Newmann: Getting it together

We arrived in Sun Valley a few days ago.

Contrary to expectations, our mode of transport was not one favored by the rich and famous (a G7 jet), but one befitting our own modest status (a 2004 Subaru Outback).

The Outback performed heroically on the drive up. It motored flawlessly through the western Colorado heat, steered us north through lower Utah — and then, somehow, got us safely through the Formula 1 proving grounds of Salt Lake City. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying to navigate I-15 between Salt Lake and Ogden … don’t. The speed limit is 80, the actual speeds are just south of 100 and the driving skills of the people in their missiles cannot possibly be described as driving skills. Next time, we’ll probably just fly up in the G7.

We’re here for a wedding that also doubles as a family reunion. My partner has five siblings and the last time they all got together was sometime before the Civil War. The wedding itself is really an aftermarket event. The two participants actually got married a couple of months ago. So maybe it’s really a non-wedding (some might call it a post-wedding party) but, regardless, it’s a great excuse for everyone to finally get together in one spot.

Within my partner’s clan there are four sisters and two brothers. The sisters all share a bond that may be unique to sisters. When they are in their respective domains, separate from one another … they are not in the least separate. The texts run hot at all hours of the day … and night. Seldom is an event of any interest kept under wraps. The sisters are inexorably linked by their incredible communication skills.

Support Local Journalism

I did not ask the brothers about their abilities to send and receive interesting information between themselves. One must assume that their partners take care of that for them.

The trip is also a chance to catch up with some great friends who have also made the trek to the valley for the non-wedding. Fortunately, none of them had to drive through Utah. Upon meeting up again, they remain the same folks they have always been. And that’s why they’re great friends.

So we’re a mixture of rather far-flung relatives and friends — and we all enjoy each other’s company when we’re together.

At some stage, all the festivities will come to an end … and everyone will wander off to their respective homes. For some, there will be random communications between one another. For others … well, perpetual messaging will just take over for face-to-face — with no break in stride.

Perhaps the biggest bummer for us is that, when everything concludes, we’ll have to navigate our way back through Utah again.

Tom Newmann splits his time between Edwards and Queenstown, New Zealand. He has been going winter-to-winter since 1986. He was also a journalist in Missoula, Montana, at the Missoulian for quite a few years. Email him at

Support Local Journalism