Aspen Princess: Killing time during off season

Alison Berkley Margo
Aspen Princess

Ahhh, springtime in the Rockies. In case you haven’t noticed, there really is no such thing.

This is that time when everyone starts bitching and moaning about how it’s snowing in April, but I got news for you: It snows every year in April. I don’t get why people always forget that. If you’re lucky enough to work in a seasonal job that allows you to run far, far away this time of year to the beaches or the desert or the city, well, good for you. I’ll for sure be thinking of you on Christmas morning when you’re wiping snot from some spoiled little brat at ski school while hustling for tips and I’m sleeping in, struggling with my identity as an agnostic Jew lost in America.

What was I talking about again? Oh, yeah, the top four ways to kill time during offseason in Aspen.

Numero Uno: Day drinking.

This is probably the most obvious thing in the world to most of you, I know. But there is nothing better than a boozy lunch to kill an entire day, especially with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time because they simply refuse to drive past the roundabout (or even drive at all, you know who you are). The hard part is finding a restaurant that’s still open that you’re not sick of. Still, once you have a few pints on an empty stomach, who really cares? The crap weather provides the perfect dimmer between you and the daylight, so when you stumble out of there at 4:00 in the afternoon and go home to collapse on the couch, it’s easy to take a nap and sleep off your hangover just in time for dinner. For guys, this involves watching sports on TV, preferably underground at that place that I can’t even think of the name of right now because it’s been so long since I was trolling after dudes and willing to put up with something like that I can’t even remember. I just remember not liking anything on the menu that didn’t come in a pint glass.

No. 2: Shopping the sales.

Speaking of trolling, there is nothing I love more on a rainy day than to run from one store to the other, perusing the sale racks only to end up buying something brand new for full price because I’m stupid like that. But still. Bad weather is a great excuse to go shopping and so are the so-called sales. If you’re lucky, there are some great finds out there, but we all know sale is a four-letter word, especially when the credit-card bill comes and you wonder what the hell you were thinking when you dropped that much coin on stupid designer workout clothes at Lululemon. I’m sorry, but those clothes are so not designed for short people. I wear the crops like regular pants, only the cuff is made for a calf and not an ankle and they just don’t fit right. My niece is 12, she weighs like 80 pounds and wears their size 2, so what does that tell you? But if you’ve got some time to waste, I always say there’s no better place to do it than in front of the mirror in the privacy of your dressing room, fantasizing about how this outfit will make your life better.

No. 3: Take your annual trip to Glenwood.

I know it seems like a huge commitment and it will probably require a lot of mental preparation on your part, but you will thank me later. There is like a whole world out there where people still wear jeans with sneakers and gas is cheaper than $2 a gallon. You can buy socks and underwear and toilet paper in bulk. There are even a few great little restaurants that you probably haven’t heard of yet, like Co. Ranch House that makes handcrafted cocktails and raspberry chipotle duck wings — just as good as anything you’d eat in Aspen but for half the price. Also, if you haven’t been to Iron Mountain Hot Springs, hello, they have bar service. Who cares if it overlooks the highway, it’s right on the river, the pools are hot, hot, hot and the fixtures in the bathroom are by Kohler. I promise it’s nice enough for you.

No. 4: Screw it, go outside anyway.

After all that eating, drinking and riding in the car, I know you’re getting antsy. So the time has come to put on your best wind- and water-resistant gear and just get some exercise. This is when the most amazing thing happens: The skiing is awesome, the trail is empty and you have the mountain (and the world, it seems) all to yourself. Your heart is pumping and your body is warm and it’s not as bad as you thought. To the contrary, the wind on your cheeks is invigorating and the low clouds that shroud the mountain make everything look a little dream-like. The trail isn’t as muddy as you thought, or maybe there’s still good snow up there once you get up high. It turns out you are the most clever person in the world, because little did anyone know, this is actually the best time of the year to be here.

Even the animals seem to understand that, so they are out in full force. Huge herds of the otherwise elusive elk parade through the open pastures as they are fully aware it’s not hunting season. Bighorn sheep stand in the middle of the road and stare at you like they wonder what you’re doing here as the eagles soar overhead sparing the life of your pug.

When the sun does come out, which I know it will eventually (because it has to, right?), then I might actually have something to write about.

The Princess wants to eat her baby and is wondering if that is normal. Email your love to


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