Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Just about all of us know the lyrics to that song. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” penned by John Denver in 1966 and recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. But more than just the words and melody, most of us here in Aspen know the exact feeling that John captured so well.

The getting up early before the sun rises, rubbing the sleep from our eyes, maybe having a cup of coffee while we go over what we packed, where our tickets and passports and credit cards are. And the melancholy we feel about getting into a silver tube and heading off to a distant land.

On the one hand there is the excitement of going someplace new, seeing somewhere we have never been. But gosh, it sure is hard to leave here.

I thought about this one recent morning as I was about to board an outbound flight from Sardy Field. It was mid-week and the flight was maybe half full and it seemed like I knew just about everyone on board. They were all locals heading for someplace else. One couple was off to Paris, there was a guy in shorts and sandals on his way to Maui, a group of friends going to Tuscany to ride bikes.

All of us were looking forward to our journeys and the promise of adventures that lay ahead. But as we talked about how beautiful fall has been and how great the weather is and how much we loved Aspen this time of year, you could feel just a tinge of sadness amongst the world travelers.

We are so fortunate to live in a time where the world, anywhere, is just a phone call and a flight away. The opportunities that we have to surf Maui, bike Tuscany and have dinner in Paris within hours after getting on a plane here in Aspen boggle the mind. Yet… sometimes it just seems that the best place to be, the best thing to do, the best choice to make, is all about being here. At home.

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I am getting on a plane again today. This time to San Francisco. It is a city I love and I am rife with anticipation. But as I look around at the golden trees, the ever-white clouds and the true-blue skies, in the back of my mind and deep within my soul I am once again singing the song:

“Oh babe I hate to go…'”

The now 5-0 and still No. 1 ranked Aspen High School Skiers football team will be in action this evening in a Roaring Fork Valley match-up at Basalt. They will be led by quarterback Rex Christensen who was misnamed in last week’s column. Judging from the Skiers 42-0 victory that evening, the mistake did not impact his game.