On a drive through Utah from Park City to Provo I just happened to pass by some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen on the side of a road. This open pasture was just too perfect with grazing horses and a flowing stream, but to top it all off the snow-capped mountain range in the background makes the scene. This is just one of many amazing roadside attractions I wanted to stop and spend the rest of my day at along the way. If anyone wonders why I want to spend more of my time in Utah, this is the answer.
Being up before sunrise has an energy that is invigorating. There is potential to the day while you wait for the sun to break the horizon. Staring at snow-covered mountains towering in every direction around you in the blue tones of early morning is magical. And when the first warm glow hits the peak of the tallest point, it radiates with life-affirming color while it slowly swallows up the darkness and ushers in the morning.
Summer is almost here, and my friend and I have been talking about how much we miss skiing. This happens every year, but I am happy that I got to ski quite a lot this season. It’s never as much as I’d like, but I did get to see a lot of new places and finally ski a few places out west. I miss the snow and especially the views from Park City. The atmosphere there definitely made me think I would like to live in a resort area for the winter sometime. I’m already looking forward to the next season.
After more than a week we are leaving Park City for now. We are pretty sure we will be staying away for a while, so this means our ski season is officially over. It has been a great season on the east coast and out here, but it’s sad to think I won’t be able to ski again until next winter. It always seems so long. The Utah mountains were good to us, even though it wasn’t the best snow. We didn’t wait in many lines and we ended up doing a lot more than we thought we would. I’ll be eagerly awaiting next year.
Everyone says skiing in the western U.S. is much different from the east. Unfortunately my first chance to ski in Utah was during the worst season they have had in many years. The snow was slushy and patchy, but it was still fun to be skiing no matter what. Oh, I can see one difference between the east and west right here: the views. The mountains in the distance are so amazing that we took easy trails just so we could get better views. It was a pretty good day of skiing, but an amazing day for scenery.
We spent the last two days in Rocky Mountain National Park. Despite the unexpected warm weather the mountains were still covered in snow, making for breathtakingly beautiful scenes around every turn. They are massive and all-encompassing on the horizon. It’s hard to explain the grandeur, but it’s something that everyone should see in person at some point. It was hard to drive away, but it was a nice ride out.
Spending the last couple of days at Okemo Mountain has been a nice change of pace from hopping to different resorts throughout a trip. I always like the unplanned scenes of organized chaos at the lodges where people stack up their skis as they go in for a break from the cold. Some days it’s quite easy to tell just how crowded the slopes are by seeing the rows and rows and skis and snowboards along the sides of the building. Today wasn’t bad at all as far as crowds go and the weather was great so we didn’t have to spend too much time at the lodge anyway.
I’ve almost forgotten how much snow I’ve seen this year. In November we hiked the Blueberry Cobbles trail at Giant Mountain in the Adirondacks. It was snow-covered and pretty the whole way and only slightly slippery in some places. We hadn’t gotten our spikes or snowshoes yet so they would have made things a little easier, but it was a perfect day for hiking and we had the place to ourselves. With the very low temperatures of the second half of winter in New Jersey I’m looking forward to warm weather and the West.. but not before a couple more snowy adventures on the East Coast.
The hike to the Lonesome Lake Hut in the White Mountains was a long and strenuous one even though it was just over a mile and a half. The uphill climb mixed with the snow, getting used to the snowshoes, carrying big packs, and overheating in our clothes made it for a taxing learning experience. We were never too cold (except maybe my toes,) and it got dark before we reached our destination. Luckily we could see the lights of the hut as we got to the other side of the lake and could walk across. This is our exodus after sub-zero temperatures pushed us to our breaking point and we realized it was time to head back to lower altitudes.
Hiking to Arethusa Falls in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was a lot of fun in heavy snow. The path was pretty well packed down for us, but it was certainly still slippery and deep in some places. Sometimes being sure of where the path was could be the part we had to figure out. I loved to just stop once in a while and look ahead at the completely blanketed forest and wonder where the path might lead us. The serenity and beauty of winter have been really fantastic to experience this year.