Week 7- It’s Utah Day in the continuing blog of Our Great and Funny United States
Pondering, I didn’t know quite how to put Utah into words other than: Wow. So, I consulted my artist sister to play writer. We do that sometimes. Have y’all seen my paintings? My only sibling, younger (not by much) sister Betsy lived in *Park City* and worked for Sundance Film Festival during several seasons. Park City is in * * because we will come back around to it.
Here’s what Betsy wrote about living in Utah: I’d really have to dig into that question. It’s better as an outsider/transplant. It was a bit magical for me (which means a lot because she’s lived many magical places). And it was bizarre and weird and beautiful and jagged and rigid.
Back to Ginger : Yes, that’s it, exactly! I don’t know about it being better as an outsider because the Utahns I know can be passionate about Utah. Then again, a significant portion leave the state/church because of their ‘rigid’ upbringing…
It disappoints me when I plan a trip itinerary for someone and they end up not liking the place. ETA: I’m not referring to Utah here but trips in general. If they don’t like the place, it’s usually because they went somewhere expecting it to be like home. Don’t go to Utah and expect it to be like home (except you, my Utahn friends!). Don’t go anywhere and expect it to be like home! One of my favorite quotes is ‘A lot of people go somewhere thinking it will be glad to see them, while travel should be you, being glad to see it’ – – –
Weather, religion, and history shape us regionally in distinguishable ways. It snows about 500 inches/year in the mountains near SLC, Utah, and over 60% of the state is Mormon population. That’s how you form some serious culture! Coffee isn’t illegal in Utah, nor is alcohol, but those are two common Google questions about Utah because of Mormonism. Writing this, I had to remind myself that I am not writing about Mormonism. I find it hard to separate the two since my closest Utahns are Mormon (lovely, quirky, fascinating people).
Famous Utahns: The Osmonds, Robert Redford, Roseanne Barr (whose family was Jewish but pretended to be Mormon during the week to fit in, so she says). Point proven.
So, car tags there often read ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’ Yes! True! If you live close to me (GA), I recommend West Virginia or The Poconos, first, to learn snow skiing or boarding. But if you like to jump right in and go big, then Park City, where Betsy was, presents perfect powder! It’s become mega touristy in the last decade but that also means there are incredible resorts and facilities for adults-only and family-oriented. ***Share your Park City pics! Many of you found your way there. Bet and I are terrible picture people (meaning, remembering to take pics).
There’s part of a national forest in every county and the 5 national parks (Bryce and Zion come to mind) are, to lift Betsy’s words, ‘magical, bizarre, beautiful, and jagged’. Great Salt Lake is 1 million acres and in places, 9 times saltier than the ocean. One notable explorer was convinced he’d reached the Pacific Ocean. The salty air combined with the closeness to desert and tropical areas causes drier air perfect for ski snow, and higher temperatures, so it snows more instead of icing.
Utah invented television and is known for yummy blueberries and tomatoes (my Mormon friends love both , oops, I did it again). Oh, and pastrami! Get a warm pastrami in Utah, in a little ski town cafe after a day on the slopes. Or, during a picnic canyon hike, mid spring, with yuccas, cacti, wildflowers, and goats as your friends. How my Utahns do love pastrami, picnics, and nature.
*Feel free to share your thoughts. Texas is next -Yeehaw!- and I’m gonna write on it for days, prob by city/region. Hey, first cousin-Texan transplant Gena Tribble, might I persuade you to drop in with a guest writing quote? Your romance writing suggestion was interesting and I did accompany you to the graves of our ancestors yesterday… –CC