Sunday Morning ~ Park City, Utah
Dzuwa likawala, wotheratu. ~ When the sun shines, get warmed up right then.
February 6, 2022
Sometime last evening the moose sitting outside our front door, up and left. The juvenile (not sure if it was male or female) moseyed into the neighborhood yesterday afternoon and sat down by our front steps. Mind you, we are in a condo complex in a developed area. I skied alone yesterday and when my brother’s friend, Jay, started out to pick me up he realized he couldn’t get to his car. He had to exit by the back door and walk through snowbanks around the building to the parking lot. When I loaded my skies into the back of his car he said, “I almost didn’t get here! Wait until I tell you what’s going on!” I panicked, thinking something happened to my brother. But no, it was a moose blocking our entrance. I said, “I hope it’s still there!”, my FOMO kicking in. Sure enough, when we got home ten minutes later, moose child was just sitting there, chewing it’s cud while magpies picked at it’s hide. It was impressive. Just it’s face was bigger than a golden retriever.
My brother, Rich, called the animal control office, to be told they only deal with loose cats and dogs. He then called the wildlife office and listened to a recording saying they were open nine to five, Monday through Friday. This was Saturday afternoon. So we waited for the moose to decide what to do, which, was to sit in one spot for several hours. We wondered if it was injured but it did not look in distress. And when Rich left to go pick up my nephew at the airport at 8:30 last night, the moose was gone. No one around here seemed concerned, but I felt like we were living harmoniously among the beasts.
I’ve always romanticize the west. It might have been growing up watching Bonanza (good God when I think of the racism and sexism in that show). I dreamed of living in the wild west. Riding horses and making a living off the land seemed the perfect life. Never mind the hardships! That was all outweighed by the gorgeous landscape and open air! But, when I came to check it out, I did not gravitate here. The beauty and lifestyle is something I always preferred as a visitor. Nothing called me to stay. My pull was east, to Europe and Africa.
This year the opportunity came my way to ski out here. A free ride out and place to stay was too much to pass up and I thought I’d come see what all the raves were about. A little intimidated, I envisioned steep trails crowded with wealthy skiers dressed in the latest gear. And believe me, there’s plenty of that, but the sunshine and soft snow is seductive and I see why people fall in love. There are plenty of trails for everyone.
I’ve always felt this competition between east and west skiers. I’d hear over and over, “Oh once you ski out west you’ll never ski in the east again.” Really? I’d think. Why would anyone want that? I know people who ONLY ski in the west because, you know, it’s SO much better. Snobs, I’d think. Then get defensive and think well it’s probably because they CAN’T ski in the east and I’d feel superior. How good of a skier are you that you can only ski in one area? I think that put me off from ever coming here. Well, that and money. I rationalized that only those who’ve skied on sheer ice and survived know the glory of a sunny day on the slopes after a fresh snowfall. When you have that day after day? Well, that’d be like living in Florida or something.
Jay has been coming here since 1993 when it was a small resort town with deep powder and no lift lines. Now with close proximity to a major airport and recognition from the 2002 Olympics, there are thousands of skiers here from all over the country flying out for just a weekend. I didn’t even think people from Georgia skied! I figured a two week minimum was needed to make my trip worth it. I can’t imagine all the effort and expense for a weekend. I’ve ridden up on chairlifts with people who won’t ski anywhere else. It’s crowded. I haven’t waited this long in lift lines since I was a kid and everyone says it’s never been like this. The snow is good but I hear complaints of less snow than ever. The average snowfall is 320 inches per winter and last year was only 118. This year so far it’s less than that. I think about the boom and bust nature of this region. Old abandoned silver mines dot the slopes, a reminder of another era of obscene wealth gone by. I find myself wondering how many of the people who own the monstrous empty mansions I’ve skied by have a similar one sitting empty in Bar Harbor.
A few more days here getting warmed under cloudless skies then a train trip home!
Love to all,