Liz has been working the Front Desk since 2005. She is there to greet you and help you year after year. We thought it would be fun to share the story of how she arrived in Alta…and why she comes back!
The date was November 1, 2005. I had arrived at the Burlington, Vermont airport at 5:30am, only to find the line to check bags was already out the door. Three flights were leaving at the same time, and only two people stood at the baggage check. I made it to JFK but missed my connection. Eventually an airport employee directed me to a telephone where I could call to get customer service, and the airline rerouted me through a couple cities.
I made it to the Salt Lake airport nine hours late with no luggage. Tom from Alta Shuttle had been rearranging my shuttle to Alta all day as my flight plans kept changing, and this final flight of the day arrived 45 minutes later than it was scheduled. I was very glad that he was there to meet me as I had not been able to contact him about this final delay, and it was about 10:30pm.
All day I had been questioning my decision to move to a strange place by myself. After waiting in line to give a forwarding address for my luggage (really an interesting story in its own right), Tom and I finally took off for Alta, Utah. I was concerned that the door to the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge might be locked, but I had nowhere else to stay. Tom seemed fairly confident, so we started up the canyon. It was overcast, but the moon was out occasionally lighting up the steep canyon walls, the gullies, and the narrow road. There was very little snow, and I thought things seemed dull and brown despite the dramatic hillsides and avalanche slide paths I could see from the van.
When we reached the Goldminer’s, Tom and I found the door was turned off but not locked, and a phone was placed just inside the door. I called the number; a Goldminer’s employee said she would be down, and Tom told me that I owed him no money for my shuttle but that he had to go home and go to bed. With some trepidation, I followed my new coworker to the basement where I would be living for the next five months, and happily was loaned a personal set of sheets, pillows, and towels. I showered and fell asleep listening to the strange noises of an unfamiliar place. The next day I woke to learn that my luggage had been delivered to the Alta-Peruvian Lodge.
I imagine that most people have normal, even joyous, first experiences at Alta and the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. I bet that your story is way more fun than mine. But as it turned out, Alta and I were meant to be. I love skiing; I love to ski right to my front door; I love skiers; I love Utah, and I love the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. The lodge is my home. Even the smell of the lodge feels like home to me now, and I dream of it when I am away. People say that you come to Utah for the winter and stay because of the summers, but I just keep coming back for all of it.
My summer employment has been with the US Forest Service on a Wilderness Trail Crew in the Uinta Mountains, and while I love what I do there, I frequently come to Alta just to camp and hike and even ski in the summer. The people I have met here have changed my perspective on life, and I am welcomed back to the staff each fall with hugs from Goldminer’s owners and managers. I may have a slopefacing room now, and I may have a kitchen and a parking space in the back lot, but I still just love to ski.
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