Can you even believe how beautiful it has been this week?I’ll bet I’m not the first person to say that. Perhaps you’ve uttered those words yourself. Maybe you’ve even written them. It is Springtime In the Rockies, and there truly can be no better place to spend the month of March.Pardon me if I gush, but coming down Mick’s Gully on the Big Burn at 4:20 p.m. (no jokes) Wednesday afternoon was simply surreal in its beauty. The sky was a cobalt blue, the likes of which are unseen elsewhere on this planet. The evergreens, having shed last week’s snowfall, created a crisp green corridor down the sides of the Gully. The nearly touchable fourteeners – Snowmass Mountain and Capital Peak – were covered in a creamy white frosting that was pristine. The vista looking downvally was vast and full of muted blues and hues. Floating above it all were the daintiest little white clouds with gray bottoms holding just a slight hint of spring showers.Quick! Somebody get a camera and take my picture! I may not be at my best, but I’m surely at my happiest. Stop me before I smile again.Yes, spring can do that to a person. Sure we had some clouds and flurries yesterday, but by all accounts we’re in for more sunshine in the coming days. And nobody minds the classic snow-at-night and sunshine-in-the-day cycle that March is famed for.Skiing is great all year, don’t get me wrong. But there is something about this time of year that makes it, well, the best. It could be the light snow that turns crispy at dawn and morphs into softness in the late morning before transforming once again into slush in the late afternoon, giving you three different snow conditions in a single day. It could be the way the late light shines across the fields of snow, casting a glow that makes it look almost liquid, like a glassy sea. It could be the feel of a crisp wind that a month or so before would have chilled you to the bone, but in March just invigorates your semi-burned face.Yes sir, I’m digging these days.Alas, they are fleeting. ‘Tween now and closing day you have just 38 days left to play. And if you’re a Highlands Hog or love the ‘Milk, those play days have dwindled to a scant 23. My personal suggestion is to make note of the fact that the act of playing “hooky” was actually invented in springtime. And coincidence of coincidences, it was first regularly practiced in the Rockies.So get out and enjoy. For in five-and-a-half weeks the book shuts on this most beautiful of seasons.
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The past sneaks up on us in the strangest of ways, and I don’t mean bounty hunters flashing those “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters in our faces.