High Points: At least we don’t have hurricanes | AspenTimes.com

High Points: At least we don’t have hurricanes

Paul E. Anna
High Points

You know things aren’t going well when you gauge your days by the things that didn’t happen. And for us, here at 7,908 feet, one of the best things we can say as we awake this morning is “at least we don’t have hurricanes.”

Our condolences go out to those folks who have been impacted in Lake Charles, Louisiana, by Hurricane Laura. Shortly before it blew ashore on Wednesday night one of the weather channels played a simulated video of what a storm surge looks like at 3 feet, 6 feet and, yes, the predicted 9 feet. The simulation was terrifying and the takeaway was that, when they say un-survivable storm surge, the accent is on the “un.” As I write this it is still too early to get a full picture of the totality of the destruction, but it appears that much of the catastrophic predictions were averted. But still, how would you like to have 150 mph winds blow across your rooftop?

It kind of puts into perspective the good fortune we have here this week. Yes, the Valley is still under a Covid-19 watch, but who isn’t? And the smoke still hangs in the air from the fires that continue to nibble away at the forest and scrub oak in the mountains. But have you seen the air in the San Francisco Bay Area? And we have sweltered under what may turn out to be the hottest-and driest-August in Aspen’s history. We have been consistently flirting with 90° readings, it actually topped out at 90° on August 18, and until this week not a drop of rain had fallen at the airport. Still, it’s more temperate than just about anywhere else in the country.

Yes, when you actually think about it, as bad as things seemingly have been in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley this summer, we still have been outrageously lucky in a comparative sense. Our Covid rates have been lower than other areas and there have been comparatively few deaths and hospitalizations. The fires have not destroyed any significant buildings or any neighborhoods as they have in Sonoma and Napa. And it looks like we are about to get a little taste of Fall in the upcoming weekend with the potential for some rain.

Yes, perspective is a very relative and personal thing. But we need to recognize that no matter how rough it is for us, it is rougher for those others out there beyond our “bubble.” This is the place, despite fires and droughts and global warming and even pandemics, where people want to be. Don’t believe me? Just check out the visitor figures and the home and land sales for this summer. We live in the Promised Land.

And at least we don’t have hurricanes.