They’re Ready for Ski Season

It’s becoming more and more obvious that the area where I’m staying will be getting more crowded. They will open the mountain resort here on Friday or Saturday (though it has warmed up again and the snow is melting rapidly). I do believe I’ve timed my trip just about right, since my motivation has been staying away from people and their germs.

They’ve cleaned up all the statuary, as you can see.

I’ve been noticing a lot of interesting things as the staff gets busy, and it’s all pretty educational, since my last ski experience was almost 30 years ago.

Unfortunately, the construction around the resort where I am staying has not abated. But, there is a street cleaner (at right).

The easiest way to tell they are about to start skiing is all the convenient ski resting spots they’ve put up everywhere.

And of course, all the holiday decorations are a dead giveaway, too.

They are firing up the ski lifts, and I even saw them getting the ski patrol ready to patrol. They sure have a lot of fun ski vehicles! I would like to try some of those out.

One thing had been making me wonder as I walk around in the chilly air, and that’s why all the walkways at the main ski resort area are never covered with snow. I was imagining elves getting out at the crack of dawn and working on the sidewalks, but I also didn’t see any piles of snow.

All that fresh concrete behind the cones is heated!

Now I know. I forgot to take a photo yesterday, but workers were making a seating area of rocks around a fire pit, and sure enough, there are all sorts of warming wires on the ground. Today, they are covering it all up with concrete, and you’d never know the heating elements are there. I guess all the walkways are like that!

It looks as if this will be a fun place to hang out, once all the shops are open, but I still like the mountains and the trees the best.

Ski patrol getting ready to roll out, plus people sledding on the hill.

I hope these photos gave you a break from whatever’s troubling you today. Love to all, especially my family.

Rocky Mountain VERY High

Not the drug kind of high, we enjoyed the elevation kind. This afternoon, we went to get more groceries, thanks to the Caso rental car. Being easily amused, Kathleen and I enjoyed looking at exotic Utah groceries, like peach and raspberry Coca-Cola. We tried the peach tonight, and it was actually pretty good.

That’s Park City down there.

After fueling up on a fancy coffee (and getting more mugs), we asked if we could take a little ride before the next snowstorm came. So, we took off to explore the Deer Valley area.

Mountains everywhere.

C. kept heading higher and higher up the roads. There were so many beautiful condos, giant houses, and spectacular views. Kathleen and I were like little kids looking at the scenery.

That’s a huge resort below.

Eventually we got to the end of one of the long and winding roads. We got out to take pictures. We were WAY up there. The temperature had steadily gone down as we ascended. And a gale wind was blowing. We were so high up!

You can see the wind whipping our hair.

But it was so beautiful. The ski slopes up there look really scary. All the houses are ski in and ski out but with the lifts not working yet, I’m not sure how one would get back up.

I believe this is the highest up I’ve ever been.

We did see a lot of people getting ready to ski, but I think they were going down cross-country trails. I hope. Plus, we saw a cool inclined train thing (funicular?) going up to the St. Regis resort way on top. That would be a fun place to stay, if funds were available.

See the little car going up? Cool.

We thoroughly enjoyed the huge trees and vistas all the way to Mirror Lake (where we took pictures a few days ago). I even saw a buck in the woods, but no moose. My heart was full of beauty!

Fancy house view with art.

By the time we got back down, we realized we’d made a circle around Park City. We didn’t even try! The snow had started falling, so we headed back.

Right outside the Caso condo this evening.

It’s beautiful out, but I think we wisely decided to cook in the other condo tonight. Theirs is also cozy! It will be a good night for a bath and more coziness back at my empty place. I’ll miss Anita, but I do have a couple more days for fun with the family.

Right outside my condo.

Plus the snow will make it easy to avoid crowds. There’s plenty of mountain fun with all this space!

Climb a Mountain and Turn Around

It’s finally sunny so I can get more cheerful snow pictures. Anita and I ditched the television and got in a morning walk while Kathleen worked.

Snow Anita!

We went a new way and found some great views and fancy houses.

Fancy houses ahead.

We even found a ski slope with signs. We had a ton of fun. I even fell down a couple of times and slid. Whee! The views were so great and the air so crisp!

Nobody came down the ski slope. I don’t know how they’d get up there. No ski lifts.

I don’t think my sunglasses ever got so dark as they did up there. That alpine sun was bright! I must say Park City is a lot of fun, even with just the two of us in the deep snow.

Our resort is across from the crane.

Let’s see what else happens today!

Winter wonderland.

Hiking Late in the Day

We didn’t get out until around 4pm yesterday. That meant the sun was going down and the snow melt in the paths was starting to freeze. But we persevered.

We did find a snowman, so at least someone else had fun.

We walked along dirt roads and golf paths, and it was not bad. We were rewarded with some beautiful views!

Close as we can get to a sunset view, since we were on the east side of the mountain.

I’ve noticed my breathing is getting better and better, so I must be getting used to the altitude. I’m still enjoying how much exercise I’m getting and know it’s helping me deal with challenges that pop up.

Waiting for spring

Anita and I really enjoyed our day of indulgence, though. Usually I want to go and go during vacation, but we decided to just rest and indulge. We watched two movies (the new Borat movie and Knives Out, both funny).

Nice colors.

I even made all the food yesterday. There was a great chef salad for lunch and soup and biscuits for dinner. With all the COVID cases rising, I’m probably not going to eat out much more.

There’s the sun. I could not get the snow to look white in this light.

We spent all night, and I mean all night, binge watching the television series Schitt’s Creek, which I’d been wanting to see for a long time. Anything with Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in it must be seen by me. I am also quite a fan of Chris Elliott, so I just sat there and laughed for hours. Why not? We can get all serious again in a few days.

Icicles amuse me, too.

Today I have a couple phone calls, but I predict more hiking in peace and television fun. Safety first.

Laying Low

Sometimes you just want to stay cozy. It was really cold this morning. So Anita and I are watching movies. I am knitting.

I am not doing well with gauge. Oops. Haven’t knitted in a while.

The knitting is less ugly than it was. It’s a table runner. It will block nicely.

It’s nice to just relax. Even though there have been some glitches today, I’m just chilling. Hygge. Yep. Peace.

Got the computer hooked up to the TV, which shows very pretty screen savers.

Life is boring! We’re staying out of COVID in Utah. That’s just fine. I feel lucky to have a vacation with peace and movies. It could be worse. Maybe Thursday we can get out and drive around!

Yes. Exercise in the Cold Is Fun. So Is Personal Growth.

Where did the real Suna go? I’ve been thoroughly enjoying getting lots and lots of exercise since it got cold way up here in the mountains. Like, I volunteer to climb up snowy hills. I pant a bit and go higher. I stand around and think about going even higher or driving to a better hiking place (we may rent a car tomorrow and go somewhere).

When the sun came out it was so beautiful.

Today we went to get more groceries, which was also fun. If there’s a blizzard I’ll be fine. And Anita got lemon for her morning beverage! We’re good! Then we took yet another walk. I just can’t stop. I think I’d never seen so much dry powdery snow before. The crunch crunch crunch is really invigorating! It’s even addicting.

When you get away from condos, it’s nice here.

I think I may need to learn to criss-country ski at some point, though my legs are already yelling at me.

Okay, some of the condos can look nice.

Folks, I never liked exercise as much as I do now. I wonder if taking turmeric and CBD oil has made my body feel better, so I enjoy moving more? Now physical exertion is fun.

Also, though, I never liked being out in the cold much (sorry, Illinois years). I’m from a warm place. What’s up with that?

Plus snowflakes! They are so pretty. Yes, I took a picture of snow.

In Illinois, it was often SO cold and windy, and I had to stand around waiting for the bus, or walk a mile to teach a class too many times when my breath was freezing as it came out. This week, it’s cold, but really pleasant. I’m glad I’ve had this experience.

Look! Clouds hitting the mountain.

All this glee isn’t something I’ve felt in so long. I get that way in Texas when I’m with Apache or out looking at new plants. The key really seems to be living in the moment. Just being present and experiencing what’s going on right around you truly brings joy.

Sun and snow. Good.

What a lesson at such a good time! Most of my life I’ve read about living in the moment. I’ve tried to do it. This year has been hard, so hard, but I think I’ve benefited by making so much progress on being here, now.

What’s out there that can invigorate you? How are you growing in this season of transition?

Magic Magnifying Snowdrops: Photos

I had a strong desire to close all my exercise rings today, so I went out in pretty heavy snow while Anita napped and took a walk.

At this point I could still see where I was going.

Good news is that I’m huffing and puffing less after a week in Utah. Better news is that I looked down as I walked down the condo building sidewalk. I saw this.

This is actually the first one I saw.

When the snow falls, it melts into little puddles on the aspen leaves and makes little areas of magnification. You can see so many veins and cells in the leaves.

Look at the magnification at top right!

I also noticed the beautiful colors of the water reflected on the sidewalk.

Also, each leaf is a different color or combo.

I just had to share these images. Enjoy them!

Black and charming
Multiples
That one stem sure is shiny
Look how small some little puddles are.
And some are big.
My favorite. Look at those veins.

Dancing in a Winter Wonderland

Now I finally feel like I am on vacation (and I am for the next week, mostly). It snowed all night last night, and the morning brought scenes of winter beauty. I have always loved it when the snow falls straight down and piles up deeper and deeper. That’s the way it’s been snowing all day, which has made for some really beautiful views, even just looking out the window.

I really thought this tree looked pretty.

Of course, I just had to go out and play in the snow!

I’m all protected. And masks help keep you warm!

Anita and I had a wonderful time walking over to the ski area. It was a lot of fun to swish through the snow, but it was also really good to have a lot of cleared walks.

Eventually we went out into the snow by the golf course and watched the snow machines making snow. That’s always a cool thing to see.

Anita is in awe of the snow blower, but all the snow blends in to the snow that’s already there. Take our word for it, it looked cool.

Next, we got brave and did a snow hike (just a little one). Wow, that was so much fun! The trees were so pretty, and it was so wonderfully quiet. (Yes, it’s Sunday and the incessant construction noise has stopped, briefly.) The snow was not at all slippery, so I didn’t even need my walking sticks. Next walk will be longer, so I’ll take them.

If you look closely you can see little piles of snow on flower seedheads.

We watched some people teaching their kids to ski, on the golf course. That would be a fun place to cross-country ski, but no rental places are open. Honestly, that was a bonus, because it was like we had this beautiful, white world all to ourselves. It was like standing in a snow globe. How could we not feel at peace?

Plus there was a lot of fun to be had in the empty resort area.

All that trudging made us tired, so we had lunch at the place where I ate earlier in the week (also known as the only open restaurant in Canyons Village). Once again, I enjoyed the garlic butter fries. And the pulled pork sandwich was fine, too. We sat in the “outside” part, where there are heaters, and just watched snow fall. The snow on the glass roof started sliding down, and it was a lot of fun to watch. What a relaxing meal!

This will look even more beautiful once the snow stops and the sun comes out!

Honestly, I’d never considered taking time off in a cold place until the time we went to New Mexico during a winter heat wave, but it’s so darned pleasant. My new coat had me so warm I started to sweat. My hat and gloves kept me dry, and my snow boots that I bought when we were in Ruidoso worked great. I’m ready to get more exercise, read a lot more, and keep knitting on my project (which is looking better now).

Looking better. It will be a nubby table runner when I’m done.

My sincere hope is that all of you are taking a day or two to relax, breathe, and think about what’s beautiful in the world. Our troubles and struggles will still be there later, but a little quality recovery time will be healing for all. Thank you all for reading, commenting, and caring!

A Close Call after a Close Call

This morning, they announced the winner if the US Presidential election. You probably heard that. It was a close call, for sure.

Anita and I had already planned to go shopping before it snowed. We made a pact to keep our mouths shut and not act all jovial. Half the people are sad and half are happy, after all.

But the second we got into our Uber car the guy started talking about feeling hopeful, so we had to tell him. Then his friends called him. Everyone was so happy. I honestly haven’t seen groups of happy people in so long…

A little rain didn’t dampen our spirits, just our jackets.

So, we went to have lunch at a nice brew pub. I went to scan the online menu, and uh oh. My phone was not there. Shoot. It’s my lifeline.

The server came up to take our order, and we asked for some time so I could look for my phone. It wasn’t in the store we went to before. The only other possibility was the Uber car. I got all worried, as one would.

Nuria! Also the shirt refers to a beer.

Rather than go fetch water, Nuria stayed and helped me try to find my phone using my watch and Anita’s phone. It was so frustrating to try to log onto Uber using another phone. I kept getting things sent to my phone, which didn’t help.

I’m sure Nuria spent 20 minutes to a half hour helping me. And she was so patient, kind, and funny. Eventually we called my phone from Anita’s and the Uber driver picked it up. Hooray for Adam the Uber guy! He quickly brought my phone back and we all elbow bumped. That was another close call, for sure! Whew.

Statue near the public restrooms.

The rest of the day was so much fun. We visited fun stores, got a couple of Christmas gifts, and interacted with some wonderful store clerks. In one place, we had a great discussion, followed by some subdued jumping up and down. The women were so happy to share their relief.

Happy scenery.

The same happened at a couple other places. And we found a new hemp store full of such cute women it almost seemed impossible. More crying and laughing happened there, and we had a good talk about hemp. We all shared how much less pain and anxiety we have (it’s true). I ended up with sore cheeks from smiling.

Anita is exhausted from fun.

That’s rare. Smiling and less stress. Now, we all know the same problems we had before are still here. But maybe people will be kind, civil, and caring with each other. I hope all of our interests will be heard and count. Everyone.

And Now the Party Starts

Good news! Entertainment has arrived! I’d been expecting a package, so I went down and asked the sweet young man, who obviously just got back from his two-year mission, to look for it. No package. I thought, hmm, that money for overnight shipping was totally wasted!

But, when I finally went back to my room, I saw that there was a message on the phone. I admit it, I never look at actual analog telephones. A perky woman told me I have a package! Well, how about that? Another trip to the lobby (which had been deserted all week, but suddenly has (ugh) people in it. Lo and behold, the package had been right behind the earnest young man. He sure looked embarrassed.

She said, “package” (that was for Mandi).

I knew what was in it, because my friend, (f many, many years) Laura, realized I needed knitting on this long and soon-to-be snow-filled hiatus. She sent me random yarn and some needles!

There were bonuses, too, like needle holders and a darning needle (believe it or not, I needed one, because the scarf I brought with me needs a little repair). And there was a fun bag and a note!

Stuff! Thanks, Laura.

Since I had to stay up a long time waiting for the fun to arrive, I had fun starting what may be the world’s ugliest scarf or table runner. My idea for the pattern is, at least so far, not really pretty. But I’m not giving up on it. It made my obsessive watching of election results that do not change at all much less stressful.

Query to me: why did you start watching results on FRIDAY?

I got over an inch done plus got free exercise winding up the yarn, because my watch thought I was using an elliptical machine. Fooled that watch!

Does it look like barf? Be honest.

Then, suddenly, my cable news reverie was interrupted, and the door to the condo opened. Was it magic? No! It was Anita! I’m no longer vacationing solo. Anita immediately settled in and declared the fireplace good. Relaxation with conversation and wine has commenced.

She’s making a face because she has to look at my bare foot.

I guess today we have to run out in the newly brisk air and have fun before it starts snowing. I’ll be more substantive later. I have been substantive enough the past few days! And the world seems a little brighter!