By Erika Kar

The beginning of October seems to usher in a brief quiet season. The amount of cars bombing down into the valley begins to slow, the line at the Mazama Store shortens, and residents’ shoulders and jaws relax. It won’t be long, though, until the snow falls on the valley floor and a new crop of people make their way into our narrow little valley. Imagine though, if you will, if the Early Winters Development of the 1980s and 1990s actually came to be.

Come with me through a weird psychedelic tunnel of “what if,” complete with spacey “Twilight Zone” music and sparkly swirling colors. On the other side of this tunnel, let’s land in the Mazama that could have been. The one that looks very similar to Sun Valley, Park City or Aspen.

Here we are at the Lost River Municipal Airport and Helipad awaiting the arrival of lifestyle guru, Gwyneth Paltrow and her entourage. The black Suburbans are lined up at the cell phone parking area ready to whisk Ms. Paltrow away to the Four Seasons Resort nestled up against Goat Wall. Gwyneth is here for a photo shoot on Autumn Living. She will be steeping maple leaves for a delightful tea and fanning yellowing larch boughs around her aura in order to balance her chi that was disturbed by Pluto being in retrograde.

While we wait for Gwyneth, we can stroll through the shops that line the runway. Anthropologie is having a fabulous sale, as is REI. I hear that REI built its mega-store right on top of where CB and Micki Thomas once lived. The wind is a little biting as it blows down from the uber exclusive Hart’s Pass Gated Estates, so we should pop into the Sundance Concept Bar for a hot drink. It is open to anyone right now, but after 9 p.m., the music starts pumping and the velvet rope goes up. Kevin Petty mans the door, allowing only the super-elite entrance.

After Gwyneth gets settled into her suite in the 100-room resort, the paparazzi turns their attention to the newest Mazama resident, Tom Cruise, who is at the stoplight in his Overlander vehicle. He is on his way up to Goat Peak, where he is building his Scientology Retreat Center. Tom purchased “The Hut” from Tom Kundig, and moved it back to its overhanging place of glory, as well as adding 10,000 square feet. It will soon be featured in a new Wall Street Journal article about our quaint village. The Hut is where Tom lives with his starlet du jour and their staff. He has turned his back on Hollywood and now seeks to live an authentic life in these mountains.

The Mazama Store still exists, yet was purchased from the LeDucs by Jeff Bezos. It is completely self-service, but people still don’t understand that there is only one line. The rumor is that restaurateur Tom Douglas will be building his third Mazama restaurant adjacent to the heated parking garage and will carry take-and-bake chicken pot pies as an homage to the old Mazama Store. Which, by the way, is now officially pronounced Maz — ah — ma, not Mazama-rhymes-with-Alabama.

Yes, we dodged a bullet.
Happy quiet October from Mazama (rhymes with Alabama). Insert smiling emoji.

PREVIOUSLY, IN MAZAMA