Park City Rules!!!!!

Trip Start May 25, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, June 22, 2009

We had breakfast at a local bagel shop that my friend recommended, which was good. Then we were off to Park City Mountain Resort, home of the alpine slide and alpine coaster!  I had ridden a slide before at Winter Park in Colorado, but had never heard of an alpine coaster.  They are FUN!  Unlike the slide, you can't fall out of the sled or go so fast that the sled flips out of the track, so you can safely go as fast as gravity will propel you.
Jim made me a bet that the last one down would have to buy dinner, so I flew down the hill and won the race.  He claims there was a "dead rat" (probably a ground squirrel) in his track which slowed him down….  But I saw no such thing!  ;)  Oh well, doesn’t really matter – I had to buy dinner anyway because he still hasn’t found that wallet!  And don’t miss my video from the coaster; I was afraid I might lose my camera trying to take it!

In addition to the slide and coaster, the base area also has a carousel and trampolines for kids, mini-golf, mountain bike rentals, scenic rides and hikes from the top of the chair lift, snow cones, ice cream, riding stables, a climbing wall, an adult zip line and a human maze!  (This all is what should be included in a “year round destination resort” but Mammoth can’t seem to get its act together.  We don’t have ANY of this except the bike park, which to be fair Jim says is light years ahead of everyone else.)

Anyway, we bought tickets to the human maze, in which you are supposed to get your card punched at each of four stations before racing to the exit (the punched letters spell M-A-Z-E).  Jim says he was "WAY" ahead of me and had passed all the letters before making a wrong turn and winding up lost.  But by that time I had gotten all my punches too, found my way out  of the maze and up to the “peanut gallery”, and snapped this picture of him getting helped out by some other bystanders!   When he got up to the platform, I also realized that he hadn’t punched his card a single time – so how do I know he really found all the letters???  So I won that challenge too.  :)

 After that excitement we headed off to the Utah Olympic Park to see the winter sports training facilities.  I think Jim and I both enjoyed this tour a lot more than the one we did last summer in Colorado Springs, but that could have been because there was a lot more activity here than last year too.  (In 2008 we arrived a week after the summer games ended, so all the athletes were on a well-deserved break!)  Check out the two videos I took of kids practicing their aerial ski maneuvers into the pool!

The park also has facilities for Nordic ski jumping, bobsledding, lugeing and the skeleton race – which is actually the safest of the three sliding sports.  (Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that!  I didn’t.)  This center is the home turf for many international teams, including the famed Jamaican bobsled team featured in the movie “Cool Runnings”.  In fact, the coach in that movie now coaches our Team USA too and even takes tourons like us in summer bobsled rides here!  (These have wheels, no ice; and they are pretty expensive though so that will have to wait for another year.)

Finally, the complex is home to two really great museums; one about the history of skiing and one about the 2002 Winter Games.  And both free to the public!  The skiing museum is very interactive and the photography in the Olympic museum was spectacular.  We watched a great movie about American skeleton racer Jimmy Shea.  And do you remember any of these characters from the opening ceremonies?  Overall we were both totally impressed with what there was to see and do here, and we said the $7 we spent for the official training grounds tour was the best use of $7 on the whole trip!

We met my friend and her family again for dinner at Red Rocks Brewery, which was good too.  Then Jim and I drove around town a bit looking at all the historic old houses on Main Street.  What a diverse collection – most were built around the turn of the (20th) century, and some really haven’t had much of a facelift since.  But others have been gutted, added on to, completely remodeled, etc. and the facade in front is the only original piece of the house left!
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