Editorial: The rules of Smuggler Road
We hope you’re as excited as we are about the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this weekend. The event is the traditional kickoff to the summer season, arguably the most beautiful time of the year in Aspen.
But for all of the eating, drinking and being merry that will take place, we also urge our visitors to partake in some fun and healthy activity outside the tents to make up for the decadence inside.
You can get a glimpse of local outdoor activities starting today, when The Aspen Times launches its summer version of our “On the Hill” video production, which will be available on http://www.aspentimes.com before noon today. And there’s no better way for today’s “On the Hill,” with staffers Dale Strode and Max Vadnais, to kick off than by taking a look at a favorite pasttime of many Aspen residents: the trip up Smuggler Mountain.
Additionally, the lead item in today’s Sports section gives a broad overview of the recreational pursuits on Smuggler Mountain, which people climb by walking, running, biking and or using a vehicle, whether it’s a pickup truck or a dirt bike.
If you’re new to the area and plan to give the 1.5-mile road a shot, we offer a few dos and don’ts before you set your way up the hill.
• The running joke among women is that, well, hiking Smuggler is a chick thing. In other words, if you’re a guy younger than 50, you need to be riding a bike, running or walking up with another lady or companion.
• Pick up you dog’s poop. How many times have we said that in these pages? Never mind — we’ve lost count, but the problem persists. Retrieve Fido’s stink-nuggets, please.
• If you must drive, go slow, and realize that their are significantly more hikers and bikers than vehicles, and be super-courteous and super-deferential.
• Complaining about people yakking on their cellphones is so 2000, so we’ll lay off laying into the multitudes of important people who must chat away while in the midst of conquering Smuggler. All we ask is that we get a piece of whatever mega-deal is being brokered, as we must be subjected to it.
So there you have it. Welcome to Aspen, visitors. Live it up while you’re here, and try to enjoy the trip up Smuggler. It might not be the ultimate cure for a Food & Wine hangover, but at least it’ll help wash away some of the guilt.