"Awesome" Ski Day #1...

Reports are in and everyone had a blast on the slopes today.

Our awesome condo is just a couple minute's walk from the free Park City shuttle.
Steve inherited this sweet one-piece ski ensemble from T's uncle and totally rocked the runs in it.

The mining history is evident even on the slopes!
The goal is to begin on the right side of the mountain and over the course of five days of skiing, slowly cover the entire map, tackling all the runs. They are excited. Way to be awesome, my ski family!

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Utah Olympic Park...

While the rest of my group went skiing, I ventured out to learn more about the Winter Olympics that were held here in 2002.

Utah Olympic Park was built ahead of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. During the 2002 Games, the Park hosted bobsleigh, skeleton, Luge, Nordic Ski Jumping, and Nordic Combined events. Today, the venue is an active Official U.S. Olympic Training Site providing a training center for Olympic and development level athletes.
Before learning about the Olympics, I thought it best to learn more about the sport of skiing. Located in the visitors' center are two museums, the Alf Engen Ski Museum and the George Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. The Ski Museum contains more than 300 trophies, medals, uniforms, scrapbooks, skis, boots, photos, films and other collectibles that span some 70 years in the career of the Engen family. It also highlights Utah's rich ski history and the Wasatch Range, along with efforts made by the U.S. Forest Service to help develop Utah's ski resorts, and an exhibit on Utah's winter weather.[

Alf Engen was a Norwegian-American skier. He set several ski jumping world records during the 1930s and helped establish numerous ski areas in the western United States. Engen is best known for his ski school at Alta in Utah and as the pioneer of powder skiing. His collection was interesting and informative.

I really enjoyed the ski fashions through the years exhibit. It was fun to listen to the other museum goers proclaim, "Oh man, I had those boots!"

The 2002 Winter Olympic Museum, includes athletic equipment used during the games, Olympic medals (and a display on how they were created), costumes and puppets used during the ceremonies, many of the officially licensed pins produced for the games, a photo op at an Olympic torch mounted in front of a large photo of the cauldron, along with video clips and other memorabilia.

After exploring on my own, I paid $10 to join a guided tour. I was so glad I did because our guide, Patrick, took us to watch the North America Cup Bobsled Races.

We were allowed to hang out in Turn 12 where the sleds go by at 80+ miles per hour. Exciting stuff.
I was very lucky to have caught these two images. You really can't blink or you miss them.

This is the view from the K120 Nordic Jump. During the summer, they run water down it for summer ski jump practicing. It was scary just looking down it. What an incredibly interesting and informative day! A must-do in Park City.

"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.
Just as in life, this aim is not to conquer but to struggle well."
-Pierre de Coubertin, 1937, Founder of the modern Olympic Games

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1st Night in Park City...

After dropping our gear off in our very groovy Condo (photos to follow) we headed to the Historic Downtown.

The majority of our group came here for the awesome skiing but I came for the history.
The first discoveries of precious metals in the mountains around Salt Lake City appeared in the early 1860s. Colonel Patrick E. Connor of Fort Douglas instigated the search, encouraging his men to prospect with the purpose of bringing non-Mormons into the Utah Territory. The first recorded claim of the Park City Mining District was the Young American lode in December 1869. Clearly by the 1870s, production in that area had begun, perpetuated by the discovery of a large vein of silver ore in what would become the Ontario Mine. In its heyday, it was considered the greatest silver mine in the world. Oh man, do I have a lot to learn. Exciting stuff here amongst the ski lifts.
This is a skier's bridge. You can swoosh right off the mountain and into the heart of town. Wow.
Dinner was at this cool saloon full of great memorabilia. I was drawn in the by sign promoting "debauchery". 

This was just a glimpse into our five nights here. It promises to be amazing.

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Our Day in Salt Lake City...

We had several hours before K & T's flight arrived so off we went to explore this unique city.

The Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot was built in 1908-09, it dates back to the more prosperous era in the history of American railroad travel. This is what brought us to town today because it supposedly is the inspiration for Disney's Depot. Regardless, it was iconic and neat to see.
We spotted this Chihuly sculpture at Abravanel Hall from across the street. Titled "The Red Tower" it seemed to fit the theme for the 2002 winter Olympics, Light the Fire Within.
We enjoyed the outdoor art everywhere.
The spring flowers were in bloom and beautiful.
And how thoughtful that we were reminded to look both ways on every corner.
We returned to Temple Square to explore more and discovered the Deuel Log Cabin, one of just two existing pioneer homes built in 1847- the first year the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
Salt Lake City was founded on July 24, 1847 by a group of pioneers led by Brigham Young. Construction of the Temple began in 1853, but the building was not completed until 1893. The lengthy construction time was due to limited transportation for materials and a desire to make the temple perfectly beautiful and strong.

We then enjoyed a concert, performed on the 11,623 pipe organ, in the Tabernacle, as a reprieve in the afternoon. Completed in 1875, the Tabernacle was built as a place for Church members to gather and hear the words of their leaders. Brigham Young directed the building should be designed so people could see and hear the speaker without impediment. To do this successfully, bridge-building techniques were used to construct the Tabernacle roof so that support pillars were not needed. It was truly incredible.
Wanting to see an overview of the city, we headed to the top of a local hill. We were amazed by the State Capitol which has been one of Utah’s most prominent landmarks for a century. 
Being it was Sunday, and that most restaurants were closed, we were beyond delighted when we discovered this cool place and dined on the patio. It was perfect.

Okay, so we just had to stroll through the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Approximately 120,000 persons are buried in this vast place. Many religious leaders and politicians, particularly many leaders of The Church, lie here. It encompasses over 250 acres and contains 91⁄2 miles of roads. It is the largest city-operated cemetery in the United States.
The first burial occurred on September 27, 1847, when George Wallace buried his child, Mary Wallace. The burial was two months after the Mormon pioneers had settled the Salt Lake Valley.

Our last stop was Fort Douglas, established in October 1862 as a small military garrison. It was built with the purpose of protecting the overland mail route and telegraph lines along the Central Overland Route. The fort was officially closed in 1991, and most of the buildings were turned over to the University of Utah. Why I wanted to see it was the fact that during the 2002 Winter Olympics this is where 4,000 Olympians lived. So cool.

What a great day of discovery! We really like Salt Lake City. Tonight, Park City!

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1st Stop- Salt Lake City

We left at 7:30 AM with a 588 mile drive to Utah.

Needless-to-say, it was easy to make great time on the gorgeous drive.

After checking in to our hotel, we headed to Downtown Salt Lake City. It was beautiful, illuminated and so clean. I have a new appreciation for Utah's Capital.
We decided to do a quick explore of Temple Square because we had never been there at night. The lighting made this 10-acre complex, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  even more spectacular. Located in the center of town, it contains the Temple, Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, several monuments, and two visitors' centers. We will explore more of it tomorrow.

This sign is not one you expect to see in the heart of town. As it turns out, there is a Peregrine falcon family nesting in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This town continues to surprise us. I can't wait for what tomorrow holds.

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