Summer days are drifting away |

Summer days are drifting away

Have you noticed that the days are getting just slightly shorter? The rustling leaves on the trees are starting to slip from their branches? And, everywhere you look, it seems like someone else is talking about their upcoming offseason plans?

Unfortunately, these are all signs that the days of summer are waning.

We’ve hit the beginning of August. Around this time each year, I like to take a second to re-evaluate my summer season. What have I accomplished? What is there still left to do before the cold sets in? I do this because, well, I’m obsessive about lists and goal setting, but also because I think the idea of summer often seems bigger in our heads than it actually is in real life. By the time we actually relax into this beautiful season, it’s time to move on to the next one. This holds especially true in the valley, where there’s always something happening and always something to miss out on. Below I’ve written down some of my goals to make this summer feel complete. As always, take them or leave them, but make sure you’re enjoying this season to the best of your ability.

Culture it up

Just because school is out doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible opportunities to consume knowledge. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the outdoor adventures during these warm days that we forget the first noun in Aspen’s mind, body and spirit philosophy.

Although the Aspen Ideas Festival and Aspen Security Forum have wrapped up, there are still several happenings at the Aspen Institute. The Hurst Lecture Series finishes Aug. 8 with a session titled “Creating Economic Opportunity for More Americans” and the McCloskey Speaker Series finishes Aug. 10 with the Democratic Governors Panel. There also are several other seminars on campus into mid-September.

Another “knowledge option” is spending some time at the Aspen Historical Society. This is one of my favorite places to nerd out. The organization always finds interesting ways to make the stories of Aspen’s past engaging and fun. From the History on Tap tour (which involves some light drinking) to the Smuggler Mountain Open Space Historic Jeep & Trail Tour, there’s always something new to learn and experience.

Keep the tunes playing

Luckily, there’s live music all over the valley for most of the summer (hell, most of the year). However, one of the very special things about summer in Snowmass is all of the live outdoor concerts. The Snowmass Free Concert Series on Thursdays and Saturdays is always a must-attend. But get out there soon because the last one is Aug. 16 with the Gasoline Lollipops.

And, of course, the music event to end all other music events, Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ Labor Day Experience, has some big names again this year with Michael Franti, Jack Johnson, Lionel Richie, Zac Brown Band and more. There are still some tickets left, but they probably won’t be there for long.


We all have that summer pipe dream, that hefty backcountry goal that sits at the back of our minds, waiting to be initiated. We talk about it with friends, we fantasize about it during a long and grueling day at work, but we never actually make the plans to get out there and try it. I have several goals like that. I want to hike Sopris, camp at Snowmass Lake and get a few more 14ers under my belt. So, what’s stopping me?

Whatever your summer adventure goal is, try to make it happen this season. There’s still time, but it will slip away quickly if you’re not careful. Don’t let your outdoor goals stay in limbo for too long because next summer is a ways away.

When it comes to summer in the valley, it’s never possible to check off everything on your bucket list, but try and take advantage of a few more activities before it’s too late.

Happy adventuring!

Barbara Platts is never ready for summer to end. Reach her at or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.

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