To Our Readers

It’s cold where I’m writing this. I drove several hours yesterday to get here. One hour of it was through flurries; at least one-half hour through blizzard. I got the stoves working, changed into warm clothes and had a few sips of single malt. Then I started reading the hundreds and hundreds of answers to our survey question about how we’re doing. Your overwhelmingly positive and supportive feedback are wonderful. When I spoke today with Mike, we agreed that your comments provide a warm embrace for what we’re doing. Your guidance is important to us. Your support is invaluable. Thank you!

My Neighbor Was Breaking in New Boots.

He’s made the fitting process a DIY project, heating the shell with a hair dryer and shaping it to a more comfortable fit. I mentioned the value of using the services of a qualified boot fitter (easy to locate at America’s Best Boot Fitters), but he had purchased his boots online and was committed to doing it himself. It reminded me of the old Strolz and Molitor double leather boots. Anyone remember them? As I recall, you’d lace them tight, stand in the bathtub until they we’re totally soaked, then spend the next few hours walking around until they dried to the shape of your feet.  My first European trip was in 1965 and Austria was among the countries I visited. Somehow, I learned of a place that made bespoke ski boots. They did the fitting and on the promise of a two month delivery, I paid up front. Five months later, still waiting, I sent a letter in English, only to receive a response in German stating they didn’t read English. I found a professor of German who kindly took up my case. They took his letter seriously, and the boots arrived a few weeks later. They were the most ill-fitting things I ever owned. Nice to look at but totally, irreversibly, uncomfortable. Bathtubs and hairdryers were useless. I’ve relied on professional bootfitters ever since.

Still Skiing

A handful of North American resorts are still open, some still receiving snow.
Arapaho Basin got 9″ this week, Snowbird got 7″,  Timberline Lodge,  5″, Squaw Valley, 3″, and Mt. Bachelor, 2″. Other areas still open include Donner Ski Ranch, Killington, Mammoth, Mont Saint-Sauveur, Sunshine Village, and Whistler Blackcomb. Several European resorts are still skiing, and, those in the Southern Hemisphere are just gearing up.

Bears Ears

Anasazi structure in Bears Ears. KUTV

Bears Ears is the most recent national monument. It’s a vast area in southern Utah, sacred to Native Americans; a spectacular wilderness filled with natural and archeological wonders. The White House has signaled that it intends to reverse or reduce its national monument status. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke recently visited the area, meeting primarily with locals who support its development. That includes Utah’s governor and congressmen who value business opportunities from extraction industries more than those from tourism. I studied the arguments on both sides and conclude that it’s in the greater public interest to keep Bears Ears as a national monument. Patagonia, also in favor of preservation, produced a short video along with a pitch to weigh in on the issue. Regardless of where you may stand on this controversy, it’s worth seeing what’s there.

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