A new resident discovers a natural wonder high above Park City
Itʼs the 6th anniversary of my move from Colorado to Park City, and the anniversary of meeting my first friend in my new town. Iʼm a runner, and having settled into a rental in Pinebrook, my dogs and I set out to explore the trails around the area. It was a beautiful fall, as it seems that season is in the Wasatch, and we were having a blast running through the dusty trails enveloped by red, gold and yellow leaves that created a kaleidoscope of color.
One day, we set out to run a trail the landlord had told us about in the back of our new neighborhood. I didnʼt know anyone in town yet, and I really didnʼt mind, since not having a running partner allowed me to get lost, find another trail, double back and somehow, a couple of hours later, find my way back to the trailhead. My dogs were thrilled to explore and not be bound by a timeframe. So off we went, running up Pinebrook Road until we found the trailhead. The day was gorgeous: the soft, warm sunshine of Autumn falling casually through the aspen leaves; the pine trees creating dots of shade that kept the air cool as we ran. The trail meandered upward, doubling back on itself as it led us higher and deeper in the woods.
As we came to the top of the peak, we emerged at a trail junction. Having gone quite a few miles already, we turned left and hoped it would lead us home. About 20 yards later, we came to a clearing, and it was there that I met my first friend in Park City.
In an open spot at the top of this ridge is a magnificent 360 degree view: UOP, Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley in one direction, and in the opposite direction, the Uintas and East Canyon. It was breathtaking and beautiful; quiet and amazing. A lovely place to catch my breath and take in what was becoming my new home. And sitting to the edge of the clearing was Emilyʼs Chair — a lift chair with a plaque on the crossbar that read: “Itʼs the views, itʼs those little things. You know, the wonders of life.”
I met a kindred spirit in Emily, and here was her memorial, welcoming others to share what had meant so much to her. Offering a seat to strangers, giving them a chance to enjoy the views and experience a wonder of life. At that moment, I felt so lucky to have met her, and in some small way, a private way that someone in her life had decided to share with the world, a chance to get to know her.
I have lived in Park City for almost six years now. The dogs and I have continued our running, exploring trails from Deer Valley, through Park City and all around the valley. The other day we ran our favorite trail, and as I looked out from the ridge, a hawk flew by and turned away from our vantage point, gliding over the valley and disappearing into a cloudy mist overlying Murdock Peak. It was beautiful to see the dark figure soar over the hills, watching her vanish into the distant haze. I looked over at Emilyʼs chair, and smiled.
Yes, Emily, youʼre right. It is the little things, the wonders of life. Thank you for continuing to remind me of that. And thank you for being my friend. Iʼll see you again in a few days.
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