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Archive for January 26th, 2007

Five Lessons

January 26, 2007

It’s been eight days since my last entry. I have not been sinning (or knitting or quilting or running, for that matter); I’ve been skiing and, before that, working like a crazy person so I’d be able to take time off without customers or colleagues getting too frustrated with my being gone. Now that I’m back, I have to work like crazy again, so instead of a nice narrative about my trip, all I’m going to be able to muster is bullet points, continuing the grand tradition of trip reports past. Herewith, five things I learned on my third trip to Grand Targhee with Mr. Karen:

1. Sometimes inattention pays off. On our way out of Idaho Falls the first morning, neither Mr. Karen nor I noticed until it was too late that we missed the on ramp to the freeway we wanted and thus ended up on a different road. In the process of detouring back to the right road, we got to see both the largest beer billboard I’ve ever experienced, which we did not pull over to take a picture of, and three tanks painted like Coke products, which we did.

2. Those ubiquitous World Dryer units seen in public bathrooms everywhere come in colors other than white. The ones in the women’s room at Grand Targhee are a soothing dusty rose. Yes, I did take a picture. I did not, however, try to peek into the men’s room to see if they had blue ones.

3. The yarn shop in Driggs does not want my business. I was excited when I saw the ad in one of the tourist magazines in our room: not only was there now a yarn shop in Driggs, but it was open until 7 on Wednesday nights so I’d be able to stop on our trip back to Idaho Falls. I had fun thinking about what I’d buy; maybe some wool spun from local sheep to make a scarf to wear on future trips (but not on the ski lift–that could be dangerous) or maybe some of the pricey Noro now that I’m more confident in my knitting skills. The lifts close at 4; by the time we got off the mountain and changed out of our ski bibs and drove down the winding, snow-covered, and occasionally icy road to town, it was just about 5 p.m. when we pulled up to the yarn shop. There was a big “Yes, We’re Open” sign in the window and the lights were on and there were people inside. So far, so good. We parked and went in; I had just started to look around when the woman working there told me that they were closed. “But Wednesday knit night ’til 7”, I said. “Not anymore,” she said. “But it’s really hard to get down here from the mountain before 5,” I said. “I imagine,” she said, and that was that. No offer to help me find something quickly, no indication that she might stay an extra five or ten minutes to make a sale, nothing but me walking out discouraged because based on the two minutes I was there it looked like they had some nice stuff. Did she figure that I was just passing through so why bother? If by some miracle we do buy property out there, it’s going to be inconvenient for me to drive into Jackson to get my yarn, but I just might have to. (I just looked at the shop’s website, and right on the home page it advertises “Every Wednesday Night until 7 pm”. It’s not nice to tease.)

4. Icicles can be surprisingly tough. One formed from the front bumper of our rental car while we were eating dinner at the still-excellent Tony’s Pizza & Pasta on Monday night. It was still there when we turned the car in yesterday morning at the Idaho Falls airport. It survived two trips on the mountain road and about an hour and a half at highway speeds. Of course I documented it.

5. Bandy is field hockey played on ice. I didn’t learn this until today, when I looked it up in (on?) Wikipedia, but I did first see the word on a poster in our room at the Sioux Lodge.

Perhaps I’ll be able to write the full story of our next trip, though what with the pace of work these days, I’m skeptical I’ll be able to carve out the time. Though lots of new customers and their demands is certainly better than having nothing to do and therefore no reason for my employer to keep paying me and therefore no trips at all.

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