With increasing numbers of Andrew Harper members calling our Travel Office to book getaways at ranches and resorts in the American countryside, I decided it was time for me to return to the road as well. Indeed, a change of scenery had become increasingly necessary, not only to maintain this publication but also to maintain my sanity. Plus, my curiosity got the better of me. What was travel like now? Was it even still possible to relax at a hotel, however expensive and luxurious it may be?
The wide-open spaces and scenic grandeur of the West beckoned most strongly. The expansive landscapes somehow make even the simple act of breathing seem more satisfying. Ordinarily I prefer not to visit a place during its high season, but in this unusual year, I expected to see few other travelers. I was wrong. We met more than one couple who told us, “Our trip to [foreign country] got canceled, and so we decided to come here instead.” International travel may have been all but impossible this summer, but that didn’t stop people from taking a much-needed vacation.
The Lodge at Blue Sky
Fortunately, even at the height of the summer season, it’s not difficult to find elbow room in the West. We flew into Utah and headed straight out of Salt Lake City. After about 45 minutes of driving uphill, we turned off the highway and wound our way toward The Lodge at Blue Sky, set on a 3,500-acre estate. The property had long operated as a ranch, but it caught my attention when it reopened as a 46-room Auberge resort in 2019. Its proximity to the interstate concerned me at first, but a few hilly turns of the well-maintained dirt road leading up to the main building ensured that all signs of I-80 disappeared.