This column is about urban topics, but this time of year, I get spring fever. When the inversion hits, I want Vitamin D on my face, so I venture out and about. My brother and sister-in-law came in last week to see a Jazz game (fun, but whoa, those ticket prices!) and got up the next day wanting to see snow. They live mostly in Tijuana, Mexico, and snow is a novelty. So, I schlepped them up to Solitude and let them walk around.
Good news for our ski resorts this year: We've got the white stuff! I can't ski anymore due to my Piriformis syndrome, which feels as if an alien monster is attempting to pull off my right leg at all times. As a result, I haven't been to my old college slushing grounds in the wintertime since the first Bush was in office. As I drove my family out of the haze and into the sunlight, I was pleased to see the seasonal UTA ski bus full. But as we got closer to the resort, there were millions of cars parked along the side of the road with folks walking in boots and hauling skis. It wasn't a holiday, and I chattered out loud: "WTF?" Well, dummy, we've got snow. Everyone was skiing; there was no parking; and the resort was overrun with Gen X and Millennial parents and baby skiers with boards not much longer than a baguette. I bragged, "Well, we never had ski helmets in my day!" (We didn't—they hadn't been invented yet.) My brother and his wife walked over to see the bunnies and wanted to experience the frozen wonderland, so they dropped backward to make snow angels. They didn't realize how deep our powder is and had to roll to get to a packed-down area. That little jaunt was educational for all of us.
I also played hooky for a day with a friend to visit the state's Hardware Ranch near Logan. There are 500 elk there this year being fed by wildlife management. For $5, you can ride on a wagon right into the middle of the majestic beasts, watch them eat and rut around, and take photos until your fingers freeze. Animals naturally migrate down from our mountains to feed in the winter, but we have built too close to the mountains and the wildlife can't access food anymore. The ranch is a way to keep the herds alive, and it grows all its hay (about 300 tons) during the summer. It's an easy drive when there's no snow on the roads. We ended the trip at Logan's famous Bluebird Restaurant on Main for old-fashioned American food favorites. I know spring will come sooner if I get out and about and look up from my computer, because February, March? No, but April, May.