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Discoveries . . . America: Utah Review by Kathy Gelzer

Bennett-Watt HD Productions, Inc.
13021 244 th Ave. SE
Issaquah, WA 98027

Discoveries...America: Utah is a 60-minute documentary about the state of Utah, featuring several different locations. Beginning in Park City, the video describes the Utah Olympic Oval (the largest indoor running track, soccer field, and ice skating rink) as well as cross-country ski trails, inner tubing at Soldier Hollow Olympic Venue, and public bobsled rides. Park City looks like a skier's paradise! Tourists can visit a ski museum that covers the history of the sport. The ski jump classes for all skill levels look exciting. Hot air balloon rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and live country music are some of the non-skiing forms of entertainment available.

Next we go to Flaming Gorge to visit with three fly-fishermen. They describe the history of fishing at Flaming Gorge, and we get to see them in action as they catch fish and return them to the water. We also meet the proprietors of a fly fishing store and hear about their family business in the community of Dutch John. We are also introduced to the unique centuries old sport of pigeon racing through an interview with a man who is passionate about his pastime and his pigeons. These birds are trained, or conditioned, to fly hundreds of miles to reach their home.

The segment on Salt Lake City focuses on the Mormon Church, specifically the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and its director as well as the genealogy library and the vast charitable programs of the LDS church. Red Canyon is the last stop, where we see beautiful rock formations in and around Bryce Canyon National Park and the Kodachrome Basin.

This was a very enjoyable video for our entire family to watch. Since we recently vacationed in Utah and hope to again, it was of personal interest, and some of the scenery was familiar to us.

Three questions came to mind while viewing this Utah documentary. First, it is understandable to focus on Park City during the winter since it is a winter sports playground, but I wonder why the rest of the footage was taken during the winter also. Warm weather is much more conducive to camping, hiking, and other outdoor sports enjoyed in the southwest. Second, although it's impossible to see everything in 60 minutes, I wish Zion National Park, a favorite vacation destination in the state, had been included. Finally, I wondered why so much time was spent on fly fishing and pigeon racing. Although these were informative, I question the breadth of their appeal.

Discoveries...America: Utah would be perfect for those studying the state of Utah or for those who are planning a trip to this beautiful state.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010