Our destination was Park City, Utah, a charming little town with an historic district where they work very hard to preserve architecture that was characteristic of its silver mining heyday. Silver was discovered there in the 1860s, and the town thrived. A century later, silver prices dropped and the town sank into a ghost town status. Then, in the 1960s a ski resort opened there, and from that Park City eventually resurrected as a prime ski destination. It is also the site of the annual Sundance Film Festival.
One of the things we did while there was ride a ski lift, up a nearby mountain. I am not wild about heights, so this little jaunt took all my courage. Just picture me seated on a ski lift seat, feet dangling and nothing below by several hundred feet of empty air.
The views as we ascended were stunning. Then, when we reached the top, we got off and walked around, coming upon the now abandoned Silver King Mine, which made many people very rich. Among other people enriched by Utah silver (though not the mine pictured below) was the father of William Randolph Hearst. I kept thinking about the fictional portrayal of Hearst's life in Citizen Kane. Can you say "rosebud"?
After exploring the environs of the abandoned silver mine, we spent some time at the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Much of the former venues for various Olympic events have been turned into places where tourists can vicariously experience thrills.
Here our son and daughter-in-law try out a bobsled--albeit a stationary one. The Olympic site did offer bobsled rides, but we all eschewed that opportunity. No one really felt like experiencing 4 G force, or 70 mph speeds.
One thing Utah has in seemingly endless display are striking vistas. Park City is at about 7,000 feet elevation, so many places offered scenes like the one above. In fact, in the next entry on the Utah trip, I will recount a day trip my husband and I took--that left my palms sweating.
Stay tuned. More tales from way out west to come.