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The Sun Valley Guide magazine is distributed free four times a year to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area communities.

Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper will receive the Sun Valley Guide with their subscription.

Photos by Nate Galpin

Last exit
Night Driving

I developed into a night driver as a natural consequence of the demands of an early education as a ski racer. Long drives into the night in uncomfortable positions in crowded back seats were as real and familiar as Sierra cement, snowblindness, hands thawing after three hours of no feeling, politically-minded little-league ski parents (not mine, fortunately), monstrous ruts, ill-prepared courses and putting on chains before I was old enough to drive—back in the early 1950s when the saltiness of Truman gave way to the blandness of Eisenhower and his distasteful vice-president; Stalin died; the Korean police action ended; Marilyn was both vamp and victim of our society; Hemingway got his Nobel; Bill Haley rocked around the clock, Bo Diddley diddled the best and Chuck Berry stole the stage, but jazz was still king; James Dean touched a few nerves and unclogged a channel or two; that asshole McCarthy conducted his witch hunts; and my family periodically rose before dawn to watch the atom bombs light up the Nevada horizon of my childhood.

My first influence as a night driver was, not surprisingly, my good father. In the early Lake Tahoe years (1946-52), my mother and father spent their summer months working double shifts in the fabled Nevada casinos, and the rest of the year getting by on unemployment and a few moonlight jobs. That was before Tahoe got raped by the greed heads and their flunkies. And, since winter tourism didn’t exist at Tahoe in those days, an entire subculture of winter unemployables thrived on that work/non-work schedule. Most of those people were coming off the wall of havoc World War II had played with their heads and lives. I think it was a healthy way for them to live at the time. This existence gave a young ski racer’s parents lots of time to get into their son’s skiing, and mine did. As a matter of fact, a sub-subculture developed in those days among junior-skier parents in the West which I have never seen rivaled for sheer funk; the equivalent culture of the present junior ski-racing circuit has too much money, too much organization and too much pressure—like the rest of society—and it, too, has some hard, much-needed changes coming around the next bend. My father drove us to all the races. My mother knew how but seldom drove. She hated the automobile, feared it, resented its wheel in her hands, loathed snow on the road and of course she dreaded those times when there was no practical choice but for her to do it herself. Only major family crises enticed her into an airplane, and her unhappiness on those occasions would have been funny were it not so real. I think now she may have been listening to a primordial wisdom deeper than the fear of bodily death we thought was at the root of it—she knew something unnatural and suspect lurked about engines and combustion noise and anything moving faster than a gallop.

—From Night Driving, by Dick Dorworth
First Ascent Press, Livingston, Montana.