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Showing posts from January, 2017

Another Weekend in My Park City Bubble

I'm struggling with the country I live in. I live, work, and play in a Park City bubble where most, if not all of us, have similar political views and beliefs. We've had thousands of Sundance visitors in town that are also like-minded. We marched together last Saturday then watched movies while shaking our heads in disbelief at the daily acts coming from our new leader. Park City is growing too fast, but locals and newcomers get along and are always welcome. We aren't very diverse (yet), but new races, religions, and nationalities are embraced. Whether a Parkite or tourist, we are here to enjoy a life in the mountains. We worship nature, believe in climate change, and have the means to stand up for our rights and others. We don't run into many (if any) people at work, on the chair lift, or at restaurants that are pleased with our country's leadership and actions. I can't ignore what's happening outside my bubble. I have friends and coworkers that are no lon…

Tucker's 53 Year Journey of Utah Winters

We were back on our skis early Sunday morning. Traffic was nothing compared to Saturday's Perfect Storm but we still had to hunt for a parking spot at Park City at 9a. We made our way around the mountain starting with Eagle and hitting every lift to Jupiter. We had a few good lift conversations, the most memorable with a local grandma skiing with her son and two grandsons from Buffalo. She and her husband, a ski instructor, used to live in Salt Lake City and drive to work at Park City Mountain Resort for years. In 2007, they had a close call on I-80, which resulted in a move to Park City. She was coaching her pre-teen grandsons on proper ski technique as we rode Silverlode and looked down on Prospector. She was adamant that her brood would not be hip-swingers and properly keep their upper body quiet. The boys didn't say much, obviously what grandma says goes.

By noon, we were happy with our ski day and looking forward to lunch with my parents at the Boneyard. My Mom forgot her…

Park City Perfect Storm: Saturday, Snowstorm, Sundance, and March on Main

Saturday, January 21, 2017, will go down in history as a Park City Perfect Storm. Overnight, a snowstorm arrived with more moisture than forecast. The storm continued throughout the day, leaving over a foot at Park City ski resorts and over two feet on the Wasatch Front. A Saturday snow day with over 6" is a guarantee for traffic issues, full parking lots, and a little chaos.

So let's add more chaos. Today is the 1st Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival which means more traffic, pedestrians, an abundance of black clothing and cigarette smoke, and overflowing bus stops. Whenever you have a big storm that collides with the first weekend at Sundance, you either wake up before some Sundancers get to bed on their Friday night or you opt to sleep in and ski powder once the initial surge of early movie and ski traffic has long past.

And now for the Perfect Storm, we add the Women's March on Main! Police were planning on less than 3000 attendees and even with the storm preventi…

Sundance or Bust

Living at 7000ft is an adventure in itself. In the winter, snow is both a blessing and a curse. Instead of skiing on Sunday, we opted for a snow removal workout. It hadn't stormed since Thursday so we didn't have to worry about the driveway. Instead we attacked the deck, windows, and roof. We were successful on the first two, but the roof is going to require professionals.

Now that our daily workout was complete, we changed for a trip to Salt Lake City. We almost turned around when we saw the inversion over the valley. What a difference 3000ft and a mountain range can make, both for the lungs and mind. My desire to watch women's basketball kept us moving forward and though it didn't matter, we held our breath when first entering the wall of muck. The Utes upset the ranked Cal Bears making up for their loss to Stanford on Friday. We couldn't wait to get back to blue skies and fresh air as soon as the game was over.

While we were navigating the snow and inversion, my…

Friday Water Ritual

Last Friday, we came home from work to frozen pipes and no running water. It has happened once before, so we reacted quickly and were able to get the water running before we went to bed. This Friday, I arrived at Terminal 5 at LAX after my last work meeting and later learned that there was a broken main resulting in no water. Now there's a first in my years of airport travel. It's not too bad at home where you can manage for awhile and maybe visit the neighbor, but imagine hundreds of travelers and employees with no time to visit another terminal.

My pre-flight ritual starts with a visit to the bathroom to change clothes. It seemed odd that both the men's and women's bathrooms were closed, but I assumed they were being cleaned and walked toward the next restroom sign. Nothing seemed amiss as I entered, except maybe a little confusion and a lot of people lined up for the hand sanitizer. As I rounded the corner to the toilets, it got weird fast. There were two cleaning l…

Stio, Strafe, and My Mikey Infatuation

I set the alarm early Wednesday anticipating at least some snow removal before driving to Salt Lake City for a meeting. Unlike Sunday, this storm didn't fizzle as I stepped into 6" and a raging blizzard. An hour later, I put the snow blower away ignoring the additional 3" covering my hard work. I had no interest in driving to the valley after two previous nights of ugly commutes from Park City. The resort was reporting 18" overnight which meant I was also coming down with the powder flu. My mind was busy scheming ways to free up my calendar, especially with a work trip to Southern California for the rest of the week.

My colleague and I decided that he could handle the meeting and I'd be clear of other commitments by 2p, so the possibility of skiing was real! Since I gained an hour by not driving to the valley, I jumped on the trainer and did my intervals until the contractors arrived and needed direction. By the time the latest remodel decision was resolved, the…

Alaskan Wins the Ski Utah Lottery

The storm totals expected Saturday evening fizzled leaving only two inches overnight at the resort. The disappoint kept us in bed another 30 minutes before we rallied and headed to the resort. After -20F on Friday and 40" of snow in the last week, Sunday afternoon's call for 40F and rain were going to wreck havoc and we wanted to be off the mountain when it happened.
By mid-morning, they planned to put the gondola on wind-hold so we stayed on the Park City side rather than our plan of exploring the Canyons. We found the best conditions and fresh stashes from earlier in the week in the trees off McConkey's.

On one of our chairlift rides, a guy in his 20's joined us and immediately told us where he was skiing and how great it was. It was a little surprising since most skiers like to keep their powder stashes a secret if there aren't free refills. We immediately asked where he was from, because that behavior indicated a non-local. We talked all the way up and almost…

Jean Mills and the Winnie the Pooh Challenge

We were back on the mountain today after three days of work, another 6" storm, remodel setbacks, frigid temps (-19F) and frozen pipes. It was a long short week and we were in need of another hit of powder like we had Monday and Tuesday.

We scored first tracks off Pinecone and giggled all the way down to Thaynes. We timed it perfectly and got through the furthest gate with two others just after it had been released for public consumption! The hike from the Gondola out to the last gates is brutal but worth it on a day like today. The typically sun-baked slope was holding firm thanks to the numerous storms and cold temps. We've never hiked out as far as we did today as it usually doesn't have enough coverage or isn't ski patrol safe. It was magical and although we had time for another hour hike, we headed to Jupiter to play. Two days after the last storm and we still found plenty of deep untouched pow in the trees! We called it quits in time to grab lunch at Five5eeds an…

The Couple with the Irreplaceable Rossignol Sweater and K2 Skis

When you wake up to a foot in the driveway and the resort boasting 17" in the last 24 hours, you quickly rearrange your work schedule. These days are why many of us live in Park City, so you don't miss out just because it's a work day. The schools even cancelled, giving the local kids one more chance to hit the slopes. By 7:30, we had the driveway, trucks, and deck clear yet the plow hadn't even come by. Terry braved the roads and headed to work while I checked emails at home and shuffled my calendar. At 9, we met up to carpool to the mountain and our 5th day in a row (9 of 12 days). Our minds winning the battle against our tired legs screaming to stay at work, we took off across the parking lot giddy for powder turns and only slightly guilty about playing hooky. It would only take a couple hours before exhaustion and accountability would bring us back to the laptops.

Similar to yesterday, we stayed on Crescent for fast and long laps in the land of bottomless powder. …

That's Our Neighbor Bill

We woke to almost a half foot of the lovely and addictive white powder! Quick text to the bathroom contractor on arrival time then quicker transition from bed to snow blowing so they could get in the driveway and we could get out. We navigated around the garbage and recycling cans in the neighborhood until we were on I-80 bound for our 4th day in a row on the mountain and 8th in 11 days. Body parts were sore but the storm pushed the aches behind the part of the brain that can't get enough skiing and powder.

Before we hit Kimball Junction, we realized the crowds were going to be the first obstacle of the day. We rolled into the parking lot just after 9 and got moving, there was powder to be had. Immediately, a truck started backing in on my side. I shut my door and navigated him back, thinking "That's Our Neighbor Bill". He jumped out and we both had recognized each other correctly! Big hugs and lots of catching up to do while we hurried to get our gear on and hit the…