Travel Solo for a Rocky Mountain High

by Janice Waugh /
Janice Waugh's picture
Feb 17, 2010 / 0 comments

While, officially, I travel solo, I am seldom solo for long.

I meet people along the way and sometimes decide to share a few
hours or a few days for a lot of fun. This was the case
when I took a brief break from the Sundance Film Festival and went skiing at The Canyons near Park City in Utah.

My day was turned upside down. I had planned to be on the slopes at 9am
but a meeting got in the way and I didn’t make it out until noon. By
then, I thought I could maybe get in a run or two and then head back to
Park City to catch a couple of films. But the gorgeous day and fate had
other plans. I had

traveled to Park City to ski as well as for movies and, once on the mountain, skiing became the priority.

Nature’s beauty won over art in the dark.
Look at the blue sky in the pictures. Now feel the crisp air
that those blue skies suggest.  It was not a chilling cold. It was what
I call a warm cold. A cozy cold. It was just cold enough to keep the
snow dry and your face warm.

Being mid-week and during the Sundance Film Festival, the resort was
not busy at all. Going up the Gondola by myself I felt full of joy. I
actually laughed out loud with delight. This was different from the
pleasure of seeing interesting/ good / poor / challenging films. This
was exhilarating. This was fun.

Philip from NYC, my skiing buddy.

Then fate served up a skiing partner.
As I mentioned, my day was turned upside-down so I didn’t make it up
the mountain until noon. I hadn’t planned on eating but, another couple
thousand feet in altitude made me think twice and I headed into the Red
Pine Lodge at the top of the Flight of the Canyons Gondola.

In the cafeteria line-up I had a few passing words with a man named
Philip. We went in different directions and then met again at the check
out. While the cashier made the suggestion, we decided it was a bit
early in our relationship for him to buy me lunch.

We met again at the condiments counter and, as we both scanned the
sea of people to find a table, we decided to eat lunch together. Lunch
turned into an afternoon of skiing. And what an afternoon!

Me at the top of the hill.

is a much better skier than me. Fortunately, he is a patient man. He
politely took all blue square runs (my comfort level) and skied up the
sides and through the trees when the opportunity presented. If we were
sure that a black diamond and a blue square connected, he took the
former and we met at the bottom. He had the map and, I suspect, he
studied it when he had to wait for me. He guided us run after run so
that we never covered one twice. It was fantastic!

And our timing was perfect. The lifts closed at 4pm and we climbed on
for the last run at 3:57. We skied all the way to the base getting in
every possible skiing minute we could.

After changing into the comfort of street boots and turning in my
rentals, we took the cabriolet to the parking lot at which point he
drove me to my condo.

Thank you Philip, for a wonderful day!


Janice Waugh is the Solo Traveler Editor for Wandering Educators