It was another gorgeous Utah weekend and personally, I played this one by ear.

First I went to the Sundance Resort for a Full Moon lift ride. Let's just say I've ridden a lot of lifts in my life (really, lots of lifts, around the world, day and night and my entire life), yet I'd never ridden one bottom to top (and top to bottom) in the pitch black darkness. And let me tell you, it was luminous!

The lift line was perhaps one of the longest of my life (another first!), and it got kind of chilly standing around for oh, about an hour. The Full Moon lift rides seem to be popular with the college folks, too-as in, THE date night thing to do. So of course the people watching factored into the fun. Well, sort of. My date and I passed the time counting the number of people wearing shorts, the 20-somethings in spiked heels, and those sporting oversized bags.

Finally the games were over, though, and we sat on our chair. Surprisingly, the air was balmy and pleasant-warmer than down below where we'd been waiting, and the scenery-sublime! The moon had started to wane, but it was still so bright like a spotlight, the stars aplenty and the mountains in gunmetal-silver silhouette. The views into the valley were spectacular and the ride-especially on the way down-was well worth the wait.

I took a video of my ride, and unfortunately, you can't see the details of the mountains in the distance. I'll post it shortly, though, so you can get a grasp of the darkness. For those who've seen the movie, Frozen, you'll agree that the Sundance Full Moon rides would make for fun Halloween-type fare.

The rest of the weekend unfolded nicely at Red Butte Garden. First, I saw Euripides' Alcestis, part of the University of Utah's Greek Theatre Festival, which started at 9 AM. (Dr. James Svendsen, the Festival's creator gave a lecture on the history of Alcestis and the time period in which it was written, at 8:30 AM.) The Greeks used to perform their plays at dawn, so the U's Theatre Dep't honored that morning performance tradition. For me, the staging of a morning play was the biggest draw. It was a nice way to ease into the day (especially Sunday), with a little dose of culture.

The play itself? The story was interesting-Alcestis gives her life to save that of her husband, Admetus, and the play was a tragicomedy, which was unusual (and actually the first) of its kind. The masks and wigs were fun, too, and I got a kick out of how there was a "wig mistress" on the crew. The accompanying piano proved to be a bit distracting, though. It reminded me of Kindergarten chorus. I don't mean to say it was bad-just, kind of simplistic and not very Greek to me. Sure, read that as you may.

Later, I went back to Red Butte to check out the Bonsai show and bought one of my own. It's called Stress Relief. Actually, it's a Eugenia Brush Cherry and it's supposed to produce lovely berries and flowers.

[caption id="attachment_5661" align="aligncenter" width="473" caption="My little tree pre-prune"][/caption]

The array of little trees, though, was quite impressive. There was one on display that was more than 100 years old!

I also met Dr. Richard Jaffe, president of the Bonsai Club of Utah (look for a profile on Dr. Jaffe in a future issue of Salt Lake magazine!), who showed me the tree-trimming ropes. It's kind of relaxing, to be honest, in a meticulous, crafty-type of way. Dr. Jaffe started Bonsai-ing himself 17 years ago after watching the original Karate Kid. Yes, that is a fact.

For the similarly inspired, check out the Bonsai Club of Utah the fourth Wednesday of every month, 7 PM, at the Sugarhouse Garden Center. The meetings are informational and free.