Room for everyone | AspenTimes.com

Room for everyone

Paul E. Anna

It’s solstice week and the living is … well, actually the living is a little crowded.

Is it just old Paul E. here who feels it, or does it seem that our streets, sidewalks, trails, rivers and, yes, even our skies are filling up fuller than in summers past?

If you live in the flight path of Sardy Field, or at the North 40, you know that there is a near-constant stream of planes. Like waves on a beach, one jet comes in, and like clockwork one jet goes out. Only these waves cost $35 million. Many of these folks can be described as “fractionals.” These are the folks who fly fractionally in Net Jets to vacation fractionally in their jointly owned condos in resort towns throughout the world.

Drive the river roads and just about any turnout plays host to vans and trailers either dropping or waiting for rafters. Usually adjacent are a few beater trucks with kayak racks on top. Riding the rapids is booming, and you’re likely to see many of the same faces on the Fork that you see lined up on the lip of the Highlands Bowl in winter waiting for the ropes to drop.

The trails also are seeing their fair share of traffic. Town trails in particular, like the Rio Grande Highway, feature a constant stream of hikers, and even more frequently on these June days, bikers, who ride in packs to the Woody Creek Tavern and back.

For those who like to dine alfresco, town is the new choice, what with the tables and chairs spilling out into the streets throughout Aspen. Streetside dining has brought a new energy to town this summer, and there is nothing better than sipping and nibbling as the sun dips into the Western sky. But it does make getting to, say, the cleaners, a bit of an adventure.

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And that brings us to the roads and streets. S-curve experimentation aside, the cars and trucks coming into town in the morning seem to have increased exponentially this summer. It can’t be that building permits are up, can it? Maybe the Polo sale is drawing them in from New Castle and Silt. In any event, it is best to avoid Main Street between 6 and 8 ” that’s 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Aspen would become the summer Mecca that it has. Beautiful weather, tall trees, taller mountains. We seem to have it all, and frankly, it belongs to everyone, not just those of us who boast “ZG Equity” on our license plates.

The bright side is we still have offseason, two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall, during which we can stretch our legs, wiggle our toes and complain that they took the tables off the sidewalks too soon.

After all, that’s what being a local is all about.