The sun is shining, the grass is green and – much to everyone’s dismay – there’s zero chance of us having a white Christmas this year. The temperature has been cold enough for local ski resorts to fire up the snowmakers, but I’m hoping for some of the natural stuff to appear on the slopes soon.
Meanwhile, I went in search of snow out west and hit the timing just right. I landed in Salt Lake City two weeks ago and it was 52 degrees.
Eight hours later, the first big dump of the season hit.
The first storm brought two feet of snow. Nearly four feet of powder piled up by the end of my stay.
There’s a reason Utah license plates read, “Greatest Snow On Earth.”
What was funny was the reaction to the storms from everyone I encountered. No one complained. In fact, everyone from the hotel staff to the ski bus drivers to fellow diners at nearby restaurants were actually giddy about the pileup of powdery snow.
“We need it!”
“Finally some snow!”
Even after a two-foot dump in the mountains and five inches fell in Salt Lake City, the roads were plowed within hours and schools were on a mere two-hour delay. I laughed thinking of the griping and near panic that would set off if we got that snow here. Not only is much of the economy in that region dependent on income from the ski resorts and surrounding businesses, the general population was thrilled the snowpack was finally growing to help battle ongoing drought conditions.
To borrow a movie line from Field of Dreams, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson said “Is this heaven?” to which Ray Kinsella replied, “No … it’s Iowa.”
Based on my recent trip, any skier would ask, “Is this heaven?”
To which the locals would reply, “No, it’s Utah.”
I used to work with a fellow meteorologist who skied at Utah’s Alta and Snowbird resorts each spring. He raved about them so much it made me want to ski there someday. They did not disappoint and were indeed some of my favorite places I’ve ever skied.
A few months ago, I wrote about the crazy airline meltdown that redirected our Hawaii travel plans. This time around, the airlines had it back together!
Southwest’s flights went off on time and without a hitch. The other thing I noticed about my time in Utah was just how nice everyone was. People just seemed to be happy and relaxed – and I’m not just talking about the skiers.
It made me happy and relaxed.
Everyone I encountered there was just so darn nice. Is it something in the water? How can they be shoveling so much snow and still be so happy? It is indeed contagious and inspired me to smile more, relax and just be nicer as we enter the new year. Merry Christmas to you and yours!