I’m on duty as a mountain host for the day. Smile stapled into place and ready for the onslaught of inane questions. Wendy’s off to the Outlet stores shopping. It’s what women do best. Too hot. Our home has no air conditioning just big patio doors to open downstairs and upstairs and ceiling fans. It’s even too hot to sit out on the deck and no way do we fancy a jacuzzi in this weather. Day on the mountain goes pretty quick. With a very relaxed team of hosts. Everyone just gets on with the job.
Up and out for 09:00 as we hike up Crescent Mountain Grade. Must have crossed nearly every ski run on the mountain. Wendy’s a whinging, weary, wilted, walker by the end of it. 86F out there even though we were up and out so early. Well done Wendy you made despite all the protestations.
Being as poor as squirrels with no nuts, we have no car – so un-American. I’m sat in the shade while Wendy does a weekly shop, then we have to haul it all back home on foot and on the bus.
Reminds us of how life used to be when we were kids with no cars, just them things on the end of our legs and a bus. Not even a bike. Crotch droppings these days, and I include my kids in this, just haven’t a clue. We remember frost on the windows in the mornings, that was even on the inside of the single glazed windows; no fire lit, so freezing cold until someone lit one; hardly any milk, so tea on me cornflakes; sugar buttes, and if you were really wealthy bread and jam to fill up with; outside toilet; tin bath on Friday night and kids were last in the cold murky waters. No skiing holidays, no cruises, no summer holidays. If you were really lucky you got a day out on the train to Skeggy as my Dad worked on the railways so we got a free ticket. No colour TV, no 3D TV. Just no TV. But worst of all no computers or Internet. We’ve never had it so good.
Need a proper beer, so that rules out any of these American pinkel waters. 2 Pilsner Urquell sat in the fridge just begging to be opened. Only 48 minutes and 12 seconds before they’ll be sliding down the side of a beer barrel, not a posy flower vase.
Religion strikes again.
Up at the crack o sparrows to avoid the heat. Mind you some technogeek, he shall remain nameless, set the 06:00 alarm.
Things are looking up, even managed Cammy’s trail without needing shoe leather. Then spent 30 minutes discussing US politics with Dick, a staunch Obama supporter, here in the midst of this extreme right wing Republican Utah. Mind you Park City is a little ungodly, enclave of Democrats – a real Sodom and Gomorrah.
Worth an early start, not too hot.
What a veritable cornucopia of birds on our deck, mind you they do eat more bird food a day than we can afford. Sadly these two geriatrics forgot their binoculars so we don’t get to identify them all.
Wendy and I cycle down – the key word there being down – to Kimball junction for a spot of shopping. But first a Starbucks moment to help me gird me loins and a psychoactive stimulant to ease the pain.
Finally decide to lash out and buy some Camelbaks for our walks, mountain biking. There big on “hydration packs” over here nearly as obsessive as “Gluten free”.
I see that the religion of permanent offence has been at it again because of another film / cartoon. Like most of these efforts they’re certainly not Oscar material but in the interest of improving the threshold of tolerance of this pernicious religion I’ve posted details of where it can be viewed.
Aisha and Muhammad
The Dramatic Life of a Little Child Married to the Prophet of Islam
As announced in an earlier press release, the movie, “Aisha and Muhammad”, has been released on schedule.
The release has been coincided with the US Independence Day on July 4 as a mark of respect to the American victims in the battle against Radical Islam.
The full movie in English can be viewed online from the following website links:
I’m up and out for 09:00. Well made it up Town lift side, Sweeneys switchbacks and Johns trail. Feel like a drowned water rat by the time I get to the top of Payday lift. It’s so humid you could beat the water out of the air with a boat paddle. I think I’ve lost 8 pints of sweat. Thankfully my new Camelbak helps is pretty good. Good job Wendy didn’t come, the earache would have been too painful. At several points it was just an uphill scramble – think I may have been lost.
Can now advise guests on Townlift hikes. “Don’t bother. If you must do it, go down.”
After lunch get myself a locals $70 point ticket for the PC MARC gym or any classes. 10 points, so just $7 per class or gym access. Go to a Yoga class. Can’t believe I survive an hours yoga and not a drop of sweat on my brow. Now that means I’m either getting fitter – mind you I am at my lowest weight today in living memory, not that impressive when you consider I can’t remember what I had for breakfast – or after this mornings hike there’s just no sweat left in me.
Then the heavens open up. Raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock and then hailstones. In typical American fashion even the raindrops are bigger and better. Wendy’s gone shopping but miraculously she misses a drenching. This is the first serious rain we’ve seen since we got here. Please tell me this doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing a perambulating, inverted, black bin liner next. Mind you the thought of one hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding or better still skiing does stretch the imagination.
A cynic – not me of course – make think it’s just a marketing ploy to exploit and rip off the gullable, thick, health freaky obsessives. Are you surprised that gluten free is always considerably more expensive.
But the facts prove it’s just another rip off fad, with a NORMAL loaf of bread costing £1, while gluten free costs £3.
Bear in mind that less than 1% of the population are coeliac. While many are convinced that – coeliac or not – avoiding gluten will make them healthier, a study published last year in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics disagrees. It concluded: “There is no evidence to suggest following a gluten-free diet has any significant benefits in the general population.” “Indeed,” it continued, “there is some evidence to suggest that a gluten-free diet may adversely affect gut health in those without coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity.” Other research has indicated that gluten-free diets are often low in fibre and can be linked to deficiencies in B vitamins, iron and folate. Inevitably, in the US, a gluten-free backlash is already under way. “Coeliac: the Trendy Disease for Rich, White People”, is a typical recent headline in the popular blog, Science 2.0.
Unfortunately, the gluten-free community has even less tolerance for jokes than for pasta. Thankfully I can continue to eat macaroni pudding with impunity and at minimal cost, thats if I can persuade her indoors to cook it.
People often wonder why I’m keen on baked beans followed by macaroni pudding. Well when I was at “bilateral” school – best not to ask. I always went to my Grandmas for lunch – well not being posh we called it dinner. Every day she’d serve me baked beans, with a nob of butter of course, cooked until dry (anything less than 15 minutes and they’re raw). Followed by a macaroni pudding, also cooked to perfection – until dry and curling at the edges. Every day for four years. Then one day I asked “Grandma, do you think we could have a change of menu”? That was it, never got me baked beans or macaroni pudding ever again. What a deprived, or was it depraved, childhood.
Then in the afternoon I’m doing training for my Robin Hood archery (a Nottingham lad) stint at the National Ability Center. Amazing place for the disabled and when you see what they achieve it’s quite right they use the word “ability”.
Bike home and get caught in a real downpour. Fortunately it’s very warm so it doesn’t really matter. Quite a change as I can’t remember the last time I got really soaked right through.
In the evening we’re off out to dinner at Tricy and Rivers (possible home exchangers). They live up in Deer (aptly named) valley. They have an awesome 5,000 square foot home. Only the FSM can guess at what or why you need 5,000 square feet. Good meal, good company, good conversation and good beer. They have 4 other guests for dinner so it’s lively conversation all round. One of the guys brews his own beer and brings a load of samples. They’re very good, not a bit like the home brews I last tasted. Have a very interesting conversation with him and get to sample an excellent Kolsch and a Pilsner, none of your typical American pinkle water.
Only in America.
In the afternoon the heavens open up and some thunder and lightning, every things shut down while it passes. We get to leave early.
Then it’s off out to dinner yet again. This time with Rick and Lynda, potential home exchangers. They have a lovely home up on Park Meadows. Just love the way American homes tend to be so open plan with kitchen, dinning and lounge all one big contiguous open area. Great evening, awesome food, wine and best of all company. Never ceases to amaze me how friendly and how much home exchangers have in common.
Please tell me the World hasn’t gone mad:
Lady: “Oh it’s a spaniel / poodle cross.”
Tony: “We had a spaniel but it only had half a brain. Does he have a full brain?”
Lady: “I don’t know we adopted it!”
Owner obviously is the one with a half of a brain.
On duty as mountain hosts yet again. So hot just try to avoid the sun all day.
Then we’re off to the hospital staff party. Free food and entertainment at the National ability centre for all hospital staff, volunteers and their families.
They’ve a climbing wall, ropes course, archery and disabled bikes – well you know what I mean – for you to try.
I’m totally freaked out by heights.
What a great opportunity to try all these facilities. Will I try the climbs again now it’s off my bucket list? Who knows. I will still be petrified but I suppose familiarity will help overcome this fear.
Let’s not forget however that all these facilities at the NAC are in the main for the disabled. Yes, they get people with disabilities up to these heights and even have a shaky wooden bridge over 50 feet up that you can go across in a wheelchair. Can you imagine the sense of achievement these kids, and adults, must feel.