On the Trail: Frightful or delightful? | AspenTimes.com

On the Trail: Frightful or delightful?

Jeanne McGovern

It’s cliché but true: If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just wait five minutes.I was reminded of this on Wednesday while making the annual pilgrimage back from Crested Butte. A group of ladies hiked over and back via West Maroon Pass, and the weather on the return had it all: bright sun, light rain, snow flurries, dense fog. We began our morning hike under sunny skies. Crisp and cool, yes, but not in the least bit wintery. The hearty wildflowers were still standing tall as we approached the summit. I was in a tank top and sweating. But when I stopped to catch my breath and looked back toward the valley below, there they were. Ominous black clouds. And we all agreed it looked like snow was coming. Snow! Within minutes, little white flakes began to blanket my bare arms.Once we crossed over the pass, the clouds broke, and again the sun came out. We stopped for a snack. Not two minutes into our picnic and it was snowing again. Back on went the Gore-Tex.We walked the rest of the way down to Maroon Lake in these crazy Colorado conditions. On with the hood, off with the sunglasses; off with the Gore-Tex, on with the fleece. But for some reason, we were never miserable. It was beautiful, we all agreed, the blending of seasons – warm sun, golden aspen leaves, a dusting of white snow. (And who can complain about a day-long hike, far from work and children, with a group of good friends?)And as I was recounting the weather to my husband over our “last supper” at La Co, it happened again. When we got there, it was cold and threatening. Nick said 40 minutes for a table inside, but the heaters were on outside. We gambled and won: By the time our dinner arrived, the sun was shining brightly – needless to say, margs on the patio made for a perfect ending to a classic Colorado day.

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