Trip to Utah, Grand Canyon certainly worth it

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2001

Sports Columnist

Believe it or not I was standing in six inches of snow Tuesday afternoon.

I’ve just got back from a memorable trip to Utah and it was snowing in the mountains.

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First of all, if you’ve never been to Utah you’ve missed a beautiful place. It’s full of big mountains and valleys.

We stayed in Salt Lake City, a city of 1.7 million people, that’s surrounded by snow capped mountains and the great Salt Lake.

Sunday the temperature during the day was close to 90 degrees. By Wednesday morning it was a very cool and stormy 34 degrees.

Salt Lake City of course is the host city for the 2002 Winter Olympics. We drove around and looked at the some of the sites

for the games. The University of Utah’s brand new football stadium will be the site of the opening ceremonies and we took the opportunity to tour the facility. We met and talked with Ron McBride, the Utes head football coach. He’s about as nice a guy as you would want to meet and a good football coach.

The Delta Center, home of the Utah Jazz, will be used for the ice skating events.

Park City, Utah, about 20 miles east of Salt Lake, is where most of the ski an bobsled events will be held. The ride up the mountain from Salt Lake to Park City is one beautiful ride through the mountains.

It was just like I imagined it to look; fabulous mountain tops, ski slopes, hundreds of beautiful houses hanging off of the cliffs and a quaint village nestled in between.

You could tell the entire area was getting ready for something big because just about everywhere you went there were roads being widened and parking lots being built.

While we were there we decided we’d take a trip up to the Wasatch National Forest, just a 30 minute drive away.

Miles away you could see these snow covered mountains, one after the other. When we got to the top we were 12,000 feet above sea level and were staring at a magnificent peak that was 13,500 feet in elevation. All around us was snow and there we sat with short sleeve shirts on. The temperature had to be in the 30s, but we got out of the car anyway to play a little in the snow.

Before we knew it we were standing in the middle of a snow storm. It was a different kind of snow then what I’m used to. I asked some of the locals about it and they called it corn sleet. I knew this the minute I opened up the car door and within seconds my seat was full of these corn kernel size pieces of ice.

We drove through the snow back to Park City. That night, the Olympic Site got six inches of the white stuff and the next morning the mountains surrounding Salt Lake were snow white.

I also had the chance to visit Logan, Utah the home of Utah State University, a team that will be playing football in Troy in 2002. Logan is even farther in the mountains then Salt Lake. Utah State is the state’s agricultural and engineering school. The stadium, like Utah’s, is nestled in the mountains. Troy State plays Utah State in Logan in November of 2003.

If you like beautiful mountains and valleys this trip is a must. I’ve never been to Ireland, but this has to be the closest thing to it.

I finally got to see the Grand Canyon and it was magnificent! I’m glad I saw it but probably would not care if I ever saw it again.

It was trip that will be hard to forget. The scenery was simply beautiful.

If you’re planning a vacation I recommend you visit the state of Utah where it snows every month of the year.