’ve found there is so much to do, it’s difficult to decide how to spend a summer evening.

Last week my husband Jay and I attended, “Hops on the Hill” at Stein Eriksen Lodge and now have added the event to our list of  “favorites” for summer entertainment.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. The Hill.  The setting on patio of Stein Eriksen Lodge is hard to beat. As you walk onto the patio, no matter how many times you’ve been there, you just say, “wow.”  The views of the aspens and evergreens on the mountain and the green grass on the ski runs are so pretty.  You just simply feel relaxed being there.
    Apricot Hefeweizen
  2. The Hops.  With the event admission price, you get a wristband with 5 mini-tickets so you can try five micro-brews.  The night we went, Wasatch Brewery was highlighting their Apricot Hefeweizen, White Label Belgian Style White Ale, Ghostrider IPA, Summerbrau Lager, and the Devastator Double Bock Amber Lager. My husband tried them all.

White Ale Devastator

Since you could mix and match at your leisure, I loaded up on my favorite.  I immediately fell madly in love with White Label Belgian White Ale so I used up three tickets on one.  Then I had a tiny sip of my husband’s “Devastator” so I could taste it but held out the rest of my tickets for the Apricot Hefeweizen and the Summer Lager. Choices are nice.

Chef Zane3. The pairings.  I’d attended a wine and food pairing but never a micro-brew and food pairing with Chef Zane.  He put together a roast beef and horseradish sandwich with the Summertime Lager – perfect!  The Apricot Hefeweizen tasted great on its own but was really amazing with peach and apricot delicacies.  Veal meatballs and prosciutto wrapped shrimp skewers went well with the Ghostrider IPA.

Jay with beer4. The company.  Many of the attendees came with a group of friends and sat together at some of the round tables or around the fireplace.  The venue provided an opportunity to share an evening catching up with good friends. Jay and I moved from one of the tall standing tables to the next trying our new brews and meeting new people.  We got some tips on hiking trails from some locals and met people from as close as Draper, Utah to travelers from Palm Springs, Calif.

Mister Sisters5. The music.  In the middle of the event, we heard music and realized Tuesday nights at 7 p.m., there is a free concert at Stein Eriksen Lodge lawn just below the patio.  After our fill of food, we finished our last beer tasting on the patio looking down over the concert.  We had a chance to listen to local band “Mister Sister” with the amazing harmonies that only sisters can have.

I love watching people dance almost as much as I love dancing myself. It’s fun to see how each dancer interprets the music once they have shaken off their initial shyness.  Concertgoers got up to dance on the grass to Mister Sister’s covers of oldies such as “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel and more recent tunes such as “Black Horse in the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall.  Little girls did twirls and cartwheels. Ladies got up and danced together in small groupings.  Couples walked up hand-in-hand to enjoy a tender moment on a summer evening.

With those five reasons, can you see why Hops on the Hill at Stein Eriksen Lodge made our favorite’s list?

For more information on Hops on the Hills, click here.

 

Savor Your Summer at the Royal Street Cafe with Deer Valley’s Signature Cocktails

 

three cocktailsWhat are your favorite memories of summer?   One of mine is a girl’s weekend (before I moved here permanently) in Park City – three California girls came in for a four-day weekend.  Dressed in short sleeved t-shirts and shorts, we rode the chairlifts from Snow Park to Silver Lake Lodge and to the top of Bald Mountain.  It was a beautiful warm summer day so we didn’t dream of bringing a light jacket!  It got chilly on the lift so the three of us huddled together for warmth.  We each pulled our arms out of the sleeves wrapping them around our waists underneath our shirts to slow the goose bumps.  When we arrived at Silver Lake, we ran into a shop and bought sweatshirts!  We enjoyed the second half of our lift ride to the summit much better and have laughed about it ever since.

On the way down, we stopped for lunch at Royal Street Café and enjoyed a lingering lunch on the deck in the full sun with our new sweatshirts draped across the backs of the chairs and Blueberry Mojitos in our hands. Now, I live here full time and always bring visitors on that very same scenic lift ride and to bask in the sun for alfresco dining on the deck.  As a local, I’ve learned to always bring a light jacket or sweatshirt as temperatures change frequently in the mountains, and I’ve also picked up a thing or two about cocktail options at the Royal Street Café.

My friends and I lucked into the Blueberry Mojito because we saw it come out on a tray to a patron sitting at a table next to us.  We said to the server, “We’ll each have one of those.”  What we didn’t know at the time was the Royal Street Café scours the farmers markets each week to choose local seasonal fruits such as raspberries and apricots and herbs such as rosemary and basil for their cocktails.  They make juices and mixes fresh each day. When we were enjoying our day in the mountains, we were sipping the freshest local fruit juices and tasting hints of freshly picked local herbs from right here in the Wasatch Mountain area.  To us, the experience was seamless but to the team at Royal Street Café, it was intentionally designed for us to really enjoy a sense of place – the mountains and the summer season.  It worked!

nancy and bonnieA lot of the inspiration for seasonal cocktails comes from lead bartender, Bonnie Ulmer, who has been a part of Deer Valley since the beginning. I had a chance to spend some time with Bonnie, observing her skills in action, chatting with her on the deck and having a taste test of the latest signature cocktail. In case you need some help deciding which drink to sip as you drape your arm over a chair sitting on the deck on a summer afternoon, here are some suggestions for making your summer cocktail decision:

sipping rosemary collinsTry this summer’s signature cocktail – Rosemary Tom Collins. If you like something a little on the tart side with the freshly made sweet and sour mix and you want to completely blow your mind with the addition of the hint of rosemary, this is the one for you.  When I tasted it, I couldn’t put it down because of the unique flavors.  You’ll notice when I snapped some photos of the drinks on the deck, the Rosemary Tom Collins had been sipped quite a bit.  I’ll admit it; it was me! You try taking just one sip and let me know how that works for you! The rosemary adds a unique sensory experience that encourages you to take sip after sip.

Experiment and go with this week’s special.  The restaurant and beverage team at the Royal Street Café all weigh in on the weekly special cocktail.  I got to try the RSC Berry Crush with Grey Goose vodka, splash of Chambord, fresh raspberries, and house made lemonade served over crushed ice.  The weekly special is one of the things Bonnie loves most about summer! She had a twinkle in her eye when she talked about plans for a cucumber and basil combination she was planning.  Whatever fruit is ripe and herbs are available, a new special cocktail is created to pair with the weekly food specials. If you want to be adventuresome and try something new, try the current creation.

mojitoGo with the winner – Deer Valley’s Blueberry Mojito.  This drink is the winner of the Park City’s Best Cocktail Award in 2007/2008 and for good reason. With the combination of mint, lime and blueberries, how can you go wrong?  People from all over the world come to Royal Street Café asking for this special drink and the recipe to take home.  Even the culinary challenged (such as me) have been able to make this drink at home with success!

Stick with the classics.  It’s fun to experiment with something new, but you certainly don’t have to!  You can order anything from a Manhattan, a High West Distillery Rendezvous Rye Whiskey, to a locally brewed lager from the Wasatch Brewery to enjoy on the deck at Silver Lake Lodge.

deck cocktailsThe diners who stop at the Royal Street Café are an eclectic group and the drink choices certainly fall right in line.  Whatever choice you decide, make it memorable. The important thing is to savor your summer and create lasting memories of your time in Park City, whether you live here year-round or you are here for a short stay.

For a peek at the menu and more information for Royal Street Café, click here.

 

 

Mountain Biking Lessons: Zero to Intermediate in One Morning

nancyHave you ever had a song stuck in your head?  Over and over you hear something like, “Wake me up before you go-go… I’m not planning on going solo.”  The words keep coming back in a never-ending loop and finally when you think its over, there it is again.

Doug, our Deer Valley mountain bike instructor, got in my head during our lesson last weekend but fortunately in this case, it was in a good way. You see I have a bad habit.  I look down.  When I ski, instead of looking at where I am going, I look down right in front of me at all the obstacles I am about to hit.  Of course this means I have no time to react because I see them too late.

dougDuring our mountain biking lesson, my husband Jay and I learned a great many things including balance with the platform stance and transferring our weight way back on the bike so we are almost sitting on the back tire for steep declines.  We learned to trust the bikes; we employed controlled momentum and the 29” knobby tires took us over rocks, roots and gravel with no problems. The third important lesson we learned was vision.

Doug explained,  “When you look ahead to where you want to go instead of where you are, your brain registers everything in front of you even the fuzzy stuff in your peripheral vision.”  I took that to mean, looking down is a complete waste of time.  It’s also no fun.  When all you are looking at is obstacles, all you experience is fear.  When you look ahead to where you want to go, your brain is actively engaged in the strategy to get there, which is way more fun!

Somehow this concept I had been struggling with suddenly became very easy. The words, “Look up” were stuck in my head and I was automatically doing it.  Why now? I wondered.  Maybe it was because Doug, from a large Italian family, is a loud talker.  He told us growing up he couldn’t get a word in at the dinner table unless he spoke really loud and over top of his brothers. To the casual observer, his family dinner might sound like a heated argument but to them, it was a normal every day occurrence.  His loud clear instructions stuck with me – “Look up! Vision!  Choose your line.”

When you coupled the loud talking with his step-by-step instructions and attention to detail, we had a winning combination.  Since Deer Valley mountain biking trails start at the intermediate level, Doug started us in the parking lot where he built skill upon skill. He had us riding the bumpy stairs from one lot to the next.  He taught us how to take turns on specially prepared switchback trails beneath trees on the side of the lot. When we got the “Let’s do it!” from Doug, we headed to the lifts.

Nancy on Tour de Homes

Nancy on Tour de Homes

 

The lift operator handled each of our bikes hooking them onto the chairs behind us.  When we got to the top, we headed to “Tour des Homes” – the easiest mountain bike run but still an intermediate trail.  When we hit the first steep decent, I was prepared and looked up to where I wanted to end up – not at the ground in front of me.

The first turn – I looked ahead.

The first bump – I kept my eyes on where I was going.

When I encountered:

Rocks,

Gravel,

Grooves,

A narrow single trail,

And switchbacks with all of the above, I looked up the whole time!  I just kept hearing, “Look up!” both from Doug and also in my own head. I was cured!

Nancy's husband, Jay, on Tour de Homes

Nancy’s husband, Jay, on Tour de Homes

The most important part is we were also having fun. Jay and I hadn’t even dusted the cobwebs off our bikes this year. We’d never even ridden a single track in our lives and Deer Valley got us from zero to intermediate in one morning.  We were pretty amazed.  Our friends were amazed.  Our children were shocked.

after the lessonWe’re looking forward to taking our bikes up the lift and hitting the Tour des Homes many times this summer.  I love having that voice in my head saying, “Vision! Look up!” I hope it stays with me for the entire ski season, too.  Now, that would be wonderful.

The only problem I have now is I can’t get this tune out of my head, “Wake me up before you go-go … I’m not planning on going solo.”  Anyone have a cure for that?

To learn more about the mountain biking lessons and experience at Deer Valley Resort, click here.

Find Your Beach at Deer Valley with Stand Up Paddle

I do miss the beach.  Don’t get me wrong.  The love of the mountains is what brought me to Park City and their beauty keeps me here.  But… if I could have the absolute best of both worlds, it would be on the water AND in the mountains.  Guess what?  I found it. Its called Stand Up Paddle (SUP) located at the ponds behind Deer Valley Grocery~Café.  You can get your surfer culture on-the-water fix set off by the mountain backdrop.Paddleboards

My friend Lin and I stopped by for a Stand Up Paddle lesson. We met owner Trent Hickman and instructor Max Doilney who showed us the ropes. Max asked me if I’d ever surfed. No.

Skateboarded?  No.

Snow boarded? No.

Canoed? Yes!  There was hope for me.

We lacked experience but not enthusiasm. There were all kinds of boards to use and they started us on wider more stable boards.  I went first hopping on the board to a kneeling stance and paddled around with no problem at all.   So far –so good. This was pretty easy.

Getting the Hang of itNext was standing up.  I had some trepidation in moving from the kneel to a stand, which is really kind of silly, since the worst thing that could happen is I would get wet.  I love the water and it was hot so a dip would have actually been fun.  No worries, with the demonstration and instruction, we both easily stood up. We did it!

We were off!  We paddled around the pond a bit to get a feel for the boards and practice our turns. Then we headed around the island for a workout.

Trent HickmanNext we got to try something totally new – Paddle Board Yoga — an exercise in balance. We hooked the boards up to little buoys and sat cross-legged on the board to get in the yoga mindset.  I was having trouble visualizing how I could do a “downward dog” pose without tipping over.  Once I started, I realized it wasn’t difficult at all – it was a really cool way to practice yoga.  I decided not to press my luck and left the “stand on your head” pose to the professionals.

HeadstandWater, mountains, surfboards — all told I must say you can definitely “find your beach” at Park City Stand Up Paddle at Deer Valley Resort.

To learn more about Stand Up Paddle, go to PCSUP.

Check out SUP Yoga on Wed, Fri, and Sat mornings and Mad Max fitness class on Mon all starting at 10 a.m. at the Deer Valley Grocery~Café pond at 1350 Deer Valley Drive.

Participate or cheer on your favorite paddler at the Park City SUP Cup on August 24 at the Jordonelle Reservoir. Click here for more information.

Deer Valley Weight Loss Program- How to Slim Down Without Even Trying

A friend of mine spent an entire month participating in a live-in healthy weight loss program last summer. The group met with a nutritionist every day and had healthy balanced meals prepared for them on-site. A trainer worked them out six days a week, five to six hours a day both indoors and out.

I was very proud of him that he made a lifetime commitment to his health (and lost a few pounds,) however, the clinic just didn’t seem like much fun especially for an entire month.  I thought to myself, instead of booking a month at a boring weight loss clinic, why not put together your own weight loss skiing plan for a month at Deer Valley ski resort?  Let’s face it, skiing is a blast and burns a boatload of calories.

025 Mountain Scenic_Deer Valley ResortPersonally, I didn’t lose any weight this ski season.  When I stepped on the scale, the needle never budged.  But everyone kept asking me if I lost weight. I didn’t but what I lost this ski season was inches — two pant sizes to be exact. Even my feet have shrunk, (which is kind of creepy by the way) and I am buying shoes a half size smaller.  Seriously, who cares what the scale says!

Nancy PostThe weird thing is I haven’t done anything differently … except for skiing. I still am addicted to pretzels and wheat thins. I drink wine, eat pizza, cookies and chocolate — all in moderation. No deprivation diets in my house!  Even so, my pants hang on me and my suits need altering.  My body composition has changed with fat being replaced by muscle which is not reflected in the scale.  The only explanation I have for this phenomenon is skiing.

Since I had so much fun this ski season, I skied whenever I possibly could even when it was five degrees or snowing. Once I was there, I stayed out until I absolutely had to come in — my inner child wanted to continue playing in the snow!  This practice helped me lose inches without even noticing and could work easily for everyone.  Anyone wanting to lose their “muffin top” could put together a do-it-yourself weight loss plan and call it the “playing in the snow” program.

014 Deer Valley Resort Birdseye ViewAccording to Livestrong, downhill skiing with moderate effort for a 150 pound person burns about 400 calories per hour.  Taking into account the downtime riding the lift, you could easily ski three full hours in a day even with frequent breaks and burn about 1,200 calories a day. You only need a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat.  So with a ski program, you could lose inches without severely limiting calories.

Here are some ideas on how to put it together:

Ski three days on and take a rest day the fourth day – repeat for an entire month.

Try cross country classic or skate skiing to mix it up and burn even more calories.

Improve your skills and book some Max-4 lessons.

Incorporate a specialty clinic like the women’s ski weekend where you ski three days in a row with the same group and same instructor.

Eat healthy lunches like the “natural salad bar” or “turkey chili” at Silver Lake Lodge or Snow Park.Natural Buffet

Pile your plate high with good healthy delicious food at the Seafood Buffet or Fireside Dining.

If you want to eat the cherry pie, ski an extra half hour that day and indulge with a small portion.Cherry Pie

On your rest day, go to the spa at Montage, Stein Eriksen Lodge or St. Regis and get a massage, sit in the sauna, and/or steam room to relax, revitalize tired muscles and pamper yourself.

Now that’s my kind of a weight loss program!  You learn a new sport or improve your skills. When you are having fun, of course, you are going to get out there earlier and stay longer.  Getting slim by playing in the snow worked for me.  Do you think it might work for you?

Leaving My Son in the Dust

Nancy and RickSons have a special bond with their mothers. Well, at least when they are little since when most kids enter high school they are embarrassed to be seen with their parents.  I remember begging my mother to park down the street when she picked me up from school so I didn’t have to be seen getting in the car with….gasp…my mother.  She refused, of course.  I dreaded the time when my kids didn’t want to be seen with me.

It didn’t happen in high school with my youngest son, Rick (now 23).  He seemed to actually like having me around. In fact, he would even dangle his arm over my shoulder at…gasp….the mall! I thought we had bypassed the “my mom is embarrassing” stage until he came home from college saying things like “You aren’t going to wear THAT, are you?”  I guess certain things are unavoidable in life.

We came full circle recently when he came to visit. He is now a college graduate and a contributing member of society. He is also a snowboarder but wanted to switch it up and ski with me at Deer Valley.  His last memory of me skiing was not a good one – it was well over a year ago when we first moved here and before all my lessons!  He even took embarrassing photos of me traversing back and forth across the run and falling since my technique was so poor. He and his brothers ditched me after one run.  Who could blame them?

Nancy Rick JayThis time was different.  He was on skis instead of his board and I had been practicing, taking lessons and attending clinics. He started off on the Wide West run using the “magic carpet” people mover to get his “ski legs” since it had been 12 years since he had been on skis. Once he had the basics down, we headed up the Carpenter Express chairlift to Success.

I planned on taking the Rosebud cut off since it would be a bit easier for him for his first run.  He didn’t see me and stayed on Success where the bottom is a tad steeper.  I caught up with him and as anticipated, he had some initial challenges and stopped halfway down.

This was my opportunity – one that rarely comes and I wasn’t going to lose it. You see, Rick is a good athlete, and I knew he would quickly pass me up.  I wanted to show off my hard work and newly found mad ski skills.  So I did what any self respecting mom would do — I executed a controlled sideways slide then an abrupt hockey stop spraying him in the process.

With a straight face, I said, “Let’s face it, I am better than you.”

Then I took off.

Nancy and Rick SPWe had a great laugh as he told the story to family and friends at Snow Park Lodge.  Rick and I skied the rest of the afternoon with my friend Michelle and in no time, he was skiing beautiful turns, enjoying himself and waving at me as he passed me by. His wave, however, was one of respect.

It takes hard work and determination to learn to ski especially when you start after age 50. To be able to spend the day skiing with my son and have him dangle his arm over my shoulder again is a wonderful feeling and definitely worth the effort.

Thank you, Deer Valley.

Learning to Ski at 65 – Call in the Professionals

photo (31)While I certainly don’t agree with it, I can understand why many people wouldn’t venture to learn to ski after age 65. The older you get, the more you realize that life (and your body) is fragile.  It doesn’t help that everyone loves to tell skiing horror stories, either.  You might ski a hundred times and have an amazing day after day but do you share those stories? Of course not.

Everyone tells the story of their most dramatic day that either involved extreme fear, pain or a combination of both. For example, my brother told me the story of when he skied in college as a novice with his buddies in California, his friends took him in the trees instead of staying on groomed runs. He fell flat on his face with his skis sticking straight down and he couldn’t get back up! His toe nails turned black and eventually fell off since his boots were too tight.  Unfortunately, this happened to be my first introduction to skiing, and I was left with a less than favorable impression.

Another favorite storytelling subject is “falling” which involves ledges, trees and collisions with other skiers.  Then there is the story of a friendship ending day when someone is taken to a black diamond mogul run, chute or bowl that is way too advanced for them.  The friend ditches them and leaves them to somehow slide or trek down alone, scared and angry.

Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?  Doesn’t really make you want to grab your gear and head to the lift.   Why would you put yourself through this at 65? Well if you read this previous blog, you’d know why my husband is doing it. He wants to ski next season with our three year old granddaughter. He also wants to do it right so he can enjoy himself and minimize his chances of injury. At 65, he also certainly can’t afford to waste time learning things the wrong way and then having to relearn them.  He wants to do it right.

We called in the professionals.  We booked a couple one-on-one private lessons with one of Deer Valley’s professional ski instructors.  Since Mary Lou Mignot helped me bump up to a solid intermediate skier at the Women’s Ski Clinic Weekend, we asked for her to put together a Beginner Boot Camp for Jay.

It worked!

photo (30)Mary Lou got Jay from surface lifts on Wide West to the Carpenter Express chairlift in a matter of a few hours but more than that, he got a solid foundation in balance and control that will stick with him forever.  The lesson began with helping Jay get a feel for the skis and enjoying the slide. He then learned to take the wedge to more of a parallel turn and control his speed.

By the second lesson, he was very comfortable on the lifts and enjoying runs following Mary Lou’s ‘S’ shaped turns and having her follow him observing and providing tips to improve. He even kept his cool when some pint sized skiers went flying out of the trees within a couple feet of him. They didn’t faze him one bit and he passed his first test for skiing with grandchildren.

There were no dramatic stories of run-ins with trees, crashes, or cliffs.  He did catch the bug, however. You may know it well.  It’s the bug that changes your whole perspective on life;  the one that makes you excited when it snows on April 1st,  where you count the number of ski days left in the season and you no longer talk of events in years but in terms of “ski seasons”.  You know what I am talking about.

photo (32)It makes all the difference in the world to start your ski experience off well. Especially as you get older, you don’t take anything for granted … especially a ski season at Deer Valley.

Cross Country Skate Skiing- Day Off From Downhill

Nancy on course

Do you -
Want a day off from downhill skiing?
Want to cross train and use different muscle groups?
Have a friend who doesn’t downhill ski that you want to spend time with?

Day PassAll of the above applied to me so I made a reservation for two for cross country skate ski lessons with White Pine Touring Company.  Since I don’t cross country ski, I assumed skate skiing would be a challenge to learn but a great workout so the learning curve would be worth the effort.

Surprisingly, we were able to learn the basics in an hour and ski the 3 kilometer track the same day!  I went from what looked like a duck walk to a basic skate with the help of the instructor, Don.  As often happens in Park City, Don was more than meets the eye. He is a cross country ski instructor on the weekends and during the week he is a paleontologist (dinosaur expert) for the State of Utah.  In other words, Don is an interesting guy.

InstructorHe took us to a well groomed teaching area (that doubles as the driving range of the Park City Municipal Golf Course in the summer) and taught us to skate on long skinny skis. He suggested, “glide like Dorothy Hamill!” I tried but looked more like Daffy Duck.  After a few “back and forths”, the glide became more pronounced.

It took me a while to get the concept and get used to the different style of skis – like skiing on toothpicks!  It started to click for me when Don had us put one ski in the classic track going straight which enabled us to focus on pushing off with the other leg skating at an angle.

InstructionAfter an hour, we had the basics down and were cut loose to ski on the beautifully groomed track on the front nine of the golf course.  The course had some gentle hills which gave us enough of a challenge as a beginner but not too much to be frustrating.  We skated the 3K and at the end, I was dripping with sweat, could feel every muscle in my body, and was absolutely in love with skate skiing.

Skate skiing isn’t for everyone. In my personal opinion, you don’t have to be in top physical shape but at least be in good shape. It is physically challenging getting up the hills. This wouldn’t be the sport to go from “couch to skate ski.” It would also be best for groomed trails since it would be really tough to cut a trail using this method. So if this is an intro to the sport of cross country or you are a back country person, stick with classic cross country.

LessonTake a lesson. I assume you could learn skate skiing on your own, but why? It was much easier taking a lesson. If you are open to feedback and want to learn something new, skate skiing could be your new sport.

Oh another thing… if you want to eat an entire pizza all by yourself afterwards and not gain an ounce, take up this sport because it burns about twice the calories of downhill skiing!

For more information on cross country skiing in Park City, call White Pine Touring at 435-649-6249 or by email, ben@whitepinetouring.com

Snowmobiling Adventure

photo (1)550 cc snowmobiles (with speeds up to 60 mph)
7000 acres of groomed trails
My husband
Our 23 year old son
An experienced Deer Valley snowmobiling guide named Tabitha
And a sunny day

What could be a better combination for fun than that? I have to say the experience of snowmobiling with Deer Valley was the perfect recipe for a great time.

Rick AndersonIt was a pretty safe bet the guys would like it.   Like many men, they love anything involving motorized speed — motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, etc.  I am more of a human power fan myself — rowing, kayaking, or hiking so I didn’t realize how much fun I would have, too.  Once we were set up with our gear and our helmets strapped on tight, we jumped on our machines to listen to Tabitha give us the run-down of how to operate the sleds.

Tabitha and NancyWe headed down the trail to a wide open meadow that served as a track – we could go anywhere as long as we avoided the hazards and kept going left (aka NASCAR drivers.)  After a couple loops and getting a feel for the sleds, we opened them up a bit and took turns cutting through the middle and passing each other (while keeping a safe distance of 2-3 sled lengths in between, per our guide’s direction).

Nancy JoyThe panoramas were next as we headed to the top of the ridge to look over the Wasatch front.

We followed the fence line and headed through the Aspens covering a lot of territory on the ranch.

Anderson FamilyOn the way back, we hit the throttle and opened up the sleds through the wide meadow before parking them at the ranch.  Another adventure under our belts, I was reminded of the saying, “a family that plays together stays together” and an afternoon of snowmobiling was just the ticket for this family.