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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 preventing many from making the journey up Parley's from Salt Lake City, they have estimated at least 7000 people attended. That's women and men that chose to pass up first tracks at the ski resorts, sit in traffic for hours, and navigate the snowstorm to show their community spirit and love for each other.

I woke up early, snowblowed, packed all my gear in the truck, and parked at the ski resort just after 8am (45min drive instead of 15min). I began the slippery snowy walk toward Main Street not quite sure what to expect but thrilled to be involved. Within 5min, I had my first interaction of the day as another woman in her ski gear was on a similar mission. We quickly made introductions and hung out all morning. "M" has lived in Park City over 20 years and had just dropped her kids at ski school and like me, felt the need to March in solidarity. We have a friend in common and became fast friends thanks to the March on Main.
March on Main with "M"

There are different opinions about the Marches taking place across the globe today. What I experienced was nothing but love, community, solidarity, hope, and people proud of their country and willing to do what it takes to make everyone feel safe and respected. That's the kind of world I grew up in and want to continue to live in.

March on Main - Staging Area

March on Main - on the move

March on Main - Planned Parenthood had large presence
March on Main - Signs
March on Main - Outfits

March on Main - Women, Men, Diversity

March on Main - Speech Area 

March on Main - 7000 at 7000ft

My parents are working the late shift at Sundance this week, so they took the bus to Main Street and we were able to meet up quickly. There was plenty of face-timing during the March, particularly with Moms and fortunately I got to hug and selfie with mine.

March on Main with Mom and Dad

I had to leave before the speeches were finished in order to make our Saturday Pilates session in time. As I left Park City, the traffic coming in was worse than it was two hours prior. People with signs and film credentials were still making their way up to Main Street, Uber drivers were recklessly trying to find streets without accidents, and pedestrians were walking in the streets since the sidewalks were buried. Once we finished Pilates, there was no way we were heading back into Park City with the next wave of Sundancers so made our way to the Canyons with the swarm of March on Main traffic leaving Park City.

Pilates to Powder Transition on the Gondola

We had two good chairlift interactions. One with a ski patrolman from Missoula, MT. He's in his 3rd season and works summers fighting fires. We reminisced about Montana and got some hints on where to find the best runs. Another interaction was with an attorney from Washington D.C. who purposely left the Capital this weekend to get away from the craziness. She had no idea that they booked their condo for the same weekend as Sundance or the March on Main. We talked Utah politics and also learned that if she had a chance to do her career again, she would have been an engineer. Well, there's a first.

Another Fat Ski Day

Terry meets Devil's Friend

After a few hours of skiing in fresh powder, we stopped at Whole Foods before heading home to rest up for another day of skiing. During Sundance, you can always expect something unusual at the grocery store and today was no exception. I was at the hummus section at the back of the store when I had yet another interaction. The hummus brands are always changing, so I was looking for something new and next thing I know Woody Harrelson is standing next to me. I'm horrible at recognizing actors, but this was a no-brainer.

I wasn't starstruck but more intrigued, so treated him like anyone I'd run into buying hummus. We had a lengthy discussion about vegan, organic, and local options before I finally acknowledged I knew who he was by asking about his film. He told me that Wilson opens tomorrow but then he got back on the hummus talk-track. We also had two separate incidents when women (not locals dressed in their ski gear & helmet hair like me) asked for a picture and then handed me their camera. It was awkward but also another way of connecting with Woody. We finally parted ways with a handshake (I didn't ask for a photo but should have asked for tickets) and ended up seeing each other again after I found Terry and we said hi again.

I won't forget that Sundance interaction just like I won't forget the March on Main. It's been a memorable day in Park City, Perfect Storm and all.


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