Beckwith: Tis the offseason in Aspen
And now the end is here and so I faced the final mountain. My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case of which I’m certain, I’ve worked a season that’s full of doubles. I’ve traveled each and every ski run and more, much more than this, I did my way.
And by my way, I mean rag-dolling down the mountain on the last run of the season. Regrets, I’ve had a few, and that bottle of rose was one of them.
The finality of closing day is akin to the last day of school. Everyone is getting rid of food and booze caches like they are used textbooks and doodle-filled notebooks. Friends who are moving have all the sentiment of an emotional peer looking for someone to sign her yearbook. Smiles and souls return to even the most defeated front-of-house staff. Offseason is almost as big of a perk as a ski pass. It’s nice to live in a place where Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” is still relatable.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Thailand (extremely jealous), Lake Powell (quite jealous) or Red Rocks (ditto), now is the time to flaunt your beach photos and grainy concert footage. Facebook and Instagram accounts look like a combination of a travel show and the photos at the end of “The Hangover.” All your friends with “real” careers and time off during “holidays” are about to get an eyeful of how us Aspenites do a two-monthlong spring break.
So what are my offseason plans? Ah, a question I enjoy answering just as much as a relative asking me what I’ve been up to during a visit home. Well, bully you should ask, Uncle Frank, I’ve been working, but I’m desperately trying to think of a topic that will end this conversation as soon as possible.
In all seriousness though, I’ve only got a trip to Denver for a first-ever trip to Red Rocks. I’d like to get a couple days in Los Angeles seeing the ocean and getting lost like Don Draper trying to abandon his responsibilities, but we’ll see if I can swing that. However, there are plenty of options if you’re not flush with cash.
Golf right now is at shoulder-season rates and the courses won’t be as empty in a month or so. The back nines of Ironbridge and the Rifle Creek golf courses are as beautiful as they are challenging. The par-3 by Carbondale is my happy place, though. Save the steins of beer, Kiss, lingerie-clad Virginia Venit and Chubs playing the piano with President Lincoln and an alligator, it’s a calming place where the twilight rate starts at 5 p.m. for $18 in shoulder season and $20 in peak season.
Maybe disc golf is your bag. That’s fine. I recently started playing again after an extended leave because “I played real golf, not something any hippie with a few frisbees and a six-pack of IPA can do.” Speaking of courses with must-see views, Mount Sopris is in full bloom at Colorado’s Mountain College’s Glenwood campus disc golf course. Also, whenever they open up the course on Snowmass, it’s better to play before the foliage reaches disc-searching madness levels.
Camping also is an option. Moab seems to be a popular spot for those looking to get weird among the arches. Even “slumming” it up and car camping at one of the many local spots is preferable to staying above the roundabout. Hiking trails are full of budding trees and thawing dog s—.
Or you could just lord over the quiet streets of Aspen like a fat cat lounging in the morning sunlight. Town is yours. Enjoy it while you can. Happy offseason, y’all.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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