From Coastline to Ridgeline

By Khai Johannes Jan 27, 2022
Just how quickly can you get to the mountains in Utah? Let me show you just how quick it can be as we go from San Diego to Snowbird by lunch.
From Coastline to Ridgeline

How does a flight attendant who can live anywhere in the world end up in Salt Lake City? It all comes down to; accessibility. When I was assigned my first SLC layover in 2015, I quickly booked a rental car and mapped the drive to Park City Mountain

Just how quickly can you get to the mountains in Utah? Access in Utah makes it possible to enjoy breakfast in one time zone and turns in another before lunch! Now that I'm a Utah local, let me show you just how quick it can be as we go from San Diego to Snowbird by lunch. 

"40 minutes? That can't be right!" I thought aloud. I'm from Colorado originally, so I'm used to putting in a lengthy drive to reach the lifts. The mountain I rode the most was 85 minutes away with no traffic. There was always traffic. I double-checked the drive, packed my gear and showed up to work the most excited I'd ever been.  

I had a total of 30 hours in SLC before we were wheels up to Cabo then rallying home to Portland. I planned on capitalizing on all thirty of those hours. As routine dictated, I made my way to the hotel gym, my attempt at structure in the crazy airline industry. Before bed, I fueled myself with food from the Red Iguana (all the buzz amongst my peers) then slept in my hotel room overlooking the temple area.

My alarm was set for an alpine start, as that's what I was used to in Denver. I woke, drew back the blinds and watched the parking lot for the temple go from bare to a few cars as I snacked on some oatmeal. The stoke brewing inside made me unable to remain in the hotel any longer, so I started my drive just before 8 a.m. I'd barely put a dent in the podcast I was listening to when I placed the car in park at Park City Mountain. First chair and "sleeping in" had never seemed like a possibility unless I was staying on resort grounds. 

Of my 30 hours in Utah, seven were spent snowboarding from open to close. Pulling into the city limits, I checked the time. Still a lot of hours left in the day! With those remaining hours, I went to (and fell in love with) The Front Climbing Club, explored downtown and treated myself to another dinner out. When my head hit the pillow, I was blown away by the time I was able to retain in my day because of Utah's mountain access. 

The following month, I filled my schedule with Salt Lake layover doing variances of the aforementioned itinerary. One layover I added something new to the routine; house hunting. Utah has been my home now for five years all because of a little thing called, "accessibility." Travel with me from San Diego to Snowbird today just in time for lunch!