On the Road with West Falls: Park City

by Nina Myers McCammon


Kelly Shea and Brendan Banks of West Falls, a creative studio on wheels, are crisscrossing the country in a restored 1984 VW camper van until approximately Thanksgiving.

Their third weekly check-in takes us to Park City, Utah, where they were welcomed into a home, hiked a ski resort in the middle of summer, and made new friends they won't soon forget. As always, this post is accompanied by their gorgeous photography. Enjoy and don't forget to follow along with Kelly and Brendan all week long on their instagram and tumblr feeds. Have a great weekend, guys! x

All photos by West Falls

Who we met...
A group of incredibly welcoming and adventurous people who were all involved with United by Blue (a company with whom we are partnered). There was Steve, the always-energetic mountain man, meditator, and self-taught artist of food; there was Brian, Steve’s cousin along for the ride, always providing positive commentary while taking his summer vacation to be enthralled by the US; Kelsi, the most laid-back over-achieving type I’ve ever met who hosted us at her family home (she's 21 and working on her masters, but is more fond of recounting stories of eye-opening life experiences than she is touting her knowledge); and there was Toni, the goofy and sweet hiker who we later learned is also a trained ballerina.

What we ate...
A chef’s best night couldn’t compare to the smorgasbord of food presented to us one night after having a long week at the Outdoor Retailer Expo in Salt Lake City (and the many mediocre meals we ate by merit of proximity and not quality). The night began with caprese, the juciest tomatoes fresh from Toni’s garden and hunks of mozzarella. Next was a repurposed set of dishes from a catered volunteer event the night before: southern mac & cheese reimagined as delicious balls fried in truffle oil, brisket and pulled pork slow cooked with extra BBQ sauce, and reheated peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream and authentic Vermont Maple Syrup.

What we saw...
A ski resort in the summer. Kelly, nor I, had been to one other than when we were wrapped up in layers and strapped planks to our feet to careen down at sometimes uncomfortable speeds. A myriad of hikers and mountain bikers combed the mountain like ants on a hill, but never close to one another. Each of them allowed enough space to enjoy the surroudings without ever getting a feeling of claustraphobia; in fact it would be nearly impossible to feel so. We saw abandoned mills, and at the end of a long hike, convinced the lift-operator to allow us a free ride down. That was a very welcomed act of kindness.

On the radio...
TAL: #509 It Says So Right Here, Vic Mensa “Innanetape”

Van start time...
2:15pm

Where to next?
Bear Lake, Idaho

Life lessons...
New friends come in unassuming packages. Being welcomed into a home, a group, a friendship is all about putting yourself out there and allowing others to do the same. The give and take that strangers must go through to become friends can feel strange if it isn’t practiced often. The benefits of such are so great that each day we try to find ourselves in more situations where the barriers to friendship have been removed and everyone can feel comfortable. We were given a bed to rest, food to eat, and the keys to understanding inside jokes formed over time to create a tight friendship...the last of these things being the most important. We were a part of the group.  And those are friends we won’t soon forget. al-PINE! (that is for them.)