I’ll just write off winter now | AspenTimes.com

I’ll just write off winter now

Janet Urquhart

I finally have tan feet. I’m not ready for snow.In fact, the appearance of Teva tan lines are among the few summertime goals I can actually check off my list. Time to accomplish the rest is running out faster than the daylight on this, the last official day of summer. Saturday is the first day of autumn, but you’d never know it, with all the white crap on the peaks. I should have seen it coming, but the frost on my windshield obliterated the view.Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the change of seasons, but I prefer to ease into them gradually, sort of like a pair of long pants. After a summer in shorts, I like to start with elastic-waist sweatpants before facing the harsh realities of blue jeans. This week, I not only needed pants, but gloves and a hat. Did I miss autumn while I was in the bathroom or something?Anyway, my great hopes for a summer of outdoor adventure are fading faster than the aspen leaves.I can count on one hand the number of new hikes I managed to squeeze in this summer, and I don’t need any fingers to count this year’s backpacking expeditions. Ditto on spending at least one night under the stars.I’ve been to the Saturday farmer’s market in Aspen all of once and managed to sit outside the music tent maybe twice.At least my mountain bike is tuned and ready for next year; I only rode it once all season.Blame homeownership. I was pounding nails when I would normally be pounding trails. My bronzed tootsies can be chalked up to yard work, as much as anything.Now, with winter looming, it’s time to set some goals. To save time next spring, though, I’m compiling a list of the stuff I won’t actually accomplish this winter, so I don’t have to tally up my nonachievements later: Once again, I didn’t muster the courage/stamina to hike Highland Bowl and ski down. Likewise, the terrain of Deep Temerity remains a mysterious, off-limits corner of my trail map. I didn’t take a Colorado Mountain College course, leaving me still incapable of conversing in Spanish and/or playing the blues harmonica. First place at Gongsköl eluded my grasp when I failed to come up with an act. I didn’t cross the finish line in America’s Uphill with anything approaching a respectable time. OK, I didn’t actually enter the race. I failed to win the big Powerball payout and move to the south of France after securing a second home in Aspen. I didn’t skin up Buttermilk at least once a week, or even once. My plans for a hut trip fell through because I didn’t actually make reservations at one, again. My inaugural winter camping expedition didn’t come together for the usual reason – it was winter. Who wants to camp in the snow?Janet Urquhart doesn’t care if it’s politically incorrect – she wants an Indian summer. She can be reached at janet@aspentimes.com