Amy Roberts: So long, summer
Park Record columnist
I say it every year, about this time of year. Some dismayed form of, “It’s over already? Where did the summer go?”
They always seem to fly by. At 7,000 feet, our summers our notoriously short. Even this year’s, which was actually a bit longer than most. At least by mountain standards. We didn’t have the customary June snowstorm, or even a frost that month. I planted my garden over Memorial Day, knowing it was too early. But the cherry tomatoes were on sale then, so I bought a bunch of plant covers too, expecting to use them several times. I never had to. It took until mid-September before I needed to tuck in the veggies at night.
Aside from the fact we are prone to a June and/or September snowfall, I think Park City summers tend to go by so quickly because we insist on cramming so much into them. We know we’re in a head-to-head battle with the calendar, and dammit, we’re going to get as much use out of the new grill, boat, tent, hiking shoes, sundress, shorts, swimsuit, convertible, (insert other summer item here) that we can muster.
A friend of mine who moved here from Florida recently told me she thinks we have more outdoor events in three months than the entire state of Florida has year round. “That’s because we have such a small window to fit them all in,” I explained.
We have bike races and fun runs, parades, art shows, concerts nearly every night of the week, Silly Sundays, softball games and soccer tournaments. There are new trails we need to hike, days to be spent on the lake, wildflowers in bloom we must appreciate, fundraisers on decks, lunches on patios and dinners cooked over a campfire. We must jam in a few weekends in the Uintas. There are only so many nights a year we can sleep under the stars without risking hypothermia.
And then, poof — it’s puffy time. Before we’ve even bought all the needed back to school supplies, we’re digging in our closets for a puffy coat — the surest sign summer is really over. I can’t help but feel a little cheated every time that happens.
It’s long been said people move here for the winters, but they stay for the summers. And it’s true. The older I get, the less need I feel to head up to the resort on a gloomy, icy day, just because I can. I used to feel like a failure if I didn’t get at least 70 days of skiing in a season. And I never left town in the winter for fear of missing a powder day. I still love powder days, but tend to find myself enduring the winters more than truly enjoying them.
That’s definitely not the case with summer. I love every night I go to bed with windows cranked wide open. I love knowing one travel-sized bottle of mosquito repellent will last me all summer, and likely expire before it’s ever empty. As someone with naturally curly hair, I love our humidity-free summers. Everywhere else, I spend hours taming my locks to avoid looking like Marge Simpson. I love the sound of kids playing in the neighborhood, their laughter not being drowned out by an overworking AC unit. And I love when the adults in the neighborhood gather spontaneously in a driveway to drink wine together while their kids zoom by on skateboards.
People often relate, “There’s just not enough time in the day.” But in Park City, it’s more accurate to say, “There’s just not enough days in the summer.”
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.