Salt Lake City was supposed to have a blizzard yesterday. The National Weather Service published all these dire warnings, telling us visibility would be non-existent, travel impossible, so businesses should close early and everyone should plan on being completely housebound on Wednesday.
The snow was preceded by a big wind. It was nasty, but not so nasty I couldn't go for a really long walk (if I was going to be stuck inside for three days, I wanted to get some exercise and air while I could) and then walk to the grocery store when I realized I'd forgotten to buy garlic and a roasting pan, two things without which you cannot have Thanksgiving dinner.
The storm was supposed to hit SLC around 6 p.m. And sure enough, around 6 p.m., it started to snow. And sure enough, visibility sucked. (Though it was sort of nice to look out from my balcony and not be able to see that hideous scar on the horizon, the Church Office Building, which is extra-super ugly.) But when the snow started, the wind dropped off.
And then, after four or so hours, the snow stopped. The wind never came back. And the devastating blizzard dropped a whole six or so inches of snow. Provo, an hour to the south, didn't get any snow at all.
I don't know whether to feel cheated or not. Of course I'm glad I didn't have to deal with weather like I was subjected to Pennsylvania, and I'm glad travel wasn't seriously disrupted, especially this close to a holiday. (Did you miss my story about the horrible car trip with strangers I took to get home for New Year's after my flight out of Detroit was canceled late one night? Well, here's your chance to read it! It's really thrilling! It involves unpleasant smells and bickering children!) But I was promised a blizzard, and a good excuse to sit in my apartment for three days eating turkey and more turkey, and it didn't material.
The one good thing I'll say is that today is so GORGEOUS that not even the COB can completely destroy the view (though notice how it does ruin the skyline, off by itself to the north and overshadowing poor Moroni):
There is lots of snow on the mountains, scarcely a cloud in the sky, and temperatures well below freezing so that everything is clear and bright. And because there's virtually no wind chill, 18F doesn't really feel all that bad.
I seriously love the weather in Utah. Even when it's extreme, it's mild.
I have been thinking lately about how important blue skies are to me because I did something I've never done before: I went to Oregon.
My dad, a sun-loving Arizona native like myself, went to Oregon on his mission. He hated it. I have heard him complain often that he spent over six months in Portland before the sky was ever clear enough that he could see Mount Hood in the distance. Given his vehemence, I didn't feel so bad about Oregon being one of only seven states I had never even set foot in. (The other six are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, and North Dakota.)
But I ended up in Portland a couple of weeks ago and I really liked the city. I wasn't there long, but I did manage to do a couple of really important things, the first being to eat pastrami at Kenny and Zuke's.
I like pastrami, and a Reuben is my favorite sandwich. But I didn't know that pastrami could be a religious experience. If you are ever in Portland, just trust me: go to this restaurant. Order pastrami. Split a plate of pastrami cheese fries with someone you really like.
The other thing I did was visit Powell's Bookstore. My dad has said he never wants to go back to Portland, but if he were to change his mind, I would book him a hotel room as close as possible to big downtown location of Powell's, and just let him wander it eight hours a day for four or five days. It would probably be his favorite vacation ever. Of course, he'd have to add another room to his house to accommodate all the books he acquired, but he'd be happy.
Anyway, while I was there, I couldn't help wondering if the greyness would get to me as much as it did to my father. My guess: probably. I am looking out my window at the brilliant blue sky surrounding this very snowy city, and I like it.
But it's still cool to go someplace different, and it's cool to add another state to the list of those I've visited. Especially since I got to hang with really cool people. (Hey guys!)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.