I know it has been unseasonably warm this winter — the foot-plus of snow that blanketed much of the state this past weekend not withstanding — but I think I’m ready for spring to be here for real.
As I look out the window at my iced-over driveway and salt-encrusted car, I get visions of golf outings, hikes and not having to bundle up a la Randy Parker, the infamous little brother in “A Christmas Story,” who can’t even move his arms and is unable to get back to his feet after falling down thanks to his all-encompassing winter gear.
A week from now, I will be heading to Arizona for a friend’s bachelor party. After the past week of dealing with snow, ice and miserable driving conditions (including a close encounter that involved sliding into another friend’s fence at low speed with my car — oops), 70 degrees and spring training baseball sounds like an ideal reprieve.
So, too, does my own spring break from my busy schedule as a part-time college student. While the weather in Utah can be anyone’s guess in mid-March, the mere idea that it could be nice enough to go for a hike or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors is motivation enough for me. Of course, it could turn out more like my senior year of college the first time around, where I woke up to nearly two feet of snow in Cedar City on the first day of spring break, which was the same year that it snowed on the last day of the semester in early May. But I refuse to entertain such pessimistic thoughts.
And, it’s not like I don’t like cold weather. For some strange reason, I actually enjoy it. I did willingly move from Southern California to northern Utah in early November a few years back, after all. The novelty wore off after getting stuck in a blizzard on state Route 36 south of Lake Point for several hours thanks to one of Interstate 80’s notorious multi-car pileups just a few weeks later, but that only means I don’t like to drive in it. Cold weather is fine, as long as you’re safely in your house with the furnace turned up and you’re watching the snow fall from the comfort of your own couch.
As for having to go out in this stuff? No, thank you. I’m a hiker, not a skier or snowboarder. And while I don’t particularly care for 100-degree heat, either (that’s one reason I try to stay away from my hometown of Moab from Memorial Day to Labor Day), at least all the swimming holes aren’t frozen over. (I still don’t know what the appeal of the Polar Plunge is — I’ll have to ask my colleague, Mark Watson.)
So, here’s to trading in sweatshirts and heavy coats for shorts and T-shirts.
Here’s to sunny baseball and softball games instead of trekking my way across frozen parking lots to step into a climate-controlled high school gymnasium.
Here’s to not having to engage my car’s all-wheel-drive system while taking rideshare customers up Parley’s Canyon to Park City.
Here’s to not having to wake up early to scrape my car’s windshield so I can drive to work or school.
Here’s to springtime — officially one month away, according to the calendar, but in Utah, possibly further away than that.
Darren Vaughan is the sports editor for the Transcript Bulletin. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.