Catch a little downtime with Outdoor Recreation

  • Published
  • By Mary Lou Gorny
  • Hilltop Times editor

"A very important aspect of military life is the ability to go and do something away from the base - away from the job - by either renting a canoe, a boat, something that will alleviate some of that built up stuff during the week, or if you're working two weeks of 14-hour days, or 12 on 12 off," said Chris Breck, Outdoor Recreation Adventure leader. The crew at Outdoor Rec aim to make opportunities available to do just that for families, individuals and others who have access to the base. The crew at Outdoor Rec aim to make opportunities available to do just that for families, individuals and others who have access to the base.

"You just need to find out where your relaxation point is," said Breck.

Getting out on the river in some white water, hiking down to Havasupai Falls in the Grand Canyon, heading out on an ATV or on horseback are some of the multitude of choices available through upcoming organized trips.

Breck recommends a family outing to Bryce Canyon in September for families. The three day, two night excursion, is an excellent option for those families who want to bring children regardless of age. Most trips have a minimum age limit of eight.

A group campground has been reserved for tent camping and the trip will include all meals, except those on the way down and back. Buses in the national park will make access extremely convenient for participants.

More immediately on the horizon, opportunities include a stay at Parade Rest Ranch near West Yellowstone. There are cabins still available at the dude ranch with the chance to ride horses, a trip into the park and access to the town of West Yellowstone if a van and driver is available.

Excursions are not limited to those only on the trip docket. Breck and his staff have arranged family excursions. For example, recently they arranged a trip to Lake Powell for a family who requested it, upon the return of some members of the military from Afghanistan. If someone wants to request an activity and has a large group and Breck has nothing else planned for the time requested, he will work to see what could be offered and arranged.

One of the most popular trips last year was the ATV trip for women. This year the trip on April 23 gives female riders the chance to enhance their skills in a unique environment. "That way their boyfriends or husbands aren't there to make fun of them or pick on them," said Breck with a smile. He reports there was so much interest last year Outdoor Rec organized two additional trips to Eureka near Utah Lake for the ladies.

One of the yearly ATV trips is planned for the weekend of July 4. Breck describes it as picturesque and a great way to get out and experience Southern Utah. "You carry everything on your ATV. It's like riding a modern horse - all your supplies go on it and we drive different places," he said. "It's a good trip."

Breck really hopes everyone on base knows about Outdoor Recreation and what it has to offer. Sometimes he says people wander in and ask what the outfit does over there in Building 805 near the Log Cabin.

If you're new to the base or Utah, he says you really ought to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the great recreational aspects nearby.

Snowmobiling trips in winter and the national parks in Utah, white water rafting and some of the best fly fishing. He recommends fishing below Flaming Gorge Dam and on the Provo and Weber Rivers. There are some knowledgeable folks at Outdoor Rec who can either help get you set up, get you up to speed on what you need or even rent some of the equipment for what you had in mind. Fishing licenses are required and they can provide information on that.

Staff and volunteers make a great combination to set Team Hill on the path to adventure.

"We have the best volunteers," Breck said. "A lot of our volunteers went on our trips and found out they liked it, liked working with the people - so they came in and helped out."

Outdoor knowledge and experience, Wilderness First Aid and CPR are required. With 15 volunteers, they're always watching for experienced boatmen, those who have experience with ATVs, camping and outdoor adventures.

Service is the name of the game. "I've had volunteers who go out of their way to help people and to me that's a good thing," he said. It all works together to make sure their patrons have a great experience.

"The best thing about recreation is it gives a person, family or individuals time to get away from the office and not to worry," Breck said. "You can go camping and get out there and just relax and have a good time."

For more information, drop by Outdoor Recreation and get a list of upcoming trips or call them at (801) 777-9666. The office can also be found on Facebook at Hill AFB Outdoor Recreation. Deposits are required for most trips, and some trips do require payment in full at the time of sign-up.