|BEST SELF-ESTEEM WORKOUT
We love Eliza James. She’s bouncy, loud, aggressive, direct, muscular and enthused by her mission: to teach women (and men) the joys and benefits of boxing. An hour session with her is a grueling experience. Squat thrusts, push-ups, running—and that’s just the first five minutes. In her small, airy studio in Sugar House, she saves the best for last—shadow boxing, then putting on the gloves and practicing your jabs and crosses. A workout with James doesn’t just pump up the body, it pumps up the self esteem, too. But there’s a master plan behind this: to build up a gym and a group of fighters who will do her proud in the ring. James inspires loyalty and passion in her followers, so expect great things from this charismatic boxing maestro.
1983 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-8269
BEST ART GALLERY
Under the direction of Shilo Jackson and Davina Pallone, Kayo has not only maintained founder Kenny Riches’ original vision of a small-town gallery with a big-city feel but also has blossomed into the place to catch emerging talent. Locals exhibit monthly with the occasional out-of-state guest including San Francisco’s Oyster Pirates sharing wall space with Utah artist Sri Whipple. And, when the unknowns become big deals, they return to the place that first gave them complete control of their work and presentation.
177 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-0080, KayoGallery.com
2. Phillips Gallery
3. Utah Museum of Fine Arts
|BEST TANGO LOVERS
Argentine tango is not just a dance—it’s an attitude, an ideal to live by. And when you fall in love with the tango, your relationship with music, your body and the world around you is never quite the same. Wasatch Tango is a group of people dedicated to promoting tango in the valley. At the heart of these valiant tango lovers are a number of teachers, notably the crisp, aesthetic stylist Nicholas Walker and Italian architect Marco Bagnasacco, who have led the effort to teach Salt Lakers the sensual bliss that is a beautifully executed tango. Study with Walker, Bagnasacco and the other teachers, and with enough determination and patience, you will discover that each tango step brings you closer to ecstasy.
That dimly lit stretch of West 200 South was, for a while, one of the sketchier areas in town, better known for its homeless shelter than for its shopping, restaurants or nightlife. Those few intrepid businesses that did manage to carve out a niche in the urban jungle were done in by TRAX construction (like Orbit Cafe, may it rest in peace), or nearly were (fortunately, Hong Kong Café is doing fine—long may it prosper). When the Old Greektown station went online in 2008, it was like a fresh breeze blowing in—and the area is fast becoming one of Salt Lake City’s funkiest fresh neighborhoods.
BEST NEW AIR SPRAY
During all those visits to Disneyland over the years, have you ever stopped and thought, “Wouldn’t this be even more awesome if I was getting sprayed in the face?” Lagoon’s OdySea, which opened in 2008, introduces a water-oriented theme to the classic spin-and-fly ride, as rider-controlled gondolas allow you to cruise above, below or directly into the paths of water jets.
375 N. Lagoon Drive, Farmington, LagoonPark.com
BEST PLACE TO FLY YOUR NORDIC COLORS
Scandinavian Heritage Festival
It doesn’t take more than a glance at a Utah phone book—with all its various Jensens, Christensens and Sorensens—to realize that plenty of natives trace their heritage back to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Every year, more than 10,000 people come out on Memorial Day weekend (May 21-23, 2009) to celebrate that heritage at Snow College in Ephraim. Attend the Scandinavian Heritage Conference to listen to classic storytelling in the style of Hans Christian Andersen, or enjoy a little Scandinavian supper. In Sanpete County each May, everyone is velkommen.
Trail redesigns may change the dynamics of this popular spot for pooches and their humans, but it’s sure to remain a favorite whether the canines are on-leash or off. Enjoy the walking paths of the park itself, or venture into the gully (plastic bag at the ready, naturally) to mix and mingle with the other pets and their owners. Fences keep the nearby freeway from being a risk to pets, while the creek and trails offer plenty of places to explore and play.
2760 S. 2700 East, Salt Lake City
2. Liberty Park
3. Millcreek Canyon
Super powers are within reach at iFly, an Ogden-based facility equipped with a bona-fide vertical wind tunnel. Though not for the faint of heart, iFly delivers a serious adrenaline rush without the risks of conventional skydiving or bungee jumping. Flight packages include pre-flight training, gear and one-on-one sessions with instructors. And, if your family is bored with Monday Night Bowling, swap it out with iFly’s Family Fun Night, when kids under 12 fly for free. Up, up and away!
2261 Kiesel Ave. Suite 201, Ogden, 801-528-5348, iFlyUtah.com
BEST RESTORATIVE YOGA TEACHER
Erin Geesaman Rabke
Suffer the effects of Earth’s gravity long enough and you, too, will begin to find evidence that your body is trashed. Those random aches and pains will gain the upper hand, and all your glory days as conquering rugby hero or snowboarder dude will seem like a cruel joke. What to do? Find out when and where Erin Geesaman Rabke is holding her next restorative yoga retreat. These workshops are all about finding the most comfortable position imaginable and breathing your way to deep and profound relaxation. The miracle is that you learn what your body feels like when it’s truly relaxed. Highly credentialed and eminently approachable, Geesaman Rabke also offers classes through U of U continuing education.
Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge Spa
Sometimes city dwellers forget about amenities offered by the ski resorts that bejewel our mountain peaks. Snowbird, in particular, features the Cliff Lodge spa that can provide a year-round reprieve from the daily grind with killer mountain views. If you have the money for a massage, energy treatment, facial or herbal wrap, then by all means, indulge yourself. There’s even a couples’ herbal wrap with two therapists! But for those who just want to avail themselves of the outdoor rooftop pool and hot tub or a eucalyptus steam bath followed by a period of contemplation and relaxation in the solarium, just scrounge up $20 and you’re in for a relaxing day.
Highway 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird, 801-933-2225, Snowbird.com
BEST PICNIC SPOT
Sprawling over 80 downtown Salt Lake City acres, Liberty Park provides the perfect place for a midday getaway, whatever your circumstance. A romantic twosome can find a place under a huge tree near the picturesque pond. A family with kids can take time after lunch to visit Tracy Aviary. Even kids with special physical needs can enjoy the all-abilities playground. You bring the food, nature provides a lovely day, and Liberty Park has everything else you might require.
700 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City
2. Sugarhouse Park
3. Millcreek canyon
BEST HORSING AROUND
Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center
Did you know that Congress finds wild free-roaming horses and burros to be living symbols of the West, that they enrich the lives of the American people and that, since it was felt they were fast disappearing, it became the Bureau of Land Management’s job to make sure they thrived? That duty has come to mean that the BLM gathers a good many wild horses and burros at various centers nationwide and makes them available for adoption at low cost to people who prove willing and capable to provide for them, and who will hopefully, “gentle” them. The Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center has 70 acres of land near Herriman bucking with equine life. Take your preteen daughters there for a My Friend Flicka good time.
8605 W. 12600 South, Herriman, 801-561-4632, UtahOutdoorActivities.com/SaltLakeWildHorse.html
BEST PLACE FOR A PHOTO-OP WITH A MISSILE
ATK rocket display
Box Elder County is not only the home of the historical event portrayed on our state coin—the driving of the Golden Spike—it’s also where many of America’s rockets are born. Just a few miles from the Golden Spike National Historic Site, ATK (formerly Thiokol) has decorated its front lawn with an array of its most important creations: the reusable fuel boosters for the space-shuttle program as well as Patriot and Minuteman missiles. Whether you’re interested in weaponry or in peaceful exploration, it makes an impressive snapshot backdrop for you, and it’s free to the public.
Route 83, NW of Brigham City, Promontory
|BEST EXCUSE TO WEAR A KILT
Payson Scottish Festival
Let’s face it: Ever since Braveheart, your inner “woad”-warrior has just been itching to go ape-crazy in a kilt. Look, these feelings are natural and, lucky for you, the Payson Scottish Festival in Utah county has an outlet for your bizarre fetish. Actually, for locals, the Scottish festival is a tradition that, for 25 years, has celebrated everything Scottish—from bagpipes and caber tossing to stone putting. That’s right, now is your chance to don that plaid man-skirt with pride, get out there and start huckin’ telephone-pole-size cabers and stuffing your face with haggis—all to the sweet, Old Country strains of bagpipe music.
100 S. Main, Payson, PaysonScottishFestival.org
BEST OUTDOOR PAINTBALL FIELD
Pegleg Paintball Ogden
For the weekend warrior, nothing helps vent the workweek worries like all-out paintball combat. Thankfully, Utah’s own Pegleg Paintball has created a sprawling outdoor “woodball” field at its Ogden location. Owner Dale Price is the original “Pegleg” and tells his story online. The massive 8-acre field has numerous hills, bunkers and even a forest spreading over half of it for that jungle-warfare feel. The field also has a replica small town so you can experience a CO2-charged re-enactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral if you’re up for it. For the fan of shorter speed games—“hyperball,” as the aficionados call it—the field also boasts two smaller fields with hyper tubes and bunkers set up for intense, high-speed games. The outdoor field (open only on Saturdays) is very accommodating, since it is located right next to the Ogden Pegleg shop, making it easy to rent guns, buy more paint, refill air and even get small technical problems fixed quickly before getting right back into the action.
291 W. 33rd St., Ogden, 801-866-1122, PeglegPaintball.com
|BEST SOCCER COACH
Jason Kreis, Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake soccer coach Jason Kreis had the last laugh at the end of the 2008 season when his team made the playoffs. He gutted the roster, imported some South American and European talent and some top-notch U.S. players, and built a team with heart. By the last games of 2008, his boys were playing the European-style soccer he so admires, passing the ball around in midfield, building up attacks and scoring goals. First, Kreis made a believer of his teammates. This season, no doubt, he hopes to do the same with spectators. And he doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
BEST PUBLIC GOLF COURSE
Even while you’re shanking your ball into the golfer next to you, you can at least enjoy the spectacular scenery surrounding Bonneville. The course on the East Bench offers views of the mountains and the Salt Lake Valley. Actually, you don’t even need to look up to be inspired, particularly when faced with teeing off into a ravine on the hilly course that follows the natural contours of the foothills. Bonneville opened in 1929 and is one of the most mature courses in the valley. At 6,834 yards from the back tees, it’s also very challenging. Just think of it as a nature walk when hunting for a ball in the wooded areas.
954 Connor St., Salt Lake City, 801-583-9513
2. Mountain Dell
3. Old Mill
BEST GARDEN TOUR ACCESSORIES
Red Butte Gardens
Red Butte Garden isn’t just a lovely place to spend a spring day; it’s an educational opportunity, too. Kids visiting the gardens can get a special backpack of goodies to enhance the experience, including fun facts about flora and fauna and a magnifying glass for close-up study. Come for the beauty—the kids will leave without even realizing that you sneaked an educational field trip into their day.
300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, 801-581-4747, RedButteGarden.org
Alta might be for skiers, but Brighton is for snowboarders. Brighton doesn’t release its snowboarder-vs.-skier numbers, but a glance around the lift line confirms snowboarders outnumber skiers. So, if camaraderie is your thing, this is the place to feel at home. Brighton also has four well-maintained and -designed terrain parks, plus a half pipe. Park director Jared Winkler creates some of the best lines and utilizes diverse features such as wall rides, jumps, boxes and even lift-tower jibs. With the parks open until 9 p.m., Brighton provides the opportunity to hone your skills while others are already getting their apres-ski on.
12601 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, Brighton, 801-532-4731, BrightonResort.com
BEST SUMMER SKIING
This global warming ain’t all bad. Sure, climate trends eventually mean that the only skiing in Utah will be by helicopter—and the Salt Lake Valley will turn into a dust bowl—but, for now, messed-up weather patterns mean the greatest snow on earth starts before Thanskgiving and keeps going well into summer. It was snowing in the mountains last June, with the tops of Big and Little Cottonwood canyons getting 2 feet in a day. Snowbird was open on Father’s Day. The resort’s late-season skiing is made possible by the tram, which carries skiers directly to the top at nearly 11,000 feet. Skiers were able to take runs all day on the Little Cloud lifts, then ride the tram back down to the bottom. The only problem was that the resort’s traditional summer activities, such as its zip line, had to delay opening because of the snowpack.
Highway 210, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird, 801-933-2222, Snowbird.com
BEST HALLOWEEN PARADE
It’s hard to imagine a more fitting Halloween parade for Park City than Howl-a-Ween. Dedicated to the local dog-loving population, the sight of owners and their dressed-up mutts strutting their stuff down a cordoned-off Main Street will bring a smile to the most hardened of cynics. Along with the more obvious witches and princesses, there were mummies, astronauts and some poor dog even had to sport a tutu. The only question is where all the children come from who go trick or treating in the stores on Main Street before the parade. Given the local inhabitants’ obvious overweening passion for our four-footed friends, it’s hard to imagine anyone up there has time or interest for kids in the first place.
Main Street, Park City
BEST 2008 HALLOWEEN HAUNT
Body Worlds 3
The bodies, all 200 of them, were dead ... and yet these skinless, naked plastinated specimens seemed eerily alive, illuminated in intimate black-box galleries, about to lunge at you at any moment, eyes bulging, organs protruding, one with a bow and arrow, another about to throw a javelin, while the sound of a heartbeat rhythm pulsed in the background. Even a chicken, a lamb and a camel come at you in various dissected states. What better Halloween setting could there be? Little wonder that, by the end of October 2008, The Leonardo marked its 100,000th visitor during the run of Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ traveling science extravaganza, which continued through January 2009. Beats the hell of a cold, muddy corn maze.
The Leonardo at Library Square, 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, TheLeonardo.org
BEST ROCK CLIMBING
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Everyone calls it granite, but most of it is actually quartz monzonite—the same stuff they used to build the LDS Salt Lake Temple. But, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, it’s still raw. And it’s those rugged outcroppings that climbers cannot wait to get their hands on. Here, they’ll find dozens of buttresses and gullies to be climbed, mostly on the sunnier north side of the canyon, including favorites such as The Fin, Gate Buttress and the Schoolroom. With its multi-pitch traditional routes, shorter sport routes, bouldering and even ice-climbing routes, LCC offers a lifetime of killer climbs ... and it’s right here, as they say, in our own backyard.
2. The Front
BEST SPORT FISHING
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Nothing beats the Mack—that infamous silvery beast skulking in the waters of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir straddling Utah and Wyoming. The Mackinaw, or lake trout, is the fiercest challenge a Utah angler stands to match bait and hook against, and for sheer size, there are no better waters for these incredible sport fish than at Flaming Gorge. At 91 miles long, the reservoir offers a vast habitat full of nutrients for a variety of trophy fish to survive and thrive. The lake trout are the major monsters in these waters, with anglers regularly pulling in 30-pound-plus Macks every year (the Utah record is held by a 50-plus pounder out of Flaming Gorge). Big fish like the Mackinaw and German browns reach such enormous sizes by feasting off the Gorge’s buffet of “smaller” fish, including Kokanee salmon (which still come in at 5 or 6 pounds). Even in winter months, anglers reported pulling out Macks up to 2 feet long. If you’re ready to match rod, reel and willpower against these beasts, then plan your next aquatic safari at the Gorge.
BEST RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
Falcon’s Ledge, Altamont
It isn’t easy to become an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge, but Falcon’s Ledge was named Orvis’ Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year in 2001. That’s why fly-fishing aficionados flock from around the world to Altamont during fly-fishing season: to let the river run through them. From first-time rookies to top-notch pros, the angling instructors at Altamont can teach everyone a thing or two about the intricacies of fly fishing at the private trophy stillwaters of Falcon’s Ledge. Oh, and in season, bird shooting prevails.
SR-87, Altamont, 435-454-3737, FalconsLedge.com
BEST HIPPIE HOOTENANNY
Desert Rocks Festival
Moab was made for a jam-band festival; it must be the very spot God was talking about when He looked down from the heavens and said, “Let there be rock!” Oh, sure, the downtown types, with their three-minute songs and permanently harshed mellows might scoff at 12-minute guitar solos—but where else can you camp out in the desert for four days, get growler refills for $6, and trip out on the Mother Hips, ALO and Hot Buttered Rum?
BEST WAY TO GET LOST
Outdated City Maps
The “You Are Here”-type signboards went up everywhere before the 2002 Olympics and, no doubt, helped many an out-of-towner find his or her way around. They’ve remained there ever since and now pose a trap for unwary travelers who, following the signs’ suggested “walking tour,” are likely as not to end up wandering around among construction zones and empty lots in search of pleasures and attractions that no longer exist. It’s time either to update the maps or take them down entirely before some tourist falls in a hole.
Steiner Aquatic Center
Man, do we have it easy or what? Even residents of big-name cities like New York City and Portland have a hard time finding a clean, affordable place to swim. Most folks have to settle with the crowded YMCA or shell out serious dough for a fancy gym membership. Not us, though. We have Steiner, an easily accessible public facility equipped with not one but two pristine pools—a 25-yard indoor and 50-yard outdoor water paradise. Everyone’s welcome, from masters sharks to weekend warriors and seniors who say their water-aerobics classes are a great way to feel young again.
645 S. Guardsman Way, Salt Lake City, 801-583-9713, Recreation.slco.org/slcsports
2. Jewish Community Center
3. Cottonwood Heights
BEST LION’S HEAD DANCE
Sil Lum Gung Fu Club
If you celebrate the Chinese New Year, you’ll definitely want to start it off right: with a good lion-head dance to scare off all the bad demons that were holding you back the previous year. Lucky for you, the West Valley Sil Lum Gung Fu (“Kung Fu” to Westerners) Club puts on as many as 60 Lion Head dances, mostly in February. The club takes the rigorous traditional dance to venues throughout the Salt Lake Valley, where the ornamental lion heads dance to a frantic drum-and-gong beat. Check the Website for details—and, if you ever dreamed of being a dancing lion head yourself, you might want to check out joining the Gung Fu Club. That way, you can get your kicks through a time-honored martial art and folk dance.
4690 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-712-2745, SilLumUtah.net
|BEST NONPROFIT COLLABORATION
In its 114-year history, Neighborhood House kept its energy focused on providing day-care services for children and adults—which didn’t leave much time to communicate its mission to the public at large. When board members learned about the famed 337 building and the nonprofit that spiraled out of it, they decided to join forces and bring art into a nontraditional space. The result: a group of urban artists spray-painted external garage doors attached to Neighborhood House in a juried exhibition designed to benefit all parties involved: the children, the adults, the artists and the caregivers. And, in keeping with the spirit of the original 337 building, the doors will be painted over again and again in what will hopefully become an annual collaboration.
1050 W. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-4589
BEST BIRD INVASION
Delta Snow Goose Festival
In the community of Delta, the locals say goodbye to winter by welcoming back thousands of elegant snow geese during the annual Snow Goose Festival. Take a gander at gaggle upon gaggle of these impressive birds as they make their noisy, honking landing in Delta every year near the end of February. The locals plan a variety of events around the homecoming that are worth checking out while you’re in town, but the main attraction is the birds. So, if you’re new to town and not sure of your bearings, don’t worry—it would be pretty hard to miss the thousands of regal (if obnoxious sounding) birds blotting the sky and splashing in Gunnison Bend reservoir and its surrounding lakes, ponds and wetlands.
Physics Building Observatory, U of U
Boldly go where few have gone before. On Wednesday nights, when the sky is clear, University of Utah physics students open the observatory on the roof of the South Physics Building for stargazing parties. They set up two telescopes so you can view stars and even distant galaxies. Hosts Paul Ricketts and Cierra Blair cheerfully fill the gaps in your astronomical knowledge. Dress for weather conditions. Bring a thermos of coffee on a cold night. The Physics Building is adjacent to Kingsbury Hall on the lower campus, just off 100 South. Take the stairs to the roof.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 801-587-7223, Utah.edu/astro
Celebrating its 70th season, Alta has modernized with fast lifts and more comfortable lodges. Still, Alta feels like a place people come to ski rather than to model the latest mink-trimmed Bogner. Lift tickets remain inexpensive (relatively speaking) and there are free beginner-skiing afternoons. Alta averages 500 inches each year of dry powder manufactured nowhere else in the world but the Wasatch. (Last year, it totaled 700 inches.) In-bounds experiences include everything from blue groomers to a run called Eddie’s High Nowhere that requires entering an “experts only” gate and traversing an outcropping while clutching a rope before hiking to the top of a steep crevice. Snowboarders, alas will have to take their skiing friends’ word for it. Alta remains skiing only—snowboarders couldn’t handle the chutes.
Little Cottonwood Canyon, 801-359-1078, Alta.com
3. Deer Valley
BEST FUSION BELLY DANCER
In the competitive world of Salt Lake City belly dancing, it’s difficult—and perhaps dangerous—to pick a favorite. Shahravar, however, stands apart. Far from a staunch traditionalist, she never fails to surprise with her selection of unusual songs, props and costuming. It’s this kind of innovation that is turning the dance orientale into a uniquely American art form—and hers is a belly that audiences are always happy to see.
BEST SUMMER PARTY
Every June, Spanish artist Pilar Pobil opens her gorgeous Avenues mansion for a three-day soiree of catered food and guest painters. Although you have to pay $15 to get in—it goes to charity—there’s far more than sipping wine and munching on snacks while you jostle for standing room in her garden. It’s not just the artwork hanging in every conceivable nook and cranny of the garden and outside walls that’s something to behold. It’s the extraordinary way artwork mixes with sprays of flowers and resplendent bushes in the fading summer light to form the perfect balance of art and nature. An art gallery never smelled so sweet.
BEST OUTREACH ART EXHIBIT
Salt Lake Art Center & Salt Lake County Jail’s A.C.E Exhibit
From prison walls to gallery walls, inmates at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail are finding an artistic opportunity in, of all places, the lockup. Inmates’ good behavior is rewarded by being able to take part in a special six-week-long art program, thanks to a partnership with the Salt Lake Art Center. The program, started in 2007 by curator Jay Heuman and co-taught by Annie Kennedy and Rick Nast, has given inmates a chance not only to learn the art basics but to receive a background in art history, styles and theories, all culminating in a final project done on a simple theme. The resulting works provide sometimes jarring, yet poignantly simple and beautiful, displays of the artists’ understanding of their own challenging lives.
20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4201, SLArtCenter.org
|BEST RECYCLED FASHION SHOW
WabiSabi Mardi Gras Fashion Show
Ever been interested in the high fashion of bottom-bin thrift clothing? Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of D.I couture? Well if so then you simply must make a trip to Moab for the fabulous WabiSabi Mardi Gras Fashion Show. Held every year on Feb. 24, Fat Tuesday, the event pulls together local artists to design the most eye-popping and uniquely bizarre fashion styles all culled from Moab’s WabiSabi thrift store collections. The event promises a chance to savor the most cutting edge fashions of the recycled aesthetic along with one hell of a Fat Tuesday party. The proceeds from the event go to support numerous great southern Utah charities from the Moab Free Health Clinic to the Living River’s conservation efforts.
411 Locust Lane, Moab, 435-259-9114, WabiSabiMoab.org
BEST “SHOWING THE SEEDS” EVENT
Sorensen Unity Center seed exchange
The more you think local, the more the idea of vegetable gardening makes sense. Those who have embraced this idea are part of a “growing” community. At the end of January, an event sponsored by the People’s Market allows enthusiasts to share their favorite heirloom seeds with other gardeners, and to pick up unique specialty items that aren’t likely to show up in a garden shop or on a supermarket shelf. Not only can you eat locally, you can eat things you’ve never even heard of before.
BEST ALL-GIRLS BIKE RIDE
The Little Red Riding Hood Century Ride
Whether you or the woman in your life are a seasoned cyclist or just beginning to get your feel for two wheels, this all-female “Little Red” is the perfect place to begin. It begins in Cache County’s Wellsville and wends its way through lovely rolling hills and long flats through the verdant Cache Valley. Sponsored by the Bonneville Cycling Club every year on the first Saturday in June, the ride’s ultimate length is a tad more than a true century—104 miles. But there are several distances in between for women of all skill levels, including 35-, 45-, 62- and 80-mile legs. Last year’s ride was cold and wet, but the event is always a blast, and there weren’t many serious complaints. Register on the BBTC Website.
BEST DR. ZHIVAGO FIX
Springville Art Museum
Who knew that nestling in the sleepy heart of Springville is one of the largest collections of Russian art in the good old U.S. of A? Springville Art Museum, run by longtime director and Russian and Utah art specialist Vern Swanson, boasts enormous, sprawling canvases that celebrate social-issue narrative painting at its best. Swanson believes Utah’s artists, who tend to have a more relaxed dedication to landscapes, can only benefit from the Russian masters. While it’s hard to see any cross-fertilization between communist agit-prop and a splendid Timpanogos landscape, it’s fun to imagine.
126 E. 400 South, Springville, 801-489-2727, SMA.nebo.edu
BEST NOSTALGIA TRIP
Hill Aerospace Museum
Yearning for the good old days when the commies were the bad guys and we had them in check with nuclear missiles and B-52s? Return to those Cold War days at the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum where you can get up close and personal with a thermonuclear bomb and an ICBM or two, then stroke the bellies of yesterday’s war planes. Load the kids into the car and take Interstate 15 to Roy. The museum is open seven days a week, every day of the year, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s—and it’s free. Afterward, conclude your nostalgia trip with Dr. Strangelove on DVD with a brace of Twinkies and a cream soda.
Hill Air Force Base, Interstate 15, Exit 338, Roy, 801-777-6868, Hill.af.mil/library/museum
BEST PLACE TO HAVE A BALL
Black Gold Cattle Company Testicle Festival
There are festivals to celebrate every peculiar culinary taste known to man, so why not a celebration of noshing on what once swung proudly beneath a bull? Rocky Mountain Oysters are on the menu every spring in Woodruff, where visitors have a chance to sample deep-fried bull gonads—call it a “sack lunch.” These may not be everyone’s cup of tea(bag), but proceeds go to charity and the event provides countless opportunities for sophomoric punning. What, you thought we’d be above such nonsense? Nuts to that.
BEST BRIDGING OF
THE GREAT DIVIDE
The Sugar Bowl
The U’s defeat of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl could not have gone unnoticed by BYU fans. As sweet as the Utes’ victory was, however, it could easily taste bitter in a Cougar’s mouth. A surprising number of Cougs, however, had the class to cheer on their familiar nemesis Jan. 2 rather than succumbing under the Crimson Tide. While such folks—whom KSL 5 reporter Paul Nelson dubbed “BYUtes”—often justified their support as a calculated response to the arcane vagaries of BCS politics regarding the Mountain West Conference, we prefer to see it as good sportsmanship mixed with regional pride—and perhaps even reason to hope for a more congenial future.