Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Parks USA

I think our pioneer spirit is finally wearing off.  No longer do we casually dismiss the 13-hour drives and 600-mile distances as purely necessary (even simple) challenges that must be overcome to truly appreciate the final destination.  No, we do not feel that way anymore.  Now the ride is interminable; the mileage, painful; the energy, fleeting.  Our drive on Monday morning to Park City, Utah took a little over thirteen hours.  During that time, we occupied ourselves by finishing Ian McEwan's Solar, a fictional piece about global warming and, according to the back cover of the audiobook, an aging Nobel Prize winner's fight to save the world.  Sounded interesting enough.  Unfortunately, the author's deliberately cryptic vocabulary and generally despicable main character (a rude narcissist with a penchant for extramarital affairs) only elongated the drive.  We were forced to find other means of entertainment, which we surprisingly discovered in the ever-changing topography of the drive.  At least four significant shifts remain clear in my mind: the dense redwood forests outside San Francisco, the green and yellow checkered hills of Napa Valley, the salt flats bordering Salt Lake, and the mountainous territory leading to the sleepy town of Park City.  The oohs and ahhs stimulated by these extraordinary changes were enough to keep us awake during the epic drive.

When we finally made it to Park City, we conjured the remaining bits of energy necessary to explore the stores and galleries on Main Street.  This historic part of town is gorgeous, immaculate, and visibly well-to-do.  The city enjoyed significant media coverage during the 2002 Winter Olympics that took place in Salt Lake City, and it even hosts the Sundance Film Festival annually.  Despite mainstream status, however, it still carries small-town charm.  

We ate at Zoom: A Sundance Resort Restaurant and took in the cool evening breeze on the outdoor patio.  The food was delicious and impeccably presented for the foodie who appreciates an artistic flair. I went with the basic Penna Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken, and Dad enjoyed the fancier Steelhead Trout dish.  After dinner, we returned to Main Street and snapped pictures of the empty city street in hopes of catching the more authentic view of the historic buildings.

While Park City was a quaint stop, I couldn't help but notice my fading appetite for small towns, smaller art galleries, and lavish restaurant meals.  I missed the familiarity of home, and the deliciousness of my own meals that masterfully combine Safeway Spaghetti sauce, store-bought noodles, and Costco meatballs.  I had to leave these feelings of homesickness behind, however, for Yellowstone National Park promised a much more exciting adventure for us today.  

For now, I will only offer a few of the pictures from our time at Yellowstone, but I promise to finish writing about it tomorrow.  In the meantime, I hope you can enjoy the pictures!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt (& Bill), as usual, your photos are superb!( I am running out of adjectives...) My favorites are the one of the snowy mountain, with the lake in the foreground,& of course the ones with you & Dad next to the Yellowstone Sign & you under the Grand Teton sign. Captures the spirit of the west perfectly. I forgot, the waterfall photo was that of a professional. I bet you will see those carved wooden bears in every store. I remember when we went to Colorado, we saw them everywhere! As usual, your choice of restaurant seems appropriate & what a cute, quaint town. Looks like you are having a blast although I understand you must be very tired. You are probably always on the go with not much rest time in between. Your Dad may never want to drive the Subaru again... LOL.
    I am curious, you mentioned the redwood forests & the Napa Valley. Did you have the opportunity to see those things/places? Don't know where you are off to next, but I'll see you there. Love, Chrissy