Life in a ski town means you try not to hate the tourists.
You try every weekend as you sit in two hours of snowy traffic, praying to go faster than three miles an hour just for a few minutes.
You try not to hate the cute little children who throw snow balls at your car and pee in your front yard and play in the highway.
You try and be friendly and wave and ask the guy in the Honda Civic with the chains on the wrong drive tires to not park in the middle of the intersection, because I want to turn there.
You watch the teenagers, all clad in the same red parkas hitch hiking to work at the local ski resort every day, wondering if they will ever grow up to have real cars and real jobs or if they will just end up working at the Resort forever and smoking pot all day. You wonder if this will be the year it actually snows as much as a ski town needs and if it will actually help the local economy.
You try to spend your dollars “On the mountain” You try to give your wages to the locally owned coffee house and not the Starbucks down the street that just opened.
You try to be patient when you get stuck in a long line of cars on a snowy dirt roads one cold day. Up ahead, fifteen cars and three curves up, a bus full of young campers is stuck and is now putting on chains in the middle of the road and blocks the road for two hours. You just want to make it to your favorite local trail so you can run or snow shoe.
You tap your foot and try to wait it out, while locals smoke cigars next to you and the stinky smoke fills the forest air.
This is life in a ski town.
We can’t hate the tourists. We may want to but they are the life blood of small towns like Big Bear, mammoth Lakes and South Lake Tahoe.
We call them “friend” and “Pal” when they shop in our stores. We offer friendly advice when they ask if this is a good place to sled.
We try to be that small town where they drink and sleep and most of all spend their cash.
We try our hardest to still be the nice small town, even when it means our daily commutes to work end up taking two hours because of the traffic. That is life in a small town.