We just returned from 5 days (3 full) in Park City, Utah. I was not sure this getaway would be a real family vacation – thinking that we would be trying to ski as often as we could fit in the short amount of time we were there and we would not have a lot of quality family time. But, I was wrong. We had a wonderful time, together nearly the entire time – William and I, the children, our nephew, and my mother (and our sister-in-law for a short time). Even though my mother, our nephew, and Steven either did not ski or were in ski school every day, we still had lots of quality time together. And, that was partly because we stopped skiing everyday at about 3 and had the whole rest of the afternoon and evening to spend talking, playing, and relaxing together. And, the kids really needed to relax and veg out after 6 hours of skiing!
“Out West”, I was reminded again on this trip, is majestic. The mountains are large and rugged, rising into the sky, seeming to reach into heaven. Space is so large – large mountains, but also large sky, large prairie, rocks, slopes. So different from the mountains we live in here “back East”. We were in awe the whole time.
We stayed in a beautiful, modern house, close to the slopes, and skied every day. And, everyday we had bluebird skies and cold (but not too cold) weather. It was perfect conditions. I couldn’t get many pictures because I was not willing to take my good camera out there (and I was more interested in skiing than photography). I took a few pictures and videos on my phone, but the best pictures, the ones I wish I had on a hard drive, are only in my head. One picture I hope to keep in my memory was of our oldest three children skiing in front of me, down a ridge on top of a mountain with a 360 degree view of the Wasatch Mountains, with confidence and joy – no one else in sight. They outpaced me for nearly that whole long run (a blue trail, no less) – along the ridge, through the woods, and finally down a long, wide, empty slope – and I hope I can keep that beautiful, awe-inspiring moment with me. My children truly impressed me with their skiing skill and confidence.
And, perhaps they come by it naturally. William is quite a good skier and snowboarder, and my father was an impressive skier. One night we got my mother to tell us some stories of my dad and his skiing abilities. She said he was one of the best skiers she had ever seen, that he would ski down vertical slopes with speed and skill. I remember learning how to ski when I was 5 (and my brother was 3). I didn’t realize that my dad was a ski instructor at the mountain where and when I learned to ski, but I do remember watching him ski with grace and ease. Unfortunately, he died less than a year later. I like the thought that the love of skiing, and possibly some of his gracefulness on the slopes, may keep going in his grandchildren.