No, I don’t have a real post. I’m just goofing around today.
I’m always happy when February comes around. Part of this is probably just where it sits on the calendar. Only 2 months till April! Soon there’ll be birds and bugs and flowers and everything else. The days are longer now, and with the sun higher, the world doesn’t seem so harshly divided between glaring light and dark shadow; it’s like there are colors again. The inversions seem to ease up, and it’s not quite so cold as it was just a month ago; almost every day breaks freezing now.
Winter has finally become kind of pleasant the last week or so. The recent storms have cleaned the gunk out of the air, and put down enough snow that skiing is fun again.
Tangent: And that’s important, especially right now. Because one downside of Utah in late January and February is that, living here, you are exposed firsthand to a whole bunch of really, really, really crazy people. Oh no, I don’t mean that Utahns are crazier than folks anywhere else- every state has its share of crazies. But here in Utah, for 6 weeks every winter, we pull together several dozen of the most absolutely wacky, living-on-another-planet, bat-shit-craziest people from all over the state, put them all together in one building and then broadcast them on TV every night. We call this group the “State Legislature”, and it’s absolutely critical that you avoid watching the evening news during this period, lest you freak out, abandon your house and move out of state.
Last week, someone asked me- not for the first time- if I could ever see myself moving to [THE NORTHEASTERN STATE WHERE MY NEW EMPLOYER IS HEADQUARTERED]. Whenever someone asks me that, I always think the same thing: “This person does not know anything about me or my values.” I try to explain it sometimes, but it never gets across. People just have to “get” it for themselves.
Fortunately for them, I now have a helmet-cam. Here’s what I saw yesterday morning at 8:13AM. At 2 seconds the view pans to the right and down Big Cottonwood Canyon clear out to the Salt Lake Valley. 20,000 years ago a glacier filled this canyon, and spilled about a kilometer past its mouth, where it (presumably) calved off icebergs into the ~700 – 1,000 ft deep lake that filled the valley bottom. At 8 seconds the view turns to the left, toward the sun breaking through the hoar-frosted aspens.
At 9:03AM I walked into the office. There’s no other million+ person metro area in the US where you can pull that off. That almost- almost- makes up for having Orrin Hatch as your senator.
No I’m not posting the whole ~15 minute descent. But here’s a quick 30-second stretch about 5 minutes down the mountain that gives you a feel for the terrain.
Lastly (in a lame effort to add some minimal science value to an otherwise wholly frivolous post) I’ve mentioned before about the odd lack of pines in the Wasatch, and how one really noticeable exception is the stand of planted Ponderosas directly across from the entrance to The Spruces campground/ parking area. In this clip I glide alongside them, pointing my pole up and at them as I pass by. This one’s just for tree geeks, but I thought the light through the trees was kind of pretty. I let the clip* continue down to the road so you’d know just how close to the road the stand is.
*Sorry about the herky-jerky. Goggle-strap wasn’t tight enough, and the cam bounced a bit as I skied over some stutter-bumps.
The cool thing about doing something like this before work is that even if the work-day turns out kinda-sorta-sucky*, the day is still wonderful.
*And it was.