Nice day for a spill, isn’t it?
Uh, nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?
Wait, hold on, this isn’t the start to some polite but surface-level small talk.
But first, as I mentioned in the past, I feel obligated to have some writing on my first winter snowboarding in a mountain town.
The current report is: Not going great.
Don’t get me wrong, everything is basically as expected. I’m firmly in the learning process, and I can tell that I’m making improvements. I’ve gone out a few times with friends much more skilled than me as well as by myself, and I’ve so far mastered the art of standing upright on a snowboard while stationary at the top of a bunny hill.
Well, not mastered, but I’m at least aware of the concept.
I know that I’m going to fall for the first while, I think I just wasn’t quite ready for the sheer number of bruises and injuries I’d accumulate. I’d only gone snowboarding a few times in my life before this, but I don’t recall from my past the momentary fear that I’ve broken some medium-sized bone in my body after every fall.
But, enough about the topics of embarrassment and me. Let’s get back to the weather.
At least while I’m alternating between falling and slowly descending the mountains, I get to enjoy some beautiful winter days.
Everywhere I go, I hear small talk commenting on the wonderful start to this season, compared with last year. I can see the energy the town has as passersby put skis over their shoulder and a skip in their step. There seems to be an excitement in Aspen.
Now of course I have nothing to compare to, but based on this reaction, my guess is that last year’s snowfall was somewhere between a mediocre Midwest winter and an average day in Phoenix in June, so I’m glad for the improvement.
As well, coming here from what usually felt like the perpetual gray of the Midwest, I can really appreciate the number of days of sunshine that seem to be typical in this little part of the country.
I can tell that it helps to dispel some of the stress that typically arrives around the holidays. And it certainly seems to affect others around me, as well. I get near-weekly updates on the frequency and quality of the “bluebird” days from my coworkers and those I see around Aspen. I admit I’m not fully aware of the lingo around here, but I assume that bluebird refers to a day so beautiful that you have to pull out your phone and tweet about it.
In any case, it’s truly refreshing to walk to work or errands and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the picturesque imagery of the snow. I can feel it make a difference. Hopefully, it lasts, and we’re able to enjoy a lovely season. I know that it’ll make the inevitable falls a bit nicer.
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.