Also, this doesn’t have anything to do with Mormonism as such, but it would never have been an issue if i hadn’t grown up Mormon and thus been in contact with a lot of Utah Mormons during my growing up, so i’m putting it here anyway.
See, i grew up on the United States east coast—small rolling hills, with the Appalachian Mountains a quick drive to the west, and we went out that direction fairly frequently to spend time in the mountains. All was good.
But like i said above, i grew up Mormon, and at the time there were a lot of transplants from Utah who’d come to the area for work.* This wouldn’t have been a problem—and i’m all for cultural exchange—except that many of these Utahn transplants were so intensely dismissive of our moutains back east.
“Hah!” they’d scoff. “The Appalachians aren’t real mountains like we have back in Utah!” And this wasn’t an occasional thing—i got to hear this over and over and over.
Now, i’d never been to Utah,** but i’d seen pictures of the Rocky Mountains in Utah, and i knew that they were, well, rocky. So after a while i got tired enough of the mountain smugness from the Utahns around me that i started pointing out that their mountains were bigger, but at least mine had trees. The Utahns would consistently completely miss the point, generally answering that the Rockies have trees, too.***
Basically, there was no way to avoid being faced with expressions of superiority about how the mountains in Utah were better than the mountains in the east. (I have to say, i don’t actually know why those Utahns expressed such smugness about their hometown mountains, and my continued inability to figure out the answer to that question, even after living for a few years in Utah—where, by the way, i’d get smugness about how the Appalachians are so terribly tiny, as well, so it’s not something that came from people feeling the stress of living away from their hometowns—kind of bothers me.)
I've lived a few places now in my life, both mountainous and flat. My adopted hometown, though, is in Alaska, where we have mountains.
The nearest mountains are the Chugach Range, which don’t go up to as high an elevation as Utah’s Wasatch Front, but they’re nearly exactly the same size—it’s just that the base of the Chugach is at sea level, while the Wasatch cheats by having its base start higher.
No problem, though. What i’d really like to draw attention to is the following picture, taken from my adopted hometown. It’s not the greatest picture ’cause there was a bit of haze the day i took it, but you can still make out…
|Left to right: Foraker, Hunter, Denali|
…that it’s Denali, the highest peak in North America, which stands more than a mile taller than King’s Peak, the highest point in Utah. And Denali doesn’t cheat, either—its base is low enough that it’s actually the largest base-to-peak mountain on land anywhere in the entire world.
Or, in other words, and i mean this most sincerely and in as much politeness as i can muster:
☞ Suck it, Utah.
That is all.
* The church where i grew up produces its own Mormons much more than was the case back then. Careful, Utahns—eventually the rest of us are going to take over!
** First time in Utah: the Missionary Training Center (which i’m not sure counts anyway).
*** Um, have any of you actually seen Utah’s Rocky Mountains? No. Yes, there are trees, but compare it to the Appalachians. The Utah Rockies have trees at the level of a technicality. Sorry, but thanks for playing.