Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com
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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Brrr … That was one cold night on Wednesday.

Temperatures were close to single digits in some valleys and on some mountaintops. Cold by any measure, but that kind of cold feels even colder when it comes early in the season. We don’t have our winter skins yet. Some of us even have the fading shades of summer tans. You with the bikini lines, you know who you are.

And how many of you have winterized your houses? Put the snow tires on? Turned on the heat tape? Well, it may be a little early for all of that, but mother nature did her part in reminding us that the dogs of winter are nipping at our heels.

As if to compensate, it looks like we are due for a warm-up starting today that will bring us sunshine and highs in he upper 50s, maybe even a mixed-in 60 for the rest of this week. It is what I call an “Indian Summer,” and there are few things in the world that feel as good as an October warm-wave.

I clarified the description above by noting that “I” refer to this warm-up as an Indian Summer. In looking at historical and official references to what actually constitutes an Indian Summer, there would likely be some disagreement.

To some, an Indian Summer requires seven days of temperatures above 70 degrees after the first frost. Others say that the Indian Summer is strictly a Northeast phenomenon and that the rest of the country just gets warm. Pretty provincial I would say.

Regardless of what they call it, the feel of the sun on your face and the crackle of the leaves beneath your feet as you shuffle through a warm October afternoon is priceless. There is a sense of melancholy, perhaps related to the loss of the preceding summer or the onset of the coming winter or just the changing times, that is unique to the season. October is the season of college football, the World Series and the election contests. It is the season of Halloween, hunting and turning the clocks back.

It is also the time of year around here that belongs to us. Parking is easy. Traffic is down. I was on a flight into town last week that had just four people on the plane. This is the season when the tourists and the second-home owners go away. Everything becomes much more mellow. Even the red ants lose their bite.

The sun will warm you up this week. Whatever you want to call it, it will be nice.


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