Monday, May 16, 2011

Canyons, critters and cruising.

We just got back from a week vacation at Snowbird in Utah.  It was amazing.  A ski resort in the Little Cottonwood canyon overlooking Salt Lake City.  I grew up at the base of the canyon so going back is always a treat.  It was still winter on the mountain but spring in the valleys.  The resort had just shut down skiing so the place was empty.  We had the place to ourselves with a hot tub on the balcony and a rooftop pool and gym.  All with amazing views of snow covered peaks.  The weather was snowy for a few days then sunny and warm.  Evidence of avalanches were everywhere as spring started to melt it all. 

  With the ski lifts all shut down we rented a car to go to the base of the canyon to hike and to be able to go record shopping and sightseeing.  I did find a comedy record with Piero Umiliani's "mahna mahna" on it at the Deseret Industries.  If you are looking for a store in Salt Lake drive down State street there were lots of Pawn shops and thrift stores and antique stores.  We got a couple of great OZ books and Snoopy's harp.  There was also a random car battery flying across the road which was a little scary.  You can also find the rare and elusive liquor store of Utah on State street.  Very hard to find and expensive to drink in Utah.    
  The drives up and down the canyons were beautiful.  We also took a side trip into Big Cottonwood canyon to see Solitude and Brighton.  The snow was still 10 feet deep but the place was shut down and empty except for some snowmobilers.  The drives were a slice through rock cliffs, waterfalls, pines, aspens and then down to scrub oak and sage.  Breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding mountains were everywhere.
  We took a hike up Bell canyon to a reservoir which reflected the snowy peaks behind.  We then followed a trail that went up through the various layers of the forest following a fresh mountain stream fed by the cold melting snow.  The sound of the water gurgling over the stones as the birds sang just forced you to sit and become part of it for a little while.  This small canyon is just next to the little cottonwood canyon.  There was also a short paved trail the Temple quarry trail which gave you views of huge granite cliffs with mountain goats dancing on the rocky cliffs foraging on all the fresh spring greens. 
  It was very relaxing and tranquil and we can't wait to go back again in any season.  I have made a 3 part music video using footage from the canyon drives.  Itt is called Greeple.  The music is live experimental electronic organ music made by Sparky and the random band.  All original and all strange.