Salt Lake City is at an air disadvantage. Since the city is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, we have a weird phenomenon called inversion which creates disgusting clouds of smog at different times of the year. The only way to clear it out is a good rain or snow storm, but since we’re located in a desert we occasionally go a week or so with the poison in the air just building up and building up.
For the Morgans, that means that eventually we’re breaking out the masks and staying inside all day:
This past week was so bad that our air quality turned red for days on end and the hospitals filled up with people who were getting sick from the air. As the mom of an asthmatic, I was particularly worried (although, to be fair, I wasn’t keen on the fact that any of us were breathing that crud) so we finally packed up and left the city on Friday.
We are incredibly lucky to be able to do this. We have flexible jobs, a great car, and friends in other states who don’t mind when we give them less than 24 hours notice that they’re going to be having some house guests. It makes me so frustrated to think about all of the families who were just stuck in the bad air praying for rain and the parents who took their kids to the hospital for oxygen treatments because our air doesn’t have enough air. Salt Lake can’t keep ignoring this problem.
As for us, our trip raised some questions. We like living in Salt Lake, but being forced out of the city by smog isn’t something we’re looking forward to as the air keeps getting worse. It’s scary to think we might be uprooting and moving on, but…you know…air. We need air.
In the meantime, here are some photos of our spontaneous visit to Boulder, CO, and our long weekend with our friends Jed and Steve.