From hot air ballooning over the Valley of the Gods to viewing the night sky at Bryce Canyon and joining archeologists on a dig for dinosaur bones, KUED and The Salt Lake Tribune explore uniquely Utah adventures to add to your bucket list in The Utah Bucket List 2.
KUED teams up again with The Salt Lake Tribune’s outdoor editor, Brett Prettyman, for a second installment that features nine new adventures. The Utah Bucket List 2 premieres Monday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. on KUED.
“Utah has so many amazing outdoor adventures and opportunities to explore that one show couldn’t contain it all,” says producer Nancy Green. “In fact, you could probably do a hundred bucket lists in Utah and still not cover everything.”
The special, hosted by Prettyman and co-produced by Joe Prokop and Carol Dalrymple, includes a cattle roundup to the Tavaputs Ranch in the Book Cliffs with The Salt Lake Tribune columnist and humorist Robert Kirby. “We found a variety of people who are connected to a place in a very distinct way,” says Green. “For Kirby, for example, the ranch is where he wants his ashes scattered.”
In Zion National Park, the team follows Artist in Residence Rachelle Panitch, a violinist and composer. “We not only see Zion, we hear Zion,” says Green of the segment that also ventures to the Zion Narrows and Angel’s Landing.
In one segment, Prettyman takes his mother to Hardware Ranch outside Logan for close encounters with the Utah State Mammal, the elk. Another stop is the Mount Ogden Via Ferrata, (Italian for The Iron Road) in Ogden. The Via Ferrata concept was originally developed in WWI as a way for troops to scale the Alps. Now, iron rungs on a mountain face give people who normally wouldn’t rock climb the ability to experience the views, movement on the rock, and the feeling of being 400 feet off the ground.
The team also visits the Spiral Jetty on the shore of the Great Salt Lake with art historian Hikmet Loe to experience Robert Smithson’s earth work, a giant spiral of basalt rock encrusted with salt from the lake. “The lights and the clouds and colors in the fall felt like being in another landscape,” says Green. “The lake almost looked like a frozen tundra.”
The team rafted Ruby Horsethief Canyon with Splore, a non-profit organization that specializes in outdoor trips for people with disabilities. “The story was more about how to make the outdoors accessible to everybody,” says Green.
In Bryce Canyon, the team hooked up with Dark Rangers, a special force of park rangers and volunteer astronomers with telescopes who help people enjoy what the park calls “the last grand sanctuary of natural darkness.” Because there is so little light pollution, visitors can see the Milky Way and countless stars they would never see in a city environment. The crew filmed at Bryce during a lunar eclipse, did a full moon hike, then went star gazing.
The Bluff Balloon Festival in the middle of winter surrounded by red rocks is a great get-away from the snow. “You’re in the Valley of the Gods, riding in these hot air balloons in the midst of these amazing formations,” says Green. “It’s a spectacular experience and perspective.“
Utah is known as the mecca of dinosaur and fossil discovery. One segment follows a dinosaur dig with the Natural History Museum of Utah as paleontolgists excavate fossils and bones on the Colorado Plateau. “We went with noted paleontologist Randy Irmis to two sites as they uncovered a Phytosaur, which is a prehistoric crocodile type animal,” says co-producer Joe Prokop. “It takes hard work to get specimens from the field to the lab, where most of the work is done by volunteers. Although everyone can’t join a dig, there are numerous opportunities to become a volunteer at the museum. If you put in enough time, someday you can go on a dig.”
The Utah Bucket List 2
Mon. Aug. 11, 7PM