Over the past month, the quiet mountain home in which Graham and I normally reside has been a carousel of guests and activity. Between changing bedsheets, party prep and airport runs, our family and friends have swirled in and out through a revolving front door. They’ve enjoyed our vibrant town, sunny, cool climate and that special kick-back way of life. Everywhere our visitors have ventured, they’ve felt welcome. Those from metropolitan areas especially, marvel at how the trails and open space are more than just a resource for adventure and exercise, they are a reflection of our generous culture. “People are so friendly on your trails!” has been frequent music to my ears this summer.
The other day at the Park City Chamber’s annual board meeting, the Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award was conferred upon yet another deserving soul. Myles joked with the crowd and as, “sometimes hospitality is making guests feel at home while wishing they were” rolled from his lips, an uproar of laughter from the crowd was proof those words ring true. It was a reminder that Utahns do a superb job of threading that needle – we welcome the world to our doorsteps and share our outdoor resources, while simultaneously holding space for an authentic locals’ vibe.
I’ll probably get a few emails after this message publishes from folks complaining about how visitors crowd the trails and we should slam the door shut. However, while I promise to consider constructive feedback, and personally acknowledge how challenging it can be to remain gracious at all times, I also note that every time my family and friends hit the trails this summer, they’ve returned with feedback about how polite people are out there. Now, admittedly, the reason they have such great trail experiences could be that they’ve chosen trails less traveled. . . easy to do when you’ve got 400 miles to choose from . . . and it could also be that the vibe one puts out there is what usually gets returned. Exude kindness and that’s what gets returned. Expect to be amazed and you probably will be.
With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and the summer buzz fading, we here at MTF praise and thank Park City’s summer trail users who, by vast majority, have graciously shared outdoor resources and treated one another with courtesy – and a smile. This our Utah culture!
See you out there,