Park City Travel

Light for Sam: Life in a Small Town

There are days here in Park City where I am so fed up with how this town is evolving that I am ready to pack up the boxes and move out of town.  The issue has become, where is the next Park City?  Where would one go from here?  Where is that town that we knew and loved 10 years ago?  It's been bought out by Vail Resorts and is going to be turned into the biggest ski resort in North America.  Today we had the "pleasure" of being voted the Wealthiest Small Town in America.  I am not sure how I fit in to all of this lately.  I definitely am not on the wealthy side of town. My first for this post is one of realizing that we have a community here.  It might be being infiltrated by wealthy folks who come in and pay cash for our houses and use them two weeks a year but underneath there is still a current of a sense of community.  Let me explain.

Saturday evening I attended a vigil for a young man by the name of Sam Jackenthal.  Unfortunately Sam is currently in a coma across the world in Australia.  He is an aspiring U.S. Ski Team skier who was over in Australia at a training camp.  During a free ski, he had an unfortunate accident that resulted in a severe head injury.  His parents and sister have flown to Australia to be with Sam at his bedside.  I am sending them prayers, hope and healing vibes.  We, as a community, are hoping that Sam pulls through and is ready to head back to Park City in time for what promises to be an epic winter.

What I witnessed Saturday night was a first for me.  A group of young men and women from the high school gathered together with parents, siblings, neighbors, and even a jazz band from town that came to serenade everyone gathered together.  We came together to send a shout out to the family via Facetime.  We gathered together to hear stories about this incredible young man.  We gathered together to hear from his friends, including one who had had a similar injury three years ago and survived to tell us about it.  It was amazing to see that he had no apparent after effects from also being in a coma.


Living in a ski town comes with it's sad stories of injuries such as Sam's.  It's a risk taking kind of place.  You have bobsledders, extreme skiers, mountain bikers, among other sports.  However, it is also here that one feels that people get out there and live their lives.  They eat, sleep and breathe extreme sports.  As I tell my kid, you can fall in the bathtub and get hurt, so don't let that stop you from getting out and enjoying all that the nature here in Utah has to offer.

As I finish typing this, I have seen no new information or update on Sam's condition.  I would like to pass along a Go Fund Me Page that someone has put together for Sam and his family to cover all the mounting expenses that occur with this type of situation.  Please send healing thoughts and vibes out to Sam and his family.

“You should be thankful for the journey of life. You only make this journey once in your life time.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita, Beautiful Quotes

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker

My Town Through New Eyes

The other day I had the awesome opportunity to see my hometown through new eyes.  My first for this post is that I decided to become a tourist in a town I have lived in for 15 years but have started to take for granted and actually complain about (more on that later). A friend of mine came into Park City for the very first time.  She traveled to Utah from Northern California with her 6 year old son whom I have never met before.  I loved this kid from the get-go. He is an old soul in a young person.  What a beautiful outlook this kid has on life.  He does things with gusto, no complaints and definitely a lot of boy adrenaline.  After just 10 minutes with him, I said to myself, why am I not living like this?  Let's do this, let's have a fun day.

We started our day by having a late breakfast at Squatter's Brewery on the main drag in Park City.  (  Squatter's has several locations.  I have eaten here a lot but never had breakfast there.  I would say it was your normal fare.  Nothing amazing but once you added a side of bacon, the rest just seemed to not matter.

Now that we were full, I suggested to my little friend and his mom that we head up to Utah Olympic Park.  Utah Olympic Park is an amazing venue where several of the events were held during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics.  There is a museum there that has quite a few of the items from these Olympics.  There are also plenty of fun activities in the park including zip lining, bobsled rides, and a ropes adventure course.  (

D. is an avid Nascar fan.  You could ask this kid about any driver and he could tell you their car number, stats, etc.  To make the outing enticing to a 6 year old, I told him that they had bobsleds at the park where the drivers did upwards of 70+ miles per hour.  My sidekick's eyes grew big when he asked if he could ride one.  Alas, the track was closed and you have to be 18 to do this.  He wasn't sidetracked because we were able to do a simulated one inside the museum.  You sit in a chairlift chair and are faced with a big screen that shows the bobsled track.  You feel like you are actually going down it because the chair bumps and fake snow rains down upon you.  What made it for me were the belly laughs coming out of him.  He just had that pure, child-like giggle that took me out of the real world for a few hours and put me into the shoes of someone experiencing Park City for the first time ever. How cool was that?


Next up on the agenda was picking my own son up early from school.  With D. in hand, I went into my kid's classroom to surprise him and tell him that we were heading up to Main Street and the home of the world's best ice cream (  We have been in here countless times, but never tire of the unique flavors.  My favorite is Cherry Springer, a delicious blend of dark chocolate chips, vanilla ice cream and pieces of cherries.  Divine!!

After walking around the touristic Main Street area, we headed to Vinto's Pizzeria for some of their amazing limeade and to share a pizza.  Vinto is our go-to pizzeria in the Main Street area. Being from New Jersey originally, I am a bit of a pizza snob.  Vinto's is not East Coast quality but it certainly keeps me happy.  (

The day went by extremely fast.  I realized at the end of the day how much fun it was to look at my town with fresh eyes.  We all enjoyed the day.  As I stated before, I am getting a bit jaded on my hometown.  It's all of a sudden become the place to move.  It went from a quiet little ski resort to a big deal.  The traffic is getting worse, the people not so nice and the house prices are booming (okay, that last one is a good thing since I own a little piece of paradise).  By spending the day as a tourist for a change, it gave me a new perspective.  I realized that folks spend thousands of dollars to come to my town for a week's ski vacation or a long weekend.  I live here.  I can cherish and enjoy it each and every day.  I am now making the vow to have a little vacation in each day.

"My goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from." - R. Hill

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker