Well its clearly been a while since I've posted, and I've been to quite a few places in the last couple weeks. I only have about 10 minutes to do this post so I think the best option is to spare you my obscure rants and just do a quick overview of where I have been recently. That way you won't have to weed through all my unedited crappy ideas and can just see the pretty pictures.
After Zion and Bryce I went to Park City, UT. My friend Kerry from App is there working as a patroler at Deer Valley which is one of the finest ski resorts in the country. He got me two free lift tickets which was pretty awesome. A few things of note about Deer Valley and Park City. Everyone there is a pretty good skiier, which is surpising to me. The houses at Deer Valley had heated driveways (so the snow won't stick to them) and they run their heated outdoor pools all year long (even though most only visit a few times a year). That's not exactly winning any sustainaiblity awards but it is awesome. Deer Vally and all the resorts out there are much bigger than we're used to on the east coast. That combined with a more rural population base leads to much less crowded slopes, which is nice. Also I got to ride in a gondellah for the first time. So that's pretty cool. Here are some pictures:
Gondellah and a nice house
Better skiiers than me going down the mountain
After Park City I went to Salt Lake City. I took a brief look at the Capital and then went to the Temple Square. Apparently there are tons of visitors in the summer and they can get tours with about 20 other tourists. This is not the case on a Monday afternoon in the winter. There are very few tourists and lots of tour guides. The tour guides are all young women (all fairly good looking - which makes me wonder what they do to all the less good looking women in Mormonland) of various nationalities (Sweeden, Ireland, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, etc). I think they are in SLC as part of a 2 year mission trip. I ran into them everywhere and they all wanted to give me a tour (always 2 of them). They all were super-friendly, but sounded like they were on some strange sedative drug. Its really hard to describe, but it was totally bizzare. I didn't take any of them up on their tour offers because I was so weirded out at the prospect of being by myslef with two of these seemingly drugged up tour guides. After a while I left the temple block. I do have to say they had some impressive arhcitecture and fountains. The temple
After Salt Lake City I went out to Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands. I stopped at the Moab Brewery and got a porter some relaly cheap and large nachos and the beer-cheese soup that came with the nachos. Does anyone know exactly what beer cheese soup is and how its made? I'm kind of curious. I spent a good bit of time in Arches. Apparently all the arches are starting to succomb to gravity. One fell just last year, and landscape arch is very much on its way down (a few tons of rock fell off it recently). But its nice to have the arches for now. Its amazing how well different all the southwest canyon areas are: Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyon De Chelley - they are all just so different. I wouldn't expect the geology to be so different in one area, but it really creates these wildly different formations. I hiked out to a few different arches. I saw Landscape arch, double O arhces, and a few others whose names I can't remember. Here are some pictures:
Can't remember the name of the rock behind me but I think its somewhat famous
The North Window (I think)
After Arches I made a brief run to Canyonlands. I didn't have time to see much, but Canyonlands seemed pretty cool. Its an enormous canyon (like a bigger Zion) with a lot of mesa's. I went to one point called "The Neck" where a mesa gets really thin for about 10 miles. People have traditionally used this area as a place to draw in and hunt bighorn sheep. That's pretty smart of them. Here is a Canyonlands picture.