Weekly Newsletter: January 22nd-28th, 2024
- Written by Keith Huster
- 8 min read
- Last updated a month ago
This week, we ate at a "Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024" restaurant and we booked our hotel in Banff, AB for Keith's attempt at the 2024 Tour Divide. Keith also took on two major physical challenges; four, back-to-back days of climbing the Alpe Du Zwift and hiking the Gad 2 Touring Route at Snowbird Ski Resort.
Check out our new posts and videos 🆕 🎥 📝
Eating at one of the "Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024" 🇮🇳 🍛
Recently, Yelp put out a "Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024" list and it just so happens that one of those places is in the neighboring town of American Fork, UT. So, we jumped at the chance to check out this local hidden gem; Little India.
The restaurant itself was unassuming as it was part of a larger strip mall. However, as soon as we walked in, we could begin to smell the wonderful aromas of the amazing dishes being served. Unsurprisingly, we had to wait a little over an hour to get a table. We later found out that this wait time was fairly typical for this restaurant; even before the Yelp article.
We ordered an assortment of appetizers: Vegetable Samosas, Onion Bhaji, Chicken Pakora, and Vegetable Pakora. The appetizers were served with mint and tamarind chutneys. This was a great way to start our meal as it let us get a sense of the flavors that we would be experiencing.
For the main course, we ordered the Lamb Vindaloo and Shrimp Masala along with an accompaniment of Garlic Naan. The lamb was incredibly tender and the Vindaloo sauce was delicious. However, the star of the show was the Shrimp Masala. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the Masala sauce was to die for. 🤤
We had hoped to save room for dessert but we just couldn't eat any more food. Overall, our dining experience was fantastic and we can't wait to try more of Little India's amazing dishes.
We booked our hotel in Banff! 🇨🇦 🚵♂️
This hotel has all of the basic amenities that we will need for the week including a full kitchen and a place for each of us to work from. The best part about this hotel is that it is only a few kilometers from the race start at the YWCA Hotel. So, Keith will be able to ride his bike directly to the starting line.
We also planned a basic driving route from our home in Orem, Utah to Banff, AB. The planned route takes us right through Helena, MT as sort of a midway point of the drive. Our friend Randall recently moved to Helena so we are hoping to be able to catch up with him while we are passing through.
It's exciting to finally have this hotel booked. This makes the race seem even more real than it already does. Time is really flying by and the race will be here before we know it.
Beautiful ski weekend at Snowbird 🏔️🤩
This weekend was the first time that we have been to Snowbird on a "bluebird day" since before the New Year. Saturday started off as overcast skies but the clouds started to clear out through the afternoon. We spent most of the day "ripping groomers" with a large group of friends. It was so much fun! Oh... and we also saw a family of deer crossing the road within a crosswalk while on our way to the resort. 🦌 🦌 🦌
Sunday was such a beautiful, sunny day! 😎 We met back up with our friends Brandon and Steph to spend the day skiing together. It was a perfect bluebird day and we were all stoked to be on the mountain. We made our way over to the Gad 2 lift when to our surprise, we found that ski patrol had recently opened the gate to the Gad 2 Touring section of the resort! Neither Keith nor Brandon had ever had a chance to ski this seldom-open side-country area so they both jumped at the chance. Lindsey and Steph decided to continue to ski the main, lift-served areas while Keith and Brandon were touring.
The tour started with a mild climb up a bootpack trail. However, that mild climb quickly became much more steep as the bootpack took a direct route up the mountain face. About 2/3 of the way to the top, the bootpack got quite spicy! Some of the kicked-in snow steps had collapsed making it difficult to step up between steps. Also, the slope angle became much steeper which required using both hands and feet to navigate up to the top of the ridge line. Eventually, both Keith and Brandon made it safely to the top. 😅
Keith and Brandon then skied their way across the ridge line until they found a spot that looked good to drop in. The skiing was fantastic thanks to a creamy mix of untracked snow and fresh sluff. Brandon had a small crash at the bottom which resulted in him losing his GoPro! Thankfully, we were able to find it buried in the snow by using the GoPro voice commands to make it beep.
Tour Divide training update 🚵♂️ 👨💻
This week was a big training week for Keith. He decided to take on four, back-to-back days of climbing the Alpe Du Zwift virtual mountain on Zwift. This virtual mountain is modeled off the famed Alpe d'Huez in Huez, France. The Alpe Du Zwift route climbs over 3,400 ft (1,036 meters) through 21 hairpin turns, similar to the real Alpe d'Huez route.
The first day was most difficult as Keith was unfamiliar with this climb so he had to learn how to pace properly. The 21 turns are marked as segments as you climb up the virtual mountain. However, each marked segment is of differing length. Some are much longer than others so it is important to stay alert to provided segment information.
At the end of the four consecutive training days, Keith was actually feeling quite good even though he had climbed just under 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) and ridden nearly 80 miles (128.8 kilometers). Virtual climbs such as this are such a great training tool since the real mountains surrounding our home area are inaccessible to bike traffic during the winter months.
Upcoming posts and videos 👷 👷♀️️
We are just about wrapped up with the Two-Week Road Trip Through Oregon with Friends post series. The final post in this series is scheduled to be published tomorrow (Tuesday, January 30th). Make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss out.
Keith is also working on a few posts from our Las Vegas trip during the holidays. We experienced some amazing exhibits and saw some incredible sights while on this trip. We can't wait to share the details of our trip with you.
We hope that you are enjoying our newsletters. Do you have any hidden restaurant gems that you like to visit? Have you taken on any big personal challenges lately? Let us know in the comments section below.👇 💬