Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ogden Labor Day Trip: August 29th - September 1st

Labor Day Weekend 2008 I flew out to Ogden to spend time with Luke and Susan.
I was able to get an airline ticket on Frontier two days before the trip for a great price (~$170) and also rent a car through Budget to drive up to Ogden from SLC airport. 
I was a little surprised Frontier Airlines was so cheap since Southwest Airlines is usually more economical with such short notice. Before finally purchasing the airline ticket I was thinking I had to drive out from Boulder and was balking at the idea of being in the car 7 hours each way. I'm glad I checked online to see any last minute deals.
The flight out was uneventful and baggage claim was straightforward. I did have to wait a while in the Budget line before finally getting my vehicle. They gave me a Chrysler Pacifica since it seemed they were out of higher MPG vehicles.  In some ways I was glad to try out something that was more of a sports style low cut minivan. It even had Sirius Satellite radio which I had never tried before.
I finally arrived in Ogden 35 miles later around 1 AM.
Since I had read the weather report before coming out the Ogden I knew the second 1/2 of the weekend was going to get stormy and cold.
On a prior trip to Utah I had purchased a mountain bike guide to Park City. It had been sitting on my bedroom nightstand for the last year and a half and I really wanted to try a ride out of the book, finally.
Since Susan needed to do a training run for an upcoming marathon we also had to accommodate her too. Luckily, she was fine with training at a little higher altitude.
I was able to borrow my brother's full suspension mountain bike and chose a ride on Park City Mountain.
The ride consisted of going up Sweeney's Switchbacks to John's Trail over to Mid Mountain Trail and finally down Spiro Trail.
I can't say enough about how nice the loop turned out. I made it up as I went along and it could have easily turned out to be an out and back. Also since it was later in the day it could have been a much shorter ride but I was glad I committed to trying out the Mid Mountain Trail.  When I make it out to Park City again I'll definitely be doing this loop or a close variation of it again.
The climb up Sweeney's Switchbacks and John's Trail was quite nice. There were a few sections I had to get off the bike on Sweeney's but by the time I was on John's Trail the trail had leveled out and I was riding in Aspen groves. 
By the time I made it up John's Trail the time was about 6:30 PM so I had to decide quickly if I could do anymore riding. Luckily I was carrying the MTB book and was able to commit to the Mid Mountain Trail and figure coming down Spiro back to the base area of Park City Resort.
Mid Mountain has great views of Park City and the valley below.  I did see some other riders on the trail giving me confidence that I was still able to make it back to Park City before nightfall. When I did make it to the intersection with Spiro I was also able to talk with another rider to make sure I took an appropriate trail back down to Spiro since there were a few forks from which to choose.
By the time I made it back to the car there was still plenty of light and I waited for Luke and Susan.
Luke was getting hungry so he ate some appetizers at a nearby Indian Restaurant.
Later in the evening we decided to walk up Main Street and chanced upon Wahso - an Asian style grill.  The food was terrific and I'd definitely go back there although for three people the total bill came to about $125.00 dollars.
Sunday was supposed to be raining but it didn't get that way until late afternoon.
We were able to hike up to Dog Lake in Mill Creek Canyon. The total hike was about 6 miles and there were plenty of people hiking with their dogs up to the lake and back.
I recalled that Luke and I had done part of the trail two years as a section of the Wasatch Crest Trail. Since Labor Day was an odd day there were no mountain bikes to be seen since they're only allowed on even days.
We made it for dinner in lower downtown Salt Lake City at an Italian restaurant called Biaggis.
The food wasn't as good as in Park City the night before but my Chilean Sea Bass was quite good.
Monday we stayed in Ogden.
We did go down to Ogden's indoor activity park where I convinced Susan to try indoor skydiving with me.
Cost for each person was $49 dollars but the experience was well worth it.
Although you only get to "skydive" for two minutes total (two one minute sessions) the feeling of being weightless and being twirled around by the instructor is well worth the experience.
I finally left around 6 PM for my 8:05 PM flight back. Total mileage for the rental car was 350 miles and the drive back to SLC was uneventful.