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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Don't let the slow economy ruin your summer

By Kandice Crompton

April 1, 2009-Logan | College students have enough trouble paying for groceries during the school year, having enough money to go on vacation in the summer can seem impossible. Having been a college student for four years I have mastered the art of the cheap summer vacation and decided to share my experiences so others can enjoy their summer too!

Jackson Hole

One of my favorite summer getaways is Jackson Hole. Being less than four hours from Logan travel expenses are limited.


Over the years I have experienced a wide range of accommodations in Jackson. Condo's and hotels can be an inexpensive choice of lodging if you have enough friends. Condo's have the added benefit of kitchens, which will save you money on eating out.

Camping is by far the cheapest choice of lodging. There are dozens of different campsites throughout the valley, located everywhere from just outside the city to the edges of the valley.


Jackson is fantastic in the summer when it comes to finding cheap entertainment. Hiking, biking and visiting museums are all free. Bikes can be rented by the hour, day, and multi-day throughout the valley. Bikes can be rented for $34 a day at Jackson Hole Edge Sports ( , or for those with a bike rack, they can be rented for $15 a day from the ORC on campus (

One of the best things to do in Jackson Hole is rafting down the Snake River. Jackson Hole is host to dozens of whitewater rafting companies, with a wide range of prices. The cheapest rafting company in Jackson is Teton Whitewater ( Teton offers both whitewater and scenic trips down the river, and group rates are available.

The last of my favorite Jackson activities is in Teton Village. You can pay to ride a gondola up to the top of the mountain, $12 for one ride, or you can hike up to the top of the mountain and get a free ride down. The hike is beautiful and definitely a good way to spend the day (

Zion National Park

Zions National Park is six hours south of Logan. This trip will not get you out of the state, but it will definitely get you far enough. Driving there is definitely the best way to get there, and you'll want a car to get around.


If you don't mind smelling funny and possibly going to bed with dirt under your nails then camping in the best way to spend this vacation. There are plenty of places to camp, both inside the park and out. Hotels are a good alternative for those that need a good shower after a day of hiking.


Getting into Zion's National Park costs $25 per vehicle for a seven-day pass ( Once inside the park there are dozens of hiking and biking trails for every skill level. Bikes can be taken into the park for a fee, and food can be brought in for lunch or dinner.

Other parks, such as Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Park, are also located near Zions. Las Vegas is less than two hours from Zions, and the Grand Canyon is three hours.

St. George is just a short drive southwest of Zions National Park, and home to The Outlets at Zion, a group of 30 outlets and restaurants ( For the occasional college student with a bit of money, golfing is always an option.


Ask almost any student where they think of going when they think of gambling, but Wendover, Nevada is just three hours southwest of Logan. Many people see the billboards to Wendover on the trip from Logan to Salt Lake, but most people have been there before.


There are many hotels throughout the Wendover area, but there are three large casino hotels in the area, The Peppermill, Rainbow and Montego Bay. All three hotels have casino's, and are actually connected to one another (


Of course the main event in Wendover is gambling, but if you're like me and don't gamble there is actually plenty to do. Each hotel has a swimming pool, and there are great restaurants both inside the hotels and outside. The Montego Bay Spa & Salon is a bit pricey, but it's a spa, so what can you really expect? The Peppermill Concert Hall plays host to many big starts, including Phil Vassar, Frank Caliendo, Peter Frampton, Rick Springfield and Larry the Cable Guy. Some shows cost as little as $5. A full list of shows and prices can be found at

These are just a few of the many cheap vacations college students can take around the Logan area. So if you feel like getting away, but can't afford a Hawaiian vacation give one a shot. They definitely won't break your wallet!



Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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