Category Archives: Utah
Our last full day in Utah was spent in the desert, about three hours southwest of SLC in a place known as Ibex. It was quite an interesting trip. We shot some guns, drove fast across the lake beds, and climbed around. Rather, I hobbled around and tried to run across the lake, without any success whatsoever (DOMS, anyone?).
Here’s some photos that can do the trip more justice than my words:
We left on Day 5. We went up Big Cottonwood before heading to the Red Iguana for lunch and a mohito. This was quite possibly the best food-cation I’ve ever had. Never once was I plagued with a “oh what will I eat off the salad menu” ordeal because of my gfree diet. The Red Iguana was interesting. It was in a not-as-fancy side of town (I’ll leave it at that) and it seemed like kind of a hole in the wall, but I guess all the best places do! I ordered a mohito, and it was sweet and minty but not overpowering whatsoever. Perfect balance of lime and mint. Foodwise- I ordered the enchiladas suizas, which were made with avocado and sour cream chicken and (mmmm….)mole. Seriously, this was the most delicious mole I have ever tasted. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t eat the entire helping (but I made Marc take it home because it was just too good to throw away). The mole was nutty, cocoa-y, and smooth. Didn’t taste burnt or sugary, just savor-flavor inside my mouth. Amazing. Best way to leave the city.
Race day went just as planned. I had a great night’s sleep, a good breakfast, no stomach issues at all. It was moderately stressful having to drive Nancy (Marc’s truck) to the race start, but I managed. I felt great during the whole race. Weaving in and out of people, running faster and faster… my feet were happy and my energy levels were well maintained. I decided to lay down the hammer at mile 20, and the last six miles were practically all faster than the rest*.
After the race, B and I hobbled around the parking lot, and eventually Marc found us and took us back to his house so we could shower. We rolled out to Kathmandu, an Indian and Nepali restaurant that Marc’s roommate heavily recommended. Joyous praise to Jimmy was made when we arrived to the Nepali buffet with 15min to spare. As I am typically adamently opposed to buffets, especially those of the American or Chinese variety, I was very impressed with Kathmandu’s feast. They had tandoori, as well as papadom, aloo ko achar, boti, and korma. My favorite was the chicken korma, and my first helping didn’t have any of the big chunks of chicken in it (go figure, I didn’t dig the spoon deep enough into the pot!). It was sooo good.
After lunch we stopped by a State Liquor Store, because the only place to purchase booze in Utah is at a designated state-run liquor store. Oddly enough, these stores do not sell other items, such as Coca-Cola or Snickers, so I was a bit disappointed, but I found a bottle of whiskey that probably didn’t need any help from secondary items.
It wasnt all that difficult to fall asleep. My legs were sore and my eyes were tired. I had a small glass of whiskey and hit the sack.
*practically all… one mile was a little slower, as it was mostly all up hill (and quite a long, steep uphill, I might add)
Marc was nice enough to let us stay at his place while we were in town, and B and I got to sleep in a nice, clean, comfy bed. I had stayed at Marc’s place before, but he lived in the smaller off-the-back one-room shack before (on our Napa trip). The first morning we were there, we met at The Park Cafe, across the street from Liberty Park. One awesome thing about SLC is the quality of parks they have. Liberty Park was part of the marathon course, near the end (maybe around mile 23?) and it offered a beautiful view of a lake and greenspace. Running through the park also made me crave Day 2’s breakfast of Michigan Hash.
The Cafe had big helpings, the best bacon I’ve ever had, and bottomless coffee. It is actually not-so-easy to get coffee in SLC (I believe that Mormons, who are a heavy proportion of SLC’s population, are “not allowed” to drink hot caffeinated beverages). The atmosphere was very eclectic, and unfortunately I chickened out of taking a picture of a dude with a ‘stache and tight-rolled pants. He had it goin’ on.
After breakfast, we went on a scavenger hunt to find the warehouse building we spotted the night before. What’s in this warehouse, you might ask? Well… Salt water taffy. When we saw it, we couldn’t NOT go. It was a little creepy, walking into the Taffy shop, with the creepy toy-Jack-in-a-Box music playing, but we got over it quickly and filled up bags with gummy bears and salt water taffy. I even bought my runnin’ buddy Marg some licorice, only to find out that it was made in Michigan (go figure). The gummy bears were quite delicious, though- nothing quite compares to freshly made, gooey gummies. There’s a big difference, and the fact that we got to pick what flavors when in our mix (because all the gummies were separated in bins based on flavor) was awesome. No coconut flavored gummies for me…
We went on a do-it-ourselves tour of the Latter Day Saints Temple grounds, and bypassed the many women walking around with nametags and clipboards. The grounds were beautiful, and the buildings were magnificent. The little gold dude on the top of the temple is Angel Moroni, who was believed to direct Mormon prophet Joseph Smith to the golden plates in the 1820s.
The Temple grounds are a significant portion of SLC’s downtown, and the castle-like buildings stand next to modern sky-scraper buildings.
After the Temple and seeing what I called Space Jesus (a big statue of Jesus on the top floor of the visitor’s center, surrounded by a mural of stars and planets), we went to the expo and got our race packets, and then made our way back to Marc’s. Erik headed back out to do some more bouldering for the afternoon, and M, B, and I went for a little jog. My legs were a little sore, especially my quads, and I was a little weazy… but I felt good otherwise. We had dinner at Marc’s, and Adam and I dug into some Annie’s gluten free mac-and-cheese from a box. Classy? Not really. but delicious! I was in bed by 930pm.
As many of you know (as was emphasized in my last post), Baberaham and I ventured to Salt Lake City, Utah, to knock Utah off my list and his first open marathon off his. Since it’s always better to kill two birds with one stone, I picked SLC because my old pseudo-roommate Marc lives there. Marc and I ran our first-ever marathons together, and little did he know what he was getting himself into. Since Napa in ’07, Marc and I have met up practically every year, and SLC was our third road marathon/half that we signed up for together (sort of).
My other old pseudo-roomie, Erik, headed down from Bozeman, Montana, to meet up with us. Although he’s not exactly a fan of running, he is a fan of Utah’s climbing and roomie reunions. He picked us up from the airport and immediately took us to his favorite food joint, Barbacoa’s. It was quite tasty, and I was lucky enough to find a bike shop next door that sold EFS Liquid Shot (since I wasn’t able to bring my big bottle along). Sha-wing. When Marc was done with his afternoon exam, the four of us ventured out into the wilderness. What better way to explore SLC than by heading to Little Cottonwood for some bouldering festivities. We stopped at a Sev (one of a bajillion 7-11s in SLC) on the way and grabbed a Slurpie and some snacks.
Neither B nor I brought our climbing shoes, and I was kicking myself. But, like always, I enjoyed watching Erik and Marc climb. I was also the videographer for the weekend. Luckily, Erik can do good work with video, and I’m looking forward to what he puts together. Here’s a little recap with some cool photos that you can check out on his blog, Bouldering Montana.
After watching a few serious sends*, I tried to keep hydrated to minimize the altitude effects. Chug chug chug, slurpie style. Here’s some more flashy sights from our sweet trip to Little Cottonwood:
That evening, the four of us headed out for some great Thai cuisine at Chanon Thai Cafe. On the way, we passed a crazy warehouse place called Taffy Town, and I knew we’d be hitting that up at a later time. It is quite possible that Chanon had the best curry I’ve ever tasted before in my life, and I didn’t even order it. Delicious, and great food to end a great first day in Utah.
*Send: verb– to unfaulteringly climb to the top of a boulder route.