While, officially, I travel solo, I am seldom solo for long.
I meet people along the way and sometimes decide to share a few hours or a few days for a lot of fun. This was the case last Thursday when I skied The Canyons near Park City in Utah.
My day got turned upside down. I had planned to be on the slopes at 9am but a meeting got in the way and I didn’t make it out until noon. By then, I thought I could maybe get in a run or two and then head back to Park City to catch a couple of films. But the gorgeous day and fate had other plans. I had traveled to Park City to ski as well as for movies and, once on the mountain, skiing became the priority.
Nature’s beauty won over art in the dark.
Look at the blue sky in the pictures. Now feel the crisp air that those blue skies suggest. It was not a chilling cold. It was what I call a warm cold. A cozy cold. It was just cold enough to keep the snow dry and your face warm.
Being mid-week and during the Sundance Film Festival, the resort was not busy at all. Going up the Gondola by myself I felt full of joy. I actually laughed out loud with delight. This was different from the pleasure of seeing interesting/ good / poor / challenging films. This was exhilarating. This was fun.
Then fate served up a skiing partner.
As I mentioned, my day was turned upside-down so I didn’t make it up the mountain until noon. I hadn’t planned on eating but, another couple thousand feet in altitude made me think twice and I headed into the Red Pine Lodge at the top of the Flight of the Canyons Gondola.
In the cafeteria line-up I had a few passing words with a man named Philip. We went in different directions and then met again at the check out. While the cashier made the suggestion, we decided it was a bit early in our relationship for him to buy me lunch.
We met again at the condiments counter and, as we both scanned the sea of people to find a table, we decided to eat lunch together. Lunch turned into an afternoon of skiing. And what an afternoon!
Philip is a much better skier than me. Fortunately, he is a patient man. He politely took all blue square runs (my comfort level) and skied up the sides and through the trees when the opportunity presented. If we were sure that a black diamond and a blue square connected, he took the former and we met at the bottom. He had the map and, I suspect, he studied it when he had to wait for me. He guided us run after run so that we never covered one twice. It was fantastic!
And our timing was perfect. The lifts closed at 4pm and we climbed on for the last run at 3:57. We skied all the way to the base getting in every possible skiing minute we could.
After changing into the comfort of street boots and turning in my rentals, we took the cabriolet to the parking lot at which point he drove me to my condo.
Thank you Philip, for a wonderful day!