Mor­pheme

(Jaded) Lo­cals

Powder - - TA­BLE OF CON­TENTS - By Meghan Robins Meghan Robins lives in Bend, Ore­gon, where she is writ­ing a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel set in an 1860s Lake Ta­hoe log­ging camp.

The six-month lo­cal speeds down the back­roads, two feet of white­wash cas­cad­ing off her roof. “Th­ese are my roads now,” she de­clares.

The two-year lo­cal ush­ers his dog out of the way, packs his skis in­side an old sedan. He curses the reck­less driv­ers in his neigh­bor­hood. “God­damn tourists,” he cries.

The four-year lo­cal al­ready sum­mited Jake’s Peak twice. He rips off his skins, takes in the view, and watches all those skin­ning up be­hind him. “They should stick to the re­sort,” he ex­claims.

The 10-year lo­cal some­times works on pow­der days, and al­ways gets his kids to school on time. He shakes his head and says, “I re­mem­ber when...”

The 30-year lo­cal sips her cof­fee. The back­yard stash is her se­cret. No one knows if she still skis. But she means it when she says, “Can’t beat liv­ing in the moun­tains.”

The born-and-raised lo­cal knows this place is sa­cred. He once heard about a world big­ger than pow­der days and moun­tain bike rides. He raises his glass and de­clares for the umpteenth time, “I’m leav­ing!”

The gi­ant pine lets out a wind­blown sigh. Snowy peaks shake like dogs. The tree has watched the lo­cals re­place cat­tle­men re­place log­gers re­place the Washoe and Paiute. She wishes she could tell them, “This is not what mat­ters.”

Photo: Al­ric Ljung­hager

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