Wasatch County State Parks Open, But Are Discouraging Non-County Visitors

While Wasatch County’s latest health order has opened up state parks to non-county residents the county and the parks are discouraging out of county visitors.

“Traveling increases the risk of spreading COVID-19,” See said. “Visitors are discouraged from coming in and out of Wasatch County. As a reminder social distancing practices must be followed at all times.”

Wasatch Mountain State Park’s Golf Courses are open, and staff is sanitizing carts. See adds that the campground is open on the bottom loop, with the upper area not opening until the 1st of May.

“What I would recommend is families understand that if they come in large groups, we’re going to discourage them from gathering together in large groups,” See continued. “So, if its individual family units that can stay within their own campsites, that’s great. Our trailheads are extremely packed right now and for off-highway vehicle user they need to understand that even though you can get up the trail at the Cascade Springs Road, you hit the snow once you get up on the bench upcoming Parkway. We’ve had a few people go up and get stuck and they really kind of torn it up in the mud. We’re kind of discouraging and asking them to wait a couple more weeks for it to dry out so it doesn’t get damaged.”

See asks that all park users follow the rules and remain civil.

“There’s a lot of people that are stressed but our staff is also stressed,” See explained. “We opened a month early and we’ve had to work under different constraints. So, our visitors center won’t open for another week just because of our museum area, we’re having to create some barriers to keep people out of museum areas, but our campground office will be manned.”

Summit County Health Department Director Rich Bullough said Summit County is not recommending inter-county recreational travel, but they are also not enforcing it. He anticipates opening golf courses in Summit County with their new order.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.