Seasons in Aspen are just one sport to the next

You know the old saying that longtime Aspenites love to say and think never gets old: “I came for the winter but I stayed for the summer.”

Well, I came for the job and it happened to be in the winter. And luckily, that first summer, I still had a job and each season since. So, I am fortunate to say that I, too, came for the winter but stayed for the summer.

Each time the summer comes to an end, I take a big sigh because I wish it was longer. It’s just too short at 7,908 feet.

Regardless, I appreciate the seasonal nature of our little hamlet. Just when I am wishing summer would stick around longer so I can get those early-morning and evening rounds of golf in, it’s time to ski.

With a fairly short fall and a quick trip to California, all of a sudden, I’m on deadline to go pick up my ski pass.

Then it’s the overthinking of what time to go get the pass at the ticket office under gondola plaza — I should go right when they open, but I’ve got to get a workout in. If I go at noon, it will be crowded. Don’t go after school when those damn families and parents are filling in the maze!

I bit the bullet and went at the noon hour Wednesday with my editor and photographer. It wasn’t that bad because it’s you and all of your like-minded friends who are in line chatting, talking about skiing and generally getting pumped up for the season. How can you not get stoked when freestyle skier Olympian Alex Ferreira is standing in line with you? Yep, that’s right — even the elite have to wait sometimes.

It’s the same when you go to the golf course for the first time in the spring — you see an entire different set of like-minded friends who are chatting it up and getting psyched for the season. Ski racer Olympian Andy Mill is one of those like-minded faces you see in the pro shop at the beginning of the season. I see him there more than on the hill, these days.

We thrive on the seasonality of our sports, and luckily that is our way of life here.

I just returned from Cambria, on the Central Coast of California. As I was walking the beach, watching the sea kayakers and surfers, I thought to myself, “I could live here.”

But now that I am back and have my ski pass in my hot little hands, no way could I live in a place that doesn’t have golfing, mountain biking, paddling and skiing all in one place (except maybe the Hearst Castle, I could stay and never leave).

I’m already looking forward to the bonus days in the spring when I can check off golfing, biking, skiing and paddling all in the same day.

But for the next several months, the goal is to match my days on the golf course to the days on the hill. So see you up there, my like-minded friends.