And just like that, summer is over.
The amphitheater at Deer Valley had its last encore of the season over the weekend. The Rotarians put on one heck of a Miner's Day celebration -- raising a record amount for local charities. The scenic chairlifts have quit running. Even the trees seemed to know the exact weekend summer unofficially ends, by changing into their fall best for us. The scrub oaks are putting on a fiery show and soon all the hillsides will be a kaleidoscope of reds, pinks, yellows, and oranges.
In just one weekend, we'll go from iced coffees and flip flops to pumpkin-spiced lattes and fuzzy socks. And despite barely getting a full 60 days between snowfalls, I'm ready to say, "So long, summer."
Don't get me wrong -- I love Park City in the warmer months. Dining alfresco, the outdoor concerts, the hiking, the long days and bug-free nights. But as much as I love our summers, I especially love fall in the mountains.
It's not just the colorful gift from Mother Nature, although the foliage doesn't hurt. It's also a time when the town seems to be more relaxed and people are more patient with each other, kinder even. Perhaps it's the heat in the summer or the busy-ness in the winter that makes us edgy, but generally, people seem less rude come fall. And given the last couple weeks I've had, I sure hope that's the case this year.
For example, last week I was walking my dog on the sidewalk in my neighborhood -- something I do every single day of my life.
By her reaction, you'd have thought I just released a troop of wild and rabid baboons on her. "Your dog just sniffed me! I don't want your damn dog sniffing me!" she yelled, arms waving over her head.
I'll be the first to admit there are some dog owners who are not very respectful and I understand why some people are fed up with them, but I really didn't feel the need to apologize for having a leashed dog, on a public sidewalk who also happens to breathe. I mentioned how I've never seen a dog at the gym and a treadmill might be a better place for her to walk if inhaling was that offensive to her.
Also last week, I was asked to help out with an event. A holocaust survivor spoke to a crowd in Park City and one of the organizers called and asked me if I would help by prompting her with questions during her speech. It was an honor to meet this woman and I was happy to do it. After the event, an attendee declared, as passive aggressively as she could, "Those were the dumbest, most ridiculous questions ever." She rudely shouted this as she quickly walked by me. She also demanded to know my qualifications. So, because she was too cowardly to stop and speak to me, I figure I'll address her comments here, on the off chance she can read. My qualifications are: I was asked. And, the questions you found so "ridiculous" were emailed to me by the speaker. By asking them, I was honoring the request of a holocaust survivor, and that's what she was comfortable answering. You're probably the type of person who is also highly offended by a dog who sniffs the air near you.
And who knows, she might be married to this guy -- the man who complained to me for a solid five minutes that his beer had too much foam in it.
As a member of Park City Rotary, I helped with the Miner's Day events and was one of the many volunteers working the beer tent. The beer was $5 and, seeing as though none of us are professional bartenders, we may not have always made the perfect pour.
The line was long and hectic. Most people were understanding and nice, but one guy went berserk, saying he'd been in line for 25 minutes and was only giving us $4 since his beer wasn't to the brim. He threw a remarkable fit. So I told him, "All the money goes to charity sir. I'll make sure your $4 is donated to a worthy cause. Maybe the anti-jerk coalition."
Here's hoping these people's attitudes change with the season.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.