Paul E. Anna: HighPoints | AspenTimes.com
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Paul E. Anna: HighPoints

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

It has gotten awful quiet around here this week.

Once Sunday afternoon rolled around, it seemed that a good chunk of our local populace headed out o’ town with alacrity. No, they weren’t headed for the hills. Rather, much of Aspen was headed for the beaches, the deserts and the far-flung cities all over the world that hold urban delights.

Sunday on both Aspen and Snowmass mountains was a strange experience. The “Mongolian Mud” that had coated the slopes with a gritty brown deposit last Monday afternoon reappeared as the ensuing snow from Wednesday’s storm began to melt in the spring sun. The result was snow that was not only heavy and hard to ski, but also laced with dust and debris. Someone, no doubt from the Boston area where they make such things, compared the experience to skiing “on a mocha frappe.” And they were right.

There were not many folks on the slopes as the lifts made their final trip up the hill. There were a few partiers on Snowmass and one young man in a fairy dress was seen skiing down the mountain trailing an empty keg that appeared to have gotten away from him during the afternoon.

Monday brought lines of people to Sardy Field as virtually every seat on every flight out of town was full. The rental car agencies also did a booming business in one-way cars, many going to Denver with folks who did not have tickets for flights. And, of course, the tarmac where the heavy metal (the private aircraft) park emptied quickly.

When I got to DIA, the United concourse was filled with folks who were dressed in colorful Hawaiian shirts and hats, carrying backpacks filled with Kindles, iPads, e-books and sunscreen as they headed for the tropics. Many were from here, but others were from Vail and Telluride and Jackson Hole. Ski town residents who mark the change of season with a change of scene.

It is an odd exodus. Just when the snow finally melts and the sun begins to shine and the temperatures begin to climb here in our little valley, everyone hustles for someplace else. Understandable of course, as so many of us have been grounded in town throughout the long winter, working and catering to our guests, but still, this a beautiful time of year to be in Aspen.

For those of you who have not left yet, and for those who have no plans to get away, enjoy the space. Enjoy the quiet and have a great spring. Remember most of the world would love a chance to be here in the springtime.


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