way up in the Wasatch mountains

Park City and the Wasatch Mountains remain a magical place for me. Today, Peter Toennies and i played golf at the Wasatch Mountain Park “Mountain” course: majestic, powerful, beautiful, with deer everywhere, one bounding past Sean, one of our foursome who works at the course and John, who works at the Homestead course nearby. Turkeys roam across the fairways, and John told us deer crashing through the trees, to pass them nearby, running from a predator, a bear perhaps, or more likely a mountain lion.

It is the bitter end of the summer season here. The golfers, bikers, hikers, boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and canoers (my word) are beginning to pack up and leave. The resorts are beginning their preparation for the winter season when this place is white. It is a magic place either season.

It’s more expensive now from when we began coming here over thirty years ago. There are more houses and more people. Favorite haunts have grown beyond the comfort level or simply been replaced by fancier establishments. But it’s still magic.

i wrote this many years ago. Cy Fraser, a close friend, told me i captured the way he thought of the area.

i ‘m way up in the Wasatch Mountains:

way up in the Wasatch mountains,
Utah where Mormons claimed
their way was prevalent,
snow covered the pretense
one hundred, fifty years or so ago.
passes to the left coast were few
except in the warm months;
only the hardy would climb so high
with mules, packs, jerky, coffee
to mine the silver,
hunt the plentiful game
in the cold deep white of the mountain.
now the heights are a playground,
cleared groomed slopes skied down after
rides up the mechanized chair
where hunters and miners
persevered in the hard months,

now playtime in the rockies
for the masses.
the old town street running up and down
the hill called Main
was general store, haberdashery,
gin mill, assayer,
probably a red light house or two,
amidst the good, lord abiding citizens;
pizza joints butted against
boutiques, fashion salons,
restaurants with high cost haute cuisine;
only the Egyptian theater and saloons
bear some resemblance to their former selves:
instead of grimy miners
swigging down the swill,
home brew out of pails,
rot gut whiskey.
now movie stars,
dressed to the nines
sipping wine
at the festival of cinema
named after an outlaw;
town and tourist drunks
drinking the trendy micro brews
Still, in the quiet after a late winter storm,
there are tracks
of rabbit, mountain goat, even elk,
if one dares to climb so high.

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