A midsummer night’s dream | AspenTimes.com

A midsummer night’s dream

Joel Stonington

When we passed the solstice, way back in June, and the days started getting shorter, there were many in the valley who rejoiced and many who groaned. It’s not as if I don’t like summer, just that I really, really like winter. If I had to choose, I would always take a day of cold-smoke face shots over a day of hiking, no matter how beautiful it is outside. Now, with the very early pass deadline approaching for Skico’s overpriced tickets, skiing is once again within sight and summer is disappearing into a monsoon season that seems to have lasted forever.It reminds me of the, I don’t know, gazillion times I heard someone say to me with a knowing look while I was riding the gondola, “You come for the winters but you stay for the summers.”It really comes down to one day last winter. It was so good that I wrote an On the Hill column and titled it “Outdoorgasm.” That was literally the only way to capture the feeling of the day. I caught Highlands Bowl when everyone else was at home watching TV. A friend and I hiked the bowl five times, giggling and grinning as we shot down, and the sun slowly came out on what was supposed to be an overcast day. Now, I’ve had good days on my road bike, this summer has held a number of wonderful hikes, I’ve played soccer and gone on long wilderness runs, I like wild flowers and I like standing on the top of a fourteener, but nothing compares to the outdoorgasm. So while summer has been exceptionally joyful and fun, I will say that I came for the winters and will stay for the winters. Snow? Bring it on.