December 23, 2020

I was driving north toward the river earlier this week and encountered a bank of fog stretching across the road.  As I continued the fog lifted and the road was clear.  Then after crossing the river the fog returned, again lifting as I moved further from the water.  What I realized was the fog was being caused by temperature differences between the land, air, and water.  Fog develops when warm air collides with cold air and water particles are formed.  This is the same thing that causes clouds in the sky.  My fog came on either side of the river, but the temperatures were not right to allow fog on the river itself.

The Wasatch Mountains have some of the finest powder skiing in the world and there were four resorts within 45 minutes of my house.  The first year I learned to ski my Brother-in-Law came to Utah and I took him (or did he take me?) on four straight days of skiing.  He only skied black (expert) runs and not being willing to be left behind I followed.  On our last day it was so windy they closed the lift after we got to the top.  He took off and then vanished into the fog that was twenty feet below us.  I hesitated because I did not know what was beneath me.  I finally realized whatever was there, I did not have a choice.  This was the only way down.  I pointed my skis down the hill and took off into the fog.  The 15-degree slope at the top of the fog lasted about 100 yards and then sloped into a nice gradual bowl.

For the last six months we have been using a sanitizing fogger to clean our building over the weekend.  We were running low on the cans of foggers and tried for several weeks to find another supply.  We finally did and the foggers arrived a week later.  A problem was discovered when we opened the new box when the old one ran out.  These were not foggers; they were aerosol cans of disinfectant.  I only found out about the mix-up days later.  While the aerosols are not as convenient as the foggers, they contain the same ingredients and do the same job.  I was only cautious because it was different.

Thoughts:  And now, the rest of the story (ala Paul Harvey).  The fog lessened so I could at least see when I made it to the bowl.  What I saw was a dense line of trees immediately in front of me.  I was going too fast when I hit the tree line and cut too close to a large tree and got sucked into the powder drift at its base.  The drift powder blew up around me just as lighting flashed across the sky, followed by dead calm.  It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever witnessed as the light reflected through the fog.  If I had not faced my fear and ventured into the unknown, I would not have witnessed this amazing sight.  We need to do the same as we approach 2021.  The new year will not make everything magically go away, but we do not have to live in fear.  If we practice the CDC guidelines, we can still create amazing experiences.  Do the work.  Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.

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