Monthly Archives: February 2015

…certainly not when Ethel Andretti is behind the wheel. She made it home from Big Sky to our front door in 5 hours two weeks ago, and that included stopping for gas and fast food.


Today we’re driving up to Bozeman, probably leaving before noon. Two weeks ago we went up, rode with realtors in Bozeman and Big Sky, and skied Big Sky. We’re not skiing this weekend – instead, we’re going to make meetings, go to church, and drive around town.

Obviously, we’re thinking about moving – either to Bozeman or down to the Salt Lake Valley, and we don’t know which. This will all depend on many factors, and God makes those decisions. But we are probably leaving Park City.

Now, we aren’t leaving Park City for any non-skiing place, because I learned my lesson there, and it’s stayed learned. In fact, we’re only going places with more skiing – more real skiing, that is. Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons are now on the same ticket, and next year the gondola will join them to be the largest single lift-served operation in North America, but an amazing amount of that terrain is green and blue, or mellower blacks, and now that Extreme Ethel has tasted the truly steep and deep, she’s unsatisfied with the Wasatch Back. But Snowbird suited her just fine, and Big Sky is…well, see my last post 🙂

So we may just scoot around to the Sandy/Cottonwood Heights area, or we may go up to Bozeman, if our bosses are okay with that option. I’ve checked, and flights from Bozeman to Oakland are in the same price range as flights from Salt Lake (although they take considerably longer – well, hey. That’s on me, then) so such a move wouldn’t interfere with my ability to get to Workday’s home office. And it’s a small university town, and bandwidth is not an issue.

Park City – I still love Park City, but it doesn’t seem to love us. I did all the research before I came back home here, and thought that – despite the aphorism – I could, indeed, go home again. But our church is not the same church – same rector, same deacon, same location, but it’s a fuzzy church. We only went once, and I can’t get Ethel to go back and try again, and I can’t say that I blame her.

The first time back, when I was first interviewing here two years ago, I had dinner that first night with my old running friends, and thought that that connection was solid – but it didn’t last. They weren’t interested in running with me for more than a few months, and they fell away. That was truly a disappointment, but that’s what I get for being appointed.

Now, I suspect that, had we had snow, a lot of this wouldn’t be bothering us, but I haven’t had a powder day since I moved back to Utah. And that is Just. Not. Right. On. So. Many. Levels. There hasn’t been any snow in my yard in weeks- maybe a month. When I left Summit Park in late May of 2005, we still had piles of snow in my yard. This affects me on a visceral level. Park City shouldn’t look like spring in February.

And Ethel is suffering from a problem that I had ten years ago; when I left Park City for Anthem, AZ, it turned out that I could never, ever be happy in Anthem, AZ, because Anthem, AZ, was the place that I’d left Park City for, so it had to be wrong. I didn’t get happy in Arizona until we moved out to New River.

Well, Ethel left her beautiful home in New River and her friends in Arizona for Park City, so she’s never felt comfortable back here. Dang. I’d never thought about that, and she’d never mentioned it until last night, when we were eating dinner at the Baja Cantina at PCMR.

So last week we were looking at homes down in the Salt Lake Valley, and today we’re driving to Bozeman. We already know that we can afford to live in Bozeman; we just want to find out if we really want to be there. Is the church fuzzy? What about meetings? Sure, it’s a college town, so it’s liberal, but I strongly suspect that “liberal” in Montana is different than, say, “liberal” in Vermont.

Now, it’s possible that by next weekend, Park City could be deep and white again, and who knows? I’m sure that that would be a comfort. And since it’s only a 40 minute drive from here to Alta and Snowbird, we might just sit still where we are.

Or we may be on the move again, in a permanent sense. But, for now, we’re driving to Bozeman.

Driving up to Bozeman, we decided to take the slighly longer route through a corner of Yellowstone and the Gallatin Mountains, which goes past Big Sky. As we drove down from Yellowstone, I kept pointing and saying “Maybe that’s Lone Peak…maybe that’s Lone Peak.”

Then Ethel said, “Uh, Jim, I think THAT’S Lone Peak” 🙂


I think she was right 🙂

It’s obscene. It’s crazy. You drive up the access road, and there is simply so much terrain – and I say this after skiing the Canyons for a year, with 4000+ acres. Not only is there so much terrain, and so many runs that are so top-to-bottom, and views in every direction that are magnificent – in the middle of the embarrassment of riches, there’s Lone Peak, with a tram running up to the top.

It’s absolutely pornographic. It’s sort of embarrassing, but you can’t look away. And it makes your pulse and breathing race, and your eyes bug open wide. Surely, surely that…that thing is not actually skiable?

Yes, it is.

Although it wasn’t skiable on Sunday – there were such severe winds on Saturday, that the snow was actually blown off of the runs on Sunday; the only thing open that was served by the tram was Big Couloir, and that is actually reserved in fifteen-minute chunks of time; you have to sign up for it in advance, and two people ski it at a time, and both have to have avy gear and a transceiver. Since I didn’t know this, I didn’t sign up for it, and now there is a Big Couloir-sized hole in my life. It ain’t Corbet’s, but it’s close.

(And it turns out that skiing Bridger wasn’t a very good idea either).

We were going to ski Big Sky on Saturday and Bridger Bowl on Sunday, but when we got to Big Sky on Saturday morning, it was raining in the village; it was wet snow at the base area, and very windy. Most of the upper lifts were on wind hold (which is what caused the mess of conditions on Sunday). So instead of skiing, we moved things around and saw real estate in Big Sky that morning and early afternoon, and then real estate in Bozeman on Saturday afternoon and evening.

Then we skied Big Sky on Sunday, which turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day!

So now we’re back in Park City, and it rained here today. Global warming may cause us to move north.