Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Time Wanderings

Last week the Army sent me for some new equipment training to a Reserve center in Ogden, Utah. I had been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to this trip. I had never been to Utah before and I had never spent any serious time in the Rockies, so that was exciting to me. What I was dreading was flying. I do not get air sick in the traditional sense, but I do get quite uncomfortable during take-off, landing and if there is turbulence, so flying holds little appeal to me. And since there is no way the Army was going to pay me for three days of driving at both ends...I had to fly.

I flew into Salt Lake City and I had no idea what I was in for when I arrived. It was dusk and the skyline was beautifully lit up with the colors of sunset. I unfortunately did not deplane in time to catch the stark beauty of a sunset in the mountains.

After some frustration at the rental counter I went to find my car in the lot. Now, you must understand, in my travels for the Army I have driven some great, some mediocre and some down right embarrassing cars (the white 2-door Yaris "egg" incident of 2009 comes immediately to mind). So, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my "compact" rental was in fact a 2011 Ford Explorer...a very saawweeet ride!

My next surprise, after finally finding my hotel, was to find that the Hampton Inn of Ogden is a beautiful old building with smallish (compared to new construction) beautifully appointed rooms, a gorgeous lobby and a view of both the city and the mountains that made me want to relocate permanently. The staff were very friendly, which after a rough day of travel is extremely welcome, and the house keeper even left a Christmas card in my room.

After one of the best nights sleep in a hotel I have ever had I drove to the Reserve Center where the training was to be held and saw this...

This almost immediately made me want to start looking for a job here. I am serious, if I don't live here before then, I plan to retire in this town!

My first evening I decided to walk around the downtown area to see what was happening. I was amazed to see that almost a whole city block was dedicated to a Christmas light display. There were carolers from a local school singing, a bevy of various light displays, even a full nativity.

This town takes the celebration of the Christmas season seriously...

On my last day there I was not able to get a flight out early so I took the opportunity to explore the mountains a bit and what I saw settled my conviction to move to Utah in the future...

This was a small horse farm just after I came through a pass in the mountains...stunning!

And after I turned around to head back to the hotel, I noticed a scenic over look (and biffed my knee climbing the hill to get this shot, worth it!) I saw to convince a certain man that we need to live here!

Have a Merry Christmas!


  1. I'm glad that you had a welcoming stay in Utah and hope you will get another opportunity to come this way. I've lived in S. SLC most of my life and tend to take the mountains for granted...thanks for the beautiful pictures and for the reminder.

  2. You are very welcome! I am trying to find another reason to head out that way again. Thankfully there are some more training opportunities for me to take advantage of so I can combine work and pleasure. I will definitely take and post more pictures when I do.