Friday, November 26, 2010

The trick to enjoying Sun Valley

For anyone here for a long time or a short time, there's a trick to enjoying the Sun Valley area.

The trick is to stop.

Turn off the cell phones, smart phones and TVs and put on a warm jacket. Then, step outside. The valley has a lot to tell us and a lot to show us if we only take time to listen and look.

This day after the Thanksgiving celebration is a good day to vow to try to extend and to savor the good feelings of this holiday all year long.

Strap on a pair of skis or snowshoes. Take a walk or a ski down the valley-long Wood River Trail or its Trail Creek spur—even if it's on your lunch break. Or head over to Dollar Mountain or Baldy for a hike or a ski, depending on the weather.

With all of today's electronic distractions, our minds are staggeringly overloaded, day in and day out. Every year that goes by, life becomes more and more complicated and difficult to navigate.

It would be easy to conclude that with Sun Valley Resort beginning its 75th season, some of the magic has worn off. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sun Valley's magic lies not only in the resort but in everything that surrounds it. Even the sight of the infinite varieties of snow as it layers the valley in lacey threads is captivating, no matter how many times one has seen it.

Surprises await everywhere.

An insolent fox on the trail may gaze at us as if to question our right to be present.

The bugle of a bull elk still looking for love may hang hauntingly in the air.

Or, the black, beady eyes of a white ermine will betray its natural camouflage.

If someone is especially charmed, the sunlight will slant at just the right angle to fire the snow into a carpet of diamonds.

Sun Valley is the antithesis of a gray city in winter. It's stark and pristine, a place where winter can erupt in its true glory, unhindered by the gloom and grime of pollution and cocooned in the comfort of its snowy blanket.

The area is a smorgasbord for the senses and an invitation to set aside thinking and plotting and planning and organizing, if only for a few minutes.

Sun Valley is one of the few places in the world where people can still see the Milky Way, where the experienced and the jaded can be stunned when the depth and mystery of the original 3-D show, created not by a computer but by Mother Nature, is spread before them.

The stars do shine brighter and the air does smell sweeter here. We just have to remember to notice.

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