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

Paul E. AnnaThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

And suddenly it was summer.Yes, I know summer has taken its time getting here, but Wednesday afternoon we had our first shot of that sunny, semi-warm feeling that we all equate with that laziest and craziest of seasons. True, it was a little in and out and by evening the clouds were once again sprinkling the flowers with rain. But still, it felt good. And now, as the busiest of weekends approaches, it would appear we can all put on a pair of shorts, slip off our fleece and finally turn a nose to the sky with hopes of getting a little tan. Those tan lines from the trips to the islands, the tropics and the desert have all but disappeared, so it will be good to catch a few rays. Finally.And about that busiest of weekends. I don’t ever remember a harmonic convergence on a single weekend here that is as crowded with stuff as this one. Usually we spread out our events so we have a little time to jump from one genre to another, to get a little mind-time to separate experiences. Not this week.Yesterday (and this morning) it was bikers and music as the Ride the Rockies and Jazz Aspen kicked things off. The cheeky Jamie Cullum was scheduled to rock the Benedict Music Tent last night and the Ride the Rockies crew cruised into town for what was certainly a highlight of their trip. The 55-mile ride from Leadville over Independence Pass surely left the riders a little leg-weary, but I’ll bet they got after it last night.And today the Food & Wine Classic kicks off at 10 a.m. with the opening seminars. Time to get a glass. Five thousand souls will pass through the gates all looking for that perfect wine, the perfect recipe, or just the perfect day. The festival rarely fails to fulfill expectations.And downvalley Strawberry Days picks up, just as it has for the last 112 years, in downtown Glenwood Springs. The oldest civic festival in the state, Strawberry Days is the quintessential summer event with music, dance, food … what more can you want from a summer festival?With all that stuff going on, the highlight of the weekend for me will still be Saturday night at 11:45, when we officially pass into summer with the Summer Solstice. Saturday, the sun will rise in these parts at 5:41a.m. and not set until 8:37 p.m., giving us just shy of 15 hours of sunshine to do all of the things that there are to do on this all-consuming weekend. Add in twilight and we’re looking at maybe seven hours of darkness to catch some Zs.All in all, a weekend full of high points. Don’t forget the sunscreen.


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