A Local's Love

By Khai Johannes Apr 10, 2023
Find out how in the span of 24 hours, a local rider crams in as much Utah goodness as the day can manage!
A Local's Love

My job as a flight attendant changed how I view my time in Utah. Being “at work” requires me to fully remove myself from my home, zip code and time zone for up to a business week. When most of the working world is returning home after an eight-hour shift (physically or mentally for those who work at home) I’m checking into a hotel.

Now my days at home are seen as precious fruits from which I have to squeeze every drop of juice. Sometimes those hours at home are crammed with the adult side of life; food prep, house projects, laundry etc. Every once in a while, I need to remind myself of the reasons I moved to Utah; “local refreshers”. In the span of 24 hours, I cram in as much Utah goodness as the day can manage.


Some of the greatest sunrises I’ve seen come in the winter months. At daybreak, the sky turns shades of pink and orange until the source of life spills over the ridge lines of the Wasatch mountains. Truth be told, there are just as many times were the sun is hidden behind thick clouds and the morning simply turns from dark to light gray. The goal isn’t to be awestruck by sunrise; that’s a bonus. The goal is to get an early start to begin the process of cramming. 



Predictable, I know (this is Ski Utah after all), but this deserves some backstory and elaboration. I learned to shred in my home state of Colorado where my go-to resort was over a two-hour drive without traffic. In Denver, there’s always traffic. Adding gridlock to the driving equation could push the route time to two hours and 50 minutes…each way! 

Of the 15 resorts in Utah, only two are further than two hour and 50 minutes from my driveway. When accessibility isn’t a factor I’m able to focus on the diversity of the options. Do I want to rip groomers at Snowbasin, search for powder at Brighton, take park laps at Woodward, or explore the backcountry? Simply having the choices is a reminder enough of why I moved.


What desserts are to a good meal, sunsets are to a good day. As my mind processes the turns made, snow-capped peaks reflect the ambient glow of the lowering sun. I’ve had my fair share of sunsets witnessed from atop backcountry peaks or from the driver seat of my car as the pavement turns to a yellow brick roads, dyed by the sunset. My favorite place to watch the colors has to be at the Holladay Park and Ride just three minutes north of the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Some of my favorite sunsets followed a pit stop at 7-11 to jam snacks in my pockets before sliding into a parking spot and treating sunset like a drive-in movie. 

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Salt Lake City isn’t typically mentioned with Nashville or Portland when it comes to live music, but it doesn’t mean it’s not here. Amazing venues like; The Complex, The Stateroom and The Depot nestle between high rises in the valley. Even our climbing gyms host live music in the summer! Out east, Egyptian Theatre, The Cabin and others rest in the shadows cast by Park City Mountain as live music booms in their frames.

Our live music scene reflects the growing diversity of Salt Lake City’s population. Yes, we’re still a staple stop for the folk, country and pop scene. Additionally, a lot of reggae, jazz and R&B artist have made it a point to stop in our mountain town or neighboring cities.  


I have a “condition” my friend named accidental fasting. Like a child, once the fun starts I completely forget to eat. Then the moment I’m able to catch my breath I realize “I haven’t eaten anything since 7 a.m!”. Luckily, just as our music scene is diversifying, so too is our food scene. We have staple options like pizza at Wasatch Brew Pub or burger options at High West Saloon. There’s also a ramen spot I go to when I have Japan withdraws (Tosh’s Ramen) or Thai spots when I need to make sure my body can sweat from all its pores (TukTuk). On my local refresher days, I dine out and soak in the flavors of this amazing place. 

Once my tired body sinks into my bed; ears ringing from live music, legs sore from snowboarding, belly full of delicious food and senses tingling from sunset, I drift off to a well-deserved sleep. My final thoughts will be of gratitude that this is my home after a day of reminding myself as to why that came to be in the first place. 

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