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VOL.6 NO.3 • MARCH 2020







March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 1

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March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 3


Spring Fever: Festivals to wake you from your winter’s nap BY MEGAN WAGSTAFF


Abajo Haven Guest Cabins: Rustic abodes where you can unplug BY JARED BLACKLEY

Mule ear flowers in front of Courthouse Towers at Arches National Park


Herm Hoops took the river less paddled and found his purpose BY JARED BLACKLEY


Iceberg passageways reveal penguins, whales and aweinspiring sunsets BY CHRIS VANOCUR


With the right dressing, bitter winter greens can be ‘charmed and disarmed’ BY ARI LEVAUX


A lonely highway reminds us what wild country looks like BY JOHN RASMUSON


Spending time outdoors with the family shouldn’t be a chore

INSIDE 4 | Vamoose Utah • March 2020



March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 5

VOL.6 NO.3 • MARCH 2020














Pete Saltas Michael Saltas

Jerre Wroble Lance Gudmundsen, Kass Wood Jared Blackley, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Ari LeVaux, John Rasmuson, Chris Vanocur, Megan Wagstaff

Chelsea Neider Sofia Cifuentes, Jennifer Terry

When she’s not busy canning jam or perfecting her breakfast hash, you’ll find writer and SLC-native Megan Wagstaff on her snowboard or stand-up paddle board. On living downtown, Megan says, “My actual backyard is the size of a postage stamp, but it’s so easy to get to the mountains. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Paula Saltas David Adamson, Samantha Herzog Bryan Mannos

Eric Granato

Trina Baghoomian Anna Papadakis Doug Kruithof, Kathy Mueller Kelly Boyce


Chris Vanocur is a freelance writer and journalist living in Salt Lake. A recipient of both the Peabody and duPont-Columbia University awards, his writing and photography have appeared in a number of publications..

JOHN SALTAS On the cover: Biking at Goosenecks State Park ©Michael Kunde photo courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism Distributed free of charge throughout the Wasatch Front while supplies last. Additional copies of Vamoose Utah are available at the Vamoose offices: 175 W. 200 South, Ste. 100, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 801-716-1777

Editorial contact: Advertising contact: COPPERFIELD PUBLISHING, INC • COPYRIGHT 2020 • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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Rebecca Chavez-Houck is a former Utah representative now serving as executive director of Better Boundaries. That still leaves her time to go “glamping” with family and friends and discover new places to visit.




pring is upon us, sparking a collective need to get our groove on after a long winter. As many of our ski resorts wrap up their winter operations in early April, the little kid inside each of us may be whining: “So, what now?” The good news is that no major journey or expense is required to shake off the cobwebs. If you’re short on motivation to reclaim your groove, try my personal list on for size: • Hike up the Living Room Trail to enjoy a champagne picnic • Kick up your heels at Excellence in the Commuity free concerts on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at Gallivan Center • Stroll under the blossoms of 433 Yoshino cherry trees at the Utah Capitol • Fly a kite at Sugar House Park with your kid, or someone else’s kid, and then feed cracked corn to the ducks • Join Hogle Zoo for a monthly adventure (every first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon), which, in March, will be to view tundra swan at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center on Farmington Bay as the swans migrate through Utah. Purchase $5 tickets at Hogle Zoo’s online store. • Hula hoop at the Sunday drum circle in Liberty Park • Treat your eyes to the colors of Red Butte Garden, scanning beds filled with more than a half-million blooming bulbs, 230,000 of which are daffodils • Rent an Antelope Island E-Bike for an early-bird tour of the island • Enroll in a class at Cactus and Tropicals to plan a veggie garden • Top them all off with brunch on the sunny patio at Oasis Café. OK, so I’m not entirely sure about hula hooping at the drum

circle. But I can dream … and maybe practice at home. This issue of Vamoose Utah is loaded with inspiration for spring adventures. Megan Wagstaff writes about spring festivals that can be experienced each weekend in March. Jared Blackley highlights remote lodging near Blanding and shares a moving portrait of river guide Herm Hoops. Also, John Rasmuson describes a meditative road trip along U.S. Route 50. This month, Chris Vanocur regales us with his Antarctica travel tale. The longtime Salt Lake journalist was somewhat of a novice adventurer when he began writing for Vamoose Utah. Now with Antarctica under his belt, there’s no telling where he’ll go next. A date with nature doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-while or special occasion. Rebecca Chavez-Houck writes about the Every Kid Outdoors Initiative, a program that encourages families to enjoy nature more often and in simple ways. Finally, for the trail runners out there: Here’s an answer to your “soleful” itch to hit the dusty trail. The Wasatch Trail Run Series ( kicks off its eighth year on March 25 with a race at Dimple Dell in Sandy departing from Granite Park. The Wednesday evening series includes nine races, spring through summer, along trails in open-space preserves and ski resorts. It’s for all ages and fitness levels, so don’t think you need to be an Olympic athlete to join in. Hopefully, these ideas will give you a nudge on some of your own “must do” spring sojourns. Be sure to take Vamoose along to put some spring in your step. —Jerre Wroble

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FEVER Festivals to wake you from your winter’s nap



Here in the Beehive, March is loaded to the gills with frolicking good times, from the Hostler 2020 Model Railroad Festival at Ogden’s Union Station March 6-8 to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Siamsa in downtown Salt Lake City on March 14. But wait, there’s more. So much more, in fact, that there’s a veritable rite of spring for each weekend. We’ve created a lineup of March festivals not to be missed (along with lodging and dining tips), all to help you emerge from your winter hibernation.


y March, signs of spring are all around, and “Here Comes the Sun” is now Utah’s theme song. Those waxy bulbs pushing up through the damp soil have us chiming with The Beatles: “It’s all right.” Longer hours of daylight signal the beginning of festival season (no, we’re not talking about Coachella). Around the world, Northern Hemisphere folk mark the end of a long, dreary winter with all manner of celebrations, some centuries-old and others new or “just because.”

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Jantzen Frampton catches air at Woodward Park City

Spring Gruv Starts March 7 • Park City Skyrockets in Flight

Aprés gets a lot more lively come springtime, and at Park City’s Spring Gruv, the whole family gets in on the fun. Every weekend, March 7 through April 5, Canyons Village is alit by light and fireworks displays, glow sticks, live music, outdoor movies, donuts and cocoa. You can even meet the avalanche dogs, and it’s all free to the public. Warmer, longer days mean the festivities keep going long after last chair. Spring Gruv Park City Mountain Canyons Village 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City 435-649-5400

Mountain Retreat

The Spice of Life

New Kid in Town

If you’re going to play in the Canyons Village you may as well stay in the Canyons Village. The Silverado Lodge saves you a few bucks by being shuttle-distance from the action (about 100 yards). Easily request a pick-up via app to get you, the kids and your skis back to the room without having to worry about dropped gloves or errant ski poles. The Silverado also features a year-round heated pool and hot tub, free Wi-Fi and heated underground parking. Silverado Lodge 2669 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City 435-655-7400

While there are plenty of eateries in the Canyons Village, those in the know make sure to stop at El Chubasco, a Park City locals’ favorite. Enjoy traditional Mexican grub—tacos, tamales and burritos—topped with your choice of 20 homestyle salsas from the salsa bar. Test your limits with the spicy serrano frito or take it down a notch with the salsa de arbol or popular cilantro crema. Pro tip: if you’re heading to Deer Valley concerts come summer, pick up El Chubasco to-go. Everything is better with tacos! El Chubasco 1890 Bonanza Drive, Ste. 115, Park City 435-645-9114

Newly opened Woodward Park City resort is an adventure-lovers dream for kids (or adults of any age). Skiers and boarders can choose from a variety of progressive terrain parks or opt for a family sled day—Woodward has the longest tubing lanes in the state. Those opposed to the cold can still play in the Action Sports Hub: 66,000 square feet of skate parks, trampolines, foam pits and parkour obstacles. With prices well below what you’ll find at other Park City area resorts, get in before the secret gets out. Woodward Park City 3863 Kilby Road, Park City 435-658-2648 March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 9



Ride among the red rocks in Moab

Skinny Tire Festival

March 14-17 • Moab

Easy Riders

Burgers on Main

River Respite

The Call of the Canyon

If you’ve been staring longingly at your bike shorts in the bottom dresser drawer all winter long, the 20th Skinny Tire Festival is your chance to join fellow cyclists along some of the prettiest routes in the state. Choose from four scenic bike rides along the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park and Arches National Park (space limited for Arches). Rides even include lunch. The festival runs March 14-17 in Moab, and $25 of each registration goes to the Moab Cancer Center. Skinny Tire Festival 435-260-8889

When it’s time for post-pedal provisions, head to The Spoke on Center, a bike-themed eatery occupying Main Street’s historic Cooper-Martin Building, serving up scratch-made burgers with a variety of gourmet options like smoked Gouda, goat cheese, spinach, garlic mayo and portabella mushrooms. Build your own or order the Caprese burger for a unique Italian twist topped with balsamic-basted tomato and fresh basil. A side of Macaroni Poppers is a must: homemade mac ’n’ cheese stuffed with fresh jalepeño, breaded and fried, served with ranch for dipping. The Spoke on Center 5 N. Main, Moab 435-260-7177

Camping in Moab is an annual rite of passage for any true Utahn, but after a long day on two wheels, a comfortable bed might beat out sleeping under the stars. The best compromise is to book a rustic room at Red Cliffs Lodge alongside the Colorado River. Just far enough from town to offer the relaxation you crave, but close enough that you can pop in for dinner or a spare bike tube. Red Cliffs Lodge is also attached to Castle Creek Winery—which offers daily tastings—and The Cowboy Grill, with a stocked breakfast buffet so you can fuel up before your ride. Did we mention they offer bike storage? Red Cliffs Lodge Milepost 14, Utah Highway 128, Moab, 866-812-2002

Take a break from two wheels to walk around on two feet exploring the Grandstaff Canyon trail. Often overlooked for the more popular Corona Arch trail and hikes around the nearby national parks, Grandstaff Canyon is ideal in spring when temps are cooler and the spring runoff feeds its perennial stream. Four miles round trip, this moderate hike culminates at Morning Glory Natural Bridge, the sixth longest natural rock span in the U.S. Follow the stream for 1½ miles before crossing it and heading into the second side canyon on your left. The bridge is a halfmile farther. Grandstaff Canyon Trail Utah State Highway 128, near mile marker 3, Moab

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Tastings at Odgen’s Own Distillery

Ogden Spring Beer Festival

March 21 • Ogden

Froth and Foam

Taste Treats

Comfort at the Courtyard

Fuel for the Trip Home

Is there ever a bad time for a beer festival? Arguably no, but after a long and dreary winter, a hoppy adult beverage at the Ogden Spring Beer Festival is a welcome libation. Held in historic Union Station, tickets are $20 and include 3 tastings and a food item, March 21, 5-9 p.m. Choose between offerings from Utah brewers, local chefs, and restaurants while enjoying DJs and live performances. Plus, Ogden Adventure Race will be onsite featuring a variety of outdoor vendors. Ogden Spring Beer Fest 2501 Wall Avenue, Ogden

Pregame for the Spring Beer Festival is at Ogden’s Own Distillery, creator of Utah spirits with sassy names like 5 Wives Vodka and Porter’s Fire. The still is open for tastings on Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and is about eight blocks from the beer festival—close enough for walking or booking an affordable Lyft or Uber ride. Bottles and mixers are both available for purchase, should you decide a cocktail hour at the hotel is in order. Ogden’s Own Distillery 3075 Grant Ave., Ogden 801-589-1716

A mere two blocks from Union Station, book a room at Courtyard by Marriott. Checkout time isn’t until noon, so there’s no rush to get up if you decided to keep the party going after the beer festival (and there’s a Starbucks, because hangovers are no time to experiment with new coffee). Should you choose to get some powder turns at Snowbasin or Powder Mountain on Saturday— the hotel also offers ski storage and an indoor pool/hot tub for an aprés soak. Courtyard by Marriott 247 24th St., Ogden 801-627-1190

With a lengthy list of brunch options, Jeremiah’s Restaurant hits all the spots, regardless of what you’re craving. The Western Sizzler is a crowd favorite: hash browns topped with ham, onions, melted cheddar, tomatoes, mushrooms and two eggs with a fluffy biscuit on the side. For a more health-conscious option, Jeremiah’s Raisin Nut French Toast clocks just 336 calories and 12 grams of protein. Jeremiah’s Restaurant 1307 W. 12th St., Ogden 801-394-3273

March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 11



Springtime colors at Holi Festival in Spanish Fork

Holi Festival of Colors In Living Color Festival of Colors comes to Spanish Fork March 28 and 29 at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. With tickets as low as $6.50, this might be the most budget friendly festival you’ve ever attended. Two stages feature a variety of musical and dance performances daily—think sitars, mantras and bollypop— and yoga classes are offered throughout the duration of the festival, included with admission. Most importantly, every hour there will be color throws to mark Holi, the Indian celebration of spring. Purchase colors at the event for $3/bag or in advance when you register. No outside colors allowed. Holi Festival of Colors 311 W. 8500 South, Spanish Fork

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March 28-29 * Spanish Fork

Burgers on Main, Part Deux After the Festival of Colors, you’ll be too messy for most restaurants. Then again, most restaurants aren’t as good as Glade’s Drive Inn, so why bother? Open seven days a week—a rarity in Utah County—nosh on “supercheese” burgers, crinkle-cut fries and homemade shakes (raspberry chocolate chip, anyone?), or dig into the popular fish and chips with sides of Glade’s white fry sauce and tartar. If it’s been around since 1954 and is still the best place in town, you know Glade’s is doing something right. Glade’s Drive Inn 296 S. Main, Spanish Fork 801-798-6761

Check That Chalk Take your drive-thru dinner and head to Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham. What Spanish Fork lacks in boutique hotels, it makes up for in convenient, budget-friendly options that check off the basics: free Wi-Fi to post all your festival pics on Instagram, free continental breakfast, and (most importantly) shower/tub combos to wash off all that colored chalk. Because this hotel is a new build, expect clean rooms and modern finishes. Bonuses: If a warm chocolate chip cookies at checkin and a heated indoor pool aren’t reason enough to book a room, then how about the fact that you’re only a three-minute drive to Strap Tank Brewery, a motorcycle themed brewpub (one of only a few in Utah County). Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham 535 S. 2000 West, Springville 801-477-4527

Llama-rama While you’re at the festival Sunday (hours are shorter than Saturday), set aside time to check out Utah Valley Llamas, a llama farm on the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple property. If you bring baby carrots or apple slices, you can feed the llamas for free. Tours are also offered for $20 per person, plus a $2 donation for hay. Group discounts are available. In addition to llamas, the property is also home to sacred cows, parrots, peacocks and koi. Utah Valley Llamas 311 W. 8500 South, Spanish Fork 801-798-3559

STORE ★★★★★

580 E 300 S SLC 801-363-0565




Rustic abodes offer true peace and quiet


House on Fire Ruins in Mule Canyon, 20 miles southwest of Blanding



here are myriad reasons to visit Moab in the spring. The hordes of spring breakers aren’t one of them. This spring, maybe skip the crowds and point your headlights south as you pass through Moab and keep driving for another hour to a quieter and more secluded setting. Or better yet, bypass Moab altogether. Turn west at Interstate 70 from U.S. Highway 6, near Green River, and follow the signs to Hanksville. From there, take Utah Highway 95 southeast over Cedar Mesa into Blanding. The views along the way rival any you’ll see on any desert highway in the U.S. Period. Book a stay at the Abajo Haven Cabins (5440 N. Cedar Edge Lane, Blanding, 435-979-3126,, located on a 25-acre property near Blanding. The property is next door to a national forest and offers eye-popping views of the 11,000-foot-high Abajo Mountains dominating the northern skyline. The southeastern view takes in the vast expanse of desiccated rock and desert canyons all the way to Sleeping Ute Mountain in Colorado. Wild turkey and deer are frequent

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visitors. With five guest cabins, you can select the superior cabin, with two queen beds and en-suite bathroom, or one of four deluxe cabins with a king bed and two singles (their restroom with hot water and tiled shower is just outside the cabin). Relax with a good book on the covered porches or view the surrounding desert area or starry, starry night sky. The owner, Bill Haven, purchased the property 12 years ago with his family, after he retired as a professional horse trainer and sold their ranch in Colorado. “My [three] boys really like outdoor recreation and were not much into horses,” he says, “So, we thought, ‘let’s sell our horse ranch and move to the outdoor recreation center of the West: San Juan County, Utah.’” The cabins are solar powered and off-grid, so leave those curling irons, blow dryers and electric razors at home. The nearest restaurants are a 15-minute drive to Blanding. With at least one day’s notice, Haven will prepare a home-cooked meal of either his famous ribs or chicken for $20. After the first meal, guests can order a la carte for

Abajo Haven Guest Cabins are solar powered

a lesser price if meals prove to be too much food. Each cabin has a fire pit, Coleman stove, gas grill and picnic table. If guests wish to cook their own meals, the Haven can supply all basic cooking utensils, including pots, pans, plates, cups and silverware. Slowly cooking dinner in a Dutch oven in the fire pit could put a cherry on top of a day spent hiking and exploring Johnson Creek or touring the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding (BYO Dutch oven, though). Because Blanding is a dry town, you’ll need to pack in your own alcoholic beverages. There are no liquor stores or drinks served at restaurants. If requested, the property will supply a cooler with ice, a corkscrew and glasses.


While You’re There

“The cabins are a little rustic,” Haven says, “but that is part of their charm. They offer something most other accommodations don’t—peace and quiet.” There are also a few, small archeological sites within walking distance from the cabin. Haven can point the way for you. Corrals and pens are available for those who bring their own horses. (Abajo Haven does not provide horses, nor do they offer guided rides.) Be sure to bring your own hay and feed and all papers required by the state. Haven rides his horses in the area often and is more than happy to share his love and knowledge of the myriad trails nearby. His goal is to make sure you enjoy your stay in Canyon Country and end up loving the area, too.

The Edge of Cedars State Park ( edge-of-the-cedars) in Blanding is a little-known gem just 20 minutes away from Abajo Haven. Housing the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery in the Four Corners region, it also features ruins to explore and a restored kiva that you can climb down a ladder to see. Evidence of Ancestral Puebloan peoples living in this area is abundant. Almost every canyon contains petroglyphs, a granary or a ruin of some sort, and most of these are between 8001,200 years old. Some of the most spectacular sites include Moonhouse and House on Fire ruins. Only 20 people per day are allowed in to see Moonhouse Ruins. Permits must be obtained through the Kane Gulch Visitor Center on Cedar Mesa ( permits/273374). The hike is approximately 4½ miles round trip. Bring plenty of water. House on Fire Ruins, named for the flame-like pattern on the ceiling of the alcove, does not require a permit. The hike is relatively easy, following a creek bed for most of the single mile to the ruins. Avoid the trail if rain is forecast, as flash floods are a possibility. Of course, if you find any artifacts, look at them, take pictures, but don’t move them. And above all, don’t take them home. A little over an hour away, on top of the spectacular Cedar Mesa, is Natural Bridges National Monument ( nabr/index.htm). Founded in 1908, it’s the state’s first national monument and is known for three large natural bridges that can all be viewed after a short hike from the road. For those seeking a longer hike, there are three loops that are more than 5½ miles in length. The longest is almost 10 miles and takes you to all three of the main natural bridges. March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 15


RIVERWHISPERER Herm Hoops took the river less paddled and found his purpose BY JARED BLACKLEY



Dressed to the nines: River guide Herm Hoops and wife, Val, celebrate their anniversary on the river in 1993

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f you ever met Herm Hoops on the river, you’d remember. He was the river guide wearing a baseball cap with an oversize toucan beak on it. His expansive smile, irreverent wit and crass sense of humor are fixtures on the rivers of the Colorado Plateau for more than four decades. Whether working as a park ranger at Dinosaur National Monument, floating the river as a guide, repairing rafts at his home or shuttling boats and guests to and from the river, he’s by nature gregarious with travelers and locals, sharing his experiences and alerting people to threats facing the rivers he loves. Hoops began advocating for rivers after his first trip to Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument in the early 1970s. The remote site where the Yampa and Green rivers converge was once a refuge and hideout for Butch Cassidy and his outlaw gang. But the fact that the river was almost dammed and the area submerged under a reservoir affected Hoops. He began a push to make the 83-mile section of river below Echo Park a national monument. This section, known as Desolation Canyon, meanders through one of the most isolated and rugged regions in the country. It’s the largest area in the contiguous 48 states with no road running through it. What we now call the Green River has been carving its way through this area for 10 to 15 million years. From the river, cliffs rise up on either side like giant sandstone layer cakes—a layer of shale then cliff, shale then more cliff. Every bend offers something new, from rapids to ruins,

petroglyphs to wildlife. The deepest part of the canyon is cut more than a mile below the top of the Tavaputs Plateau—nearly as deep as the deepest section of the Grand Canyon. To Hoops, this stretch of river has always felt like home. He began running it several times a year and estimates he’s run it more than 100 times over his life. Though the petition to turn Desolation Canyon into a national monument went nowhere, Hoops’ advocacy of rivers had begun. On the local and national front, he continued to advocate for the fragile desert river systems of the Colorado Plateau where he met with both success and failure. He spearheaded a campaign to create a boat passageway and fish ladders at the Tusher Dam diversion near the town of Green River. Now, for the first time in more than a century, it’s possible to completely navigate the river from the base of Flaming Gorge Dam to its confluence with the Colorado River. But, he says, he also “spent months pissing into the wind” attempting to get various interest groups along the White River to agree that oil pumps should be removed—not replaced—when they wear out. His advocacy on behalf of Utah’s rivers helped turn Desolation Canyon into the largest wilderness study area in the state. And in 2018, Congress designated the lower 60 miles of the canyon as a Wild and Scenic River, protecting it, in many ways, for future generations. Now in his 70s, Hoops’ river days sadly are behind him. Because of health issues, he took his final trip


Herm Hoops, wearing his famous toucan cap, runs the whitewater of the Colorado River

down Desolation Canyon in October 2018, just a few weeks after being inducted into the John Wesley Powell River Museum Hall of Fame (there’s even a short film about that journey on YouTube titled The Salad Days). A few years prior, he’d been diagnosed with COPD and placed on oxygen, A short while later, he learned he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Amid these life-changing diagnoses, he also had a hip replacement. All the while, he was working on an extensive archive on the history of inflatable boats, a project he completed in 2018 and turned over to the University of Utah’s Special Collections in the J. Willard Marriott Library. He fights back tears when he talks about the river and his most memorable trips, most of which were done alone or with just a few others. Earlier in their marriage, his wife, Valerie, and he would celebrate their anniversary on the river. At camp, he’d dress up in a Sergeant Pepper-like band-leader uniform while she donned a cocktail dress and a parasol. They’d enjoy wine and cheese and then serve shrimp or scallops. “We were madly in love,” he says. “We still are. She’s a very important part of my life.” Most of his solo trips down Desolation Canyon took place in the off-season, just after the river ice melted or before it froze. “I really preferred solo trips because there was only one asshole I had to deal with,” he jokes. “I didn’t have to talk if I didn’t want

to. I didn’t have to socialize. I could write or just stare at the river or the canyon walls. One of the most beautiful things about a river is that it doesn’t care about us. It doesn’t care about our economics or our dams or our need for water. A river just does what a river does.” He reminisces about river otters floating alongside his raft for nearly a mile and the time he watched a herd of elk cross the river. Then he recalls watching a mountain lion come down to the bank for a drink. “He had no idea I was there, man,” Hoops says, noting such wildlife encounters seldom occur on group trips. “At night,” he continues, “I lie in bed and imagine I’m on the river. I imagine I’m lying on a sandbank. I see the river in my mind. I think about the weather on certain trips. But I can’t hear [the river]. I can’t smell it. I can’t feel it.” That’s the hardest part, he says. “I really miss the river, and memories only go so far.” The river regularly surprised him with almost ethereal experiences. “When the moonlight comes down a canyon wall,” he says, “it can be just like sunrise.” And just before dusk, as the canyon walls darken, the buttes and mesas high above reflect the last rays of the sun so brightly that the rocks appear to be radiating light. Within a few minutes, the rocks darken, and the stars appear, vast and incalculable. And the river, of course, does what a river does. It flows on. March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 17

FROZEN SERENITY Iceberg passageways reveal penguins, whales and aweinspiring sunsets BY CHRIS VANOCUR


t doesn’t get much better than being able to vamoose around Utah. The past few years have seen me vamoose from the Scenic Byway 12 in the south to the Golden Spike up north as well as many stops in-between. But sometimes popular Utah recreation spots such as the Mighty Five national parks can feel overcrowded and touristy, which is why I recently strayed (very) far from the beaten path. My quest for someplace truly remote and unique took me south. Way south. As a matter of fact, about as far south as you can go. Considering I really hate being cold, Antarctica might seem an unlikely destination. But the quiet, serenity and mysterious appeal of this frozen land called to me. I felt an inexplicable yet powerful urge to see icebergs, penguins, whales and, most importantly, as few people as possible. Sometimes, the best part of a trip is what’s not there. Now, there are several ways to see Antarctica. If you want to actually step foot on the continent, then a small expedition ship is the way to go. They leave from Ushuaia, a chill little city at the very southern tip of Argentina. Upon arriving in Antarctica, you are then ferried to the shores in Kodiak boats. But be forewarned, these small Antarctica excursions can be pricey. Another option is to travel aboard a larger cruise ship from either Buenos Aires, Argentina, or Santiago, Chile. On their journeys around the southern tip of South America, they spend several days doing a “driveby” of Antarctica. While this type of trip can be more affordable, setting foot on Antarctica is not necessarily included in the base price. I chose the cruise-ship option. Walking on Antarctica just wasn’t that big of a deal to me. Also, cruising around Cape Horn enabled me to see the breathtaking majesty of both Patagonia and the Chilean fjords.

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Iceberg encounter in Antarctica

March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 19




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Whichever way you go, and regardless of the expense and difficulty in reaching Antarctica, you will be rewarded with the sight of something truly miraculous. Words cannot adequately describe the astonishing beauty of this place. But the one word that kept coming back to me was “otherworldly.” The tranquility of the blue iceberg bays and the haunting mist of the snowcapped mountains floored me. On my second day there, I snapped more than 300 pictures. Just when you think nothing can be more spectacular than what you’ve just seen, you see something even more jaw-dropping. On one of my last nights in Antarctica, just as I was getting ready for bed about 10:30 p.m., I happened to glance out my cabin window and was greeted by the sight of the sun setting over some Antarctic peaks. I grabbed my coat and camera and ran up to the starboard deck. Luckily, I was able to grab a dozen or so photos of this once-in-a-lifetime sight. Antarctica had surprised and stunned me one final time. However, there is one more thing I should probably mention about sailing to Antarctica. To get there, you have to cross the Drake Passage. It’s the body of water between Ushuaia and Antarctica. It’s also where the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans collide in a violent and watery tussle. Because of this, the Drake Passage is often called the roughest stretch of water in the world. The sea was relatively calm as our ship made its way south to Antarctica. When conditions are like this, it’s called the “Drake Lake.” But on the way back, we were racing to get ahead of approaching storms. This caused the wind and the waves to misbehave. When this kind of turbulence occurs, it’s called “The Drake Shake.” Without trying to scare anyone, the unpredictability of the Drake Passage (and Antarctica weather in general) is something to think about before embarking on this trip. But, for me, it’s an inconvenience worth taking. After all, who knows what Antarctica will look like in the future. Even this frozen tundra is not immune to climate change. Some fellow shipmates told me they had been to Antarctica just a decade or so before and remembered seeing significantly more ice. Anecdotal sure, but telling nonetheless. Less ice also means it’s now easier for ships to get to Antarctica. In fact, as I write this, more boats are being built specifically with Antarctic cruising in mind. During the 2019-20 tourist season alone, more than 75,000 people were expected to visit this area during its “summer months” (roughly October through March). I strongly suspect and fear this number will soon increase exponentially. So, if you’re thinking about vamoosing to this very cold place, you might want to go before it gets too hot. Both in terms of temperature and number of tourists.

Penguins huddle together to conserve warmth

Mon- Sat 8-6:45 | Sunday 10-5 9275 S 1300 W 801-562-5496 March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 21



With the right dressing, bitter winter greens can be ‘charmed and disarmed’ BY ARI LEVAUX


he farmers markets of summer get all the glory, but pound for pound, the winter markets have more guts. These off-season centers of homegrown commerce run from about Halloween through Easter, and are like distillations of their summer counterparts, giving farmers the chance to make a little money, while offering locals an opportunity to buy some produce. Like some secret society for extra-cheerful and healthy people, those who know about the winter market show up while the rest of the world watches cartoons. The web page provides online tools to help farmers thrive, and maintains a database of active farmers markets in the U.S. According to LocalHarvest’s Guillermo Payet, there are about 4,700 summer markets nationwide, compared to 1,911 winter markets. He recently added a winter market search feature to the LocalHarvest page, so shoppers can easily find the winter market closest to them. Winter markets are smaller, cuter and cozier, with more hot cocoa on tap. Like a summer market, the winter market is like a big, living microchip of the farming community. You find out who died, who got pregnant, who grew a beard, and who went to Costa Rica. Like a fire in the dark, winter

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markets provide heat and light when it’s needed the most. My winter market in Montana is flush with “normal” cold weather crops like potatoes, squash, onions and garlic. It also offers animal and value-added products like bacon, pickles, cheese and eggs. But thanks to advances in cold-weather horticulture, and with a little help from a warming climate, there are now summery foods available, like celery, tomatoes and apples, not to mention tropical foods like lemongrass. But the stars of the winter market are the winter greens, that large and delicious spectrum of leaves like spinach, tatsoi, arugula, broccoli, kale, and leafy cabbages like Napa. These greens, planted during the dog days of summer, came of age in cooler, shorter days. Under these conditions, plants build themselves differently. They are smaller but sturdier, denser and crunchier. Maybe it’s the bleak context in which they appear, but winter greens emanate a vitality that you can see and taste, like earthy, bitter candies. Here are three recipes to help you enjoy the winter greens in season today. These dressings will also benefit many non-green crops of winter too, like radishes or cauliflower. And when the time comes, these salad sauces will help us enjoy the bounty of summer.


Crazy Mountain Blue Cheese Dressing

This recipe comes from Cheryl Marchi, proprietress of the Crazy Mountain Inn, a 117-year-old boarding house in Martinsdale, Montana where Calamity Jane once stayed. The Inn’s living room boasts a glorious wood stove that warms it like a winter market warms a community. The adjacent café is the toast of Meagher County, and where I first tasted Marchi’s blue cheese salad dressing. It’s thick enough to use as a dip, but not so thick that your shirt won’t look as splattered as mine does after dipping cauliflower florets too impatiently. Marchi likes it with onion-y dishes, as a dip for onion rings, or to hold the grilled onions in place on a French dip sandwich. Ingredients 1/2 cup milk 3 1/2 cups Best Foods mayo 6 ounces Gorgonzola 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, crushed Lots of fresh, coarsely ground black pepper Process Set a third of the Gorgonzola aside. Blend everything else together. Break apart the unblended chunk of Gorgonzola into little chunks and stir it in. Let it sit for a bit, preferably overnight. Yields 4 ½ cups

Flower Child Lemon Tahini Dressing

This recipe comes courtesy of Flower Child vegan restaurant chain. This sauce is an emulsion, meaning it won’t separate after you mix it up. In other words, it’s basically lemon tahini mayo, which is pretty special. If you add a yolk it will emulsify even thicker, but that, of course, would cause the dressing to lose its veganity. The dressing also contains nutritional yeast, aka “Hippy Dust,” which seems appropriate for a restaurant called Flower Child. The yeast confers a meaty strength to the dressing, which isn’t surprising because Hippy Dust is 100 percent yeast meat. If your garlic cloves are large, like mine, you might not want to use the full eight cloves. So use your best judgment, but no fewer than three cloves. The acid, sweetness, saltiness and richness of this dressing makes it a great blanket to a pile of earthy leaves. Ingredients 8 cloves of garlic-peeled ½ cup fresh lemon juice 2 ½ tablespoons tahini 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard 2 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup grapeseed oil Process Put the first 7 ingredients in a blender and process on medium speed for 15 seconds. While machine is running, slowly pour in the oils until emulsified. Place in covered container in refrigerator until needed. Yields 1 ½ cups

Mrs. LeVaux’s All-Purpose Dressing

My wife is convinced that every homemade salad dressing needs more salt, and I think she may have a point. Her go-to dressing is basically oil and vinegar, plus a bunch of soy sauce. Ingredients 1 cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup cider vinegar ¼ cup lime or lemon juice ¼ cup balsamic Process Combine ingredients, dress or dip your salad. If dipping, replenish the oil as necessary. This dressing is especially good on bitter vegetables, like radicchio. The flavors of the dressing engage those of the greens on many levels, disarming and charming those tasty winter greens, leafing you wanting more.

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We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. —John Steinbeck U.S. Route 50, west of Eureka, Nevada


A lonely highway reminds us what wild country looks like



o take a trip on an airplane nowadays is to run a gauntlet, suffering for hours before emerging at the baggage claim carousel, battered and bedraggled. These trips take us between crowded, lookalike airports at disorienting speeds. Lay over in Kalamazoo? The airline decides, not us. Steinbeck would have objected to the encapsulation of air travel. He wanted to see the sights along the blue highways, eat lunch in diners, and hobnob with the residents of rural towns across America. Accompanied by a poodle named Charley, he drove 10,000 miles on a road trip that generated a best-selling travelogue in 1962. Travels with Charley in Search of America was on my mind as I planned a December trip to San Francisco. Without business to conduct and no particular timetable, I decided to forgo the airplane ordeal, eschew the tedium of I-80 through Reno, and drive across Nevada on “the loneliest road in America.” I chose Highway 50 not because it was the antithesis of frenetic air travel, but because I have lately come to think of trips and destinations as being conjoined. In other words, the over-

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riding concern was not so much where I was going as it was how I would get there. And at what pace. Another factor in the decision-making process was an upswell of nostalgia for the iconic American road trip of the mid-20th century (as experienced in the back seat of my father’s lumbering, green Buick.) For the jaded frequent flier, the stretch of Highway 50 from Delta, Utah, to Carson City, Nevada, is an ideal, introductory road trip. It is short. 500 miles. It offers travelers a history lesson, desert scenery and solitude. It is called the loneliest road because not many choose to drive it—especially in winter—and not many still live in its isolated, 19th century mining towns. Any of them linked by Highway 50 could serve as the setting of an end-of-an-era movie like The Last Picture Show. In the salad days of 1919, the same towns celebrated the arrival of an 80-vehicle, Army convoy dispatched from Washington, D.C., and bound for San Francisco on the 6-year-old Lincoln Highway. That first transcontinental highway, which was built with private funds, was almost impassable west of Nebraska. Utah’s des-


ert was especially difficult. “From Orr’s Ranch (west of Tooele), Utah, to Carson City, the road is one succession of dust, ruts, pits and holes” wrote Lt. Col. Dwight Eisenhower, one of the convoy’s 24 officers: The coast-to-coast trip took two months. It made a lasting impression on Eisenhower as did the autobahns he saw in occupied Germany after World War II. “The old convoy had started me thinking about good, two-lane highways, but Germany had made me see the wisdom of broader ribbons across the land,” he wrote. As president, his views shaped the interstate highway network funded by the federal government in 1956. Eisenhower’s road-as-ribbon analogy is apt. (It evokes the 119-foot paper scroll on which Jack Kerouac typed On the Road.) For hundreds of miles, the two-lane highway unspools across the desert to a vanishing point in mountains that look like dark thunderheads on the horizon. The land, empty under a vault of blue sky, is as quiet as a high school in July. It is haunted by Fremont Indians, Pony Express riders, silver miners, stockmen and Latter-day Saints pioneers. March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 25


“Apart from the feathery con trails overhead and a spindly fence that follows the roadway, the boot print of modernity is absent.”

Their encounters with this wild place, Wallace Stegner—American novelist, historian and environmentalist—believed, forged character. None of those pre-modern visitors has left a visible trace, not even a Lombardy Poplar, a pioneer favorite for windbreaks. Apart from the feathery con trails overhead and a spindly fence that follows the roadway, the boot print of modernity is absent: No train tracks, truck stops, cellphone towers or telephone poles. No scraps of retread rubber on the highway; no plastic water bottles littering the shoulder. The landscape is a nubbly carpet unfolding in shades of brown, green and gray. Yellowing bunch grass adds a fringe here and there, but it’s chiefly sagebrush as far as you can see. And so it will be for a few more centuries. The sunbaked land won’t be bulldozed for a desert spa, survival camp, golf resort, Mars simulator or alfalfa field. Why not? Lack of water is one reason. There is also an unmistakable sense that the wilderness has already achieved its highest and best use. “We simply need that wild country available to us even if we just drive up to the edge and look in,” wrote Stegner. Driving the loneliest road on a winter day is conducive to such meditations. 26 | Vamoose Utah • March 2020

The first stop on my road trip was Great Basin National Park, a four-hour drive from Salt Lake City, just 60 miles shy of Ely, Nevada. The remote park is known for the Lehman Caves, ancient Bristlecone Pine trees, and stargazing par excellence. Park rangers conduct astronomy programs three nights a week during the summer season. This year’s three-day Astronomy Festival begins Sept. 17. I topped off the gas tank in Ely and set out for Carson City, 400 miles and two gas stations away. I knew immediately I had made the right decision: more legroom than a first-class airplane seat; freedom to stop for a petroglyph or historical marker; uninterrupted scenic vistas; and an enveloping stillness. After Carson City, Highway 50 swung around Lake Tahoe, crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains, skirted Sacramento, thence to the coast where I was sorry to have my road trip end. To steer clear of airports proved to be a satisfying decision even if it did add a few hours to the itinerary. I am late to the band wagon, however. According to MMGT Global, a travel consulting company, 22 percent of American vacationers chose road trips in 2015. The percentage rose to 39 a year later as increasing numbers sought to make the journey a destination.

VOL.5 NO.6 • AUGUST 2019












We Are






August 2019 • Vamoose Utah | 1


Devour Utah • february 2019 1



JULY 2019




The best spaces, places and faces in Utah real estate BEST OF UTAH 2019 | 1

BEST OF UTAH Real Estate 2019


A Utah Family Business Offering media solutions for your digital, print and event endeavours. The mining community of Copperfield was set in world famous Bingham Canyon, high in the Oquirrh Mountains. In 1906, the Saltas family joined those Copperfield residents in the steep hillside, shanty area, called Greek Camp. Copperfield was home to thousands of melting pot immigrants including Greeks, Japanese, Mexicans, Germans, Swedes, Brits and many other ethnicities all bound to common American values of family, faith, education, hard work and community. They shared many good times, often tempered by the frequent bad times derived of dangerous mining work. Copperfield is now gone, scraped away by mining.

But the Copperfield spirit remains alive in everything we do, from newspapers and magazines to events and digital services. We work hard for each other and for the large communities of readers—online and in print—who value honesty and stories told well. We will keep telling stories—your stories—as long as people keep reading. And wouldn’t it be a shame if they didn’t read? We don’t think that will happen, so meanwhile, turn a page, or many pages, in one of Copperfield Publishing’s growing catalog of Utah award-winning publications. We are all the community of Utah. Enjoy.  John Saltas Founder March 2020 • Vamoose Utah | 27

East Park Reservoir in Ashley National Forest

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Nature Date Spending time outdoors with the family shouldn’t be a chore BY REBECCA CHAVEZ-HOUCK



s my husband, Martin, and I travel the state in our RV, we’re happy to see families exploring the outdoors. Like them, we took advantage of junior ranger programs with our children as we visited national parks. But for many parents, a lack of vacation time or other commitments keep families close to home. It can be difficult for the family to travel to take in nature’s benefits. But that shouldn’t stop them from finding outdoors activities they can enjoy as a family. “If getting our kids out into nature is a search for perfection, or is one more chore, then the belief in perfection and the chore defeats the joy,” author Richard Louv writes in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. “It’s a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it’s even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it’s a lot more fun.” A couple years ago, Rose Smith, program manager for the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation (OOR), saw an opportunity to engage more Utah families in exploring the outdoors. At the time, she was serving as an intern for the office, completing her master’s degree at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Smith wanted to apply her practical experience of working in youth development and establish something that families throughout the state could use as a starting point for enjoying nature. She discovered numerous U.S. communities and states had adopted a Children’s Bill of Rights and decided to pursue state adoption of a similar initiative. Fast forward to the 2019 Utah legislative general session, and Smith and the team from OOR, in concert with community stakeholders like Youthworks (a former recipient of the OOR youth grants program), National Parks Conservation Association and the Utah Society for Environmental Education, were on the Hill encouraging legislators to support HCR4: Utah’s Every Kid Outdoors (EKO) Initiative. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, and Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan.

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Utah’s Every Kid Outdoors Initiative:

Tony Grove Lake Logan Canyon

Kids can download and fill out an Explorer Passport Not only did the Legislature enthusiastically support the resolution, it provided the Utah Children’s Outdoor Recreation and Education (UCORE) grant program with a much-needed one-time state appropriation of $100,000. On the heels of that legislative success, Smith put together an EKO passport program for Utahns to use with their families. The first 100 children who submit completed passports to OOR will receive a certificate signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, along with a collapsible lantern, donated by Utah-based Goal Zero ( The passport is available in English and Spanish. “We wanted to make it unique to Utah, 30 | Vamoose Utah • March 2020

but also to make the activities as general as possible. We ran ideas for the required activities past the stakeholder group and had them rank the activities. We wanted to make sure that the activities were as inclusive and accessible as possible. They are Utah-centric and include stewardship,” Smith explains. In order to meet its purpose of inspiring children to complete the activities, Smith notes that the passport can be easily completed in a child’s backyard or community park. “Even if it happens in a day…if it sparks interest in nature, wherever that might be, that’s what we want to see,” Smith says, adding that participants


Every kid should have the opportunity to: • Observe nature and wildlife in Utah • Explore Utah’s parks, public lands, and wild places • Experience the Greatest Snow on Earth • Gaze at the starry sky • Bring along a friend to nearby nature • Splash in Utah’s rivers, lakes and streams • Follow a trail • Plant a seed • Play on Utah’s rocks and mountains • Be a steward and take care of Utah’s outdoor places —More at

seem to be really “having a blast with the family” as they complete the activities. Martin and I have now joined the demographic of retired folks on the open road, but we reflect fondly on the time we spent as young parents tent camping with our kids. There’s nothing better than cuddling up with a little one in front of a campfire, seeing his or her face light up with wonder at seeing a new critter or watching them scale a goblin-shaped rock formation. If you’re interested in checking out EKO for a child in your life, visit the EKO information webpage to find out more at See you at the campground!


LOOK Holi Festival of Colors Spanish Fork Photo by Steven Gerner

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Profile for Copperfield Publishing

Vamoose Utah March 2020