On the Town: Seeing Aspen through a fresh set of eyes
The Aspen Times
Hi all, I’m Sam Wagner, and I’m the new guy here at the Times. I’ll typically be working on editing and layout for the newspaper.
While I already am starting to feel at home, it’s still a process exploring and learning what can all be done in this town and the surrounding area. As well, as most everyone who I’ve come into contact with has said, it is an entirely different experience when the cooler weather and rising tourist tides begin to arrive.
The journey to get here seemed relatively uneventful, so I’ll try not to bore anyone with the details. I moved out here from Des Moines after accepting the position without seeing Aspen firsthand, and traveling through the night meant I navigated the highway through Iowa and slept through Nebraska.
Upon arrival around Labor Day weekend, I was able to get a taste of the city close to its fullest. Roads being turned into walkways aside, what truly stuck out to me was the mountains. Rather, the immense scale and perspective you get from visualizing stories-tall trees thousands of feet away looking like shrubbery. Coming from someone who lived on relatively flat lands all his life, the effect was staggering. At times, I found myself marveling at the tops of the peaks for a few moments — much to the annoyance of the tourists whose path I was blocking.
Now, I can hear someone who’s been here awhile saying, “Sam, that’s nothing. It’s a view that you’ll see daily and, anyway, it’s just trees and green at a relative incline.”
First, it’s interesting that we’re already on a first-name basis and, second, I feel as though that’s part of the point.
It seems the view around town is both incredible and known. I’ve been here a few weeks now and the impact is starting to fade, but I’ve been trying to think back to the beauty in the newness of what I was seeing.
Remembering that experience might be good for someone who has lived here awhile, as well. If you have the chance, and won’t be bothered by a strange glance or two, take a long look at the vista that is your every day. Try to imagine the wonder of seeing something like this for the first time. And appreciate the fact that you can see it, again and again.
I’m already starting to love it here, and I know that it’ll be awhile before anything becomes mundane. If there’s something around the area that I need to experience with fresh eyes, feel free to write.
Carbondale artist Leah Aegerter is the current resident artist at the Grand Canyon Conservancy. She has been at the Grand Canyon since Sept. 19 and will be there through Nov. 11.