Footloose, Skiing, Ice Castles, & Injury {Utah}

We spent a few days going home to Utah to visit some family. As we flew over the Great Salt Lake, I was filled with that joy that comes from returning home. The light playing off the salt water below was really beautiful.

The Great Salt Lake from above

It was to be a really quick trip with only 3 full days to enjoy the family, the food, and all the winter delights. I love winter, especially in the mountains. And the first sight of the mountain by my house made my heart happy.

Normally we would stay at a family member’s house, but this time we decided to rent an airbnb for our time to give us our own place where different people could come and comfortably hang out with us. Our place happened to be in Lehi right by the famous Lehi Roller Mills.

This city’s big claim to fame is being the location of the classic 1984 movie Footloose with Kevin Bacon. While different places throughout the area were used in the movie, none are more iconic than here at the Lehi Roller Mills. The scene of him dancing through the mill will always be one of my favorite movie scenes.

Footloose (

I know they remade Footloose, and there is talk of remaking it again, but the original will always be the best in my book. You just can’t compete with the 80’s dancing and music that make the movie so great.

Brad brought his skis with plans of spending a lot of time on the slopes. But there was a great amount of perfect powdery snow that fell over the weekend so everyone seemed to have the same idea. There were miles of cars just waiting to get to the canyon let alone the resorts. He finally made it for a day of skiing at Solitude Resort and it was well worth the wait according to him.

skiing at Solitude (photo taken by Brad)

Utah claims the title of ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’. This comes from the fact that Utah is so dry that when it snows it’s likely to be powder which is great for winter sports. And with 10 world class ski resorts around there is no shortage of opportunity of slopes to enjoy.

skiing at Solitude Resort ( photo from Brad)

Brad had really wanted Tessa to take her first skiing lesson, but with as crowded as all of the resorts were he settled for giving her some basics at a park in the canyon. I may have to join the club if she takes to it like Brad.

While we were home we got to go and see the Midway Ice Castles. Every year they create a huge complex out of ice and snow and it is always amazing to see what they make. I’ve been to the Ice Castles a handful of times and every year it is a different experience.

With tunnels, slides, and passageways created from the ice, there is no end to the imagination here. Tessa was excited for the tunnel of ice and even convinced Grandpa to follow after her. He was a little worried that he would get stuck around the bend but he made it.

After the tunnel, it was time for the slides and there were many to choose from. Some of the slides had mats to sit on while others just had you sit on the ice. There was a small one for kids that took them through a tunnel of ice to get to the top of the slide.

We wandered through the different passageways made of ice and marveled at the beautiful detail created by the ice. No wonder why both Superman and Elsa thought a fortress of ice was a good idea.

{Know if you go: Tickets need to be purchased before hand. During the week the cost is $18/adult and on the weekend it is $23/adult. If you go in the evening, they turn on colored lights onto the ice which gives it an all the more magical feel. It should go without saying, but be sure to dress warm and bring gloves and boots to wear through the slightly uneven ground.}

We really loved seeing the ice castles and being so immersed in such a creative venture. There is nothing better than really getting into the winter spirit than by visiting castles made of ice.

After some fun filled days, it was time for us to return home. We were up super early for our flight home. Brad was going to stay for a few extra days of skiing. I was getting dressed when all the sudden a terrible pain hit in my shoulder blade. Thinking I had just slept wrong and it would work itself out, I continued to get things together. By the time we got through security the pain had moved all down my side and into my arm. After what felt like the longest, most uncomfortable flight we arrived. We wrangled our luggage together and got to the car and started driving home. The pain was so bad that I had a difficult time driving as I kept writhing and crying from the sharp shoots of pain. It honestly felt comparable to labor pains but in a different part of my body. Instead ofWhat going home, I turned off to go the doctor’s office. They ran a bunch of tests and told me I had to have some more tests the next day before prescribing anything. They finally determined that it was muscle spasms that had pinched some nerves with the contractions. Apparently it may take a few days to really get everything settled down and back to normal. Feeling thankful though for a doctor who took time out of his packed day to help me, the co-worker who drove me to my second day of tests and scans, the husband who changed his flight to come back sooner, and the tender care of a little girl who has done all she can to help me feel better.

On a good note, when we got home we discovered that finally after almost 6 months, Tessa’s passport arrived! After all the back and forth and canceled trips it arrived and we can begin to replan trips abroad.

Want some more of Utah in the winter? Then you might be interested in these:

Bryce Canyon National Park

Provo Canyon

Ice Castles in Midway

Our trip to Utah was a mixed bag of the joy of seeing family, the thrill of winter activities, and a painful trip home but overall it was a wonderful visit. Thanks for coming along on this winter visit to Utah. May your snow be powder and your ice be magical.

22 thoughts on “Footloose, Skiing, Ice Castles, & Injury {Utah}

  1. So pleased that Tesla’s passport has finally come through but sorry to learn if your muscle spasms. Hope you are now feeling recovered. Skiing in Utah must be amazing and I adored your photos of The Castles and tunnels.

    1. Thank you! The ice castles were amazing and so creative. The spasms are lessening which is a great relief. Hopefully Ill be back to normal soon so we can start making plans for travel again 🙂

  2. First I hope your shoulder has sorted itself out, that’s horrible when you don’t know what’s causing it. Your photos are amazing and it looks such fun, too cold for me though. It looks truly magical and Tess must have been so excited. Good news on the passport, we are still awaiting Anthony’s UK passport.

    1. Thanks Ali, Im on the mend but it will be a few more days before I am back to normal. I hope Anthonys passport.gets sorted soon! What a hassle it has been. The mountains in the snow are lovely but definitely more cold than we are use to 🙂

  3. I had no idea you were from Utah, Meg! Gosh, I think I love you even more, now that I know. Utah is definitely where I would live if it weren’t for Texas – I absolutely adore everything about your home state – just look at those amazing snow shots! I am so glad you got to go home for a few days, but I’m so sorry about your pinched nerve. I’ve had one, and you are right – the pain is excruciating. I hope it is getting better now. And yay for the long time in coming passport! Have a great week ahead.

    1. Oh you are just the best 🙂 I am from that central part of Utah which is great because I have the mountains of the north and close to the beautiful red rock country of the south of the state. I enjoy the rolling hills of Tennessee but they just can’t compare to the Rocky Mountains. Pinched nerves are awful- I’m impatiently waiting to feel better and get back to doing things. I hope you have a great week 🙂

  4. What a fantastic article Meg. Home comforts, family, wintry landscapes, a piece of cinematic history, a bit of a health scare and then passport victory. Phew, you really packed it in. I would be all over shooting the Lehi Roller Mills. The Midway Ice Castles look spectacular, so impressive and photogenic. Full marks to grandpa for his efforts. I read about your flight and drive back with an increasing sense of dread and was so happy to read it wasn’t anything more serious. Sladja and I both got a touch teary as we read about how people rallied around you. This is what life is all about sometimes. And then the passport! My god you all deserve that, so what’s the plan now for 2023 trips?

    1. Thanks Leighton 🙂 Everytime I see the mill it takes me back to childhood and watching Footloose on repeat. The ice castles were really amazing and my dad definitely gets bonus points for making it through the tunnel. The flight home was probably the worst Ive ever felt. But happy to say Im on the mend, but will still need some days before its all the way better. And yay for a passport finally! Were looking at rebooking our trips to Pariis and Costa Rica. But before that Brad and I are heading to Banff National Park for some more wintery fun 🙂

  5. Oh there’s nothing like that feeling of being home is there. And it looks truly beautiful in the snow, like a winter wonderland – ice castles looks so cool! I’m so sorry about your shoulder though, and hope it’s recovered now. Thank goodness a doctor was able to see you quickly. And yey for Tessa’s passport – Costa Rica here you come 🙂

    1. Thanks Hannah 🙂 The snowy mountains and the ice castles were amazing! Im on the mend and feeling better so hopefully a few more days will have me back to normal. When her passport came she said that same thing -costa rica here I come! I showed her some of your pictures after that and she was oohs and aahs over them 🙂

  6. Oh my, Meg, what a whirlwind of emotions! I’m so glad to hear that you are healing and that Tessa’s passport has arrived! And what a lovely time you had with your dear ones in Utah. The Ice Caves are so beautiful. I’m with grandpa though, but if my granddaughter went in; I’d have to follow. This will be one of those adventures that you look back on and think; wow we did that?! I hope you’re all doing well!

    1. It must be some kind of magic that grandkids have to get grandparents to do any number of things 🙂 but it has been kind of a whirlwind with everything lately. Glad to feeling a little better and glad to have seen my family. I hope all is well with you 🙂

  7. That looks and sounds fantastic – Utah in winter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow quite like that in my life, safe enough to build slides and tunnels and allow people through! Great stuff….apart from the shoulder….

  8. I mean, I KNOW Utah has snow and skiing and winter and all that, but since I’ve always been there in summer, it’s hard for me to picture anything other than the hot dry canyons. So thanks for showing me another way that Utah can be.
    So sorry to hear about your muscle spasms. That must have been a horrible plane ride. But yay for Tessa’s passport nightmare being over at last and for international travel to begin!

    1. If you enjoy winter sports, then Utah is a great place to be in the snow. Although I always love a good hike through dry hot canyons there too. It was absolutely the worst plane ride I think I’ve ever had being crammed in a small seat while I was in such pain. Thankfully I’m on the mend now and excitedly replanning trips now that we have her passport! 🙂

  9. We actually just got back from Utah too. We flew into Las Vegas and took a road trip through southern Utah to hit up the “Mighty Five” national parks. I can see that in terms of Utah having great snow because of the dryness. The Ice Castles look gorgeous! I love how there’s even an ice tunnel and ice slides. So sorry to hear that you pinched some nerves in your shoulder blade, especially right before a flight home. That must have been so uncomfortable. That’s awesome that you finally got Tessa’s passport. It certainly took long enough!!

    1. Oh what a great road trip! You can’t go wrong with the High Five of Utah! And going in the winter I think is always the best. I can’t wait to see your pictures from the beautiful parks! 🙂

  10. Wow! Firstly, that ice/snow scenery is spectacular. There is nothing like it in the UK. Some skiing in Scotland, but unreliable and probably not to the extent and duration you get in Utah. I loved your photos. Astonishing! Secondly, it must have been great to spend that time with your folks. Thirdly, I hope the shoulder is better and whatever it was has gone and doesn’t come back!

    1. Thank you! The snow is completely different in Utah so if you enjoy winter enjoyments than that is a good place to be. It was great to visit my family. I”m still a little on the mend with my shoulder but hopefully it will be back to normal soon 🙂 I hope you have a great week!

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