High Points: The Dawn Patrol | AspenTimes.com

High Points: The Dawn Patrol

Tom the Dancing Bug 1166 god-man - fan-boy

Cold enough for you?

This northerly snap has brought us frigidity on an epic scale. Yes, there have been colder days in Aspen, but you can't tell that to my dog who spent yesterday peering out the back door rather than exiting each time I said "Out now, or forever hold your….piece." As the day warmed he did make a quick dash for his daily business, but it was clearly not fun. Thank God for indoor plumbing.

Anyway, for each of us who just revel in the recently fallen snow there are others who must toil in the pre-dawn hours to ensure that the rest of us can get to the places we want to go and do the things that we want to do. These are the folks who are the true heroes of this valley.

Begin with the Plow-Men. Early, I mean really early, if you are lucky and need to get to work or get your kids to school, you'll see their headlights through your bedroom window or hear the sound of their plows scraping the snow and ice off the dirt or asphalt roads that lead to your door. You may wake up, give a glance and then catch a few more ZZZZs with a smile, knowing now that all will be alright when you climb into your frozen car.

But while these guys may be just a truck and way to work to you, they feel the cold just like you. And this morning, that cold was likely around MINUS 10 degrees when they rose, made their way through the snow and began to clear your roads.

Then there are the ski patrollers. This time of year the sun don't shine until 7:30 or so at the earliest. That means these guys, protected mostly by their manliest beards, are climbing the hills in the pitch black skies as they set the poles, blow the charges and make everything safe for those who think they are the macho ones getting into the first gondy.

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And let's not forget the folks who made the breakfast that you may be eating right now. From the Main Street Bakery to Peaches to Victoria's, the staff who brewed your coffee, baked your breads and scrambled your eggs all crawled out from beneath their warm covers long before dawn. They wiggled into their long undies, snugged their wool hats over their ears, and put on their puffiest parkas before heading out into the sub-zeros to either walk, bus (let's not forget the bus drivers in this conversation) or drive to work. Brrrr.

It will inevitably warm up as the sun shines today, but this feels like it's gonna be a long cold winter. Let's make sure we acknowledge, and tip, those who begin their days early so that we can begin ours on time.